Category: Surveillance State

Fri. May 10, 2024 – another week almost done, and still no canned sunshine..

Warm and wet, getting to be summer in Houston. It was mid 90s yesterday and so sweaty just standing still was work. Should be more of that today too, maybe a little cooler if the liars get it right.

I spent the day mostly doing small things around the house. Most weren’t high priority, but they were prerequisites to doing something else, that was a priority. So they needed to be done and gotten out of the way. And they were low effort, because I was feeling a bit pukey today. Never really got sick but didn’t feel good most of the afternoon.

I did get a bunch of small things done, and that feels good, but not the big things that are looming over me. And that feels bad. Maybe I’ll get one or two of them moving today.

I have a pickup to do, that includes stuff for the BOL so it’s on my “need to do” list. And my client decided that between the weather forecast and having 20 kids at the house for Mother’s day, he’d really like his theater working again. My business partner ordered the replacement to be delivered today, and I’ll head over to install it when it arrives. Hopefully it won’t be at 9pm. Saturday I’ve got my non-prepping hobby, then I’m headed to the BOL with a pickup load of stuff, so I really don’t want to delay by going to my client’s house. It’s in the wrong direction.

I don’t want to borrow trouble, so I’m playing today and tomorrow by ear. If things go well, that’ll be awesome. Also a bit unusual, but awesome nonetheless.

Earning money is part of prepping, and my client pays for the service he gets. Plus, I like him and his family, so I’d probably go a bit extra anyway.

I encourage everyone to look for opportunities to make a bit of extra cash. It’s almost the universal solvent when it comes to troubles.

Stack some!


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Fri. Mar. 22, 2024 – …the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye, and it looks like it’s climbin’ right up to the sky…

Cool, overcast, dreary, and a chance of rain. Yesterday was a mixed bag depending mostly on where you were. The morning at home was mostly light drizzle, but in the afternoon northwest of Houston, it stormed. Hail the size of grapes, and pouring rain. It chased me home and then petered out.

I spent the morning doing auction stuff, and the afternoon taking care of my client. That meant buying a replacement TV, and swapping it and another for two bad ones. The TCL 55 inch 4k TVs we decide to take a chance on have not held up well. They develop vertical and horizontal lines in the image and need to be replaced. Takes a couple of years, but all but one have failed, and I’m sure it will fail too. They were exceptionally cheap, and we bought the extended warranty from costco. It used to be provided by SquareTrade, but this newest one is provided by Allstate. The warranty process isn’t odious, and we’ve gotten a Costco gift card for the purchase price on the ones we’ve done so far.

Given that my time costs money, and the customer has to live with a failing TV for some period of time, I ended up buying Sony this time. We’ve shifted from the cheapest TVs to Sony Bravia, at more than double what a Roku or Hisense TV would cost, and about a third more than the Samsung or LG equivalents. The Bravia does have an exceptionally nice picture, and we’re hoping that because it’s not so cheap, it’ll do less spying than the Hisense or Roku TVs. It’s powered by google so still potential to spy. I don’t put them on the network, but someone in the household might at a later date. I also decline about 6 pages of stuff when I set them up. Of course I’m hoping that the Sony name still means something and that they haven’t been built to quite such a ‘value engineered’ standard as the Hisense… it would be nice to get a few more years of life out of them without issues than we’ve gotten from the TCL models.

If you don’t mind paying for the extended warranty, and replacing the TV after a couple of years, or that the TVs want to spy on you to subsidize the cost, there are some great looking TVs at crazy cheap prices. A 55″ Roku 4K TV was $289 at costco, and it wasn’t the cheapest on the shelf. For anything with a good brand name, or newer (bigger) sizes, inflation has been in full effect, with a roughly 30% increase in cost over the last time I priced TVs, which was about a year ago, iirc.

All you need to do is trade away a little piece of your privacy, and you can save some money while self medicating with the boob tube…

Today I’ll be doing some auction pickups, and maybe some other stuff like visiting my buddy at his gub store. We’ll see how the day goes, what the weather ends up being like, and if I hurt or not. This weather makes everything ache.

I’m thinking about heading to the BOL this weekend to do some of the stuff I didn’t do last week, and to weed the garden. We’ve got 18 potato mounds sprouted, the radishes and turnips might be ready to thin, and we’ll have to see how the peas are doing. My buddy says if they don’t start growing better, he’ll replant with a different variety. I could start another couple of rows of radishes, turnips, or beets, as you can keep planting them for a staggered harvest.

The grass probably needs cutting too.

D1 has GS camp, and D2 has a thing with friends, so I think I’d be alone at the BOL. Or I could stay home and work the list here. It’s a big list and needs to be started. Choices. Priorities. Gah.

