Mon. July 13, 2020 – more work, little play

Hot and humid.  Of course.  Unless it’s raining.

Yesterday got hotter and hotter until it was 109F in the sun in my driveway.  It was over 100F in the garage.  I was moving, but sometimes a bit slower.  I tried to switch tasks, moving from the house to the garage to the sunny driveway to the shady yard, and back.   I drank 2 liters of lemonade, and some iced tea and some water.

I mostly was trying to clear out the four corners of the garage.  One corner blocks entry for the freezer.  One corner is where I want to put it.  The other corner is my main water and food storage area, now being re-purposed as my hobby area and storage for some bulk buckets, and non-perishables, as well as my fire rated file cabinet and a work area.  If I get to cutting the hole in the wall, that’s where the A/C unit will go too.  The last corner is the other side of the roll up door and completes a big U of clear space around the center of the garage, which is mostly full of stuff.

In any case, I made some slow progress.  Never got to my secondary location as I was on  a roll and didn’t want to stop.

Wife painted the new back door, and ordered dinner delivered from one of the local chinese food places.  It was pretty good, and I sure didn’t feel like cooking after being out in the heat all day.  It’s not the end of the world after all.  Except maybe for Florida, Arizona, and Texas.

I guess we’ll see, but the trends are worrying.  Our neighbor to the south seems to have completely lost control of the wuflu situation.  Their curve doesn’t look like it will flatten for some time.  The rest of latin america, africa, and india aren’t looking so good either.  Funny how little news we’re hearing from them.

I’m keeping on keeping on.  That’s the plan anyway.  One of the boxes I found in the garage cleanup was a bunch of wound care supplies from my mom.  Dad doesn’t need them anymore, so I’ll stack them and hope I never need them either.  Running into reminders like that is bittersweet.

But hey, while I was cleaning and organizing, I sold some speakers on ebay.  Turned around and spent the money on parts to fix the bandsaw in the garage.  If it’s gonna sit there, it should work.  One little casting broke, and the machine is NFG.  The casting was way under-engineered (or OVER engineered, and under-spec’d) and is an obvious weak point.  One of the medium term goals for the garage is to have a mini version of my bigger workshop close to hand.  Getting the little 9″ bandsaw running is a step in that direction.

Also found some airsoft and a CO2 powered bb pistol.  So I set up some cans in the yard and put a couple dozen rounds through them.  That was fun!  It was also a nice break from the heat to shoot in the 95F shade.   I’ve never shot a CO2 airgun before and I like it.   It’s way more like semi-auto and better ‘substitute’ practice as you don’t have to re-cock the spring, or pump up the air.  The pistol doesn’t jump around as much, the trigger is wobbly, and it’s a full sized handgun, but it’s still good practice for acquiring the target, getting sight alignment, etc.   I’ve even got retention holsters for them if I wanted to practice drawing and firing.  I’m not getting to the range any time soon, and ammo is expensive and hard to replace, so airgun practice it will be.  It does make a distinctive sound that carries quite well in the unusually quite suburbs…

So, even if you can’t do what you’d normally like to do, keep working on skills, and keep stacking.




Sat. July 11, 2020 – continuing to sweat, and work, and work, and work

Hot and humid again.  Same same.

Yesterday stayed hot hot hot all day.  And sweat through to your skin in 5 minutes humid.

So, while I didn’t get much done in the garage, given that it was more than 109F in there, I did yard work.  Cut the grass, pulled a couple of weeds.   Cleaned up the rest of the mess the heavy trash guys left.  Cut and stacked the free firewood.  (Used the electric chainsaw.)  Pushed dirt around the bottom of the pool.

Then did my auction pickup.   Helped load the old bedroom furniture into a lady’s truck (3 trips to fit it all).  Cooked dinner.  Put the kids to bed.  Read more Tales of Alvin Maker: Prentice Alvin to the oldest.  Watched some youtube.

Dinner was some super scraggly and thin asparagus from the last supply drop, and almost 2 pounds of sirloin steak from the freezer.  My 9yo ate the biggest hunk, half a pound at least, and more than I ate.  She is a vicious little carnivore.  Last year’s girl scout cookies for dessert.

