Sun. Oct. 17, 2021 – Ah, Sunday. A day of rest. Not for me!

Cooler, sunny, and dry. Yesterday was the same, and it got into the mid 80s by late afternoon. Really pleasant.

So pleasant in fact that I did some yardwork. Cut the grass, used the string trimmer, blew the debris off, and took down the bird net over the blueberry bushes.

The tomato plant bramble mounds are starting to produce tomatoes again. Got a few that are racquetball sized already. The collards are finally starting to grow too. I’ve got about 4 good sized grapefruits on the potted tree as well. Not really enough to feed the kids… which is why I stack cans.

Plan for today —– not saying. Don’t want to tempt the universe.

It’ll probably involve being outdoors in the little bit of nice weather we get here in Satan’s sweaty butt cheeks…

Stack something. Learn something. DO something.

nick

(thinking about some science-y content for Monday… it’s been a while.)

Mon. Oct. 11, 2021 – flying home, probably.

More great weather in the forecast for Orlando. Yesterday was all I hoped for. Today should be too. Hot in the sun, cool in the shade.

Ended the day yesterday at EPCOT, eating around the world. Then the fireworks/video/water show. Great show.

Today we will go back to HS and catch a couple of rides on fast passes they gave us for messing up our tickets. Then off to the airport and the joys of travel during covid. That is, if I can get our tickets fixed.

Stack up the good times to help get through the bad.

Nick

Wed. Oct. 6, 2021 – well that didn’t go as planned…

Supposed to be beautiful. Pretty nice yesterday, so more of that would be welcome. It’s getting down to the mid to upper 60s at night which lets the tomatoes set fruit. Which they are doing. And it’s getting into the 90s by late afternoon. As long as the rain holds off, I’m happy.

Yesterday was a series of unfortunate incidents.

D2’s orthodontist appointment wasn’t. Got there, the door was locked. Receptionist came out and told us we were 2 weeks early. Bummer.

Dropped kid at school, headed to Costco. No Charmin blue. Some red, limit one bulk pack. Plenty of Kirkland, some Scott. No purchase for me, I decided I really don’t like those and I’ve got blue stacked. I’m just out at the house after restocking the bathroom cabinets. I did get one more black bin, and several “weatherproof” bins. We’ll see about that claim. Didn’t buy anything perishable as I was out of time to meet the teacher and do my volunteer driving. They had spiral sliced ham in stock for the first time in ages. $2/lb.

Met the teacher, picked up the truck, drove to the place, and hit a parked car. Ripped off the front end. I caught the bumper with mine while making a right turn. Lots of time spent on that I didn’t expect to spend. Eventually got loaded up and delivered to school.

Headed to one of my delayed auction pickups. Missed them by 1 hour.

Dropped my shipping at the PO, hit the bins on my way home. Scored a great vacuum for resale, realized I’d left my wallet on my desk at some point while talking to insurance agents. Paid cash, dropped the items at my storage, headed home.

Neighbor’s Night Out was in full swing at the end of the street but by the time I got unloaded, refreshed, and headed that way, most of the couples with young kids were headed home and all the real food was gone. Ate bean dip and cake. Best part of the whole day.

I did have a chance to chat with the neighbor who hunts and has a freezer full of meat. I’m giving him some of the pecan tree we cut down, and I expect he’ll trade me some meat in return. That was good. And after 6 years I finally got a solid indication of his politics, which are conservative. I was pretty sure, but for some reason the younger neighbors are all really tight lipped about politics. That generation must have learned to keep their opinions to themselves like the Soviets.

All this is a long and probably not that interesting way of saying “Things are NOT normal for me.” My life usually coasts along. Things go my way. I find what I need when I need it. I flow around problems like water in a stream flows around rocks. And while I was able to cope with everything today, it was definitely not the way my life usually works. So when I read a headline like “China says WW3 can break out any minute” on a day like yesterday, I really really mean it when I say “I hope WW3 doesn’t break out while I’m in Florida.”

In fact, I’d like it to not break out at all, but war IS the usual path out of the situation the world and the US are in, and it looks more likely every day.

At the risk of repeating myself, figure out what you need, and get it. STACK IT. HIDE IT. Be ready to defend it. And if the bad thing doesn’t happen, we can rejoice later. Bad things have a way of happening though.

So at the risk of repeating myself*, stack it high.

n

* 😉

Tues. Aug. 24, 2021 – ‘nsert ‘itle ‘ear

Yep, it got hot yesterday. And it’s going to get hot here today. Despite that, this summer has been cooler than the last two at least. We’re getting down below 80F most nights, and barely over 100F most days. The tomatoes are still producing fruit. They generally stop from the heat at the beginning of summer. Part of the country is unusually hot, but not us.

I spent the heat of the day indoors yesterday. I was not feeling well, so I took an extra hour nap in the morning, and then did some light auction stuff. Sold a cable on ebay so dug around trying unsuccessfully to find it. I have more elsewhere, so that will be my mission for today. I did find some other stuff for the auction that I’d forgotten about.

My work day was short because on Monday I pick up youngest from school and we have about 2 hours scheduled with just the two of us. We tried to complete the bookcase project from last week, but the vinyl I was hoping to wrap it in didn’t stick. So we pivoted to where it would go in her room which quickly turned into ‘where will it fit?’ That led to us measuring everything and building a rough 3d model in Sketchup so that we could move things around and try out arrangements. It didn’t take long before she was driving the mouse, at least for the ‘arrangement’ part.

Sketchup is a great tool. It’s easy to get good results, especially for ‘sketch’ or approximate drawings. You can be precise, but it excels at fast and close enough. It took less time than a scale drawing on grid paper and cutouts of the furniture, and has the advantage of 3D and perspective. Plus, we can refine the models as we like, and now we have it in the computer as a starting point for next time. My hope is that this gentle introduction will encourage her to explore further. I’m using the 2014 version. They want me to upgrade, but it works fine for me.

Plan for today is a lot of driving around. I still have things to drop off and things to pick up. One for my hobby, one needful thing, a couple of prepping things, and the rest is for the household. My wife even asked me to get a couple of things for her. She’s still working from home, no test result yet. Still doesn’t feel great. I’m incentivized to get out of the house and stay out. Yes, I’ll be wearing a good mask.

It will be a good time to ‘take the temper of the clans’ so to speak. I’ll see first hand what people are thinking of Afghanistan and SloJoe&ThaHo. (funny, I left the “h” out of Afganistan, and spellcheck offered me the correct spelling and “Satanism”.) I’m betting anger and a bit of resignation. If no one is talking, I’ll assume they are getting ready for something serious.

This ‘get the jab or lose your job’ business will get out of hand pretty quickly. We’re already pretty close. TPTB don’t seem to have learned anything from the movies of their youth, or Guido the Killer Pimp.*

Move physical security up a notch or two. Strengthen your defenses, physical and mental. Buckle in. Stack it up while you can.

nick

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….)