Tues. Nov. 24, 2020 – a literal dumpster fire…

Cool and overcast, some chance of rain.

Like yesterday.  Only cooler.  Maybe.

Hid in the house all day.   Didn’t feel good.  Can’t go back to bed, as then my neck and back get messed up.  Did a tiny bit of work.  Cooked dinner and made bread.

The title is about what I passed on my way home the other day… the loony bin up the road had a fire in their dumpster.  I’ve never seen that before outside of a meme.  Yea me!  Now my 2020 is complete.

Nothing I’ve seen suggests that things are going to be better in 2021, except possibly we’ll have an effective and safe vaccine.  I’ll let the other guys go first on that one… and wait until we’ve seen what happens with pregnant women and kids before making up my mind.

I’m ready to stay home for a while if they start to mandate things like papers to move around.  Shortly after that the roundups starts, so I’ll be getting ready.  History might not repeat but it rhymes, and we’ve heard this tune before.  If old hoof in mouth Joe gets into the Whitehouse, which do you think will come first, the modern yellow star, movement passes, or midnight raids?  There will be calls for gun registration and confiscation too.  The AR pistols will be first.  “Shockwave” style shotguns too.

This time around, the populace is armed, but this time around, the panopticon sees all.

I think I’ll go long on road flares, soap flakes*, and bottles.

Keep stacking.  Figure out how to keep your head down, and what side you’ll take.  You may try to stay neutral, but I don’t think circumstances will let you.


*I’ve heard styrofoam is good too.


Mon. Nov. 23, 2020 – stayed up too late, so short shrift

Darker and cooler.  Possible rain.

Spent most of yesterday moving slowly and not doing much.  Brain is slow and so is body.  Coughing was better, throat was more sore than before.

Plan for today is sleep in a bit, then work.  Missed my chance to do big stuff at my secondary location on Sunday, but I was really not up to climbing around on stuff or running a forklift.

Need to plan and provision Thanksgiving Day dinner now that we’ll be home, and I need to get a grocery run or order in.  I wonder what stock levels will be like?

I spent almost two hours reading through old days here.  Some from 2016 and some from 2017.   We made it through the things we were most worried about, and that was heartening.  Of course, not all of us made it.

OFD’s presence is large on every page, and RBT is there, but not necessarily front and center.   It’s clear that even then the comments here are what creates the value.  Some voices are the same and some have dropped out.

Spook?  Eugen? MrK?  and a fairly long list of others that were so familiar but have not spoken up in a while.  Miles_Teg?  Time for a lurkers roll call….

If you guys are still coming by, check in and say “Hi”….

And don’t forget to keep stacking.




Sun. Nov. 22, 2020 – Still in Houston, not going to FL

Cool and damp, occasional sun, breezes to make it all better.  That’s my plan, we’ll see if the sacrifices accomplished anything…

I think that Saturday was pretty much like that but to be honest, I was inside all day.  Didn’t feel well at all.  Sore throat was worse, some coughing, and the feeling of being ‘not right’ was stronger.  So I called our trip to FL officially off.  Wife and kids are disappointed but I don’t want anyone getting sick.  And given that I believe the pandemic to be a serious thing, traveling cross country seems to be wrong on its own merits.

I managed to sleep in, and then mostly just sit around all day with my brain and body in neutral.  I did do a little bit of work for my client, in that I took apart the dead amplifier and looked at it to see what I could see.  Dead power supply board is my diagnosis, cause of death?  I couldn’t find a smoking gun.   One swollen cap, bigger than my thumb, but the capacitance was still within range.  Didn’t put it on an ESR meter, so the internal resistance could be too high, but I suspect the real problem is in the control circuit.  It’s not cool to just have a physical power switch these days.  No, you have to have  a momentary that activates a latching circuit, etc.  Much harder for me to poke at and make work.  New amp is $350, used ‘as is’ on ebay they are $125, and there is one “parts” amp listed for $75 including shipping.  I could swap the power board from it.  I’ll ask the client what he wants to do but it’s not worth the cost of my time to spend any more effort on it.

I felt like I had to do something useful yesterday and it got the amp out of the foyer, as I can now add it to the pile of dead electronics with a clear conscience.

Went to bed early, slept late, and I’m planning on the same today.

Keep the faith, and keep stacking.



Sat. Nov. 21, 2020 – still in Houston

Cool, maybe a little rain, possible overcast, but generally nice.

Like yesterday.  I got the tiniest little spritz in the late afternoon, but otherwise a nice day.  Some sun, some warmth, shirtsleeves and shorts, no sweat dripping off my nose.

I am not feeling great, but still  have things to do, so I’ve been doing them.  More slowly to be sure, but still moving.  I took a couple of hundred pounds of scrap to the recycler after breaking down a bunch of electronics and a bunch of wiring harnesses.   I won’t get rich, but the stuff leaves, and I get some money back for it.  It does take time, but today paid me at better than $20/hr for the time.