Today I’m really really really trying to get the freezer into the garage.  I’ve got to get a ton of shirt out first, and it’s hot.  But I need to get it settled and start stocking it again.  I’ve also looked at freezer temperature alarms, and they are either cheap and poorly reviewed, or pretty dang pricey.  I’ve got normal digital thermometers on the fridge and the chest freezer.  They don’t alarm though, but you can see at a glance the actual temps.  I’m going to look some more before deciding what to get.  I sure don’t want to lose another freezer full.

Speaking of a freezer full, with additional space I’ll be able to store more frozen fruits and veg.  I don’t normally keep much besides meat and butter, with some bread products in the freezers.  My wife has a bag of fruit chunks for smoothies in the kitchen freezer.  One of the observations someone mentioned about the covid lockdowns so far was wishing they had more frozen fruit.  I hadn’t thought much about it, and I have canned fruit and fruit pie filling, but I don’t have much frozen.  I think I’ll add a shelf of frozen fruit to the pile.

Always something more to stack, keep at it.


Tues. July 7, 2020 – ay, que loco

Hot and humid, but maybe less so.

Yesterday was cooler in the evening than last week.  Hot during the day though.

I didn’t get much done.  Had to go to my storage unit to get an ebay sale item, then pack and ship that.  Grabbed some useful stuff from the unit while I was there.  On the way home, I cruised the heavy trash piles and easily could have filled the pickup with free firewood.  As it was I grabbed mostly 6-8 inch diameter limbs, all oak, and about 4 feet long.  I’ll get them cut and stacked soon enough now that I have the racks in place.  Having the pickup truck makes it easy to do some things that would be much harder without it.  Scavenging, and transporting building supplies are two that leap to mind.

Today I need to drop off a projector for service, hit the Habitat reStore to see if they have a door that will replace my patio door, and do a quick site visit for my client.  He lost about half his wifi in the house.  I think I probably messed up the PoE or net connection when I was over there last week.  I think I’ll mask up, or at least be back to wearing gloves on site, as I didn’t want to be there for a couple of weeks while the covid cooties died off.

Hopefully I can also find time to drop off some auction stuff too.  Most of my errands are in the Northwest metro area today.   I try to “clump” errands to save driving and time.  Can’t always, but I do try.

Thanks to whoever recommended the Alex Verus magic books, both my wife and I enjoyed them a lot, and are looking forward to the next one.   Harry Dresden and Alex Verus both have new books in the series out this Fall.  That seems a long time away at the moment.

Dinner was mostly leftovers.  A bit of ham steak rounded out the meal.   In times of hardship and privation, throwing out food is very undesirable.   Cooking portions that all get eaten is a learned skill.  Eating the leftovers just takes doing it.  So much easier, and yet I know people who don’t and won’t eat leftovers.  I hope they can continue to be so choosy.

In other news, I had a long conversation with Frances about Barbara’s condition and status.  Good news.  They are transferring her to a rehab facility.  That means that outside of the picc line, she’s off of IV meds, and the infections are taken care of.  The exception being the one in her spine that is causing the pain and disability.  She’s looking at 6-8 weeks of treatment for that, hopefully with prompt and continued improvement.  They are not setting a schedule for when or under what conditions she can return home, she needs to get more mobile, get daily living chores under control, and get the pain under control before then.  However, she’s making progress, and getting out of the actual hospital.   Once she’s settled into the new facility, I’ll pass along contact info for cards or treats.  She’s aware of and grateful for the concern and support from our community.  I should have another update in a day or two.  (and Colin is doing fine with Al as his personal body servant)

And that’s it for this morning.   Keep stacking.



Mon. July 6, 2020 – turn down the suck…

Hot and humid.  Probably overcast with a chance of storms.    I guess we’ll see.

Yesterday was hot and humid.  Not as terrible as Saturday but still unpleasant in the garage and outdoors.  Wife and kids spent the whole day inside.  I did some outdoors stuff and worked in the garage.  I’m pretty much going to have to make time to put the A/C into the garage.  Otherwise, I won’t get much use during most of the year.  I will tell myself it’s better for my food storage too.

