Tues. July 20, 2021 – “Next time, there’ll be no next time, you go to jail right now.”

Hot and humid, rain later, part sun. Heavy rain somewhere in Houston. Like yesterday.

Started out sunny and hot, later got rainy and cooled off a bit. Rained in patches all over town. I managed to find it in several places.

Did a pickup, and went by my secondary, but didn’t get anything done. Spent over an hour in traffic beyond what it should have been and that ate the free time. I was able to go by the place I buy propane and refill 5 bottles. It’s been a while. $10/ BBQ tank. I feel better with the stockpile refreshed. I’m reminded that I want to buy a propane conversion for my Honda 3000i. Forgot about that.

Took surface streets home from my secondary and was frankly shocked by the increase in homeless encampments… Every overpass had a few tents or improvised squats under it. Most corners had at least one beggar, and many had 2 or 3. More women too. It’s only been a couple of weeks since my last trip through the area and the change is dramatic. My route took me through areas that are predominantly lower income and subsidized housing, mostly for blacks. I can see the demographics shifting to hispanic though. Like so many places, all the illegals are displacing the blacks.

There is some good news in my neighborhood too. There is a bunch of new residential and commercial building going on. It’s right in areas that I predicted it would be in, but I once again didn’t buy property in the right place or time and I missed out.

Spent some time looking at my neighbor’s roofing contractor and how he works. It’s pretty low quality work, and there are a whole bunch of sketchy things going on. I definitely don’t want to be the one this guy or his crew blames if the owner ends up dissatisfied, but I also don’t want a bunch of cr@ppy work done right next door. It’s gonna depend on what the owner does now, and how he does it. For all I know, the crew is family and he’s on board with the cr@p work. Might need more cams.

I did get some of the sketchy behaviour on camera, and while reviewing that I saw that my lawn guys finally got here. I had just cut the grass hours before though. They did edge and blow and it does look better than before they were here. I guess I’ll be paying them, even though I did the bulk of the work. If I was here I might have waved them off, but I wasn’t and they did do work. Frustrating.

I felt better during the day than I had the day before, so whatever it was seems to be passing. I think I’d still like to see an ENT specialist to make sure nothing is wrong with my ears or sinuses. Either can lead to dizziness.

Puppy had a good day with no serious accidents and only one puddle on the tile floor after dinner. He’s been really good about getting to the door and getting our attention, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’m glad for the progress we’ve made.

The post title is from a funny little song by Louis Prima and Sam Butera, but the application is maddening. TPTB, when they’re not bragging about what cowards they are, are making examples of the Jan 6 protesters- to discourage the others. I think they are going to get some unintended consequences, at about 1200 fps if they keep this nonsense up. When you kill rule of law, and dance on it’s corpse, you shouldn’t be surprised when people act as if there is no law. They are creating the monster they most fear, and SHOULD fear. Equal treatment under the law is dead.

Things are NOT calming down. Take that under advisement.

And keep stacking.

nick

Tues. June 29, 2021 – reduce, re-use, recycle…

Hot and humid, with rain in the forecast for the next few days, possibly followed by a hurricane. Hooray. Rained all day yesterday, off and on, but mostly on. Grass did not get cut.

Did office and auction things all day.

Grabbed the younger child to help with dinner, and we made pork roast, smashed cauliflower baked with cheese, and baked carrots with brown sugar and marshmallows. And crescent rolls from a tube. Along the way we talked about cookbooks, measuring, spent time with proper knife handling, and worked the math so that everything was ready at the same time. And it was all delicious. She was very proud of herself, and I was too.

I mentioned that I would have some observations about traveling last week, but that would be original content, and this post is recycling what I wrote in a comment at Bayou Renaissance Man. It was half about wuflu, and half about what comes next. That’s the part I’m recycling because, I needed to get to bed.

I asked the commentors there —

If you* haven’t made changes in your life because of the last 15 months, WHY NOT? What does your pantry look like? Your medicine chest? What about your gun cabinet? Have you evaluated the sources of information you expose yourself to and then made conscious choices about which are reliable? What about the people you share your precious and fleeting life with?

If you believe the lockdowns were political and coercive in nature with no medical benefits, how has that changed YOUR LIFE? What are you doing with that information?

If nothing has changed for you, if your estimation of what the next couple of years hold for all of us hasn’t changed, you are going to be just grist for the mill. If all you’ve done is mutter and wear your mask under your nose in protest, you are so far behind the curve you might not be able to catch up, but I think you should try.

