Tues. May 10, 2022 – no pithy comment today

Hot and humid, but clear, like yesterday…   So I better get some stuff done early, or sweat to the skin later.

 

Did all indoor stuff yesterday.  I spent a bunch of time trying to model the slope and terrain at the BOL in Sketchup.   The ‘sandbox’ tool is great for fantasy terrain, but there doesn’t seem to be a good fast way to match existing.   I’m about half way through trying to do something with contours… which if it doesn’t work, I’ll have to do over with a different method.   Just plotting my elevations has been useful to see the ‘lay of the land’ though.

Speaking of the BOL, I think I’m shooting for heading back up on Wednesday.  I’ve got so much to do, and I get more done when I’m there by myself, that I can’t skip a week.  We’re heading up for the weekend, but it will be another short trip.

New A/C system seems to be a bit more efficient than the old.   Days like yesterday, the old system would be falling behind by 330 pm, but the new system kept up just fine.  Tentatively I’ll call it money well spent.

Sometime soon, I’ve got to do some personal checkups and maintenance on this old body of mine.  Better to do it than to wait.  Obamma-lamma no care kicked my various doctors’ @sses and I’ve been without a primary care doc for too long.  Past time to do something about that.

Add it to the list.

And stack it high.

n

 

Fri. Jan. 21, 2022 – or 01212022 – another week slid by, yet this month is really long…

Cold, but I don’t know yet how cold it will get, or how cold it got.  It was 35F when I went to bed.  It is supposed to be clear today anyway, and tomorrow as well.

Mostly spent yesterday poking at things.  I did get to the grocery store, and noted in comments that  there were big gaps in the shelves in several areas.   Cat food and cold and flu OTC meds being the most prominent.

Today should be more auction and ebay stuff. If the weather stays clear I’ll go to my storage unit and clean and sort.  If not, I’ll do some more ebay stuff here at the house.  I’ve got stuff to test and clean and list.   Last night I had stuff sell in the auction by the guy who changed his mind about taking all of my stuff.   I think I did well with LPs and with books, of all things.  There were a couple of collectibles that didn’t do badly, and there was some stuff that sold for $1, but  at least it’s gone.

I hope he’ll be happy and take another load right away.

This afternoon and evening, my wife and D2 will be joined by the rest of her troop and they’ll be off to GS camp for a Gymkana, whatever that is.   The hope is sports on horseback, and related to horses.  Hard to be sure from the GS description.  Friday and Saturday night away, home Sunday afternoon.  That leaves me with D1 and a bunch of work to do.  We’ll see how that goes.  Cookie season is in a week or two, so the last bits have to be out of the house to make way.  Of course that was supposed to have already happened, but …  plans vs reality.

While I was at the grocery, I did add a flat of canned peas to the stacks,  6 pounds of bacon, and some pork chops and loin.  Beef was in short supply and none was on sale.  A little voice keeps poking me to add alternatives to fresh milk.  I have a bunch of Lido powdered full fat, and we don’t use as  much as we did a year ago, but I think I’ll add more.   It keeps fairly well.   I should open an old can and see how it’s doing.  For science or something.   But seriously, when I get little pokes from the universe like I’ve been getting about the milk, I ignore it at my peril.   YMMV but I’ll be checking the old and adding some new.

Anyone else getting weird vibes or feel short of something?

If you do, stack it up.

nick

 

BTW, I’ve now been doing this officially for 4 years ( a bit longer if you count the days I was just filling in for Bob while he was sick), without missing a day that I can remember.  Some days the end product was pretty weak, but at least the lights were on and the door unlocked.  All y’all are the reason I do it, to keep this unique thing that Bob built alive.  Thanks for sticking around and making this place somewhere I enjoy spending my time.  And thank you Barbara for letting us, and Rick for making it all work.  We’ve got a rocky road ahead, but we’re all better prepared for it than we were, and we will get through it.

n

 

Sat. Dec. 11, 2021 – ahhh, the sweet relaxing weekend is here…

Cool and damp. Maybe rain. Maybe not. Maybe for some people. It certainly threatened all day yesterday, and even got misty in various places for short periods. But it didn’t rain on my parade. Today should be more of the same.

I did a bunch of my stuff yesterday. Made some more slow progress at my client’s house. I was working well, and briskly, but didn’t have enough time on site to finish. My fault as I did other stuff before heading out there.