Projects.  I got ’em.

Did get some small progress done yesterday.  Found some more stuff for the auction.  Sold a speaker on ebay.  Bought a bunch of stuff in the housewares amazon returns auction.  Watching those bids took a lot of time in 15 minute slices.  Did some small cleanup in the garage.  Fixed a fan.  Read a few chapters of a book.  I was a  bit wiped out after Saturday.

Dinner was brats and fixin’s.   Brats were fresh from the last Costco supply drop, onions and potatoes from the one before that.  Corn and ice cream were from the HEB grocery drop.  I’ve said it before, but it’s a damn peculiar zombie apocalypse when you can have food delivered to your door.

Another peculiar thing was transitioning from “prepping” to “using”.   After a while, I realized I need to go back to buying stuff to replace stores as they are used.  I don’t NEED to get toilet paper right now, but if I don’t there will come a time when I’ve run out.  Hoping to resupply at some future date is not a prudent or practical plan.  So far, we’ve been mostly eating out of current shopping with additions from the long term stockpile.  I’d like to build up some extra protein storage, and adjust some of my long term canned food.  I’m heavy on canned corn, just as an example, and I’ve only used up one case so far.  It’s going to be more expensive to replace the stuff I’ve used, as I bought it only when it was on sale, and there are few sales at the moment.  I’ll call it ‘dollar cost averaging’ for food and stuff instead of investments.

On the plus side, being well prepared for something that was nowhere on my wife’s radar has built up a nice store of goodwill toward prepping and some of my more ‘out there’ preps.  Having the stuff and having it at hand has made a big difference.  When you hit on a long shot, some of your other long shots look a little more reasonable.  I’ve also gotten a nice bump in tolerance for auctions now that she’s figured out that I can buy the stuff SHE wants…  now, if I can get my sales up, I’ll be golden.

I’m going to advise accepting that this is the beginning of how things are going to be for a while, and that we’re probably not going back to “the way things were.”  The sooner you accept that as reality, and start adjusting to it, the better off you’ll be.   A lot of the lost jobs aren’t coming back anytime soon.  There is a glut of autos on the market, I’ve seen a local dealer using the dead mall parking lot as storage.  He hasn’t even bothered to fence it in.  I’m sure there are other areas of oversupply too.  Air travel capacity comes to mind.  Shopping malls.  Theaters.  Fitness centers.  Party rental places.  Foreign workers. *

Start focusing on the basics.  You’ll be ahead of the curve and the pack.

Keep stacking.




*notice how quickly the furor over the H1B visas has died down?

Mon. June 29, 2020 – another week, Let’s get started!

Hot, humid, but perhaps not so hot as last week.  And in theory, we’re on the edge of a system with T storms and heavy rain.

Yesterday stayed mostly overcast, which helped with the temps.  It still got over 100F in the driveway.

After cutting the grass, blowing the debris, and weeding the gardens, I got some small things done.  I finished changing out the sprinkler heads that were sticking up too far.   I’d gotten 70% of the way done and stopped, so today I finished.  I did a couple of other small tasks too.

Then I thoroughly cleaned the new freezer inside and out.  I’ve got a bit more to do on the door.  The outside is streaky where the clorox bleach cleaner lifted some 28 year old dirt but left the rest.  I’d really like to go over that when I refill my spray bottle.  The inside was in great shape.  It’s been wet in the heat, so anything that WOULD grow in it DID grow in it.  And that was very little.  I plugged it in to start it getting cold again, and to keep it clean inside.

I’ve figured out how I want to change my garage layout to accommodate the new freezer.  I’m taking out an old workbench that did nothing but catch piles of junk.    I’ll slide the old fridge and new freezer to the end of the wall, and move the chest freezer over too.  I’ll have a chance to put a file cabinet and some shelves where the chest freezer used to live.   It will open stuff up a bit.  Hopefully it will be a better use of the space, with less opportunity to just pile stuff on horizontal surfaces.

I need a dry, cooler day, to pull everything out of that side of the garage and move stuff around.   Hope I get one soon.

