Sat. July 24, 2021 – the pack will be reunited…

Hot and humid, but maybe no rain. Forecast says we’re dry today. We were dry yesterday although it did get stinking hot. 103F in the sun is hot.

Spent the morning keeping the puppy calm while the cleaners were here, and doing some auction stuff.

Spent the afternoon cutting stuff up and pulling it out of the stacks at my secondary location. I got another 3ft x 5ft x 4ft tall cubic volume opened up. Only about 10 like that left to go. I am using the sawzall to good effect though.

Today I’m headed back over to work on more of that. First thing though, my wife will be collecting the girls from camp. I think I better be home to greet them after being gone for 8 days. The whole pack will be together for the first time in over a week. Doggy will lose his little mind to have his girl back home.

Even with clearing out space, I think I’m still going to explore having my first pallet load auction at their warehouse. If I clear enough space for 6 pallets, and then fill it with pallets, that will stop me working further for a month while the auction process runs its course. If I get those pallets OUT of the way, then I can continue setting up the next six for the auctions after that. Then I should have enough space to get more stuff set up. I’ll lose time and money by doing it that way, but it will move the process along, and I’m already months behind.

While that is going on, hopefully I’ll have a bunch of stuff in another local auction too. Maybe several, although I’ve given up on my ‘industrial’ guy. The stuff I sent him last time made up the last few lots of the auction, wasn’t well described, and brought no money. It was very disappointing.

Other than adding some meat to the freezers and some other food to the shelves, it was a slow week for prepping. I did have one ebay sale this week, after a couple of months of no sales at all, and on an item I’ve been selling occasionally for a couple of years. I’ve got a few left, and it was a surprisingly good score for me. It’s only $10 profit on each sale, but I’ve sold a pallet load of them over the years.

All the usual admonitions and observations are in place, you know what you need to do….

nick

Fri. July 23, 2021 – week flew by…

Hot and humid, chance of rain. We only got a few spatters in the late afternoon yesterday, but it was certainly hot and humid.

I left the house late in the day to do my errands, but came back shortly. Puppy was a bit lethargic after his shots and I didn’t want to leave him alone too long. When I got home, he was out of the crate and bopping around so that was a relief.

Since I was home, and heavy trash/ green waste pickup is today, I took down some of the trees and branches along the back fence. In the 13 years we’ve been here, the small ornamental trees have gotten pretty big, and I’ve been thinning them out over time. I took one out, and one double trunk on another, plus a double trunk on a third. That opened up room for the remaining trees to grow more symmetrically and to impinge on the power and phone lines less.

Then I had to drag all that stuff out to the street. I was pretty well soaked in sweat, but since I had the electric chainsaw out, I cut down the orange and grapefruit trees too. They were not coming back, even as zombies. I’ll have to pull the stumps later.

Got that cleaned up, cleaned myself up and the my wife and I actually went out to dinner. We ended up on the patio of a neighborhood “brewhouse” place, the kind of place with 40 beers on tap and a limited menu of ‘bar food’. It’s modern versions of bar food, but basically tacos, burgers, and fries, with a couple of salads and apps. Had a nice burger and a mediocre beer. Non-alcohol beer so, yeah, mediocre. Several menu items were ‘out of stock’. There were people out and eating, but it wasn’t crowded by any stretch. Seemed completely normal, and not one mask.

That’s quite a contrast to the Goodwill Outlet, where the cashier asked me if I thought they’d close the city down again for the new covid. Houston raised the ‘covid threat level’ back to orange. I wasn’t aware they’d lowered it, the electronic billboards on the toll road still had ‘red’ messages playing. FWIW, I don’t think they CAN close the city down again. The commie Emergency Manager Judge can stomp her feet and ‘demand’ whatever, people aren’t going to do it.

That doesn’t mean that WE shouldn’t do some prudent planning and prepping though. Anything can happen and the more TPTB feel their grip slipping, the more they’ll double down and squeeze harder. The monkey wrench gang might come out to play, or ham fisted .gov might start messing with stuff. Or outside factors might take their turn, who knows? I know I’ll feel better with stacks of stuff.

