Fri. Feb. 21, 2020 – finally Friday, yeah right, too soon

Colder and wet.

Yesterday the rain held off but the temps dropped. I started in a rain shell but ended in a middle weight Carhart jacket..

I have another busy day today. Some auction stuff, the a call with my financial advisors, a call to a roofer about the hail damage from last year, and then more auction stuff.

The wind was really gusting last night. Tarps on the “inventory” in my driveway were all flapping around all night, setting off the motion detector lights. Cams recorded a lot of flapping…

Wuflu is taking off around the world. A couple of months I think, before it’ll be everywhere in large numbers, but things will start to get weird before that. We’ll also have a chance to see it die out, if that’s gonna happen. More and more people are starting to realize the supply chain issues. I expect some stuff will start to be in short supply immediately as savvier folks start buying for the long run.

Read the article Peter wrote in the link from yesterday and consider what else might affect your personal needs. This is the time to get ahead on your meds. Also the OTC stuff you might want, especially if you have to play “Dr. Mom” to anyone. Snivel gear too. Toothbrushes, beauty supplies, hygiene products, etc. Keep in mind you might want to or have to supply some other people outside your family too. Can you really say no when Mom asks if you know where to get a box of masks? or your kid’s school friends ask about AB soap?

There are some lines in the sand with prepping that really feel different when crossed. Buying fish meds, burying a cache, buying obstetrics textbooks for your library… those things mean you are considering something beyond the next hurricane or flood. Those are the sort of things that raise an eyebrow. Think about where you are in relation to those at the moment, and consider if it’s different from last month or last year. Where do you think you’ll be in a month if things continue as they are?

Food for thought should be accompanied by food for eating.

Keep stacking.


Sun. Feb. 16, 2020 – got a few things done, SO MUCH more to do

Cool and slightly drier than most days.

Nice day yesterday, although it did get cloudy and overcast in the afternoon. Wife got some yard work done. I got some yard work done. I did a little ebay and storage reorganizing, and packed an item for shipment. I met with a buyer for a hand delivery on some speakers. Saved me the effort of packing them well. He was on time too, which was nice.

I’ve got ONE thin little stalk of asparagus poking up. The broccoli I planted ran directly to flower. The limes are heavy with flower buds. Peach still hasn’t quite budded. I’m still getting some peppers from the two year old plants but will get some new ones in the ground soon. I cleaned out (well, started) some of my fence “window boxes” and will get some root veg in there ASAP. Turnips, radishes, and beets are all on the calendar this week and next as a good time to plant.

I spent some time cleaning leaves out of the area around the garage and fence, and the driveway. I’ve been working on it for a week or more. It should help get rid of some of the damp, and maybe help with the critters too.

I bought a couple of rat trap poison feeders, and put one in the driveway, and one in the attic. I re-baited another. Something has been eating the bait in the attic, mice probably, and the dead rat on the lawn says that there are still rats here somewhere. Even if they’re not eating my preps, I don’t want them around.

Rats, garbage, and sanitation issues are problems in quarantined china. Pics show people throwing trash and worse out their windows into shared courtyards. If you haven’t already learned from my saga, get some traps and poison so you’ll have it on hand when needed.

The virus is spreading and turning up in new places. The chinese continue to crack down harder- as that’s what oppressive governments do. Gotta stop the trucks from moving, even if it means dumping food on the ground while people go hungry. Gotta keep people from gathering, even if it means wrestling with them hand to hand.

Prepare for the virus to get loose here, and celebrate when it doesn’t. Prepare for the economy to tank due to the loss of China and chinese goods. Maybe we’ll dodge the effects, but I don’t think so.

I know what I’m doing. I hope you guys do too.


Sat. Feb. 15, 2020 – family, work, stuff, more and more

Cold and clear, but damp. [50F and 80%RH at 9am]

Yesterday stayed cold but did get a clear blue sky for most of the day. I spent the afternoon running around.

Today, I’ve got a basketball game, housework, yard work, and I’m meeting a guy to finish an ebay sale.

So, busy like normal.

Meanwhile, the virus never sleeps. CDC is prepping the battlespace with their assurances that more WuFlu is coming to America. They have started national surveillance using the existing flu network (to find it when it breaks out), and they are reviewing existing plans for pandemic. They talked about shifting from containment to mitigation (when it gets out into the community)… and the economic effects are starting to be felt around the world.