Easier (but less effective) to just keep stacking. Don’t do what I’ve done, and just stack. Stay on top of the other things too. AND stack.


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Tues. Dec. 5, 2023 – and I’m off…

Cool and clear today. Should be a nice day. It was very nice yesterday but I’m not feeling like doing anything outdoors when my head is draining through my nose. Today I’ve got no choice.

Spent most of yesterday doing auction things. I really wanted to get a bunch of stuff in an auction before Christmas. I also spent some time fixing some stuff. I did get to my auctioneer and dropped off about 6 tubs of stuff. A drop in the bucket, but the mightiest river is nothing but drops, right??

Made some slow cooker carnitas for dinner, portioned and vac sealed the other 6 pounds of pork shoulder for later, did a load of laundry, picked up both kids from school, and cleaned parts of the house. I’m a regular domestic terror…

Today I’ve got to get D2 to her orthodontist, then I’m headed to my client’s house to do some minor stuff. I’m hoping to get out of there before the end of the day and get some shopping in. I’ve still got stuff to get together for the non-prepping hobby Christmas party I’m co-hosting this weekend. Don’t want to leave that to the last minute.

At some point I need to figure out a Christmas gift for my wife too.

… don’t falter…

The question for the day is “how do you dress?” Not in the traditional tailor way, but in the “what do you wear when you leave the house way”.

I’d bet money that most of the people here are wearing the same stuff, sometimes literally, they’ve been wearing for the last 20 or more years. I’d bet that you are pretty set in your routines, have a closet full of clothes, and mostly wear the same few outfits. You might have “work” vs “home” vs “dressed up” but I bet the range is pretty narrow.

I realized I don’t have any blue jeans. NO jeans in any color in fact. I might have mentioned that here recently because I picked up a couple of pairs at the Goodwill. Why would I do that if I haven’t worn any in over 20 years? Well, I’ve been giving it some thought lately.

For a long time I’ve treated clothes as a uniform, or more accurately as a costume to be worn to match what I was doing. Working in a corporate environment? Tan or black Dockers, logo’d golf shirt. Doing construction work in that environment? Cargo pants, collared shirt over t-shirt. Corporate training or live event outdoors? Tan shorts, logo’d golf shirt… No t shirts. “We do not wear T shirts, because we are not T shirt guys, and don’t want to be paid like T shirt guys.” That was a lesson from one of the first bosses I had doing all sorts of temporary labor in the entertainment field. It’s a variation of “dress for the job you want,not the job you have.” It served me well over the years.

Since I no longer run in the rat race, I dress only for me. And yet… I dress pretty consistently. Cargo shorts or pants, so I can carry a bunch of stuff. T shirt under a casual collared shirt to hide my EDC. Shirt must have a collar and a pocket for my glasses… which give an excuse for the shirt, which is really there as a “cover garment” as the trainers say. Clip knife front pocket strong hand side, FLASHLIGHT rear pocket weak hand side, decent shoes, sturdy watch…

The main difference between what I’m wearing and the tacktical tommy is I’m wearing Wrangler cargo pants and not high speed tactical pants, my watch is simpler, and my beard isn’t as glorious… but I still have the look. Less so now that my mustache is growing, and my beard (goatee really) isn’t very ‘operator’, and definitely less so when I’ve got my old man hat on, but still, the ‘tells’ are there. My bearing is also noticeable, not as twitchy as a cop or operator, but still pretty alert compared to most people. Head up and looking around, certainly. I tell myself this is by design, to be open to meeting other like minded individuals, and to fit in with that culture, but it’s really because I’m comfortable dressing this way.

Given all that, I’ve been advocating that people might want to build out their wardrobe a bit. And I have over time.

You might want some oversized clothes. They will disguise your relative health and robustness when you go to the .gov food line for your handouts. They can cover a vest, or a second layer of clothing, or some contraband if things get really sporty… they can disguise the gender of your loved ones, who will be particularly vulnerable as rule of law, and social norms collapse.

You might want some clothes in patterns that will work as camo without being actual camo. There are usually a TON of suitable shirts at my local Goodwill store. It’s more about a pattern and combination of colors than WHAT the pattern is composed of. You might even want a set or two of clothes that are smaller than your normal size if you expect to get lean when the lean times come- although I’d guess that most of us already have clothes we no longer fit, but could again after a certain amount of ‘austerity.’

You will want your clothes to look well worn, but you might have occasion to dress up or down. Looking shabby can help you fit in better in some places, while the khakis and golf shirt are like a ghillie suit in other environments. Fitting in and NOT drawing attention are your normal goals. Grey man isn’t about the color, it’s about not standing out. Some places that will mean camo, and lots of it. Not .mil or surplus anymore, but faded realtree is pretty common outside of big cities. Carhart jackets, ball caps from different companies (I’d avoid teams unless you are really a fan, and the local gangs don’t use the colors or logos), and maybe even T shirts might be the uniform of the day in other places.

