Mon. Oct. 11, 2021 – flying home, probably.

By on October 11th, 2021 in personal, Random Stuff, WuFlu

More great weather in the forecast for Orlando. Yesterday was all I hoped for. Today should be too. Hot in the sun, cool in the shade.

Ended the day yesterday at EPCOT, eating around the world. Then the fireworks/video/water show. Great show.

Today we will go back to HS and catch a couple of rides on fast passes they gave us for messing up our tickets. Then off to the airport and the joys of travel during covid. That is, if I can get our tickets fixed.

Stack up the good times to help get through the bad.

Nick

Sun. Oct. 10 – late night, early start

By on October 10th, 2021 in personal, WuFlu

Weather was fantastic Saturday and I’m hoping for more of the same today. Evening and nighttime couldn’t have been nicer.

We had a good day yesterday. The new and me to me attractions, and updates to old attractions, have all been good and policy changes have been ok to great.

The parks are in great condition. A lot of shiny new things, fresh paint, etc.

Today we start at the Magic Kingdom. I’m a bit tired and foot sore but determined to have fun.

The difference between the 10 yo and the 12yo is dramatic. I’m hating that I missed this with D1 two years ago because of China flu. It’s a small thing viewed against all the other losses, but I still hate it.

This is a nice break, but I still think worse is headed our way. Stack it up.

( including the good times and memories,)

N

Sat. Oct. 9, 2021 – tired and sore, but having fun

By on October 9th, 2021 in personal, WuFlu

Well the weather was as predicted, and will be today, most likely.

Still posting from my phone so not much desire for introspection or observation.

They do have a new security protocol at the parks. No bag check unless you trigger the metal detector, then you empty your pockets. Everyone passes through the detector. The detectors are state of the art. Open top. Two pillars. Indication by lights on the pillars where the detection is. And they are twice the width of regular detectors.

Much quicker, and the whole process is more friendly, for lack of a better word. Lots of security officers in the park too.

Today is Animal Kingdom and the avatar attraction, then hop to somewhere else TBD.

Interesting to see the changes, and watch the people.

Keep improving your position, and keep stacking.

Nick

Fri. Oct. 8, 2021 – made it…..

By on October 8th, 2021 in personal, WuFlu

Weather in central Florida is supposed to be low 90s today. It’s damp.

Finally got here, despite several ” adventures” which i could have done without. Wrong times, classic horror movie mistake of splitting the party, alternate flights, alternate cities, and driving were all involved.

No time to set up my laptop. I’m posting from my phone, so it’s gonna be short shrift today. Thin gruel. Bologna and white bread sandwiches…

More later, when I can see what I’m writing.

Talk among yourselves, and stack it high.

N

Thur. Oct. 7, 2021 – headlong rush…

Hot and humid, but less of both as we head into Fall. We don’t get a lot of Spring and Fall here in Houston, but what we do get is generally very nice.

It was very nice yesterday, bordering on HOT in the sun. Everywhere it wasn’t sunny was great weather though. I got a bunch of stuff sorted, and a coupe of bins dropped off at my auctioneer. Stopped by one of the other auctioneers to pick up my lots (med stuff), and he’s slammed with stuff. He won’t be taking any of my lots for a while as he deals with a massive influx of estate and storage cleanout items. The auctioneer who sold the Pokeman and men’s shoes (and a lot of other stuff) took the rest of the summer off, so I’m hoping she comes back to work soon and I can place some lots with her. I’ve got some watches and jewelry that are well suited to her buyers.

Today is going to be a lot of stuff crammed into a few hours. We fly out this afternoon, leaving for the airport from the kids’ schools. I haven’t packed, prepped the house, or done my normal stuff. That’s all probably down to not really wanting to go. It isn’t a long trip, the kids are aging out of a bunch of things and we’ll lose the ‘magical’ years soon so I don’t want to miss it, but I really don’t want to be away from home at all.

I’m not looking forward to any part of it, not the flight, nor the Parks, except seeing the kids’ eyes light up. And even that will be tempered by chinaflu, as the character meet and greets are cancelled, and when they do appear, no autographs are allowed (which made my younger one cry when she found out as she considers that the best part of the Parks.) Add my sense of dread and the look in peoples’ eyes as they seem desperate to get one last party, one last visit, one more whatever in. There is a lot of tension out there.