So keep stacking, we’re only getting started….
nick

Thur. July 22, 2021 – vet appointment, then work

Sunny and hot, humid, followed by overcast and rain. Yesterday certainly did that, with the rain more of a deluge. We got over 2 inches in about half an hour. That caused a lot of localized flooding, but it quickly drained away. The national map has us in the T storm area for the next few days, so I’m going with a repeat of yesterday. Although, probably not as much rain.

Spent most of yesterday doing domestic bliss chores. Ran 3 loads of laundry, including some floor mats and towels. With the puppy learning where to do his business, I’ve got some extra soiled items…

He’s doing better, but still needs a lot of eyes-on supervision, which was lacking yesterday. So, more floor mats for the laundry.

Neighbor’s roofers finished just in time for the rain to stress test their work. I might or might not hear from him if there were issues. He’ll probably want evidence if there were, so I’ve got some more backup to do. Not that tough or time consuming, and I’m gonna watch something like that anyway. I try to take any opportunity to learn what I can from other people’s mistakes.

After all the rain, I did get one of my tasks done- I got to Costco. Dropped two visits worth of cash but got a bunch of meat. And very uncharacteristically, I got it all portioned out and vac sealed, and tucked away in cold sleep. I’m very glad to have the extra small chest freezer. If I had room I’d add another.

Today I’ve got a vet appointment for the little pooper. More shots I think. He’s grown quite a bit but he’s still a cutie. After the vet, I’m going to try to head over to my secondary and do some more clean out. It’s gotta happen, and the kids are away… which just leaves the dog to manage. Frankly the kids are easier…

I’m glad I was able to replace some food items I’d used up. I’m pretty sure I’ll be adding more.

Stack all the things.

nick

Wed. July 21, 2021 – 072121 – Wednesday already?

Possibly a little cooler, but likely to be sunny in the AM with heat and humidity to follow, with overcast and rain at some point. Pretty detailed for a guess. 🙂 Yesterday was a bit cooler, especially when the breeze blew, and mostly sunny here at the house. It was a bit more variable south of town, but I don’t think I drove through any rain at all.

Did my pickups. Chatting with one auctioneer, I asked if she’d had problems with sourcing. She said “yes, we’ve had trailers get stuck at warehouses, and no one to deliver them to us.” So there are still disruptions in the supply chain on the logistics side. That’s been going on since wuflu started. Since pretty much everything in the stores moves by truck at some point, not having enough trucks and drivers is a bad thing.

The supply chain has had time to stabilize. This is it, where we are now. I think we’ll be here for a while. Plan accordingly. Increase your stocking levels, and buy it when you see it. Be a bit more flexible with what you’re buying too. Think about alternatives, and alternative suppliers.

Speaking of which, I’ve got to hit the Costco today. If not, I’ve got to bring some TP from storage to home. I’d rather buy more. Running low on convenience meals too. And come to think of it, it’s been a while since I bought hamburger… I hope stocking levels are good at Costco.

I guess we’ll see 😉

Guys, think hard about what you couldn’t do without, wouldn’t like to do without, wouldn’t miss if it wasn’t available. Start working on those categories and building up where you are low. This is one of those things where it’s better to be too early, than too late.

And for Pete’s sake, stack it high!

nick

Tues. July 20, 2021 – “Next time, there’ll be no next time, you go to jail right now.”

Hot and humid, rain later, part sun. Heavy rain somewhere in Houston. Like yesterday.

Started out sunny and hot, later got rainy and cooled off a bit. Rained in patches all over town. I managed to find it in several places.

Did a pickup, and went by my secondary, but didn’t get anything done. Spent over an hour in traffic beyond what it should have been and that ate the free time. I was able to go by the place I buy propane and refill 5 bottles. It’s been a while. $10/ BBQ tank. I feel better with the stockpile refreshed. I’m reminded that I want to buy a propane conversion for my Honda 3000i. Forgot about that.