The gardens are what they are… something has eaten almost every onion I planted.  There are only a couple left.  The broccoli is struggling.  One plant died off this week.  The others might or might not produce another stalk for my dinner.  Probably not.  The grape vine that lived is going gangbusters and has taken over the whole trellis.  I don’t know if that means grapes or no grapes though.  I haven’t seen any yet.  The vine that died back to within a foot of the ground has put out new leaves and grown a bit.  Maybe next year it will be back up the trellis.

Tomato plants are still alive, still setting flowers, and have a couple more tomatoes growing.  I took two last week.  Tomatoes have never grown well for me.  One potato tower is empty of living plants, the other is down to one remaining plant.  No idea if they died or were eaten.  I can’t keep up with the sweet peppers.  I had several rot on the bush.  They are really tasty but I’m the only one who eats them.  The brusselsprouts are finally thriving but haven’t put up the sprout stalk yet.  Cabbages are about tennis ball sized through to slow pitch softball sized and looking good.  Corn is about 2 1/2 to 3 feet high and has tassels.   It LOOKS like it is growing well.  I guess we’ll see later in the year.   The melons/squash are still alive, with flowers, so I’m hopeful they’ll continue to grow.

I harvested 6 more blueberries today- go me!   I was pleasantly surprised to realize I had more green fruits on the orange and grapefruit trees than I thought.  I hope they ripen into good fruit.  The container lime has a fruit or two left.  The Meyer lemon is heavy with fruit.  I had some garlic cloves sprout in the cabinet, so I stuck them in the window box today.  No idea if they’ll root and grow, but the box was empty, and I’m not eating the sprouted cloves.  I’ve got a couple of small cilantro plants started.  I love cilantro and will eat and cook with it if I have it.  It will be nice if the heat doesn’t kill them.  Now if only I had 10 to 20 times the stuff planted, I might get more than the occasional taste… Growing food has a long learning curve, better get started.

Because the world isn’t getting better.  “Protests” and rioting are continuing.  Wuflu is continuing, although as the people getting sick are younger this time around, maybe it won’t kill so many of them.  I’m nervous about it.  My neighbor at my secondary location told me one of his coworkers and his whole family have it.  Several of his other coworkers all have strong exposures now, as they drove around in the truck with the sick guy.  My neighbor said he was outdoors (construction) and wearing a mask, but he’s still been told to stay home until he’s clear.   I spent a few hours chatting with him in the parking lot.   I’m hoping like he11 that 6 feet and a steady cross breeze is enough to keep me well.  My next door neighbor at the house went to the Doctor in a big hurry this evening.  I haven’t had a chance to find out why, but I really hope it wasn’t for a covid test.

Today I’ll be headed out to my client’s house to try to get him buttoned up before the Fourth.  I’ve got auction pickups too (for my wife and her projects mainly, now that she’s discovered how handy and economical it is to have me on the lookout for stuff.)  Since I was going anyway, I got some web gear, gub accessories, and a couple of things for me as well.

The scanner last night had someone in town running a drug surveillance op.   Last I heard, they were watching a group of about 30 people hanging out, having a bonfire in the middle of the street around midnight.  “That’s a really big fire!” says one cop.  Just another weekend night in the ‘hood, I guess.   Not something you’d know about from the news.

I hope everyone is healthy this week.  And working on preps for the future.  It’s comin’ like a freight train….

Keep stacking,



Wed. June 24, 2020 – more of the same, sorta

Hot and humid.  [74F and dripping, overcast. I purely suck at weather forecasting]  It is Houston and summer….

Yesterday was hot and humid, although less of both than previous days this week.  Stuff was actually drying out once I dumped the standing water.  Sometimes we’ll go days with water in every nook and cranny because it just can’t evaporate.  And I was able to work outside for a while, without my vest or my head exploding.  Nice little break.

I took some time and did pool care.  Skimmed off the leaves, swept the bottom, and made a big siphon hose to suck out the debris.  My little siphon hose took too long and used too much water.  And it clogged easily on the half eaten pecans.  The damnable tree rats are chewing the still very undersized and unripe pecans in half.  That makes two marble sized pieces to drop in the pool, since they can’t eat them.  Bigger hose, stronger flow, less choking, and I had that cleaned up in a jiffy.

