Mon. April 8, 2019 – down time

62F and wet. We got just under an inch of rain yesterday. The sudden high wind and T storms caused everyone to cancel events in the afternoon. It was a bit surprising because TX gets weather, and other than some wet ball fields, everything should have been fine.

I was thinking about ‘down time’ yesterday as my plans went awry, and I ended up doing light tasks all day, cleaning, bill paying, etc. My work history is ‘burst-y”. That is, work hard for a period, then recover. Go like crazy, then stop. The ‘down time’ was critical for being able to do the periods of heavy work.

I am pretty well adapted to that style of working, physically and mentally, after all these years. In fact, it seems like I will unconsciously ‘balance’ the work with inactivity, whether I think about it or not.

The problem is, there won’t be much ‘down time’ in any of the scenarios we prep for. People worked HARD. They worked constantly. There was always more to do. Even northern cultures found stuff to do during deep winter, be it embroidery, or carving, once the maintenance was done. Subsistence = deathmarch. It’s only with technology and widespread material wealth that we’ve gotten ‘free time’.

If either of those goes away, it will be ‘back to the grind’ for all of us who are left.


Posted in Random Stuff | 53 Comments

Sun. April 7, 2019 – weather looks ok

71F and 99%RH. Looks like some sun poking through.

Well then, plan for the day is yard and garden. I guess I need to figure out what I’m planting this year.

Carrots did well. Beets did well in the window boxes, maybe I’ll do a bed this time. Turnips and radishes showed some promise but I let the soil stay dry too long. I’ve got what I need to add irrigation to the window boxes this year. My dad had irrigation for his actual window boxes for flowers, I guess I can figure out some drip irrigation for my veg.

Zukes did really well in one bed, but crossed with the cukes and the result wasn’t good eating. I think I’ll just try zukes there this year.

And I’ll do some pepper plants in pots, like most years.

Maybe I’ll try a tomato or two, and just hope it doesn’t get too hot.

All subject to change and availability of course.

What’s going into you gardens?? Who’s going to try containers this year? AT LEAST get some herbs going…


Posted in gardening | 42 Comments

Sat. April 6, 2019 – so many people don’t know

Probably warm and damp, but I’m still in bed. Stiff and sore from the work I did at the Spring Festival. Kids had fun, which is the whole point.

Spent part of yesterday dropping off a truckload of stuff at the auction house. I’ve been going there for years to buy, now I have some stuff to sell. Since ebay sales are off, and I need to move stuff, I figured that this might be a good time to use a pro.

Anyway, long conversation with one of the people there. She’s not actually a prepper, but grew up country, and that means being ready for hard times, being frugal, keeping out of debt, and having preps.

I brought up Venezuela as an example of how quickly and smoothly it can fall apart. She had no idea Venezuela was failing. NO idea they’d had a multi-day power outage and people died as a result. She had heard absolutely nothing about it.

She’s not the only one.

She’s smart, conservative, and in the family business, and had no idea what was happening. Given that we’ve been watching it here, for the last 5? years, I’m gobsmacked. There are like minded individuals out there that haven’t got the same awareness.

Spread the word.


Posted in Random Stuff | 43 Comments

Fri. April 5, 2019 – one more week without a collapse

69F and 95%RH. I believe it.

We’ve got our school carnival tonight, so I hope the rain holds off.

Despite the threats we face, we still haven’t had a collapse. Venezuela did. And it’s an excellent cautionary tale. Food. A way to make water drinkable. MEDICAL SUPPLIES. Gold or other hard assets. Most important- traveling feet.

Famines, pestilence, and war cause huge migrations. THAT is the lesson from history. When things get sporty, people leave. “Go where the food is” isn’t just the punchline from a comedy routine, it’s a basic animal drive. EVERY prepping plan MUST consider both your own migration, and that of all those other folks.

My busy week had very little prepping in it, even with a good stretch of the imagination. I did get some yard and house stuff done, that is important on the neighborhood plane, and with the funeral I attended, I got some work in on the spiritual plane, but nothing on the prepping plane.

Today I’m taking a pickup load to auction. I guess that could count as it will be me cleaning up. And my adventures in meatspace continued. I’m missing several community meetings though, I didn’t realize how many of them were on Tuesday night. Get out of the house and meet some people.

Get some preps stacked. Learn a new skill.


(What did YOU do this week to get ready?)

Posted in Random Stuff | 51 Comments

Thur. April 4, 2019 – weird dream, small town

Weather station says 68F and 99%RH. Which it certainly could be.

I woke from a dream that was both mundane and very vivid. I was in a small town, showing someone where things were. I saw the main street clearly, with one and two story red brick buildings lining the street. I was telling someone that things were hidden in plain sight there, and then I noticed the plaque on one doorway – The Ancient and Royal Order of Culture Gatherers. Dream me thought it was a bar. Awake me thinks it’s time travelers or aliens. No hits on google verbatim.

Well, I’ve got a bunch of errands to run this AM and I’ve got to get ready to provide lighting for our “Spring Carnival” at school tomorrow night. The rain held off yesterday, but I think it might get us today.

For some reason, two movie quotes are running thru my head. I think I know where they’re from.

Marvin the paranoid android- “Life, bah. Overrated.”
Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty- “Only human.”

Both sneering.


Posted in Random Stuff | 60 Comments

Wed. April 3, 2019 – spent some time poking around

Cold and damp, forecast for rain. Yesterday was nice by afternoon, no jacket and sunny.

Since it was quiet yesterday, and I was chained to the desk with auction stuff, I spent some time looking around the blog stats.