A few months ago, everywhere I went people would drop a sarcastic remark, kind of a ‘nudge and wink’ thing, a shared black humor… This last week has been very different. Everywhere I go people look more focused, more intense, and very much more ‘not joking’. No ‘I don’t know what’s going on but we’re in it together’ kinda vibe. Now it’s ‘I’m filling my cart.’ There’s a sort of selfishness and self-interested-ness coming out. I think people are ‘hunkering down’ mentally.

I will often drop a comment when shopping or out, just to see. I’ve been saying stuff like ‘I’m just getting my Christmas shopping started early’ and almost everyone that responds says something like “Me too, might not be stuff here for Christmas.” It’s also weird how many people are getting started on Halloween early this year. There have been celebrities in the tabloids going to parties, dressing up, and I see it in my neighborhood too. There seem to be more, and more elaborate, and earlier displays this year than any I can remember. (and I’m going to be LATE with mine since I’m gone this weekend.)

I better get busy. 2pm is going to come very quickly.

Get out and survey your area. See if you see what I’m seeing. Share with the group.

Do it while you are buying some more preps 🙂 and keep stacking.

nick

Wed. Oct. 6, 2021 – well that didn’t go as planned…

By on October 6th, 2021 in march to war, personal, Random Stuff, WuFlu

Supposed to be beautiful. Pretty nice yesterday, so more of that would be welcome. It’s getting down to the mid to upper 60s at night which lets the tomatoes set fruit. Which they are doing. And it’s getting into the 90s by late afternoon. As long as the rain holds off, I’m happy.

Yesterday was a series of unfortunate incidents.

D2’s orthodontist appointment wasn’t. Got there, the door was locked. Receptionist came out and told us we were 2 weeks early. Bummer.

Dropped kid at school, headed to Costco. No Charmin blue. Some red, limit one bulk pack. Plenty of Kirkland, some Scott. No purchase for me, I decided I really don’t like those and I’ve got blue stacked. I’m just out at the house after restocking the bathroom cabinets. I did get one more black bin, and several “weatherproof” bins. We’ll see about that claim. Didn’t buy anything perishable as I was out of time to meet the teacher and do my volunteer driving. They had spiral sliced ham in stock for the first time in ages. $2/lb.

Met the teacher, picked up the truck, drove to the place, and hit a parked car. Ripped off the front end. I caught the bumper with mine while making a right turn. Lots of time spent on that I didn’t expect to spend. Eventually got loaded up and delivered to school.

Headed to one of my delayed auction pickups. Missed them by 1 hour.

Dropped my shipping at the PO, hit the bins on my way home. Scored a great vacuum for resale, realized I’d left my wallet on my desk at some point while talking to insurance agents. Paid cash, dropped the items at my storage, headed home.

Neighbor’s Night Out was in full swing at the end of the street but by the time I got unloaded, refreshed, and headed that way, most of the couples with young kids were headed home and all the real food was gone. Ate bean dip and cake. Best part of the whole day.

I did have a chance to chat with the neighbor who hunts and has a freezer full of meat. I’m giving him some of the pecan tree we cut down, and I expect he’ll trade me some meat in return. That was good. And after 6 years I finally got a solid indication of his politics, which are conservative. I was pretty sure, but for some reason the younger neighbors are all really tight lipped about politics. That generation must have learned to keep their opinions to themselves like the Soviets.

All this is a long and probably not that interesting way of saying “Things are NOT normal for me.” My life usually coasts along. Things go my way. I find what I need when I need it. I flow around problems like water in a stream flows around rocks. And while I was able to cope with everything today, it was definitely not the way my life usually works. So when I read a headline like “China says WW3 can break out any minute” on a day like yesterday, I really really mean it when I say “I hope WW3 doesn’t break out while I’m in Florida.”

In fact, I’d like it to not break out at all, but war IS the usual path out of the situation the world and the US are in, and it looks more likely every day.

At the risk of repeating myself, figure out what you need, and get it. STACK IT. HIDE IT. Be ready to defend it. And if the bad thing doesn’t happen, we can rejoice later. Bad things have a way of happening though.

So at the risk of repeating myself*, stack it high.

n

* 😉

Tues. Oct. 5, 2021 – lots happening today

By on October 5th, 2021 in ebay, personal, WuFlu

Hot and slightly less humid, chance of rain, although yesterday was really awesome weather. A bit on the hot side in the 90s but nice in the shade. Clear blue sky with only occasional dark clouds. I’ve got a lot to do so I could use the same, maybe cooler, today.