Assuming that we can have our Hamfest in March, I’m planning to bring bins of salvaged electrical and electronic parts to the swapmeet.  I didn’t get a bunch of radios this year so I need something to sell, and I’ve got bins of “something” that need to leave.  The parts are things that seemed too good to just break up for recycle, like panel meters, power supply modules, connectors, fuse holders, stuff like that.  It sold well for me last year when I finally brought it out.  I’ve got spools of cable and wire too.  They always sell well when priced right.  Assuming we’re not in the middle of a guerrilla war, or facing terror attacks from the insurgency.

Plan and prepare for bad things, but continue living your life in case they don’t happen.

Still not feeling well.  Less of the sharpness in my lungs today, but still coughing and sore throat.  Still the feeling of being unwell.  No test results.  I did finally get the CVS online portal thing set up and working.  Some part of the process failed the first time, and I didn’t really get my account set up.  Now it is, and it says “no test results available”.  It also now says 3-4 days to process, up from 2-3.

Haven’t definitively called off the FL trip, but I’m 99% certain I better get a turkey defrosting here.

My third local auction company agreed to take a bunch of stuff on consignment next week.  I will fill up some bins for them.  My auction items seemed to sell well last night, but I haven’t seen final numbers yet.  I want them to do well so the auctioneer makes money and wants more of my stuff.  And I need to get it out of here.  The time from Thanksgiving to February historically has been a slow sales time for me, but maybe the old rules have changed.  I certainly hope so.

So much is changing now, or set to change dramatically, that it’s hard to plan for any specific outcome.  I’m trying to plan for the worst but still be ready if it doesn’t materialize.  My prepping can’t have irrevocable consequences.  That’s been one of my rules from the beginning.  That might change at some point, but for now, that’s bedrock.  It leaves a pretty broad range of choices still in most situations while hopefully protecting me from excess.   We’ll see I guess.

Meantime, I’m sleeping in a bit, then continuing to nibble away at the pile of stuff that needs doing.  Keep working the problem, keep learning, keep stacking.



Fri. Nov. 20, 2020 – or 11202020 – or TGIF

Another great fall day, I hope.  We are supposed to get rain, but only in a little ring around Houston, for the next couple of days.  Any change in weather patterns and that little spot will miss us.  I hope anyway.

It got up to 81F yesterday, but was back to 68F at night.  Other than being a bit too humid, basically great weather.  Clear sky, light breeze, warm sun.

Being that I didn’t feel fantastic, I was moving a bit slowly yesterday.  I did manage to get a few things done, and I did get a wuflu test.  Talked to my mom in Florida and she sound ok with us missing Thanksgiving with her.  Even thinking about the trip seems nuts to me, but I’m not always driving the bus.

The election stuff continues to evolve.  We’re learning some stuff about the process and the machines and the companies involved that is frankly incredible.  Lou Dobbs says we don’t even know the true ownership of the companies doing the counting…  FFS, I thought it was bad in the old days when one company provided the de facto results based on exit polls and really, whatever they wanted to say… and the count was kind of an afterthought.  No matter what comes out of this, it’s not going to be good.  Even if it’s all laid out and irrefutable, the damage done will be massive.  A total reset of voting processes will be needed to restore public confidence.  The chances of either of those things being true seem to be slim at this point.  We are truly at a crossroad.

I’ve said for some time that I think we are in one of those periods where everything changes, the shape of the whole world gets rearranged.   Last time we benefited enormously.  Who will benefit this time, as it seems unlikely to be us?

Periods of rapid change and realignment are rarely much fun for the ordinary people living through them.  Oh some people will rise like the robber barons, but most of us will be lucky to keep what we have-think europeans after WWII for example.  I don’t think I want to live as a DP wandering around Eastern Europe.

I want to live comfortably in the country I grew up in.  I’m gonna do what I can to make that happen.  And I’m going to keep stacking so I have some resources available.  Cuz seriously, what do YOU think will happen when Trump’s team lays out the evidence for the steal, but loses anyway?  Or if he somehow pulls it off, what do you think the radical left will do when his “coup” is successful?

Keep stacking.



added- I scanned through 11 pages of those results and found only a couple that predated the election, and those were from unabashed socialist sources.

Preparations to respond are already under way. A manual titled Hold the Line lays out how to form local “election protection” committees and start organizing for coup resistance.[6] Numerous organizations and coalitions are actively preparing for responding if Trump and his supporters disrupt the election and attempt to nullify its results. They include Choose DemocracyNational Council On Election Integrity, Keep Our Republic , Stand Up America , and People’s Strike!. Others are keeping a low public profile unless and until open resistance is necessary. Protect the Results, a joint project of Indivisible and Stand Up America, has already organized actions in 233 locations for 5:00 p.m. local time on November 4.