Then on to pulling some inventory to go to the local auction.  I’ve got two big black bins full, and more to go.  SO MUCH MORE.  The auction isn’t appropriate for all the sort of stuff I have to sell, more for the household/estate stuff than the industrial stuff, but I’ve got plenty of that too.  In the process, I was going through stuff in the house, on the patio, and in the garage.  Miles to go before I sleep, but every journey starts with a single step, right?

Dinner was Taco Tuesday.  Canned chicken, canned beans, tortillas and fixin’s from the fridge.

Daughter one has a visit with the orthodontist this morning.  We were doing a retainer to move some teeth around so they didn’t get damaged before we could do the braces.  She lost the retainer.  It’s been months, so it’s time for a reassessment.

Daughter two is complaining of a mild headache and feeling “pukey”.   No actual vomiting, but no appetite either.  I’m wondering where she picked up a bug, and the only answer is ‘swim practice’.   That is double plus ungood as it points out how easy it would be to get something else.  I’m not feeling great either, with occasional coughing, and some mild headache.  I’m blaming mine on allergies and doing too much reading with my cheap ‘cheater’ glasses.  We might stay home from swim today.  We’ll see.

As part of my cleaning up and moving stuff, I moved some rice from bags in the black bins to buckets with O2 absorbers.  I filled two buckets and could have filled a third and fourth with rice and another bucket with flour.  30 pounds per 5 gallon bucket, 2 cups a day, and each bucket is good for approximately 30 days.  That’s a nice tidy number and easy to see at a glance what inventory looks like in ‘days’.  I find it much easier to think in terms of ‘meals’ or ‘days’ when looking at my stored preps.  I absolutely never think in terms of ‘calories per day per person.’  Bob and I had some discussions about our different approaches to thinking about food, and I’m convinced that mine has fewer built in barriers to action, lower friction for the prepper, while his has the advantage of having math and science behind it.  Like a lot of prepping, it’s easy to go off into the weeds and to find reasons not to start.  “Oh, I have to figure out how many calories are in a bucket of flour before I start storing it.” “are mylar bags really necessary?  What about oxygen absorbers?  I don’t have any.”   Stuff like that.  My method feels a little more haphazard, but really, do you think in terms of making a pot of rice or of cooking 1700 calories of foodstuffs?

However you think of it, get started if you haven’t already.  I’m eating rice stored very haphazardly in 2014 and it is delicious.  (stored in a black bin, limited airflow, no vermin, constant comfortable temps.)  I didn’t use O2 absorbers, or repack into mylar, or any of the other things.  I saw a case of ebola in Dallas and panic bought a bunch of food.  I packed it tightly in bins at my secondary location, and ignored it until this year.  Because I moved it home, I’m repacking it into buckets as they are more air tight, and easier to move when full.

I’ve rotated the 2014 stuff to the front and put the 2019 and 2020 in the back.  If I move some back to my secondary storage, I’ll move the 2019 and 2020 food.  My point is, you don’t have to do it perfectly, or in any particular way at all.  You don’t NEED all the rest of the stuff or to spend a lot of time.   Rice is cheap.  Flour, sugar, salt, and even peanut oil (my stored fat) are cheap.  If you have some spoilage, it’s a small price to pay vs. NOT having any food.  To the staples, add canned food- meat, veg, and beans to start, fruit, pie filling, and ‘weirder’ stuff as you can.  The cans will do just fine for years if you keep them cool and dry without any other work on your part.

You can and should build off that food stockpile, but at least you won’t starve to death in the first 3 months of a disaster, whatever that might be (prolonged unemployment being the most common, sick spouse or kid being the second.)

So, get started, or keep going, but keep stacking.



Mon. June 8, 2020 – another week starting

Hot, humid, chance of storming…

Yesterday it was hot and fairly humid all day, although water in the driveway did dry and the Portacool evaporative cooler worked, so it couldn’t have been as humid as it felt.  I’ve seen days in a row where puddles didn’t dry because it was so humid.