China is going full totalitarian in their response. Lots of video getting out as people start getting desperate and seem to be saying “F it, I’m telling the world.” And still, where are all the people? Also, Don’t give up your guns.

There may be Sweet and Sour Sicken in the wild in Hawaii. There is a report that a japanese man is confirmed to have it, but never went to China, only Hawaii. Lots of asians vacation in Hawaii. Sort of tellingly, none of the new CDC surveillance efforts are in Hawaii….

And there was no further info about the planes that were intercepted in Heathrow…

Take this seriously folks. You might find you REALLY need to stay home for a month or two. We’ll have some more time, and there will be more to confirm it’s heading in that direction, but if you wait too long, all the good stuff will be gone. Like masks. Get your prescriptions filled. Get some OTC remedies for the ordinary stuff you WON”T be going to the ER or Urgent Care for when it’s full of sick people. Go through your medicine cabinet and see what you might actually have left over… build off that.

Yeah I know, zerohedge is doomer pron… I’ve lived here XX years and never evacuated before… the weather liars always get it wrong… you’ve been in full on sky is falling before and nothing came of it………..

Doesn’t mean that this isn’t really bad.

Keep stacking.


Tues. Feb. 11, 2020 – so much to do

Warmish and wet. [not so much, front moved in, 50F and dripping this am]

Had overcast all day but didn’t get any rain until after 9pm, and it didn’t last long.

Spent the afternoon running around doing pickups and drop offs. So much stuff to do normally, and I’m also trying to step up my preps.

I’m going to try to fit in a Costco run today with all the other stuff going on.

I’ve been a bit casual checking my email lately. I’ve got my reader open to my sales addy, hoping to see orders coming in… so I was very pleasantly surprised to see a note from Barbara.

It was in regard to our discussion of Bob’s works in progress. She didn’t want to pursue the fiction book, and had this to say–

The best prepping insights from Bob are what he posted on the site.

All of his previous science and computer books are now pretty much out of date. Those that are still in print can be found on the O’Reilly site.

I want to thank you, Rick, and all of the readers on Daynotes for keeping his ideas and memories alive.


I’m sure I speak for all of us saying “Thank You” to Barbara for supporting our continued efforts here. It’s a unique place on the web, due to Bob and the readers he attracted. It’s been a daily part of my life, and I’d miss it enormously.

Now, off to work. Go forth and prep, because it’s bad, and it will be getting worse.


Mon. Feb. 10, 2010 – and just like that, I’d forgotten to worry about a civil war…

Warmish and damp. [71F and wet]

Yesterday I got a couple of things done before the rain, and then again after it stopped.

I re-potted some trees. Did a little pruning. Picked up the yard.

Lime trees are budding out flowers. Apple trees are leafing or have the sap rising. Peach is getting leaf buds. Meyer lemon is past harvest time. I’ll have to get to that soon. Wife and kids were going to do it but well….

I rotated some small amount of food from the secondary to home, and took 40 pounds of rice and some canned chicken there for deep storage. I really need to get that organized and inventoried. The urgency increases with every new report out of China.

I moved a couple of things in the driveway, and started scrapping out a pallet. Global scrap prices will collapse, if they haven’t already, with Chinese industry on the rocks. If I’m going to do it, I need to do it now. I did enough yesterday to know if it is going to be worth it, considering all the other things I could be doing that all pay more money. I have to do a little prep before I can dump them as ‘shred’ for 4c/pound in any case. But, they’re mostly aluminum and stainless, which both pay about 35c/pound so it might be worth separating them. I’ve got to weigh up the parts and do the math today.

I was moving the pallet to get to my pallet of forced air breathing respirators. I need to dig them out and see what condition they’re in, and what they need to work. I have only 2 batteries and I’m not certain they are correct. It’s been a very low priority, but is moving up dramatically. If I can sell off the rest for good money that will help too.

I am seeing a nice increase in my ebay sales. I’ve got some nice stuff listed recently and it’s moving decently. I need it to continue and increase though. If the WuFlu continues, at some point nobody will be buying anything.