Thur. Nov. 19, 2020 – sick or not, I still feel like cr@p most of the day

Cool.  Sunny.  Humid.  Breezy.  Eventually.

Did some stuff yesterday.  Some of it even advanced my plans. Wrote this post then went to bed early.

Much of the time I feel pretty OK, then I’ll stumble for no reason, or feel nauseous for a few seconds.    The sharpness in my upper lung is better, and I’m coughing less, but I’m not skipping my test appointment.   I’ve got something, maybe not wuflu, but in a normal world, I feel like I’m about two days from crawling into bed for a week.

So I’m crawling into bed early…

Keep stacking.   All that stuff ain’t gonna stack itself….



Wed. Nov. 18, 2020 – my how time flies

Cooler.  Still damp.  Still sunny.    44F and 99%RH at 6am.

It was a very pleasant day yesterday, with some light wind, and not a drop of rain.  Humid, yes.  But with the help of the industrial floor dryer, I got the pool liner dried out and rolled up.

Did some minimal leaf blowing and raking then realized I’d have all day at home today to do that.  So I stopped.  Did an auction pickup.  Dropped off a few smalls for my other local auction.

Ate my orange from my very own tree for breakfast.  It was good.  Not as sweet yet as store bought, but still good. Did I already mention that?  Can’t remember.

Not feeling particularly well.  Coughing, stuffed up head, sore eyes, mild headache coming and going.  Feeling ‘half a bubble off’ all day.  Bumping into  things with my legs, stumbling.   Bit of sharpness in my upper lungs.  Sore throat.  No fever and I can still smell and taste.   So I tried to find a quick test place yesterday.  There used to be at least three in the area I was in.   Not any more.  Big upswing in cases, EVERYONE saying “get tested” and at least 3 local test sites are shut down.  Bugger me.  I need a rapid result too, because I’m supposed to leave for Florida on Friday.  And that’s a whole ‘nuther ball o wax…

I’ll try again today.   I might have to try researching first.

I’m definitely trying the “more sleep” approach, if even for just an extra hour.  So I’m going to hit “save” on this post and hit the hay.

The ‘prudent’ buying is sweeping the nation again.  Maybe ‘prudent’ isn’t quite right,  ‘understandable’ or ‘sensible’ might be better.  In any case, if you are going into a lock down of unknown length it makes perfect sense to buy a bit more than you normally do, when you can pop down to the store at any time.  Doesn’t take too many ‘bit more’ s to strip the shelves.  It’s not like they stack the stuff to the ceilings, and it’s still delivered ‘just in time’.  Or more likely, ‘too little too late’.

Which is why we prep -so we don’t have to worry about wiping our nethers with the cleaning paper of choice, or with some pages from Green Eggs and Ham…

TP isn’t the only thing that will be in short supply soon.  Stack it high.





Tues. Nov. 17, 2020 – the wheel turns…

Cool, damp, but sunny and clear.  I hope.

Stayed cool and clear all day yesterday. It was 45F at midnight but 70s and maybe into the low 80s at some point during the day.  Cool in the shade though.

I got stuff done around the house.  Moved the rest of the insulation into the attic.  Broke down a whole bunch of scrap.  Messed with the pool liner so it will hopefully finally dry out.  Poked at a couple of other things.

It doesn’t sound like much but it was forward progress.

On the other hand, my cough and sore throat don’t seem to be getting better.  I’m going to try to get a test today or tomorrow.  I don’t have a fever, or any of the other serious and definitive symptoms, but I’m supposed to be driving to Florida to spend a week with my mom at the end of the week…  I’m still not comfortable with that, and especially so if I’m not feeling well.  Maybe I’ll try a rapid test this time, and pay for it.

I’ve been feeling tired and run down, but then I’m not sleeping enough either.  Being tired is a natural consequence of not sleeping.  Anyway.   Better to test if I can.  And if I can trust the results.  And if I can actually get a test.   To be honest, I stopped paying attention, and the pictures out of El Paso shocked me.  Daily Mail had this to say,

it has become a particularly heavy burden upon rural America.

Counties with fewer than 10,000 residents now have the highest rate of new daily coronavirus infections per capita of any size county, according to an Axios analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

These rural counties – referred to as ‘non-core’ by the National Center for Health Statistics and US Census Bureau are suffering an average of 60.4 new cases per every 100,000 people, whereas 35.4 out of every 100,000 people living in large central metro areas are being diagnosed a day.

As a result, the national rate of infections seemed to be climbing more slowly, but hospital systems are more likely to be imperiled now than they were during the first spring peak of the pandemic in the U.S.