I did get some work done in the driveway in late afternoon.  I moved a pallet of stuff onto shelves.  It makes a taller stack, but decreases the foot print.  I was alternating with stuff that had me indoors to cool off.  I was able to condense some stuff too, gaining a little bit of space.  And it’s clear to me I should be going through all my stuff more regularly, to sort, sell, or dump.

We’ve got a storm in the Gulf so I don’t know what today’s weather will bring. I might head over to my secondary or I might just stay here and do other things.    At least I didn’t add to my sunburn yesterday.

I’m sure something will come up to derail my efforts.

Like a global pandemic messed with me getting stuff cleaned out and taken to auction just when I was starting to make progress.  After all, it’s all about me…

Speaking of, it seems to have passed the point in Brazil and India where the true extent can be hidden.   Probably still going into the rapid doubling phase in India, WELL into it in Brazil.   Africa is a big black hole info-wise and so are a lot of other places.   If this was the zombie apocalypse it wouldn’t be long before we stopped getting news out of them entirely.  Since it’s Just The Flu ™, I’m sure places that have dealt with infectious diseases in the past will have no trouble at all.

Really though, it’s still out there, still killing about 1000 people a day in the US, and it’s becoming clear that even if you get over it, you might have lasting and possibly life changing damage.  Don’t get it.    Don’t get complacent or distracted.

It’s just a tiny bit suspicious that when it appeared we might be getting a handle on it, we get a giant virus swapfest, happening daily.  There are some real pros at work.  Did anyone else look carefully at how WELL the slogans were painted in the streets of DC?  The lines were straight, the edges crisp, the letters all well formed.  It takes a lot of effort to even lay out the guidelines for something like that, let alone actually execute it so well, and with really minimal guidemarks.  It almost looked unreal to me.  In any case, if it wasn’t photoshopped, it took work and experienced people and planning and discipline.  Not what you want to see in the enemies of freedom and rule of law.

One way or another, spicy time is coming.  LOTS of people seem to be doing prudent things, far more than I expected.  Shortages of seeds and freezers speak volumes to me.  Canning jars and lids seem to be available at the moment, but that’s another thing I would expect to sell out.  Unless all the people who would can already have what they need… like guns and ammo, you can always use more.

Speaking of which, you always think you have enough guns until the zombies come…

Getting training is harder and has more risks now, but if you need it, find a way to get it.  Several of our local ranges are offering classes, despite the restrictions.   LOTS of people are arming up.  Even my wife suggested it was time to get the girls going on the pellet guns.   I guess that living in the middle of a global pandemic makes it possible to see that some of the other scenarios might not be so far fetched after all.

Keep learning, keep stacking.



Sun. June 7, 2020 – not a million man march

Hot, hot, and more hot.  I think I could put that in the template for the site.

Yesterday was hot.  Humid.  Sunny, cloudy, and then we got a nice shower in the afternoon.  Sunny and STEAMY after that.  78F when I went to bed.

Looks like the million idiot march in DC had pretty much the same result as the last one.  And the fires, looting, and destruction continue elsewhere.

Meanwhile, one of the greatest accomplishments of the last millennium, and one of the most momentous for Europe slips by with little notice.

I enjoyed my time in our pool yesterday.  Since we were in the privacy of our back yard, I thought I might get in without a T shirt on… It’s probably been 20 years since my belly saw sunlight (other than my brief exposure last week.)  I was in the shade.  It was overcast.  I stayed under the water.  And I’m still itchy and sunburned on my belly and back.   Not even bad enough to see, but it’s enough to feel like wearing a wool sweater with nothing under it.

Other than finally getting in the pool and the yardwork, I really didn’t get much done.  I’ll try again today.

Dinner was lamb chops, delivered fresh from Costco by Instacart, finally.  Sides were cheese and bacon scalloped potatoes from a box, only a month out of date, steamed broccoli from the last delivery, and dinner rolls.  Dessert was sugar cookies from a pouch, just add a stick of butter and an egg.  Pouch was best by 2017, and the kids raved about how good the cookies were.  How could they have been anything but good with that much butter in them?  They were, in fact, REALLY GOOD.  I ate 7.