I got some stuff done yesterday, although like usual, not all that I wanted to. I did get paint on the shelves with d2. We’re not done, but we’ve got primer on them. I’m think I’m going to regret using regular primer and not something specifically for plastic though. Paint is barely sticking.

Couldn’t find whatever is dead in my driveway. Didn’t find the third kitten today either, so I have my suspicion about WHAT is making the stink, just can’t find what it’s under.

After dropping the two ebay sales at the Post Office, I got two more sales and one lowball offer. Four items sold in one day. It’s like old times all of a sudden. Unfortunately the sale price is averaging $30-40 with about 50% markup. That might be WHY the items are selling, smalls do better than big items when times are tough. I’m going to test that by listing a pair of Martin Logan Motion SLM flat panel speakers. I should be able to get $400-500 for the pair. I still need to test them, they are ‘barn fresh’. I paid up for them, about $200, which I should be able to get back “AS-IS for parts” if there is an issue. If they do well, I’ve got some other expensive stuff to list, along with the staple smalls. The expensive stuff takes a lot longer to list as more testing is involved and there is more risk too. At least these speakers are light and small-ish.

I need to find what is selling and then pile on to that. Dump everything else locally, and concentrate on the easy money first.

I learned something new yesterday. D2 finally told me what she wants to be for Halloween, so we went by the Goodwill store on the way home from school to start looking for pieces to repurpose or use. While there I had a chat with one of the employees. She works at a variety of the stores, including the outlets. She doesn’t work directly for Goodwill, she works through an agency, which means she can shop there when she’s off the clock. So she does a bit of thrifting/reselling on the side. Had some good scores too. Anyway, she told me that stuff that piles up in the stores doesn’t go directly to the outlets when they clear it out. At least here in Houston, it goes to other stores that need stock. It could go to several stores before it ends up at the bins. Some stuff does go directly to the bins though. There is some airport lost property that goes directly to the outlet near the airport. And there is stuff that goes directly from the donate intake to the bins, when they get behind in processing it.

FWIW, the prices in the store were just under ebay prices. I asked her “Got a new store manager?” as my opening. She said yes, and I commented that I could tell by the increase in prices. That’s what kicked off our conversation. Prices go up when the new guy wants to capture more money after seeing all the resellers in the store. Then resellers stop buying. (They buy far more than an off the street customer does typically, especially in things like books, electronics, and small appliances that aren’t fast movers.) Stuff piles up. Stuff gets wholesaled out to the other stores or the outlet. Manager learns the lesson they all learn and lowers prices to MOVE the merch. There’s no shortage of stock for the Goodwill stores at the moment, so if they don’t move the merch they drown in an endless river of stuff.

I might have the same problem.

And that’s what I’m working on. Get rid of the sales stuff, buy more of the survival stuff.

Today is full. Orthodontist with D1 this morning, followed by the theater set pickup, then an auction pickup, and more auction dropoff, shipping dropoff, and all my normal stuff. Oh, and I need to get ready for WDW this weekend.

Stack it high (but be sure you’re stacking useful stuff, not just any old stuff.)

nick

Mon. Oct. 4, 2021 – nose to grindstone

Hot and humid. Rain later. Maybe. For some people. It got pretty hot yesterday despite being somewhat cloudy and overcast for part of the day. It was so humid I had sweat rolling down my back at 6pm in the shade, standing still and cleaning my shelves. Oh yeah it was humid.

Has some back issues in the morning so I took it easy. Then I decided to finish cutting the grass (battery died with about 10 x 10 ft left.) Did that. Wanted to get set up for craft time with daughter two and that triggered the rest of the day’s work.

Which I detailed yesterday in the comments. Mostly it was a cautionary tale about food storage and expired puffy cans. CHECK YOUR STACKS. Time and heat are the enemy. Stuff just isn’t lasting as long as it should. WELL past best by date, but still I expect more. I will probably do some more work on cleanup and replacing stuff on the shelves today, depending on weather.

The rest of the day I’m hoping to get to my storage unit to load some stuff up, and drop it off. And to get some stuff done on my daughter’s projects would be nice. Stuff is slipping.

I’ve got to fit in a Costco run too.

This week is short and busy, with the school theater pickup tomorrow, and going to WDW at the end of the week, and I’m hoping for the ransomware delayed auction pickups to actually happen too. Days are FULL.

And time is short. China is flexing on Taiwan. Bad things will happen to the US and world economy if China moves on them. Violence and division here at home are ramping up too. Keep your eyes open and your head on a swivel.