Speaking of WuFlu, Kung Flu, Sweet and sour sicken, or any of the other ‘whistling past the graveyard’ names… even ordinary people are starting to notice. No one believes the chinese numbers, and for all the reasons given here before. Have you ever known the chinese to play up a disaster? I’ve posted links to twitter feeds and ‘citizen journalists’ because I think that’s a great window into the situation on the ground. Yes, they are unknown and unvetted. Aesop in particular objects to one off videos from randos… they are filming the body bags SOMEWHERE. They are filming guys in tyvek welding doors shut SOMEWHERE. Ditto for grabbing people out of their homes and off the street. I’ve seen enough body bags to think that the dead count is off by one or two orders of magnitude. NO ONE ANYWHERE walks past someone who seizes and collapses on the ground, unless things are SERIOUSLY wrong. No one leaves dead people laying in the street like that. No city in China is ever that quiet and empty as the drone footage. Lastly, you aren’t thinking the people in the building will survive if you are LOCKING THEM INSIDE. That should terrify everyone who thinks about it.

We can’t trust their numbers, but we can judge them by their actions.

Also, I’m cynical enough to think that if China looks like they’re the only ones who will burn from this, they will try actively to infect the west, so they don’t burn alone.

Keep stacking.


Sun. Feb. 9, 2020 – WuFlu has already killed more people than SARS

Cool, damp, windy

Yesterday was beautiful. Blue sky, sunny, and a strong breeze. Nice temps after morning lows too.

I did my hobby, watched child #2 play basketball, and got some errands run. Getting project materials from HD and Lowe’s was a step toward getting several projects completed or underway. I posted yesterday that there were no N95 masks left. No evidence that they were missing either, so I don’t think they’re keeping the shelves open for the restocking. CDC is worried about running out of masks, and WHO has only a month’s supply left according to an article.

China is forcibly removing people from their homes to take them to places where they can be isolated with a thousand other sick people. And live or die on their own merits. Anyone think getting all those sick people together in one place might have some bad unintended consequences? In light of that news, and the video of people being locked into their homes, anyone think this is just a bad flu that isn’t anything to worry about? It’s in the population in china and that’s what’s driving the increases. SO FAR, we don’t think it’s loose in OUR population, but if it gets loose, we’ll see the same things China is seeing. Anyone here think their employer can survive a month with no employees? Start making plans for how to keep your business going if a Wuhan style lockdown happens here… CDC’s site has a whole section on pandemic flu that I’ve referred to before, and I recommend reading again.

Start making plans for keeping yourself and your family going if that happens too. Act soon. If you wait for confirmation, you’ll be too late. I’m treating it like a Cat 5 hurricane is headed for the Gulf. Next step will be if it crosses into the Gulf, then if it’s heading right for us…. Only instead of bugging out, we’ll likely lock down. I really don’t want to be inside the ring road that would be an excellent natural demarc point if martial law or a quarantine were enforced. No other options at this point though, that wouldn’t be irrevocable and life changing.

We’ve got some time before it’s out in our population, and maybe it won’t break out here. That would be best. But China’s economy is already going to take a huge hit, and the hit just gets bigger every day this continues. THAT is going to have knock on effects all on its own. If anyone wants to see ‘irrational exuberance’ look at a market that goes UP when half a billion people are under movement restrictions, and possibly several million will be sick before this burns out. UP! Look at what happened so far in China in JUST ONE MONTH. More people have been killed by this in 29 days than from SARS in a year, and that’s using the official numbers! No matter what happens going forward, big changes are coming. And I don’t see anything to keep what’s happening now from continuing for some time.

Get prepped people. Seriously.


Sat. Feb. 8, 2020 – got stuff to do

Cool-ish and damp.

I’ve got my normal monthly non-prepping hobby meeting this morning, followed by sportsball with the kid, and all the normal Saturday stuff too.

I’m jumping like a one legged paper hanger in a room full of rocking chairs. Or something.

