Thur. Mar. 3, 2022 – [insert funny or eye catching phrase here]

Cool, but not cold, but still clear and sunny.  I hope anyway.  Yesterday was full on ‘Chamber of Commerce weather’.    Blue sky, nice breeze, pleasant temps.   It was almost enough to believe Spring was here.

I did get some things done locally when my plan to go out to my client’s house fell apart.  Spent some time with one of my local auctioneers.   Picked up my unsold items.   Chatted a while.  His wife has recovered from the wuflu.  Some residual coughing, but she never lost smell or taste.

Did some small cleaning and maintenance stuff around the house.

Picked up D1 and completely failed to spend time together for reasons involving stuff I’m too angry about to discuss.

Dinner included chopped cabbage, sauteed in bacon fat with sweet onion as a nod to my ancestors from the Baltic region.   Good peasant food, re-imagined.  Well, not boiled anyway.   Cabbages, potatoes, carrots, onions, and apples are staples for good reasons.   They are relatively easy to grow, they store over the winter, and they have plenty of nutrition in them.   They are also easy to cook, just boil or eat most of them raw.  They CAN be prepared other, far more tasty ways though.  “Modern” cookery ignores the traditional staples in favor of exotic imports.  That’s a luxury we may  not have in days to come.  Take a new look at some recipe books.  Try some new/old things.  Plan your garden around traditional staples.

Plan for today…. nope.  Not gonna say it out loud.  One less chance for the universe to mess me about.  It does involve auction stuff and moving stuff around in storage units.  And maybe picking up a check.

Do what you can with what you have, where you are.  Smarter people than me have said similar.  It looks like good advice to me.

And stack up all the things.  If it’s critical for you, you probably need more of it.

nick

 

Wed. Mar. 2, 2022 – … so don’t feel sad, two out of three ain’t bad.

Cold again, maybe.  Or maybe just cool.   The pattern has been starting cold and getting warmer, but it was only 48F when I went to bed, not <40F so we may be starting from “cool”.  We’re supposed to be sunny and clear for a few days in any case.

I did some pickups yesterday, and spent a few hours sorting through my storage unit that got burgled.  I took about 6 bins to my local guy, with the promise I can bring him more on Thursday.  I could take him more than that… and I didn’t even get through all the stuff in that unit.

Traffic was horrible in the afternoon.   Several of our major expressways were jammed for miles by a whole bunch of concurrent wrecks.   I was glad it was unrelated incidents and not one big one.  Shows where my mind is at that I considered something bigger than a simple traffic accident.   In my defense, by the time the tollway is backed up for miles, you rarely see 2 fire trucks and an ambulance responding.  They’ve usually gotten there long before, so if you see them in transit, it’s the second wave for something big.

Still no word on the BOL.

Today’s plan is working at my customer’s place.  I’d like to wrap that up and invoice.

Because money is good.

It lets you stack up goods.  Which everyone should be doing.   So do it.

nick

Tues. Mar. 1, 2022 -… makes a man healthy wealthy and wise…

Cold again, getting warmer throughout the day.  And then back to cold at night.   It ended up being a gorgeous day yesterday, once the sun warmed everything up.  Hoping for more of that today.

Did my pickups, and spent  the afternoon with my daughter.   We did go grocery shopping at the “small” HEB store near our house.    There were a lot of empty spots on shelves.   I’ve never seen the veg and fruit area with so many empty areas.   They flipped the trays over to take up the space, something I’ve never seen before, so they weren’t just slow restocking.     They were putting the items on the front of the shelf with nothing behind too.

The weirdest thing though was the meat cooler.   They usually have about 6ft of cooler for beef steaks, and featured cuts.   Yesterday they had ONE foot with a couple trays of NY strips for $12/pound, choice grade.  They had filled the rest of the space with packaged food from other parts of the store.   There was still beef in the “cheap” section of the upright display cooler, lower grade and lower cost cuts, but not the usual number of choices either.