I think I finally got the port forwarding sorted out so my business partner can do the programming remotely. He sent me a list, I did it. We’ll see if he gets anything done this weekend.

I intend to attend a Christmas party. My non-prepping hobby would normally meet this morning, but we’re getting together at 1pm for our Christmas party instead. We’re having a potluck at the church we’ve been using for meetings as no one really wanted to host the event in their home this year. Given that the membership is also mostly in the prime ‘killed by covid’ demographic, a certain prudence is called for. On the other hand, we’ve been meeting monthly (albeit in a large space) mostly maskless since Feb? and had a regional meeting/swapmeet/tradeshow without incident. LARGE venue though, not shouting in each other’s faces. I think I’ll bring mango cobbler.

I’m on my own as D2 is away on a sleepover weekend, and D1 is with my wife at GS camp doing a backpacking overnight. Weather permitting I’ll get the rest of my holiday decor set up, and the rest of the auction stuff out of the foyer and library, then we can get a tree up and the inside decor set up and it will finally feel like Christmas is coming. I need to pack and send family gifts out too, and inventory what we have for the kids. If there are still any gaps, we don’t have a lot of time to fill them, and my wife told me she hasn’t purchased any big gifts for the girls yet. OH MY. I hope that doesn’t bite us on the @ss. We’ve got gifts, I just don’t know if the balance is good.

‘Cuz I’ve been stacking gifts all year. And I forget what I have. And gifts don’t go on a spreadsheet or out on shelves where I can see them. So it would be a good idea to get them all in one place and see what’s really there. Kinda like my canned goods. Or vac sealed meat. I’ve probably got both more and less of things than I think. And I know I’ve got stuff squirreled away.

Stack all the things. Really. But do a better job of managing the stacks than me.

nick

Wed. July 28, 2021 – ti i iii ime is (not) on my si i ide…

No it ain’t.

Another hot humid sunny day with a chance of rain. Which is what I had at home yesterday, but not what all of central Houston (inside the Loop) got. They got overcast with rain. Micro climates, we haz them. And that makes it really hard to get forecasts for Houston and the surrounding area right. That and they’re just guessing anyway. Even looking out the window won’t work.

Spent the day on things, somehow it passed anyway. I did get 4 of the big black bins out of the foyer and over to my storage unit. I figure they can sit there while waiting for an auctioneer to take them instead of where my wife sees them every day. In return I brought a rolling metro rack home to stack more things on. Or to take to my other storage unit, and to stack things on it there, until the auctioneer takes them for sale.

I’m looking at getting over to both units today too. And I need to start piling stuff I want to try to sell at my non-prepping hobby regional meet and swap fest. That is specialist stuff that could go on ebay but might sell quicker in person. I’ll trade some sale price for not having to ship or list. That’s coming up in about 3-4 weeks and I need to start on it.

Pickups today too, if I can find the time. Some preps, some household, some gifts for later. Gub accessories. Needful things without a sales receipt attached.

————————————————————–

I’ve mentioned before that I think everyone should take advantage of all the training they can get, whatever it might be for. Collecting IDs and privileges can’t hurt. You are ALREADY on their lists, you might as well be in the ‘good guy’ column. CERT, any police/public interaction program, active shooter response through your church, ham radio, Red Cross, Stop the Bleed, even locksmithing can get you the ability to carry certain tools in your vehicle without it being a crime. CERT got me an official first responder ID from the County. The CPA programs got me ID with the city and the Constable’s office as a volunteer. Being a ‘known quantity’ can also open up more training opportunities, and more chances to learn about how your local guys do what they do.

CERT was very well supported in our area with high level attention from the city, county, and emergency agencies. Had the chance to meet and learn from some interesting people. You can sign up and take a whole bunch of FEMA online courses associated with that too. You will learn a lot. The police interaction programs gave me a whole lot better understanding of their procedures, challenges, resources, and mindset. After passing through those programs, I could take further classes with them, and volunteer to help them with training, both of which gave me further insights.

Last night’s class was also both interesting and informative. I have a clearer picture of the operational tempo of two of the specialist units in our police department, how they interact with other local and federal agencies and teams, where some of their funding comes from and the capabilities that funding bought (and the strings attached.) I got some public but not widely disseminated information about some of the stuff they’ve done recently, and some of the stuff they do daily. And, based on their joking and ‘aside’ comments, have a feeling about where they stand on some current issues of governance and public behaviour. All good things to know.