————–

Prep so that the restrictions, shortages, and price fluctuations have less effect on you. Order your life so that you aren’t dependent on .gov, or your single source of income. Reduce your dependence on outside income period. Build relationships that will sustain you and limit the ones that will drain you. Reduce the number of ‘handles’ your enemies or just those who would manipulate you, have to pull on. Stop wasting time and energy on things that don’t improve your ability to get thru the hard times that are already here, and will continue to get worse.

Looking backwards, past the point where it provides you with guidance to move forward (ie. learning from mistakes), is not a survival trait. Focus on getting thru what’s coming.

* general ‘you’
———————-

And that’s it boys and girls, moms and dads, children of all ages. Learn some lessons from this past year, and ACT. Even if it doesn’t get worse, but only stays exactly the same, you should be doing some stuff differently than you were. Hopefully, you have some stacks of stuff, some skills, and some friends. If not, get going. If so, keep going. Stack it high.

nick

Sun, June 13, 2021 – ah rest. Feels so good, I would like to try it.

Hot and humid, small chance of rain. Yesterday was 97F in the sun, and there was lots of sun. Was still 82F at midnight. Today should be more of the same, except for being on the edge of the predicted rain might see us get wet.

Went to my non-prepping hobby and it was great. Good meeting. Nice to be out and see people again. I didn’t end up even starting with the mask on, and no one else did either.

Later in the day we went to dinner at the same restaurant we tried when my mom was out here. This time there wasn’t even a sign on the door. All the staff was still masked, but none of the sitting patrons were. Most of the entering patrons still expected masks, including my family, but took them off and left them off after moving to a table. The place is a bit on the expensive side, date night or expense account not “let’s grab dinner out”, but it wasn’t exactly jumping on a Saturday evening. More patrons than our last visit though. Not as tasty as our last visit either.

Driving to my meeting at 8:30am felt like 6:30 in terms of traffic and people out and about. Things are not “normal” in any way yet.

Nothing stacked today, but I got a lead on a ham radio estate. We’ll see if it pans out, but it’s always fun to think about the hunt, and it was good to meet a new guy with shared interests.

Today I have one auction pickup, and in the late afternoon my inlaws need a ride to the airport. In between, yard work, gardening, cleanup, and the last of the tax prep? Maybe? Please Gnu yes.

And what stacking I can do, I will do, and so should you do!

nick

Fri. June 4, 2021 – first week of summer drawing to a close

Well it ended up raining most of yesterday, at times VERY hard. Several places recorded over an inch in 15 minutes. It’s a good thing it didn’t keep to that rate, or there would be real flooding going on. Today might be more of the same, if the national forecast is correct. Hard to get it right for our little corner of the city though, so I’m hoping for at least some sun.

I did get one pickup done before the skies opened. The main items were a hitch assembly and led spot lights for my truck. More projects to add to the list, but I’ll have the stuff if I ever get the time. I got a couple of things cleaned up and put away, and some more stuff organized and put in the ebay/auction bins.

Today will be the first time since last March that we had our cleaning service in. While we won’t get back to where we were, we are at least getting some elements of that time back. My wife is very happy.

I’ll be doing office stuff, finishing up my part of the taxes, and maybe doing some more organizing. The cleaners don’t come into my office. This mess is all on me.

I’ll have to make an appointment to pick up the item I won that I couldn’t pick up yesterday. Maybe I can wait a couple of days and combine trips. I would like to pick it up and inspect it and make sure it functions well, but I also don’t want to do that with kids in tow. I would also like to put a few items through it and that will need a bit more organizing than I can get done in the next day or two.

Finally got a contract from the “pallet load” auction house, so I’m going through that today and looking at the calendar. I’ve got to move that forward.

So OF COURSE, we have houseguests next week (in laws) and a trip to Florida a couple of weeks later. The grandparents will at least let me get out of the house and get some work done at my secondary location by babysitting for the girls. If I get the auction set up though, I will have to move the pickup day around until after I get back from the trip.

It’s a good life if you don’t weaken, right?

Work on some skills, test out some preps, and stack some stuff.

nick

———-PING————— Miles Teg —————PING—————– haven’t seen you in a long time, please check in…

Thur. May 27, 2021 – last day of school for the kids

Hot and humid, possibly sunny too. Or so they say. It was nice yesterday, but I was crippled up with back pain so I mainly stayed in.

This is getting ridiculous. I sit in my chair too long, my leg muscles contract, and that pulls stuff out of alignment. The problem then ‘zig zags’ up my back to my neck. This from observation and talking with the doc today. Upshot is, move around more, and get serious about stretching. So now stretching is going to nibble at my day too. On the plus side, time spent stretching should cut down the time spent hurting, and should keep me from being non-productive.