Took surface streets home from my secondary and was frankly shocked by the increase in homeless encampments… Every overpass had a few tents or improvised squats under it. Most corners had at least one beggar, and many had 2 or 3. More women too. It’s only been a couple of weeks since my last trip through the area and the change is dramatic. My route took me through areas that are predominantly lower income and subsidized housing, mostly for blacks. I can see the demographics shifting to hispanic though. Like so many places, all the illegals are displacing the blacks.

There is some good news in my neighborhood too. There is a bunch of new residential and commercial building going on. It’s right in areas that I predicted it would be in, but I once again didn’t buy property in the right place or time and I missed out.

Spent some time looking at my neighbor’s roofing contractor and how he works. It’s pretty low quality work, and there are a whole bunch of sketchy things going on. I definitely don’t want to be the one this guy or his crew blames if the owner ends up dissatisfied, but I also don’t want a bunch of cr@ppy work done right next door. It’s gonna depend on what the owner does now, and how he does it. For all I know, the crew is family and he’s on board with the cr@p work. Might need more cams.

I did get some of the sketchy behaviour on camera, and while reviewing that I saw that my lawn guys finally got here. I had just cut the grass hours before though. They did edge and blow and it does look better than before they were here. I guess I’ll be paying them, even though I did the bulk of the work. If I was here I might have waved them off, but I wasn’t and they did do work. Frustrating.

I felt better during the day than I had the day before, so whatever it was seems to be passing. I think I’d still like to see an ENT specialist to make sure nothing is wrong with my ears or sinuses. Either can lead to dizziness.

Puppy had a good day with no serious accidents and only one puddle on the tile floor after dinner. He’s been really good about getting to the door and getting our attention, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’m glad for the progress we’ve made.

The post title is from a funny little song by Louis Prima and Sam Butera, but the application is maddening. TPTB, when they’re not bragging about what cowards they are, are making examples of the Jan 6 protesters- to discourage the others. I think they are going to get some unintended consequences, at about 1200 fps if they keep this nonsense up. When you kill rule of law, and dance on it’s corpse, you shouldn’t be surprised when people act as if there is no law. They are creating the monster they most fear, and SHOULD fear. Equal treatment under the law is dead.

Things are NOT calming down. Take that under advisement.

And keep stacking.

nick

Mon. July 19, 2021 – do it for a good purpose, not just for the sake of doing it

Hot and humid. Rainy later. Just like yesterday. Yes, that is what yesterday was like. Sunny and hot, but then rain later. A downpour actually, in the late afternoon. There was about one inch of water in the buckets.

I had another day of low productivity. I felt better, but still had some lightheadedness so I wasn’t eager to work on hard stuff, plus it was hot as Hades outside. I did some cleanup before my wife got home, and I spent a couple of hours doing photos, measurements, and weight of stuff for ebay.

I also took the opportunity to concentrate on the puppy and help him succeed with his housebreaking… and had some good success. He is yipping when he wants to go out and pee. He gives a deeper bark when he wants out to poop. And I have started to figure out his timing. We didn’t have any accidents in the house today. First day! I caught him squatting after breakfast and shouted “no” and “outside” while throwing the door open, and out he went. Hooray! It helps that he’s very motivated by treats.

So that’s that. Little progress on some fronts, but good progress on another.

Today I’ll either continue with projects here at home, or get out and do some more work at my secondary. Maybe both. It will depend on how I feel. I don’t like being hostage to my body, I’m not used to letting it dictate to me, but I’m finding it more and more often of late. It’s trite, but I’m not in the shape I used to be in. I really need to spend the time and effort to try and get some of that back.

I think I also need to work a bit on getting rid of ‘monkey brain.’ I think that’s what one of my teachers called it. It’s when you jump from thing to thing, easily distracted. It keeps you from doing what you really need and want to do. Doing things because you can rather than should.

Gotta work on myself as well as the stacks.

Stackin’ won’t hurt though…

n

Sun. July 18, 2021 – “a [monkey] pox on your house”

Sunny, clear, hot and humid. Like yesterday. Despite predictions to the contrary. At least I hope so. Yesterday was a nice break from all the rain.