SERIOUSLY FOLKS, get some preps in order. You do not want to be going out into crowds, fighting over the last roll of toilet paper in a few weeks when the WuFlu is all around us. TP doesn’t really go bad, so you’ll use it if nothing happens. Get some food in too, even if you have to put it in buckets and stack the buckets on the patio. Some way to cook it would be prudent too, if things really go to 7734. And water. Soap. Bleach. Wipes. If you don’t have masks I’d be checking old school neighborhood hardware stores, auto paint suppliers, equipment rental houses, walmart’s paint department, and other less common places, maybe even beauty supply houses. If you have accounts with industrial suppliers, you might check there too. CDC wants people to be thrifty with masks now in case they’re needed later- meaning there won’t be increasing supply.

Lots of good info in the keyword links. We’ve got a couple weeks while the doubling is still very small numbers. By the time you get “confirmation” that it’s here, it will be too late, like it’s already too late to get cheap masks. Think of it as insurance. Spend the time, effort, and money.

Take a hard look at your finances too. As the truth of this thing starts to sink in, there is NO WAY the current bubble won’t pop. Don’t get caught in a rush for the exit. If I’m wrong, get back in in a month. Don’t get greedy and hang in for those last few gains. Do some profit taking fer pete’s sake.

And – Keep stacking,


Wed. Feb. 5, 2020 – same old, same old, plus WuFlu!

Cool and damp. [49F with a fine mist falling]

Yesterday stayed overcast but got up into the high 70s and 80s in some parts of town. I checked my local Ag extension planting guideline, and I should be getting my root crops in. I guess spring is coming.

School and activities continue. I’m taking the kids to sell GS cookies to my friend at the gun store. He’s a great supporter of the girls.

The political circus is starting to get into full swing. I’m going to avoid it as much as possible and concentrate on other things. I’m sure I won’t be able to avoid it completely. I would like it to be the only worry we have in six months, but I’m not sanguine about that.

The numbers out of china continue to rise. They may be false, but they are consistent. More video is making it out too. If you haven’t been following links to “man on the street” vids, you really should. The story that is implied by some of the vids really has to be seen to be appreciated. DailyMail is picking up some of the stories now too, if a couple of days late…

It’s an interesting question of how you get info during the apocalypse. For people in Wuhan, that word isn’t too strong. It’s their own societal and possibly personal SHTF. For some, it is literally TEOTWATKI. Lot more fistfight videos today than previously. I think the violence is about to break out as food is undoubtedly getting short. I’ve yet to see a story about brave truckers delivering food to the infected zone.

Keep in mind how fast this is all happening. For people in China, it must simultaneously feel like warp speed, and like an eternity.

Last week they were shopping and enjoying the holiday, today, they’re being barricaded into their homes.

Use the time we have to get your own shopping done. I have a feeling we won’t regret it this time. And Hey, in a month, if we’re not seeing any more cases outside of China, and our JIT economy based on selling each other cheap crap from China is still plugging along, you can mock me. I’ll be the one eating rice for every meal…. and wearing my face mask as a hat.


Tues. Feb. 4, 2020 – won’t have to move, yet

Cool and damp. [70F and 99%RH]

Yesterday stayed overcast most of the time but never rained. Today has some rain in the forecast, which I’d like to be wrong this time.

Daughter got into the middle school program she wanted, which we do not have to be zoned to (lottery, nothing I did). I’m glad I won’t have to be looking for a new house before fall semester starts. Maybe a bugout location (lake house) looks more doable now, since any local moves would be to a neighborhood where home prices start at more than double mine, for a tear down. It would have been a stretch to get into the zone we wanted, and would have involved a bunch of disruption.


Speaking of disruption….

The number of infected continues to creep up. The curve is leveling out, but there’s no way to know if that is simply under reporting,. We know China lies. The other countries’ infected counts are in the slow starting phase. We’ll know soon if they will be taking off too. Given things like the Japanese cruise ship with an infected aboard, I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing cases that don’t have a link to Wuhan in a week, two tops.

I saw someone else using “WuFlu” yesterday, go me. And someone asked on the CDC call why they haven’t named it yet. The Dr was flustered in her response. Take the time to listen to the call and hear for yourself, but I think the CDC is shell shocked by this. At least the Dr was headed toward there.

Let’s list some issues- China lies. CDC has been kept out of China. Only reason to do that is if you are hiding something. CDC admits they are desperate to see the data so they can do their own math on transmission and lethality. Currently THEY DON’T KNOW, but they are scared. They invoked quarantine for the first time in 50 years. But like the Chinese, they are still making carefully worded statements designed to keep the public from reacting.