I did get a couple of small things done despite being nauseous all day.

Today I am supposed to drop off auction items. That is top of the list. It’s also the last day of school for the kids, and they will not want to sit around waiting for a pickup, which is understandable. That kills my momentum and afternoon however. That’s life though.

Kids and wife are playing with the new Switch game device. Hard to call it a console, when you can take it with you and use the built in screen, but also hard to call it a handheld, when you put it in the cradle and connect to your big screen tv and pull off the controllers so you can sit on the couch. Games are about the biggest entertainment market. IIRC they are bigger than movies, tv, and music combined. Dollar per hour, I think that games are usually really good value for your entertainment buck too.

One example of how big gaming really is, I keep running into bands and songs on youtube where the comments are full of “I came here from XXXXXX game and really like this music, anyone else?” and the chorus of similar comments is overwhelming. You Want It Darker, by Leonard Cohen was my latest example, and it featured in about 3 video games, and at least two TV shows. The comments from the gamers outnumbered the TV viewers dramatically. LOTS of music featured in video games, and the players notice and seek it out. The world is changed wrt media.

Of course the world is always changing, but the PACE of the change is accelerating, and I think the change is happening faster than people can internalize. It’s not just tech either, but almost every aspect of our lives. This plays into my theory that we are living through one of the periods where everything changes.

A lot of people aren’t gonna LIKE all those changes. Which just adds to the general disorder and upheaval coming. And it is coming. It’s already started.

Keep stacking needful things.

nick

Thur. April 8, 2021 – things are coming to another head

Wet and cooler, or possibly wet and warm. But probably wet.

Wednesday was mostly overcast with bits of sun poking through every now and then. The light rain started late, 10pm or later, and was really just a heavy mist. And it was still 68F so pretty dank.

Mostly did housework, then got the youngest from school. Did my auction pickup with her riding along. She was not amused. I got some fishing gear, and another propane camp stove, and a bunch of ebay stuff that sells well, but only in spurts. Been a bit slow lately but it won’t spoil and doesn’t take too much space. It will sell later.

Got a quote back from the electrician. He’ll install the transfer switch for $450 but doesn’t want anything to do with the gennie. That’s fine, I’ll get a plumber to do the gas, and I’ll do the hookup once the switch is in place. I won’t have to do anything live, or inside my panelboard that way. Just need to find the time and schedule him.

Today should be more of the same, especially if it’s raining. Plenty to do indoors.

And I’m getting anxious again. Biden is going to try his luck with Executive Orders that infringe the right to keep and bear arms. Weird stuff is going on in world finance. It’s possible that the MN cop won’t get railroaded, but there will certainly be riots either way. People are starting to talk about inflation the same way they have started to talk about Civil War- both seem increasingly inevitable. The chinaflu lockdown only suppressed and delayed those things, while also exacerbating them. When the tinder lights, it’s going to get really ugly, really fast. People will surely say “It happened so suddenly, it came out of nowhere” and for them, it will have. For the rest of us though, it’s been coming for a long time.

Thoughts like these make me want to stack all the things.

n

(I had a thought today- if you were watching this, and prepping through it for the last year, and LIVING actively and consciously, you probably lost weight or stayed even for the last year. If you were just sitting idle, waiting for the all clear, pissed that your tinder matches are all disappointments, you probably gained weight. I’d be interested to see the ant vs grasshopper distribution on gaining or losing weight….)

Tues. April 6, 2021 – what am I paying you for???

Cool and clear, warming throughout the day. I hope.

Monday was partly cloudy and warm, with a hint of cool in the breeze once I got out of town. My client is about 30 miles outside of Houston, all freeway or country road, and the weather out there is always cooler than in town. They got through the freeze without much trouble. He’s got a big whole house generator, that FAILED to start, but they were only dark for 3 hours. The company that maintains and services the gennie, specifically so it starts when needed, sent out a guy right away and solved the issue, but they never needed the gennie again. Some switch was left in the wrong position. Anything can fail. Standby generators with automatic switches seem to be especially prone to failure, maybe for the same reason that “emergency food” universally tastes horrible- no one really expects to use it. In this case, they lose power frequently. The gennie gets used. It gets ‘exercised’ every week automatically. A service guy comes by regularly and maintains it. And it still failed to start automatically.