Canned veg was stocked as it has been, there was some dried pasta on the shelf.  I was able to get the last 4 bags of egg noodles, which have been out of stock for a long time.  Soda was ‘new normal’ or maybe a bit better.  Snacks had big holes in every category.   Seafood was in the cooler but prices were crazy high, snow crab clusters were $17/pound.  They used to be $7.    Cat food and litter was back on the shelf, with gaps scattered throughout.

The milk cooler had brands I’d never seen before as well as the usual.  Eggs were stocked but limited choices.  Still no cinnamon rolls or regular biscuits in the fridge rolls.

All in all, the absence of choice or better grade beef was the most disconcerting, with the flipped over trays in the fruit and veg display areas coming in a  close second.   Never seen that before.

Dinner was hamburger helper beef stroganoff flavor and grilled skewers of chicken hearts.  D2’s favorite.

Today I’ll be pulling stuff for a local auction, and dropping that off, then doing a pickup.   I won a bunch of scanners in another auction, but don’t know yet if I have to go get them or if they will transfer them to Houston for me… it’s a mix of analog handhelds and digital base/mobile units.  Most I will list on ebay, but several will be added to the ‘shack’ here and at the BOL.

Speaking of the BOL, the title company is moving forward but we still don’t have a closing date.   It’s been a month, and that’s without inspections or bank financing.   I don’t remember this house taking that long, and I don’t know if the title company is dragging their feet  or just swamped with work.

I did notice a bunch of newly closed businesses around town.  There are some new places opening, and new construction continues in some areas, but the level of trash on the ground, car parts in particular, and on the  roads is higher than at any other time I can remember.  The empty storefronts, and signs with the company name removed are definitely increasing, at least in some areas around town.  There seems to be a lot of illegal dumping too.  The slide is continuing.

 

In the face of continued shortages, buy what you can when you see it.   With the idea that it’s getting worse, not better, stack it high.

And keep your eyes open and brain engaged.   Things are getting stranger and more desperate every day.

n

Mon. Feb. 28, 2022 – early to bed and early to rise…

Cool, if not cold, with clear skies, maybe.    Yesterday started cold but turned into a very nice day.  I’m hoping for the same today.

Spent yesterday with other enthusiasts, learning more about our hobby.  About a baker’s dozen of us, no masks, decent sized room.   Felt very normal.  We do still have a couple of members limiting their contacts and avoiding crowds, but we’ve been meeting for around a year now without incident.  Mandates may be reinstated in Cali Lite (Austin) but they won’t fly down here.   People are making a personal choice every day and in every different situation, which is as it should be.

Didn’t get anything else substantial done this weekend.  Feeling a bit guilty about that, but such is life.

Will do some stuff today, hopefully some of it will be advancing my goals.  Short day though as it’s my afternoon with D2.   Given that we are once again under nuclear threat, something I thought was going to be limited to fanatics with improvised devices and limited reach, spending time on building “the good old days” is more important to me than ever.  Bloody hell, I was hoping we were past this sort of thing.  On the other hand, I did say this was one of the times of big change.  Can’t make omelettes without breaking eggs, amiright?

I’ve got empty buckets that need to be filled.  I better get busy on that.  And this is probably as good a time as any to rotate a few gas cans.

Keep stacking my friends.

n

Sun. Feb. 27, 2022 – Another class day

Cold again.  Maybe some rain.  Probably grey and overcast, but I’ll be inside anyway, just like yesterday.   3pm felt like 6 pm …

I was in class all day, then home.  Didn’t get much done other than that.  Sometimes it be that way.

Plan for today is the same.

Plan for Monday involves some grocery shopping.

Also loading up some bins for a local auction.  I’ve got a lot of that to do.

Meanwhile, the players continue their dance.   The ‘western’ allies voted to cut Russia off from SWIFT, but Russia’s been planning for that for some time.  We’ll see how that plays out.  Could turn out to be the end of SWIFT and the petrodollar.   Force people to come up with an alternative to your fully captured system, and when they do, you are a dead system walking.