Meatspace baby. You need to be in it. You need to go to the neighborhood meetings. You need to know some of your local government. You need to know some of their enforcers. And yeah, being known to them, at least on some level, isn’t a bad thing either. It gives you access, and opportunities and might get you the benefit of the doubt at a time when that’s crucial. Being in the ‘provisional good guy’ column beats being in the ‘presumed bad guy’ column.

Goodwill and knowing people, you can stack them too. Get busy.

nick

Thur. April 22, 2021- the rules changed.

Cool and wet, possible rain. Yesterday was so nice though. So very nice and clear, moderate temps, and sunny… I don’t know how many more we’ll get like that.

I packed my day full of errands, and I did them this time. Two pickups, very near to each other, then on the way back, stops at my secondary (to unload some stuff), my rent house (to install the fridge), another auctioneer (to drop off sale items and pick up a check), and finally back home to get kid2 from school on time.

After that, I hit the grocery store for $330 worth of food security.

I don’t have quite as much on the schedule for today, nor are the times as tight, but I do hope to get a few things done.

I am getting the feeling that I might need to take some more drastic steps to clear out ‘stuff’ around the house. The plan was to start doing my own auctions, but it’s taking a long time and time is feeling short. I need to think on this a bit.

Time feels short because I think the rules have changed for how the world works. The interwebs are full of people saying that the difference between how antifa/blm and MAGA day in DC are treated, the outcome of the Chauvin trial, and a wide variety of other events show that Rule of Law or ROL is dead in the US. The corpse is still twitching, but it’s dead. People are saying that, but I don’t think they are following through and thinking about the rest of what that means. What you do and how you react to a country WROL* is going to be THE critical thing going forward.

Someone in the comments over at Sarah Hoyt’s place had this to say (minor edits for clarity)…

The rules changed.

All over the ‘net people are saying and saying and re-saying that ROL is dead in the US. Surprise! It’s been dead for a while now, and every case like this just exposes that to more Normies. So stop and think about what that means. Rule of Law is DEAD. Internalize that. REALLY internalize that. You (general ‘you’) have to start dealing with that idea. They can and will do whatever they want to us at any point that we come to their attention. No one will come to save us. No one will blow the ceiling and fast rope down to rescue us at the last minute.

What does history teach us about times like this? You must be ready to denounce the people that come to ‘their’ attention. You must expect your friends and relations to denounce YOU when they come for you. Why would you want them dragged to the gulag (real or virtual) along with you? If you want to have a chance at changing anything you have to remain free and effective. Your friends LIKEWISE have to remain free to act.

There won’t be any gofundme to replace a conservative’s burned out house. No gofundme to heal his daughter after she’s raped at school because her father is a ‘bad’ man and she deserves it. No gofundme to replace the lost job that feeds that daughter (and buys the guns and ammo and armor and radios and medical and every other needful thing.) There is no underground to move your family to safety after the mob catches you alone. There is no established safe haven for you to flee to. There is no way to start over in a new place with a new name once panopticon focuses on YOU and your family (seriously, look at any kid moved to a new school because of bullying or any other issue, the kids have the new kid doxed eight ways to Sunday within hours.)

The other thing that history teaches us is that This Too Shall Pass. You (Sarah) have even written about it here. They can’t hold it together. The Third Reich fell. The Soviet Union fell. Communist Cuba is going to fall. People SURVIVED those times and those places. They may have even acted to hasten the fall if they were able. There were lots who didn’t survive, and some of them included the principled, the committed, and ultimately the futile sacrifice.

[I don’t intend to sacrifice myself for an ideal, especially given the current legal environment.]

My daughter wants her Daddy. I want to be here to guide and protect her thru what’s coming. I can’t do that if I’m dead or destitute. It’d be cold comfort for her to know that her father loved an ideal more than her. I’d love to think she’d rally around my banner, but the more likely outcome is hating me for leaving her alone in the Brave New World, or only marginally less worse, raised by her lefty Kennedy worshiping [east coast] grandparents to hate me for leaving her alone.

The rules have changed. If we don’t survive, there won’t be anyone left to rebuild what was lost.