They had one outside plumbing line break during the three dark, windy, and very cold hours (no power, no well pump, no trickle for the faucet). There are a couple of lessons in this whole tale, including one that isn’t very obvious. His plumbing is all pex homeruns from a manifold in the attic. He could have simply closed the valves on the lines leading to outside faucets, and then opened the faucets to drain, without affecting the rest of the house. His plumber had him do that afterwards to stop the leaking at the faucet until he could come by and fix it. Simple right? But if you don’t know how your systems work, or what their capabilities are, even very smart people can miss straightforward preventative measures, and simple fixes.

So how did my actual work go? The problem was two pieces of gear got out of sync, probably during the power outage, and a reboot cleared the issue. While I was there anyway, I cleaned the outdoor TVs and cleaned all the camera domes. We talked about the rip and replace, and that will be going forward now. Just have to work out the design, get all the gear ordered, and find the time for an install, and we’ll be good to go.

Today I’m hoping for a dropoff at my ‘industrial’ auction house, but IDK if that will happen or not. I’m sure I can find more to do. Like paperwork for taxes- I spent the first part of my day yesterday doing Jan-June. Plenty more in that pile that needs doing.

In fact, plenty of stuff to do. I should really get started.

If you don’t have a list of what you need to do before CWII or the economic collapse really get going, you might want to make one. Just sayin’. Then you’ll have a better idea what to stack. And you KNOW you need to get stacking.

nick

Thur. Mar. 18, 2021 – whew, missed the green beer again…and all the puking

Comfortable, sunny, breezy, and nice.  That’s what I’m hoping for, we’ll see what we get.  We had all the kinds of weather yesterday.  Overcast, thunderstorms, drizzle, sunshine, wind and rain.  We even had a few minutes of ‘very nice.’   Today, the national forecast has Houston in the clear.

Didn’t get a whole heck of a lot done yesterday, that couldn’t have been done more efficiently and more quickly by someone who was motivated.  Keeping my motivation up, and keeping moving forward is harder some days than others.  But Summer is Coming, and with it the most common threat around these parts- hurricanes.  Also on the way are un- somethingly hot and humid days.   I’ve got a limited time to do a bunch of stuff that is SO MUCH easier when it’s not in the 90s for both heat and humidity.

I feel a bit like I’m going through one of those periods like RBT did when he kept posting that he probably wouldn’t be posting  much, but then he posted more.  I keep saying the same thing every day- “I’ve got so much to do” but then I don’t do it….   grrrr.  External deadlines… I need them.

I built three or four careers around meeting externally imposed deadlines.  It’s in my blood.   Internally imposed?  Not so much.  I’ve never been good at that.  My 10 year plan took me 15 years.   I did eventually accomplish it all, but it was both simple and complicated.   Get my finances in order.  Find a good woman and marry her.   Buy a house.  Start a family.    Simple right?  15 years to get there from where I started.

Live through whatever is coming and get my family through it, doesn’t have the same concreteness, and yet it’s an arguably simpler goal.  After all, it’s mostly just “continue living”.  And how hard can that be?  Weeeeelllllll, that depends, doesn’t it?  And it strikes right to the heart of a preparedness lifestyle.

“Live through” – but implied is not just survive, but do it with style, without drama, with simplicity and grace.  Succeed, not just endure.  Coming out the other end as a starving refugee is better than not coming out, but far from the ideal of being in a position to thrive when things get better.

“Whatever is coming”- bad things are ALWAYS coming.  Good things too and sometimes people forget to prep for them, but mostly we prep for the bad things and figure the good things will work themselves out.  Hurricanes and floods are the most likely natural disasters here.  But personal bad things- job loss, accidents, illnesses, death of a loved one- are the most common disasters everyone faces and if you aren’t prepping for them, you should be.

What other bad things are coming?

–Global pandemic was on the list but not top ten.  Ebola convinced me to take the possibility seriously and to prep for it ‘for realz’.  H/T to Aesop for that.  And HEY LOOKIE!  Global pandemic is here.  I’m in restocking mode, but I could still be comfortably pulling TP from stock after a year, and that’s with three females in the household.  How much is too much vs now you have none?  You will have to find your own balance, but I’m usually on the side of ‘more’.

–Slow economic collapse, worldwide depression.   RBT changed my mind about this, and changed my planning horizon.  Now I think we’re already started on this one.   It’s harder to prep for because the length of time involved is so great, and because the number one prep – piles of money – doesn’t work so well with the most likely cause, ie. hyperinflation.  There are steps you can take and preps you can make though.  Unless you like the taste of domestic animals and the local fauna, food is your best prep.  Putting your stored up life energy (ie. the product of your work) in something that will survive a currency collapse is a good idea too.  If you can’t get your stored up life (money) somewhere safe , or if you haven’t managed to store much up, you need to look for ways to use what remains  to continue working through a collapse.  Rental income streams were my go-to plan for that, but I didn’t factor in a government that would steal from the landlords.   I’m busy rethinking and looking for additional streams.  Skills involving making and repairing are looking pretty good.