Rural areas have fewer beds to begin with, meaning that they can quickly become overwhelmed, as El Paso, Texas, has. That means that even if the absolute numbers of new cases and hospitalizations remain low, facilities may run out of space and personnel to treat patients, and people may die faster than space an be made in small local morgues.

Aesop and others had mentioned this very scenario way back in the early days…  Other than total deaths, most of what was outlined before this became political has remained on target.  Waves.  Of decreasing size.   For years.  Rural areas with no resources quickly overwhelmed.

No one called the political aspects. Always there are second and third order effects.  Those are much harder to predict.

Violent rhetoric and  actual violence against conservatives are increasing.  The radical elements on the left are becoming emboldened (or the ones who are in the know are becoming desperate.)  If I was a conspiracy guy, I’d say we’re due for a major incident that will overwhelm the election stories.  Bonus if it kills Americans, bonus if it can be used to bludgeon Trump for not giving up and letting Biden in the door.  And if it looks like Trump might actually be successful in his challenge, expect someone to try for him.  It’s kinda amazing that he’s made it this long considering the forces aligned against him.  They’ve tried smears, they’ve tried legal action, they’re trying election fraud, what’s left?  And Harris is waiting in the wings to step in…   The flip side is some antifa/blm/black bloc kids get sacrificed to create a narrative that Trump’s nazzi white supremacist thugs are out of control and need more crackdowns…

Or dozens of other potential scenarios, most of which end in increased violence and lead toward civil ware…..

The good news is, if you are prepared for zombies, you’re prepared for most of the rest of the threats too.   Don’t get caught short this time.  Stack what you need.  Stack it high and deep.




Mon. Nov. 16, 2020 – just another manic Monday…

Warm and windy.  Humid.  Sunny.  That’s my hope anyway.

Well, something blew into town.  It went from 70F to 50F at midnight, and it’s currently 44F at 6AM.  Good thing I don’t get paid to be a weatherman.  Or if I did, it’s a good thing they don’t get paid to be right.

Spent yesterday doing cleanup and reorganization.  Found some stuff I lost.  I hate losing stuff.  I’ll have to email the guy and see if he still needs the thing I found.  When I finally sell something it’s a real bummer to cancel the sale because I can’t find the item…

Today I’m at home with daughter two.   My wife is in the office MWF this week.  Daughter one is at school.   That will give me a chance to do stuff here.  There is always a pile of stuff to do here.

Time to get cracking.  And stacking.




*anyone think it’s NOT shifty as hell that the one voting machine company is controlled by Democrat insiders, and that the COB of the other is now on Biden’s transition team?  Just lucky for them I guess….

Sun. Nov. 15, 2020 – tomorrow is usually mostly like today. until it isn’t.

Warmer, damp.  Overcast.  But hopefully no rain.

Saturday was overcast and muggy all day.  I was out running around, and my wife was taking down the pool. . . she was running fans to try to dry it out but it wasn’t working.  It was MUGGY.  91%RH at 10am.  The RH did go down as the temperature went into the 80s.   I got a few light sprinkles in various parts of town.  Barely enough to use the wipers though.

I spent some time throwing stuff out at my secondary.  I’m making room for other stuff.  And I’m discovering that I saved a lot of empty boxes, just because I could.  I was using them back in the day, but haven’t in a long time.  B’bye…. can’t afford that now.

Gotta make more room for TP and paper towel stacks.

Today the plan is to head over there and put the forklift to work, attacking from the other end.  If it doesn’t rain that is.

I was reminded of Selco, and SHTFSchool.com by Peter Grant’s post at his site.  Selco is one of the legends of the preppersphere.  He’s also very no nonsense and willing to tell uncomfortable truths to people.  Read what he’s written on the blog, buy the books.   Peter’s post reminded me of how quickly things can deteriorate.  One thing I really don’t want to see in the US is fighting in the streets.  We have been seeing RIOTING in the streets.  Last night at the Million MAGA March in DC it came much closer to FIGHTING.

Real fighting- snipers, roadblocks, burning cars, raping and murder, arson (some parts of Chicago on any given weekend)- hasn’t started yet.  While the left has been running riot, the right has been standing around.  While the left has been working out tactics and support, the right has been mostly posturing.  While the left has been getting their financing in order, the right has been frozen out of crowdfunding, and doesn’t have a deep pockets patron.   I have a feeling the right is going to learn some very hard lessons when the fighting actually kicks off.

I read somewhere that no insurgency has ever  survived long without outside support.  The lefty insurgency has that in spades.  If the right is forced into becoming an insurgency, who do they have?  And what will it cost to get help?

What would victory look like?  What would defeat look like?  Neither looks as good as a week long vacation at Disneyland, but at the moment, one or the other looks more likely.

Keep stacking.