I intend to survive this.

Something to think about. While you’re stacking needful things.

nick

*this in no way means “without consequences”. The consequences of your actions are potentially more severe than ever.

Wed. April 21, 2021 – and here we go! not in a good way though…

Cool and pleasant ending in downright cold is the forecast, but what do they know? It was beautiful all day on Tuesday. Chamber of Commerce weather. Some of you older guys will recognize that phrase. (Means it was nice out young’uns.)

So naturally I spent the day inside. I thought, “Gee, I better get busy on finding a truck, everything I read says the price is going up and the supply is going down.” And so I resigned myself to paying a little more and figured I’d have some candidates by noon. Not so much. I actually called on 4 or 5 vehicles and they were all in the process of being sold, or had already sold. New strategy will be scan the listings every day and jump if something is right for me. Or I’ll have to pay a lot more, or accept a lot less than I would like. It’s interesting that with the Expeditions I’m looking at, they really don’t sort out consistently. Every other mass market thing I’ve looked at there seemed to be “bins” or clusters of attributes around certain prices. That isn’t so true with the Expedition, it seems that the single most important thing is mileage, and particularly total miles, not necessarily miles per year. I’m going to assume, based on the years I owned my old truck and my experiences with it, that what drives that is limited longevity of the motor. At some point it will cost you a bunch of money, so you want as many miles of use as you can get before that point. A low miles 2017 is worth more than a high miles 2019 for example. Crazy, but now I know better what to look for.

And I want something pretty soon. Things are getting bad quicker than I thought, and getting a newer reliable truck that will hold a bunch of stuff and my whole family is moving to the top of the list, right behind a place out in the country to get away to… And on that front, there is a real fixer upper priced right, on one of the lakes my wife likes, but the agent has been very lax getting back to us. That tells me it’s probably effectively sold already. What I really hope is that in a year I won’t be hating that we passed on the self-sufficient 11 acre property because we’re in real trouble. That would suck mightily.

Regarding MN and jury intimidation, well, that’s what it looks like from here. I didn’t see the evidence presented in the courtroom, but I would have thought that the official coroner’s report listing the cause of death as pretty much anything BUT the officer’s actions, would have mooted the whole murder charge, and probably the manslaughter as well. If the coroner is so incompetent or politically compromised that his report can’t be trusted, then he needs to be removed immediately. And if it can be trusted, “reasonable doubt” should have taken care of the rest. Since he’s not being removed, and since I saw witness intimidation, and jury intimidation reported widely and in fact GLEEFULLY, that’s what I’m going with. Nothing good will come of this.

Whites will not allow themselves to become second class citizens in the country their ancestors built. I don’t care how much cuckold and BBC pron you shove at them, they just aren’t gonna take it forever. The worst case for what happens is a decimation* of the black population of the US. I don’t think that’s likely btw. I’m not sure when or where the sniping and street fighting will start, or where the old monsters will come out to play, but it will happen now. It’s only a question of how widespread it becomes, and how long it lasts. How it ends, I’ve got no idea. The knock on effects- martial law, oppressive destruction of freedoms, local massacres, roundups- are going to bring the rest down too. Fundamental change, it’s coming alright.

I’m pretty sure that all over America there are people who marked the verdict as just one more step on the countdown. People who are making plans, thinking about contingencies, wondering if it’s too late, or not soon enough. Someone, if there are enough of them, someone will do the math and decide it’s time.

For us, I think it’s certainly time to consider your lifestyle, your public persona, your exposure to the wider world, and to decide how you want to proceed. On the one hand, you can pull in, go ‘grey man’, order your affairs so that you fit in, and arrange to get through the bad stuff as best you can. On the other hand, if you’ve been assuming you had freedom of speech and freedom to act, well, there are people who made a note of that, and no matter what you do, they’ll be ready to denounce you when the time is right. Whether for their own benefit, or because they truly believe they are ‘helping’ you, they’ll do it. History tells us that pretty clearly. Pulling in won’t save you. Going balls out won’t save you either. So what can you do?

On the gripping hand, maybe I’m just feeling hysterical today. Although I’m quite sure there were Germans who felt like it couldn’t get that bad. And Poles. And Russians. And Venezuelans. And Cubans. And Argentinians. And South Africans. And Frenchmen. And even Loyalists in 1776. And they were ALL WRONG at some point in history.