I need it to be dry enough to cut the lawn. I thought it was the week the service comes, because they weren’t here last week, but I guess not. Which means I need to do it. I like how it looks afterwards, and it’s not that hard, but it is one more thing in the day.

And I didn’t get much done yesterday. I felt weird all day. Kind of light headed, maybe just a notch below ‘dizzy’. Just didn’t think driving, climbing, or running power tools was a great idea.

So I spent some time with the puppy. We had several successful housebreaking lessons. Progress is being made, when the humans are on the ball.

I also sorted through some Goodwill stuff. Found a piece of gold jewelry in the bag of costume jewelry. Not a big piece, it’s a Kmart 25 years service pin. It’s probably worth more as a nostalgia piece than melt. It shows that people do miss actual gold and silver in the thrift stores.

I did a bit of laundry and dish washing too. Lots of domestic bliss, nothing with sharp edges, or potential for falling.

I am disappointed in myself for losing most of the day. Well, except for the time with the puppy. It’s hard to take any time when if feels like the hits just keep coming. I’m feeling far behind where I’d like to be, and don’t really know how to get there. I have a pathway, but there are a lot of forks and false starts. Still, I am FAR Far and away farther down that path than most people.

Which is good, because there is MONKEYPOX in Dallas. Not that it’s the end of the world, but plagues… war… famine… just sayin’.

So get to stacking while there is stuff to stack and places to stack it. We might need it sooner rather than later.

nick

Sat. July 17, 2021 – while the cat’s away, I’ll work I guess…

I purely suck at weather forecasting. Yesterday was nice all day and a bit cooler than I expected. There was a little bit of spotty rain in the late afternoon, but generally nice. I’m hoping for the same today.

Spent the morning running d2 back and forth to her day camp. Did some office stuff. Helped get ready for GS camp in the afternoon. Spent the evening watching a movie, Jumper, and it was pretty good. Just a well done movie with some pretty cool locations. Would have probably felt ripped off if I’d paid $18, but for a buck, it was an entertaining hour and a half. It’s been a long time since I sat down and watched a movie for adults.

Today after a slow start, I’m hoping to get some actual cleaning up done at my secondary location. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the puppy, can’t afford a week of day care, so I’ll probably bring him with and just mostly keep him in the crate. I’m not totally convinced about that yet. I’ve got plenty to do here if the weather cooperates.

Tested the replacement Dell curved monitor. Works great. Daughter 1 may be getting a new system with a big curved monitor… now I just have to call for a pickup on the return. Oh, and she found her phone. It was dead battery, under the couch. Technically her little sister found it. She was too enamored with the tragedy of losing it to look very hard. I hope that trait doesn’t get worse.

The canister vacuum I picked up cheap works well too, a Miele, the brand is famous for quality in Germany but mostly unknown here. My kitchen oven/microwave/convection combo is a Miele and it’s like a scientific instrument. I am keeping it, because my wife agreed that our next vacuum cleaner would be a canister, but selling it would make sense too. I make money by seeing what the other guy doesn’t see…

In any case, I’ll be cleaning and organizing something, somewhere today. So I have room for more stacking…

nick

Fri. July 16, 2021 – ‘alf way thro’ teh month

Just like the weather liars, I was wrong about yesterday. I’ll probably be wrong about today too 🙂 The beauty is no one will be docking my pay! It was nice in the morning so d2 got her outdoor camp time. By about 2:30 it was overcast and threatening. In typical Houston fashion, it was very wet in some places, and dry others. During my driving around (mostly north side) I could see the thunderstorm cells and I ended up going through my share of water on the way out and back. There was some pretty dramatic lightning too.

I’m hoping for similar weather today. Less rain would be nice though.

Did my pickups. It was very little stuff actually. I’ve been bidding on a lot less and trying to only fill gaps. Of course, when some Steiner binos come up, and they are crazy cheap, I might have to pick up another pair. I’m trying to always upgrade the basics. I’ve got Tasco binos, and even Sears, but I’ve been upgrading to Nikon pairs and even a Fujinon when I can. Good glass makes a huge difference. I have them stashed all over the place.