Depending on your goals and plans, you might want to take it even further. There are many costumes available in thrift stores. Most of the time, all you need are tan or black pants, and the right logo’d golf shirt. Delivery companies, local utilities, counter and wait staff for local and national food chains or retail stores, all have signature looks and they all end up on the racks at the thrifts… don’t forget footwear, most of the time black sneakers will work. People tend to see the uniform and not the person, which can certainly be a plus in some circumstances. You might just want styles or colors you don’t normally wear, for those occasions that you don’t want to wear something that will go back into your closet when you are done doing whatever you do… I’m sure there are people who went to a rally or event and wish they’d worn some clothes that they don’t normally wear, and maybe a hat and a face mask…

You might want a high visibility safety vest and a hard hat. Don’t forget your clipboard, gloves clipped to your belt, and even better, a walkie talkie… that outfit will let you walk into almost anywhere…

And for a pro level tip, sometimes you WANT to stand out with a clothing choice. When I’m working an event, I often wear a distinctive hat or shirt. People that need to find me can be told to “look for the guy in the bright yellow shirt” or “the guy wearing the hat with bunny ears” (this was a community Easter egg hunt)… or conversely you might want to get people to focus on and remember an easily changed item of clothing, so that someone else might be looking for “the guy in the Cubs hat and white hoodie”, long after you’ve left them in the trash. Current security cameras and VMS or Video Management Systems recognize and tag images so that it’s possible to find all the video around the office building of “a man wearing a red hat” so use the strategy best suited for your activity.

It all comes down to having two goals when thinking of your wardrobe as a costume. You want to fit in with the other people around you most of the time. That takes observation, and mimicry. Other times you might want to project a certain image, looking like someone you are not. That is mostly having the right visual cues, and an appropriate demeanor. Both goals take a bit of preparation and observation, and I’d say a certain amount of practice too. This is a great time to start, when the stakes are not as high as they might be later. But even if things don’t get worse, not standing out can save you from becoming a victim of crime, can easy your way through life, and can even save you money and time.

So, why did I buy some jeans? Because I realized I didn’t have any pants that weren’t “me”. I didn’t have anything that was out of character for my everyday persona, that people are familiar with and recognize. I thought it might be prudent and useful to have something that didn’t say “that looks like Nick”. And I bought jeans because they are versatile, common, and ordinary– unlike parachute pants, or tweed dress slacks…

Take a look at your closet. If your circumstances changed, if the world changes, if you had to shop in different places, walk through different areas, ride a bike or a bus, could you dress in a way that didn’t draw attention, that didn’t mark you as an outsider, or a potential victim? If you wanted to be out and about but still remain (relatively) anonymous, could you? If not, get busy. You have some shopping to do.


(and stacking)

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Wed. July 26, 2023 – wow stuff got expensive…

Hot and humid and more of each. Highest I saw yesterday was 94F in the shade, but it was hotter in the sun. Since it happened away from my thermometer, I’m ignoring it. Hah. Just like the rain. I only personally saw a very light spatter of rain. I know it rained heavily in some parts of town, because I saw the puddles and I asked people. But I’m ignoring that too. I can definitively state, from my own lived experience, that yesterday was hot at 94F but cooler than it has been, and that it only rained a tiny amount. That this is wrong is of no concern. Please fully fund my climate change study grant. I’m your kind of people.

Spent most of the day filling the back of my pickup with auction items. Then I dumped most of them at my secondary location. Took the rest home. Did a bit of troubleshooting on some items that didn’t immediately work, and got some results.

Cooked a couple of several-years-old steaks for dinner. Couldn’t tell them apart, despite being frozen for 2 and 4 years respectively. And they were delicious. Served them with canned corn from 2014, frozen naan bread, and pasta from a couple years ago. Those were all normal looking and delicious too.

Spent the evening looking at prices online to find cheap decking material for my temporary deck at the BOL. That led to the post title. There isn’t anything “cheap”. Sheets of OSB, plywood, and rigid foam are all 1-1/2 to 2 times more than they were. Prices have come down from their highs of a year ago, but they are still high. Even furring strips are expensive. More redneck engineering is going to be needed…

Today I’ve got a couple more pickups, and more domestic bliss. So I’ll be busy, and yet not feel like I’m getting stuff done. And compared to some, I’m a piker. Talked to someone in my circle of acquaintances that is slowly revealing more of their preps. Their family group is about 35 people, and they’ve got a shared ranch as a BOL. With a full surgical suite set up. That was the bit he shared yesterday. His pockets are deep, and his group is committed. He has access to a wide range of stuff.