Stack it up.

nick

*decimation in the literal sense won’t be enough. Decimate that data set several times in a row though, and you might get to a point where no one has the will to continue.

Tues. Jan. 26, 2021 – references, they’re not just something that never gets checked on your resume’

Cool and damp again.  Maybe some rain, maybe not.

Yesterday was misty in places, overcast most places, and somewhat warm for a short time.  Just a pretty gross day.   So I spent it indoors.

Solved my client’s issues with a lot of technical help from my sometimes business partner.  A piece of hardware somehow lost its “IP Table” which tells it where the other parts that it controls should be found.  The fix meant downloading a current version of the IDE, then a firmware file, uploading the firmware (32 minutes), then downloading the control software files, and finally reinstalling them.  All that messing around followed by rebooting, restarting, and testing.  Still, it got him back up.   He’s getting a bit tired of piecemeal replacement of the stuff that got damaged by lightning.  I may be doing a complete remove and replace on the system.  That won’t be cheap.  Should be good for me though.

Lest anyone think I know what I’m doing with any of the above, I have good help.  I’m just monkey punching the buttons.  I’m the remote set of hands when it comes to the software side of all that.  Kinda like here, where Rick keeps it all working, while I’m the smiling face that people see.  I’ve been very lucky in my  career to have access to really good people to backfill my gaps…

I’m sure you have gaps in your preps and skills, and I can’t emphasize enough, that you need good people to help you fill them.  Consider how you’ll repay them for the help too, either through stuff or loan of skills of your own.   There is a great feeling too, when you can help someone else with your own expertise.  It’s about building a community, or network of resources and it helps in normal times, as well as bad times.

On the other hand, your normal network might not be available.  That’s why you need a reference library.  It doesn’t have to be a ‘rebuilding society’ library, but should cover the sorts of things you don’t know well, and it should also provide backup for the stuff you DO know well- because you might not be there.

It has to be offline too.  Consider infrastructure failures.  Consider censorship.  Consider the internet balkanized.  Consider search engines distorting results.  And consider your browsing history being weaponized against you.  Can’t happen?  If I’m an oppressive government and there is a general famine, and I want to seize the “excess” or “hoarded” food, I’m going to start with everyone who bought canning jars.  I’m going to cross that with searches for “how to can vegetables” and “beginning gardening” or “stealth gardening”.   After 9-11 there were stories that various agencies went on a terrorist hunt by collecting grocery store ‘loyalty card’ purchase histories, and looking for people that bought hummus, or falafel.  It’s part of their institutional knowledge now.   Even if they don’t have the resources to do it as a dragnet, they will certainly use it to build a case, or reduce the pool of candidates.  And they’re likely going to go for recent low hanging fruit, because they’re lazy.

Now that day may never come, and you and I will both continue doing searches for what we think of as normal or ordinary things.  We’ll leverage the beast for our own betterment with youtube and google.  Just keep in mind that you really really might not want to have watched a repair video, and then ordered a gun part, after having declared all your illegal guns to be sold or lost.   Much better to have a couple of books, picked up used, to answer your questions in what might become the ultimate in ‘non-permissive environments.’

With that cheery thought, I once again suggest that you keep stacking…

nick

Fri. Nov. 13, 2020 – Friday the 13th falls on a Friday this month

Cool and damp.  Possibility of sunshine later.

I was sweating standing still in the shade yesterday.  Air is saturated.

The pool liner and cover are still wet.  I’ve got to get that stuff put away but I really don’t want it put away wet.  Really really don’t want that.

I did get a few things cleaned up yesterday.  Not as much as I’d hoped but that’s kinda par for the course this year.  Which is almost over.  Crazy.

Today I’ve got a few pickups, again, mostly stuff for the house.  Some for my non-prepping hobby, and some as Christmas presents for the kids.  Some PPEs are in there too.

The property search continues.  The 11 acres against a national forest works great as a bug out, but it turns out you don’t own all the way to the water.  The Corps of Engineers does, and that means you can’t make changes like cutting down trees to improve your view or your access to the water.  So as a nominal ‘lake house’ it’s not looking good.  I’m still interested, but my wife isn’t.    She continues the hunt though, and she hasn’t ruled it out.