It’s important to remember that none of the things we expect as “the way things are” are actually written in stone.   There was a time before the Fed.  There was a time before fractional reserve banking.   There was a time before NATO.   A time before just about anything you care to name, and there can and WILL be a time AFTER too.

Whatever is coming after, that’s what I intend to see, and get through, and get my kids through.

Stack the things.  All the things.

n

Sat. Feb. 26, 2022 – class all day

Cold and damp, chance of rain.  Friday was cold all day, and grey too.  Not a nice day to be driving all over the place but better than pouring down rain…

I did make my pickups though.  Among them, an inflatable stand up paddle board, and a “septic tank riser ring.”   No idea what the septic tank part is, but it was cheap, it was the first septic tank part I’ve ever seen in the auctions, and I just bought property with a septic tank.   Like the irrigation water pump, I figured that the way my life works, I should probably buy it when I see it.  So I did.   Got some double wall stove pipe too.  That makes 3 or 4  stove pipe pieces so far, cap, pipe, heat exchanger box, and something else too.  Again, my life works in a way that I felt like those things would be good to have.   There is an outbuilding that I’d love to have a woodstove in for heat…

Today my non-prepping hobby has a repair class.  I took it a couple of years ago, so this is a refresher, and a chance to get together with people.  Meatspace baby.

Did not get to the store today.  Did fill up the Ranger with gas.   $3.20/gal at Shell.   Not the cheapest store around, but wasn’t crazy expensive before this.   Most of the signs I passed were $3.10/gal.

Lots of people aware of the world situation.  Not many interested in going to Ukraine to fight .

 

The situation can change in a hurry.   Keep your head on a swivel, and keep stacking.

 

n

Thur. Feb. 24, 2022 – war, violence, pestilence, plague–all coming soon to a city near you!

Cold again, mid to high 30s Fahrenheit early then slightly warmer and plenty damp.   Yesterday started warmer but cooled all day long.

Spent most of the day doing pickups.  After taking the dog to the vet for vax that he needed to continue going to his training class.   Then I was feeling poorly so I laid down for a bit.   Phone didn’t stop ringing during that hour.  Didn’t ring before or after.  The b@stards know.  All in all, not super efficient use of time.

Picked up D1 and spent the late afternoon thrifting.  She needed some stuff for the theater, so we looked while I picked up a bunch of media, and some resale items.   B&W speakers, for example.  Even with the scuffs they should sell for $175-200 the pair.  They were in the bins at the Goodwill outlet.  There were several other “good score” items as well.  D1 was impressed.   We didn’t get her props.

Took the dog to his last ‘training’ class.   The woman teaching is incredible with the dogs.   They WANT to do what she tells them.  All the dogs made good progress, and their owners learned a bunch of stuff too.

Today I’ll be headed out to my client’s house.(assuming nothing bad happens to my back while I sleep)

My back finally ‘popped’ while stretching in a parking lot, and the worst of the pain abated when everything was properly aligned once again.  Took an extra day  because I didn’t want to use the pain reliever.  Lesson learned. On the plus side, the yoga roller and the inversion table worked to get me back on track without chiropractic visits.  One of my goals was to have the stuff and the knowledge to deal with the situation without recourse to pro help.  Now to get started on prophylaxis.

I like western civilization.  I know a lot of people that wouldn’t be around if not for our high level of civilization.   But.   It is under threat from within and without.  Make your plans for doing without.  Without rule of law.  Without enough food.  Without solid and dependable utilities.  Without civilization in fact.

Stack the stuff you can’t create or replace or do without.  Stack it high.

n

Wed. Feb. 23, 2022 – 02232022 – Still funny numbers

Warmer, damp.   Misty drizzle or real rain, maybe.   Got some mist yesterday, but no real rain.  Which was ok with me.  Hoping for same today.