If we don’t have a big spike in cases before July 4th, I’ll accept that we can relax our covid response a bit, and move further toward normal.  I don’t think we’ll be doing that, or that we’ll get back to ‘normal’ ever again.  My wife and I don’t think the kids will be back in a school building in the fall.  She actually joined a FB group for homeschoolers to start figuring out what is available out there.  I had no idea, but I’m glad.  Doesn’t hurt to spend some time planning ahead or considering options.  That’s what preppers (and all prudent people) do.

Consider also- truck guns, body armor, fire extinguisher sized pepper spray, a house in the country, and some good hedges against inflation.  Another income stream might be a good idea too.


Plan for the day is do as much as possible without getting heat stroke, and get some projects finished.  I guess we’ll see….

Keep stacking, keep thinking, keep your mind and eyes open.



Fri. June 5, 2020 – Busy day

Hot and humid.  Maybe more rain?

It was certainly hot and humid yesterday.  Stifling when there was no breeze.  It did rain like crazy late in the day, which cooled things down a lot, but that was pretty late…

I got a few things done.  I moved some stuff and cleared some stuff at my secondary location, in preparation for throwing a lot of stuff into the dumpster.  I’ve got a literal truckload (53ft trailer) of stuff to sort, save, recycle, and trash.  That is just the trade show booth, but it will make a lot of room for other stuff.  No one is buying any tradeshow stuff in the next year or two.  Certainly not a booth that has been reworked a couple of times already.   About half of the volume is trash now, with some saveable pieces, and some of the shipping containers for reuse.  I could scrap out the rest, keeping just the containers to sell at some point, but I might keep some stuff like generic walls and towers.  All the lighting is too old and doesn’t meet current requirements, the chairs were more stylish than comfortable, all the messaging and signage is for a company that hasn’t existed for years…  I had hoped to rework it one more time and resell it again, but, I don’t see tradeshows being a thing again for a long time, and I need the space.

That is part of what I hope to do today, start moving that cr@p toward the dumpster.

I’ve also got some auction pickups to do.  I intend to put shelves in the space I open up so I scored some Metro racks on wheels.  This is taking priority because I need somewhere to put the racks… and some of it has to happen today, some tomorrow.  When you are buying in the ‘secondary’ market, you get it when you see it, not when it’s convenient.

All this will certainly make my homelife better, should make my selling of stuff easier, will make it possible for me to do some of the stuff I like doing, and has needed to be done for a long time.  Not really how I expected to be spending a worldwide pandemic.  Damn strange zombie apocalypse.  Although now we have our roaming bands…. can’t shoot them in the head yet though.

Toured the garden yesterday.  Some more blueberries are ready, must be at least 5  🙂  The citrus is doing well.  One of the cabbages has formed a firm center to the head.  It’s the one in the best sunlight, go figure.  Sunlight is important for success at gardening.  Who knew?  Broccoli is still growing.  Asparagus went leggy right away and looks like ferns now.  I’ve gotten one stalk off it in how many years?  I am just keeping it alive until I can transplant it somewhere new  at this point.  Corn and melons continue to grow.  Potato plants continue to die.  No idea what that is, the soil is clean bagged potting soil, so shouldn’t have any grubs or root destroyers in it.  It started out so well too.  Apple and peach trees have leaves, and look like trees, but no flowers and no fruit.  Peppers are still good though.  All in all, likely to be a disappointment.  Good learning though.

In the world and locally, covid is increasing in places that had people getting together.  That bodes ill for the rioters and protesters.  We said a couple of weeks ago that we’d know if easing restrictions led to more cases, and it looks like it did.  We’re starting to see some of the earliest cases, and should see more soon.  3-5 days from exposure to symptoms for most people, one to two weeks of sickness before either getting better, or worse.  So about 2-3 weeks from exposure to hospital admittance…on average.  I’m no fan of NY pols, but whichever one said that all the protesters should consider themselves potentially infected and self isolate got it right this time.  Chances of the public actually doing that??? Zero.