I’m surprised that the expected violence from the left hasn’t been unleashed yet.  They think they’ve won, so I guess that’s holding them back.  The right is still playing “wait and see”.  I’m glad, I just don’t expect it to hold.

I’m going to keep stacking, and keep working the plan.

nick

Wed. Nov. 11, 2020 – Veterans’ Day

Overcast, damp, but hopefully cool.

We got a bare dusting of rain in the early morning yesterday, and it was still sitting on stuff at 6pm.  THAT’S how damp it was in Houston.  You sweat just standing still, even at 76F.

I did one pickup, of stuff for the house mainly.  I did get 3 partial jugs of smokeless powder for reloading.  Not something I do, but I’ve got most of what I’d need to reload shotgun… or I’ll sell it as a bundle and hopefully get more than I would for just the pieces.

Today I need to rent a trailer to get all the things.  Mainly I bought 2 pallets of fiberglas batt insulation.  I am going to finish my bathroom project this fall/winter/spring.  It was 2/5 the price of lowes, and that’s a pretty big discount.  I really only needed one pallet, but for the first time in months, the pallets went for less than $200 and my ‘safety placeholder’ bid won.    I’ll use it up in the attic over the kitchen where the existing insulation is minimal.

I’ve got another pickup before that one.  I won some shotgun ammo in a local estate sale.  It went for much less than the crazy high prices the rifle and pistol ammo brought.  Shotty will work just fine, come the day.

Before all that though, daughter 1 has an orthodontia appointment this morning.   I’ll be taking her to that, then back to school.

After all my other tasks, then I’ll use the trailer to move one more thing in the late afternoon/evening and I’ll be done running around for the day.


The local and regional PD have been working overtime on surveillance and arrests.   The other night a massive task force went after the street racers.  Then there was some drug surveillance involving DEA and their aircraft.  Today it was auto theft and armed robbery.    They followed the bad guys and grabbed them as soon as it started to go down.  Had the helo up in case the guys ran.   Some other thing was running too, involving ATF as one of the partner agencies.

The interesting thing for me is that the bad guys still manage to lose the good guys  lot of the time.  Or they spot some of the surveillance and avoid doing any crimes in front of those units, but they can’t help themselves and still commit crimes in front of the others.  Often, the good guys will use a marked unit to make the stop, almost always after establishing probable cause so the target never even knows they were being watched.  I can’t believe how many crooks have broken tail lights, or do really stupid stuff in traffic.   I’d say that 99% of the stuff the local PD and the task forces do never even gets noticed by the press.  Get a scanner and start listening.  It’s enlightening and well worth just having it on while you’re doing other things.

So much to do, I better get busy.   Keep getting ready, keep stacking.

 

nick

Thur. Nov. 5, 2020 – the end is nigh or nay, or possibly nee

Cool and sunny, another beautiful fall day.  Probably.

That was yesterday to a T.  I did a bunch of work outside because it was so nice.

Took down and put away all the Halloween decor, both inside and out.  I’ll still be finding stuff I missed for a week or more I’m sure.  Moved stuff around in the driveway.  Moved some stuff in the garage.  Cleaned the house.

When I get stressed I clean.    Kitchen is clean.  And I am stressed.

I don’t see anything good coming out of the blatant and amateurish cheating going on.  I see CWII looming.  I hope you’ve been factoring that possibility into your plans and preps.  I think perhaps we haven’t acknowledged how brutal and vindictive that could be.    Lots of old scores get settled in the name of progress.

Think on it.  What would you do differently if you KNEW your neighbor thought they could kill you with the power of the state?  Think SWATTING on an industrial scale.  Think about weaponized IRS audits.  Think about ‘compliance’ audits.  We’re not going to get there overnight, but those are the sort of thing that happen very suddenly if they happen.

Got some things that you know don’t have a paper trail?  Might want to secure them separately from the stuff that does.  How about ‘tangibles’ without a trail?  It’s worth remembering that the family hiding Anne Frank was breaking the law, and those who betrayed her, and imprisoned her were enforcing it.  Only took a couple of years to get to that point too, in a ‘modern’ and industrial country.

I’m not panicked yet, or calling for drastic measures, just pointing out that if you think things might be headed in that direction, the time to act is SOONER rather than later.

In the mean time, keep stacking.

nick