Back was killing me, so hanging speakers from a ladder and crawling around in an attic was contraindicated for me yesterday.   We’ll see how it goes today after some pain meds at bedtime.

I did get some pickups done.  Lots of stuff for the BOL.

Will do another pickup today, and swing by the Habitat reStore.  Then if my back is solid, I’ll go out to my client’s place.   If not, it might have to wait another day.

This pattern of working one day, injured the next couple, is not going to let me do all the stuff I need to do at the BOL.  I need to get rehabilitated.  Not sure how that will happen, but I think I’ll start with Tai Chi and stretching.  As soon as this episode is over.

Physical condition, I’ve either been fooling myself, or there’s been a drastic change in the last year or two.  Either way, gotta fix it.

Can’t stack up health, so stack up health aids.  And labor aids, like rope, pulleys, hand trucks, wheelbarrows, carts, winches, and power tools.  You’ll be glad you did.

n

Tues. Feb. 22, 2022 – or TWOs-day, 2-22-22, I’m not the only one messing with dates!

Or 22-2-22…

Warmer, windy, possibility of rain here.   Didn’t get rain per se yesterday and the sun came out later.  84F at one point…  sure felt like spring.   We’re on the edge of rain and storms for the next three days according to the national forecast.  That usually means we don’t get rained on.

Spent yesterday at home, nursing my back.  Felt ok, right on the edge of bad for most of the day with occasionally solid pain.  Took some pain reliever before bed again.  Don’t want to lose control of this and end up hurting for a week.

Saw the Optometrist yesterday.  I’ve got a long and varied medical history with my eyes.   Not good things either.*  Most Drs are surprised I can see at all, let alone in the 20/20 to 20/40 range when they go through my medical history.  Since I was there with the kid, and she had an appointment open, I figured I’d just get checked.  And it was good.  Some of the really old stuff has healed to the point you can’t even tell.   She wrote a prescription if I want to get some actual glasses and correct the mild astig in one eye, but otherwise they’re close enough to each other, and the diopter is close enough to OTC cheaters, I can keep using inexpensive reading glasses.  That is great news as I’ve been stocking up on cheaters in the auctions.  I buy the ones Costco sells.  The metal rimmed glasses are pretty good quality.  I’ve got a decent stock for a couple of years anyway.

Today I’ll do a pickup or two, then head over to my client to finish up some notes.   That should fill the day.

Stacking money is good too, and I’m working on it.

Things are getting weirder, quicker.  I think the pebbles are starting to roll and pick up speed.  Stack it high and deep.

n

 

*traumatic flap cut in cornea- resulting in scarring and ‘bubbles’, arc flash damage from welding, massive arc flash damage from an electrical accident, chemical burns from laundry soap, laser burn from an industrial accident, LASIK before it was FDA approved, ulcer on cornea that wouldn’t heal for decades (now healed), PRK to correct astigmatism, deep corneal abrasion from poking my eye with my safety glasses (the one she’s most concerned about), infection from dirty contacts, sensitivity to flicker, and eye saccadic movement issues.  I am a firm believer in using safety glasses.

Mon. Feb. 21, 2022 – 02212022 – Presidents’ Day, or just another day to work

Cool-ish and plenty damp. Misty fog in the forecast.  Probably clearing later.  It’s how yesterday started, and ended.  With parts of Houston getting showers, I only got mist on the north side, and west side.

I spent the day doing stuff, and then the afternoon and evening moving heavy stuff around at my secondary and storage unit.  That made two days in a row with lifting and carrying and my back is killing me.

Kids are home today, so I’m home too.   I have plenty to do but very little interest in doing it.  I feel like I should be doing our normal hurricane prep– what with the things going on on the world stage, and closer to home.

I should feel a sense of urgency, but I can’t muster the energy.  Disaster fatigue?  Who knows.  Time is short though.

Go stack something.  Lots of somethings.

n