That is kind of a general principal too- get some thing as a prep. Then upgrade it when you can. At least you have the first item, if you need it. You can always keep it as a backup, or to pass to someone who has none of the item. There are a lot of things where this strategy is very effective.

It’s why I don’t vilify anyone for “panic buying”. It’s just buying, and once they have the thing, they can pause, draw a breath, and upgrade or buy something that is a better fit for them than the original purchase. In the mean time, they at least have the item. It also goes along with my “just get started” idea. Don’t sit there paralyzed by choice or by the fear of getting the wrong thing. Get something. Improve on it later.

The imperfect prep in your storage is infinitely better than the perfect prep still at the store.

—————————————————————-

Fedex delivered my replacement Dell monitor last night. I’ll get it out and tested later today. That was crazy fast for a bigcorp. The 10 year old signed for it.

Now I just have to get the resin printer sorted out.

Oh, and sell all the things. So that I can keep stacking.

nick

Thur. July 15, 2021 – time, ask me for anything but time…

I purely suck at weather forecasting, even when I’m just saying “today will probably be like yesterday.” Today will probably be like yesterday, which was not at all like I thought it would be. In fact yesterday was very nice, if horribly humid. It did rain later in the day, so I guess I wasn’t as wrong as I thought. Still. Today should be nice in the morning, then overcast and rainy later. I said it, now for it to be true…

Spent the morning yesterday driving all over and generally hurrying around. Got done what I hoped to do, so that was good. The afternoon was less productive. I did hear from Dell warranty support and they are shipping me a replacement monitor, with a FedEx tracking number and everything. That was SHOCKINGLY good service. It still has to actually get here, but all systems are go so far.

I don’t usually have recourse to warranty for most things, as I get them used or crazy cheap anyway, but I have done a few for work related things. Speco support and warranty service was very good (cams and NVRs). Kingston pc memory replaced sticks with almost no effort on my part. Ubiquiti replaced several wifi extenders that had lightning strikes nearby under warranty and the process was painless (after all the recovery attempts failed.) Another security cam company replaced a cam with a bad lens with just a phone call, and HP was very good with their business routers and advance replacement (at least 10 years ago). There are still companies supporting their products out there and I’m very glad they are.

Plan for today is pretty much just take care of the kids, and work on stuff around the house. Hope for a nice morning, and maybe no rain in the afternoon…

I’ve got a couple of auction things to chase, but they shouldn’t take long.

I spent some time last night looking at old posts here, and missing old friends. I also added category tags to the posts that came up in my searches. There was a lot of good stuff under the “weekly prepping” tag, that didn’t have any other categories.

Use the search widget at the top of the page, and the category keywords at the right side of the page to find stuff, even if it’s in the comments. Since so much of the good stuff is in the comments, it is worth reading through them if your search result isn’t what you thought it would be. I go back and add tags whenever I get good search results, but neither RBT nor I were consistent when applying the tags, and RBT rarely applied a tag when the subject was in the comments only, or after the day of the post. Tags are still a good starting place, and they get better as I add them to old stuff.

Funny thing is, a lot of the concerns from the old posts are still relevant, and some have come to pass. We’re all terrible at timing the markets, and our financial commentary might be just a bit off. But, in 2016 I mentioned “if” I was worried about a quarantine or martial law lockdown, I’d want xxx. Many of the concerns and prognostication about Trump’s election came to pass too, although it was 4 years later. Mostly, it’s very interesting to see how far we’ve come, how much things have changed while staying broadly the same, and how we’ve gotten used to the condition we find ourselves in. It’s also interesting how LONG it’s taken for stuff we thought was imminent to actual arrive. We apparently suck at timing EVERYTHING not just the financial markets.

However, if the last 6 years have taught me anything, it’s the prudence and advisability of having stuff stacked. I was wrong about the timing, but I wasn’t wrong about the need.

Keep stacking my friends.

nick