He urged me to stack salt. We talked about the novel Alas Babylon, where the little town is coping well with their end of the world situation, except for the lack of dietary salt. THAT is killing people. I took that message to heart when I read it, and stacked salt some time ago. Not sure what I have in total, but I’ve got 5 gallons (30-40 pounds) of pink himilayan salt, and at least one other bucket of normal salt, as well as boxes of canning and pickling salt. I’ve got a smaller amount of iodized salt for the table too. Salt can be used for cleaning, and for preserving food as well as for eating. We also talked briefly about my “bread kit” buckets – one bucket with flour, salt, yeast packets, and a bottle or two of oil, and storing and using fat to “pot” or preserve meat.

The discussion was a nice validation of my own preps, with a good reminder of a basic prep item for long term survival, and some more exotic thinking about things getting worse than most people might consider. There are others out there doing what we do. They are planning, and executing. You are not alone, and there are serious people who are taking it farther than you…

So stack a few things. Consider your gaps, and fill them. Know that others are too.


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Sat. May 20, 2023 – finally a day without obligations… so I get to do my own

Cooler but warming later.  Some chance of rain.   Maybe clear later.   Yesterday was nice and hot, sunny too.   D1 had a good time at the beach.

I was looking for a safety monitor to watch out for me in the attic at my client’s place.   It was REALLY hot in the attic.   Fortunately I did all the hard and sweaty crawling around last time.  All I had to do was enter, and connect cabling.  Still, last time I measured the attic temps in summer, I got 142F iirc.   I might take a thermometer back with me on Monday or Tues. just to see.   In any case it was dangerously hot.

I didn’t get any one thing done over there either.   Got the camera rebooted.   Tried adding the new cam, but firmware and OS on the NVR were too old.   I’m replacing it all next week anyway so I didn’t update anything.   Did some maintenance on the ubiquiti Cloud Key appliance that works as a manager and dashboard for the system.   Didn’t update any firmware in the system either, as I didn’t have time to recover if anything broke.  Did get new hardware added.

Got the NanoStation 5AC loco added, and configured as an access point.  I confirmed there is signal at the gate opener and keypad.   If I have to, I can add the other one, a switch at the gate, and config it all as a wire replacement.   More gear, more time, more effort, so I’m hoping that I’ve done enough with wifi coverage.  I couldn’t quite finish, as I needed to locate a PoE injector in the attic, and I didn’t have what I needed with me to plug everything in.  I’ll bring that back next week and finish that.

And I got the control gear installed, the piece I had to wait most of a year to find on ebay as normal channels are dry.   It’s configured but not complete as the controls programmer hasn’t done his part yet.  He wants me there when he connects and sets it up.  I’ll need to test it in any case.

So a lot got done, but nothing got done.

Today I should be doing more cleaning, and taking stuff out of the house and to storage.  It’s piling up while waiting for an auctioneer, but it needs to be out of the foyer and living room.  I’ve been doing other stuff, and making the piles higher as I organized.   If it isn’t raining, today is the day that organizing will bear fruit as the stuff goes away.

Oh, all the normal weekly domestic bliss needs to happen too.   Joy.

It’s a great life, if you don’t falter.

Stack something, even if it’s a small stack.


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Sat. Sept. 3, 2022 – plugging away

Hot and humid, but less so than Houston.    It was mostly in the high 80s low 90s yesterday.   Lots of humidity, but overcast kept it comfortable most of the day.  Unless one happened to be engaged in physical labor, then it was miserable soaked to the skin sweaty hot.

Like it was for me.   Every stitch of clothing soaked completely with sweat.   Lost track of the gatoraid I drank, and used my cool vest 3 times.   The gas line is in the trench, enters the garage, runs to a manifold.   I started work on the supply side of the water plumbing too.   Discovered I need 4 specific pex fittings that I don’t have.   May head into town to see if Tractor Supply has them, if not, I’ll work the other end of the system.

Family made it here safely.    Had dinner.

Brand new gallon of costco milk was sour when opened.  Seal was bad under the intact cap.   I might go into town for milk, and just stop by the hardware or TS store on the way.  I’m not the only one with milk going off before its time lately.   One more thing failing amongst many.

I REALLY am feeling pressure to have this place ready as a real refuge.   Politics are getting more divisive and the rhetoric is escalating.   Pretty sure the current president just declared war on more than half the population.  Since he said last week that we’d need more than guns, and finally stumbled around to saying we’d need F-15s, that sounds a lot like he intends to use the Armed Forces against us.    Wonder how that will work out?   Nice for the heads up though.

You aren’t stacking enough.   Get busy.


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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.



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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.



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.



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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.


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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.


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