–War.  Internal or external.  Both are bad.  Both involve hardship and privation.   Internal would also include economic collapse.  External might involve a currency collapse, or might be triggered by more monetary trickery, or it could pull the economy up out of the dumps.  So many flavors are possible, with contradictory effects.   Very little of it is likely to be good on an individual level though.   Internal war is looking more and more likely every day, with Balkanization being the most likely outcome.   Where you are is going to be VERY important if that happens and your number one prep.

There are other bad things that could be coming, some far more unlikely than others, but not impossible.  First contact with aliens would be a game changer, for example.   It’s also unlikely to go well for us, but most of the things that would be likely to happen get covered by preps for the other biggies.  Room temperature superconductors, fusion energy, radical life extension, those might fall into the ‘good thing’ column but would also be disruptive as heII.  True AI, self aware machines, grey goo, killer plagues, all somewhere on the list of things to consider, and then usually discount.  CME, EMP, space debris impacts, other ‘hand of God’ events, well, we’ll do what we can if something that big happens.  Having preps won’t hurt.

And then there is that last part of my goal- get my family through.  The everyday part of this is just to raise my girls to be competent human beings, and to make sure they have a good foundation for their lives on their own.   The prepping part is a bit more specific, but mainly for me it comes down to skills, attitude, and foundational beliefs.  What I think those should be would fill another few thousand words, and maybe I’ll spend the time to write those words down, but that will have to wait.  Right now, getting my family through means the physical stuff- preps in the traditional sense.   It means making sure we have the basics to survive and thrive in the most likely scenarios, and even some of the much less likely ones.   It means resilience and flexibility and adaptability.  It means stockpiles of stuff, and collections of skills and reference materials.  It means paying attention to possible threats, local and national and global.   It means engaging in the world around us with our minds and eyes open.  And it means planning for what comes next and putting resources in place to support those plans.

And of course it means STACKING.  Start stacking.  Keep stacking.  If you can’t stack stuff, stack knowledge and skills.   Stack people, relationships, networks.  Do it as a hobby.  Do it as a social activity.  Do it with passion, or with calculation and focus.   But Do It.

It’s never too late to start, it’s always too early to quit.

nick

added— welcome to any new readers!  Most of the best part of this place is not me, it’s the people who come together here and the conversation that happens.   Keywords are on the right, and may refer to the comments not the post, so always take a look at the comments.    Comments are always welcome, join the conversation if you like.   There is an astounding breadth and depth of knowledge in the people who come by and visit and hang out.  If you have questions or answers, please feel free.   There is an About link at the top of this page to explain why this place is the way it is.  Again, welcome.

Sat. Mar. 13, 2021 – Friday the 13th falls on a Saturday this month….

Today should be mid-80s, sunny, and dry.

Yesterday was beautiful like that, and I didn’t do or think of anything worth writing down.

Today I will work my list.  After sleeping in.   I’m so tired I can’t think straight and I’m falling asleep at stop signs.  So I’ll skip my non-prepping hobby meeting and sleep.

It’s a bit worrisome how tired I was this week…  we’ll see if plain old sleep helps.

Then I can get back to stacking…

 

nick

Thur. Mar. 11, 2021 – nothing on my mind

Cool, overcast, and damp.   Hopefully no rain.

Yesterday saw 70s with misty drizzle in some parts of town.   I got my windshield wet a couple of times while driving around.

Did my pickups.   Honda 6500 looks complete.   Gas and water in the gas tank.  I’ll take a few minutes and drain it soon.  I’ll need a few parts if it runs, but it’s in better shape than it looks.  The ladies who run that auction company and their families have avoided wuflu so far.  I gave them a big heads up before we got going over a year ago.   They had one employee positive, but it didn’t spread.  Masks and distance work.

Today I have to get over to my mechanic and get the rest of the stuff off my old Expy.  I need the roof rack, the xm and ipod interfaces for the radio, and the car seat.   There are a few other small things left from last time too.

Then I need to check out a couple of the links you guys sent me.  Lots of eyes make it easier on me, and I’m thankful for the help.

Short shrift today.   Nothing on my mind.   Kinda interesting seeing the Royal trainwreck  and the Doxy Duchess instead of Donald Trump in every news cycle…

Keep stacking needful things.

 

nick