CDC doesn’t know where to put anyone who does arrive here and needs a quarantine. They say that is the state and local .gov’s job, and they should have already made plans, which CDC doesn’t want to countermand. It sounds like no one really made those plans, or they were paper only and unworkable.

CDC is trying to get more labs to do testing, as they are a bottleneck. RED TAPE is holding that up. Further to that, the test isn’t meant to be used for INDIVIDUAL DETERMINATIONS or diagnosis, but for monitoring the spread of the disease. Thanks guys. People without symptoms might pass the test but still be infected. NO ONE is being retested at this time. Dr was freaked that 20 days ago we had 40 cases and now we have 20k+… frankly that freaks me out and we can be pretty sure that number is TOO LOW.

Fellas, I don’t know where this is going, but it could be very bad. Zombie apocalypse bad. I bet it feels that way in Wuhan. Certainly people living there have said so. The things we do see look very bad. Crews so inured to the situation (or so tired) they’re just hurling body bags into the van. People in scrubs and PPEs walking down alleys with rifles. Men barricading people into their homes. Video of people dropping dead without warning, or having seizures and then dying.

If this comes here in any widespread form, you will want to stay inside and hide. Imagine being in Wuhan or any of a dozen other cities right now. Crippled internet. No idea what’s really going on. Soldiers and armed men roaming around. No access to medical care for routine issues or emergencies. No transportation. No shopping. At what point do the people leave their homes? Why aren’t they in the streets right now? Where are all the people?

I was discussing with my wife how many masks to sell to profit[eer] from the situation. I told her I was getting reluctant to let them go. “How many do you have?” “I was planning to keep at least 800…” “???!!!?!!?!?” “Well, that’s 200 days for the four of us.” “200 DAYS! !!111111!1 eleventy!” “Yeah, or 50 days if we go out at all. And what if our friends and acquaintances ask us for masks??” “——”

So I think I’ll sell a few boxes and get my total investment back. Then maybe sell a few more if the price keeps going up. I think I’ll keep the ones I found in the ebola supplies to give away to anyone who asks (that I can’t refuse), as they wouldn’t bring more than a hundred bucks or so anyway (while N95 and 3m, they are single strap and well out of date).

That doesn’t touch the full face respirators with cartridges, the potential for the forced air respirators (missing batteries and filters), the tyvek or bunny suits, and any masks I’ve got in my woodworking supplies. I’m pretty sure I’ve got some other boxes tucked away here and there too. I better start looking for them. And I better get some of the other stuff out of deep storage and see what parts I need to buy while I still can. I’m getting close to spending money on things that only make sense if the worst case is coming. That breaks one of my rules- nothing I do for preps can be irrevocable- if it takes the money away from other needs. I’d sure like to sell some stuff while people are still buying stuff they don’t need…..

I better check on a couple friends too, and see if they’re taking it seriously, and if not, find out why.

Keep stacking.


Sun. Feb. 2, 2020 – in the last couple of days I became aware of a sportsball game being played today

Cold and damp. [Cool at 51F and 99%RH at 830am]

Never warmed up much yesterday, although the sun was out and the sky was clear. Nice day after the gloom.

I had my swapmeet, and sold a few small things. I bought a couple of books, and hung out with the guys. Good day. Then did some auction pickups, and a bit of thrifting. I know. Hey, I only bought some music and puzzles. I’ll get hours of entertainment from that, and it doesn’t take any space.

It seems that there is a big sports event today. I’m serious that I only realized that yesterday. I have NO interest at all and I’m completely separated from anyone who does. If you like it, I’m not knocking you for it, but I haven’t got the slightest interest. If the weather holds, I’ll be cleaning the rat soiled shelves so I can get my food back indoors.

The KungFlu (I still like WuFlu, but I’m the only one who does while I’ve seen the Kung Flu appellation in many places) continues to infect people. In a couple of weeks we’ll finally have independent observations about lethality (hopefully not) and infection. But possibly by then we’ll have 1,000,000 chinese infected too. The effect on the global economy is going to be devastating. Even if everyone went back to work tomorrow, the economy would take a hit. Everyone isn’t going back to work tomorrow.

Plan and act accordingly.