It was Dec 14, 2017 when I admitted that Bob’s recovery would be long and hard, and volunteered to open every day, and post something. At that point I’d done 18 posts, most of them actual full blown ‘guest posts’. As of yesterday, I’ve done 464 posts, out of 2867 since Bob switched platforms. Of the comments, 2,887 out of 112,682 total are mine. OFD, and Mr Lynn have FAR MORE comments than me, as do some of you others. Which just goes to show that it is the community here, in the comments, that keeps this place interesting. (an aside- another forum where I was very active in the comments gives out “super commentor” badges when you get to 1000 comments. MANY of you would need multiples of that. 2x, 4x, or even 9x that….)

I looked at some of the other numbers too. For over a year the number of daily visitors has remained pretty steady at just over 300. The number of daily VISITS has declined from steadily around 3000 to steadily around 2000. I think that means you guys aren’t hitting refresh as often. I’m not at all certain of how wordpress counts those things, but it does look like they drop robots from those stats.

The number of comments on any one post has also remained steady, albeit lower than the average on Bob’s posts. A quick, and non-mathematical look shows between 30 and 50 comments per day is typical. Since we don’t enforce staying on topic, and threads don’t just ‘wander’ they sometimes ZOOM, it’s very hard to tell what will generate more comments. It does seem that technical content gets more comments, which makes sense.

For some reason, the /feed for The OFD Project page has 8000+ hits. If you are subscribed to that feed, it isn’t going to change for the next year or 10…. unless something drastic happens.

Google is surprisingly still the number one referrer, with ContraPositiveDiary and Barbara’s site coming in distant second place. I guess many of you are still starting your day elsewhere, then coming here? (by way of the home page, no less)

I’m grateful that you still come, no matter the reasons, or from where. I’m grateful for the opportunity to keep the place alive, and for the continuing camaraderie and (yes) friendship. I’m grateful for the help from Rick, and the ongoing support from you all.


** Added by Rick **

Here’s a visitors chart that might be interesting; click to embiggen:

Posted in Random Stuff | 40 Comments

Tues. April 2, 2019 – made it through without any japery

Hmmm weather station says 52F and 60%RH, but it said that when I went to bed. Heater running in the house says, “cold out”. [43F by the other thermometer]

Back to sober reflection and well considered actions today. No more tomfoolery. Glad we got that out of our systems.

Maintenance and repair are so much easier than they used to be. Not only do we have google to tell us WHAT to fix, and youtube to show us HOW to fix things, we can easily order parts online. The difference this makes is extraordinary. In the past, you had to go to a specialist retailer to get most of the parts you’d need. They would have to consult literal FEET of catalog and manuals to find the part number, then order it in for you. Appliance repair, mowers, cars, or something even more unusual like a ladder- all the parts are now available online. The best part is you can find the part number, and then compare prices with a click of a button, order the part, and have it come to you in your home, without leaving your seat.

Sunday and Monday I ordered parts for several projects that have been sitting here waiting to be fixed. If I’ve got the parts on hand, it’s much easier to find a short time and knock out a project.

Whatever the repair might be, or your experience and skill level, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s already broken! If the device isn’t critical or very expensive, give fixing it a shot. It’s very satisfying, and good practice for a world when ‘make do, make it last, or do without’ is the norm.


Posted in Random Stuff | 50 Comments

Mon. April 1, 2019 – fool me once shame on you

Weeellll, it’s cold. The weather station never synced with the display. I must have a battery in backwards, I do that a lot with the kirkland batteries. I was so careful though. Still, the heat is running in the house so it must be cold. [it just synced. While I typed the above. It’s 39F in my driveway, and 98%RH.]

I don’t work in an office, or go to school, or have much social contact with people, so I should escape the tomfoolery….

Quite enough fools in the world without encouraging more, in my curmudgeonly opinion.

State of the garden–

I harvested about a dozen sweet red peppers, with more on the plants. They did really well this year and are delicious-all pepper flavor and no heat.

Grape vines are leafing out well.

Pecan tree is leafing out, as is the peach. The crepe’ myrtles are just starting to leaf too.

The established Orange and Grapefruit trees seem to have come thru the last mild freeze without issues. The potted citrus looks ok too with the new lime fully in bloom. The apple trees are just starting to bud. One blueberry bush didn’t make it but the others are in various stages of leafing out. They are different varieties both for pollination and for staggered harvest times. I’ll replace the dead one when the bushes are in the store.

I had hoped to get the new soil on the beds and get something planted this weekend but of course that didn’t happen.

I also need to re-pot the trees I’m growing for ‘my retirement’. I like to do it at least once a year. They are all trees that grew as weeds in my garden. I figure ‘volunteers’ are hardy and worth saving, so I pot them and let them grow.

Who else is getting started on their garden? Who’s planted fruit trees?


Posted in Random Stuff | 57 Comments

Sun. Mar. 31, 2019 – cold and grey

Thermometer says 50F outside. House is 70F inside, which means it is chilly and windy outside. I switched the T-stat to “heat” so it should be nice in here soon.

I was tired, kids are tired, wife is tired, so I got to sleep in. Hooray.

Cleaning and unpacking, finishing the little things that didn’t make it into my abbreviated work week, and getting ready for next week should occupy my day.

Given all the high wind, I bet there are some limbs and even maybe trees down in the ‘hood and maybe the yard. I guess I better get busy.


Posted in Random Stuff | 25 Comments

Sat. Mar. 30, 2019 – travel day, lost post

The forecast rain finally arrived last night.

I had a post, typed out laboriously on this tablet, one finger at a time… and somehow it got lost.

So, I’m traveling all afternoon, didn’t get any preps done, and went to a funeral.

How about you?

Posted in Random Stuff | 21 Comments