So keep working, keep your awareness up, and keep stacking.



Thur. May 28, 2020 – more storms

Wet and windy.

Yesterday was a mix of rain and storms with nice sunny blue sky and cool breezes. Lot of rain and wind though.

And the trunk I left open to dry out after I left it open through a storm?? Yep. Left it open through a storm again. I hope it will be dry at some point today.

Didn’t get much done on the bigger projects but I did do some more work on a couple of smaller things. Didn’t end up going to my client’s house yesterday but will be out there later today.

My wife decided that we needed to proceed with some sort of above the ground temporary pool. Only problem is, they are sold out everywhere. EXCEPT— in my auctions. Amazon returns and damaged in shipping auctions had several of the Intex pools. I ended up buying one, 15ft x 42″ high. After fees and taxes it was slightly more than list price- for an open box I didn’t inspect. I figure I can MacGiver around any issues. One other pool went for $100 more than mine, and the last one went for $200 more than mine. It is a seller’s market for above ground pools at the moment. Funny thing is, I picked up a pump/filter a couple of auctions ago thinking it could be a gross filter for my “water tank” inflatable kiddie pool, and I got 3 filters for it too. So even if the filter part of the set is missing, I’ve got it covered.

I’ll be doing pickups at four auctions today before heading over to my client’s house. They had another power outage, and half the stuff is offline, plus AT&T should be there to fix the DSL. The auctions were for some tactical accessories and camping stuff, toilet paper (don’t need it, but figured if I could restock with a good brand, I might as well), the pool, and a weird mix of photography LED lighting and backdrops and a couple of antennas.

The ‘weird mix’ auction seller is new to me. They are perhaps the second worst at it I’ve ever come across. Their pictures suck, what few there are, and their descriptions are all the same- general merchandise. By looking at all the listings, I could tell what some of the unidentified items were despite the bad pix and no description. If the stuff is actually there in the lots, I might have done really well. 20 lots for $109 is great pricing. The two antennas would have been most of that, and I got a bunch of other useful stuff, including practice arrows! The photography stuff should help me get better pix for my new listings. Turns out there is a whole slew of photo lighting and backdrop stuff aimed directly at youtubers. You wouldn’t think that would be a big enough market, but you’d be wrong. It is super cheap cr@p but should be fine for the limited use I’m putting it to.

One of the items in with all the tactical stuff was a marine rescue rope in a throw bag. We were talking about swimming the other day. I didn’t mention that I have self inflating life vests in my truck, and now I’ll have a rescue throw rope too. I’m not a strong swimmer, so I prep…

Dinner was frozen hamburger patties from 2017, and a couple of skewers of frozen shrimp. I opened a jar of sweet peppers I ‘cold canned’ a few years ago. They’ve been un-opened in the fridge this whole time. They are crunchy and delicious. The commercial jar of pickled beets from a couple of years ago is starting to fade, and the beets are maybe a little softer than originally, but they are still tasty and good eating.

I found two more buckets of bulk in the garage, one 25# bucket of salt, and one 25# bucket of flour from 2017. The salt is fine for sure, and I don’t want to break the seal on the flour, so I’m just putting it back on the shelf. That HAS to be all the food in the garage at this point. I don’t have that much more area to go through.


In the wider world, China is pushing India AND Hong Kong. And, at the same time, locking down new cities because of new wuflu outbreaks. There are so many ways this can go wrong.

Russia is getting frisky in the air with our pilots.

There seem to be some riots going on from the usual crew, for the usual reasons in MN and LA. If it spreads like it did a few summers ago, things will be getting sporty soon. Avoid crowds. Make sure you can get out of one if you get caught up.

And people all over the US have lost their dang minds. For now, I’m going to let someone else poke their finger into the flame to see if flames are still hot. I’m holding steady (although I admit to looking at auctions again, and doing the pickups – curbside.) We should know in just a couple of weeks what effect the changes in restrictions will have, if any. I’ll reassess my stance then.

Nothing I see is changing my mind that things are going to get a lot worse before they start to get better. Keep stacking. Don’t let fatigue make you lower your guard.