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…


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.


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.



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.


Sat. May 30, 2020 – and the beat goes on…

Hot. Sunny. humid. Man, I need to change the batteries in my weather station.

Yesterday was hot, and humid, with lots of fluffy clouds and some blue sky. No rain at home or my secondary location.

I did auction pickups today, and went to my secondary to meet a guy about some stuff he bought but never picked up. It was buried, and I couldn’t get to it. Conveniently for him, it’s enough unburied that it could be pulled out for him. However, he stood me up. Rescheduled for this morning.

That made me late to our “Fifth Grade Graduation Parade.” I was a bit skeptical of the idea, and thought a 5th grade graduation was hokey anyway… but I’m glad I made it. I waved from the side of the road as dozens of decorated cars and trucks drove by with the kids waving back. I’d forgotten that I know all these kids from my Hands On Science class, and they think of me as a teacher, who some I’m sure wanted to see one last time. I was very happy to see the kids, and when they recognized me waving, they smiled and sat up and waved. It felt really good. I wasn’t thinking past my own kids, and that was a mistake. My daughter was in a great mood afterwards too.

Hit the takeout lane for our favorite greek casual dining and ate restaurant food for the first time in 2 1/2 months. And it was good.

That led right into story time, and bed, and then me checking the news.

Holy moly, the riots are coming. I hope everyone had been getting ready. I almost flubbed it myself. I’ll be carrying my bear spray today as I go back out to meet my buyer.

And I might stop by my favorite toy store and do a bit of meatspace relationship maintenance.

Then it’s back home to see if the pool has everything we need to set it up. Savvy readers will note that I skipped rotten potato cleanup, and delayed the pool project. Delayed but can’t avoid.

Dinner was restaurant food, and dang it was good.

Avoid crowds, keep your situational awareness higher than mine, and keep stacking.


Wed. Jan. 15, 2020 – I’m sure to learn something tonight

Wet, warmish. [70F and wet on the ground]

Drizzle most of yesterday with the sun finally coming out in the afternoon. Still have water everywhere it’s so damp.

Tonight I’ve got the first meeting for our ISD ‘community leadership development’ program. Since we’re the first cohort through the program, I’ve got no idea how or what exactly it will be, but based on the calendar, we’ll be getting a good idea of how the district works. Tonight’s topic is school security. I hope we don’t get bogged down in the shooting yesterday.


Cartel wars in Mexico seem to be heating up. I’d say to our border state residents – stay aware and stay awake, but it goes for everyone. The cartels and the illegals have thoroughly penetrated every corner of our nation.


Not cartel related, but another officer involved shooting/ defensive gun use-


I counted 14 shots. I’m beginning to think about a .40 or a .45. These guys aren’t stopping. Carry and practice your reload. Don’t let the SOB close with you.

Things are getting worse, and will continue to do so. Use the time to get ready.