Check your preps. Fill your gaps. Fix what’s broken. And stack it high.

nick

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— Harold Combs — welfare check — haven’t heard from you since you talked about going walkabout….
Let us know how it’s going…..

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Sun. Oct. 3, 2021 – maybe today will be a busy day

Humid. Very humid. Slightly less hot than summer, but humid. I don’t think it got above 80F yesterday but it was so humid I was dripping sweat just standing in the garage.

I slept late. I actually got up early but my back hurt, and I’d been up way too late, so I thought I’d lie down for another hour. Two hours later, I got up again. Back pain is weird, it’s more spread out than normal, is closer to the skin in some way, and sharper. Usually it’s very much down in the bones, and the tissues close to them. Weird.

Fed the kids breakfast (hash browns fried in bacon fat) and spent the day doing things that needed doing, but not getting out or to my secondary to work there. I’ll try again today. The auction pickups that would normally get me out the door didn’t happen because the auction host company has been down for 2 days so far as victim of a ransomware attack. All of their auction customers nationwide are affected, and so are THEIR customers. Lots of disruption to what are usually small, local businesses.

Cut the grass, restocked the house, did some ebay and auction stuff. Poked at the computer and kibitzed about the changes here as our unsung hero Rick bangs on the machinery trying to bend it to his will. He’s had some successes. The goal is increased reliability, which is worth some disruption. Chasing the internal server 500 errors was getting to be a big frustration for him and all of the commentors alike. We will likely continue seeing tweaks and changes for a while. Be kind. Assume positive intent. Remember it’s an unpaid and unloved job that he’s doing, and it’s not one I’m competent to do, nor do I have any desire to do it. It would be nice to have some backup for Rick so if you have the skills or interest, leave a note.

It would be nice to have some backup for ME, so if you have a comment that is going to be long and self contained, consider emailing it to me for use as a guest post. No promises, guarantees, warranties, or predictions, at my sole discretion. If I don’t want to use it as a separate post, you can still post the comment… and if you have something to say or contribute but would rather not say it yourself, email me and I’ll use it like Bob did when one of the prepper couples would email him. I’d love an update from anyone Bob featured that way too. Email is my first name at aol dot com.

Comms, networks, information, all important, and all bear some additional thought. Might be that dial up BBSs come back in vogue. Takes more legally to mess with actual phone lines… but of course WROL that’s not much of a consideration. Might be worth looking at data over ham radio to mailing lists or BBSs… possibly some combination with the ip based linking and conference repeaters…hmm. Shortwave with a data stream embedded? Weather fax single sheets like the broadsheets of old? SSTV on ham freqs? Time, probably past time, to start thinking about long term and worst cases, at least as thought experiments. Alex Jones is certainly glad he has his show on shortwave radio, after being shut out of all other media. Just saying.

In the absence of orders, keep stacking.

nick

Sat. Oct. 2, 2021 – hoping for a busy day

Warm and wet. Possibly sunny. Probably not for the whole day. Friday we got rain on and off most of the day. Over an inch at my house, other parts of Houston got a whole lot more. The bayous were well up from their normal levels.

Did one pickup yesterday, mostly household items and some additional defensive gear. One well broken in pair of combat boots will be going into my truck with a heavy pair of socks. I often wear lightweight shoes or even sandals (granted that they are Teva brand and very sturdy and I’ve walked hundreds of miles in them over the years). However, if I had to walk a long way or over rough terrain, I’d prefer to do it in boots. Finally found a pair cheap enough, and sturdy enough, and slightly big, that I can just leave in the truck.

I unloaded and moved some stuff around at my secondary location. After my pickups today, I’ll be headed there to set up a couple more lots for my industrial auction.

Turns out, I’ve got less than a week before going out of town for a few days. Yup, making progress on my ebay and cleanup, so of course we’re going on vacation. WDW here I come. As much as it bugs me to keep interrupting my progress on other things, I do love the place and I love being there with the kids. Everything has a sort of “last run” feel to it right now too, so there is that consideration. Mom and one sibling will be joining us, and we’re staying in a resort I’ve never stayed at before. I’ll have a good time, but there are always tradeoffs.

It is interesting to see some other bloggers FINALLY getting it, and starting to seriously prep for bad times. Also a bit dumbfounding, as I’ve been doing it for so long now (even though I started fairly late) that it’s second nature and I thought the reasons were pretty self-evident. Well, better late than never, and there is still time. No one knows how much time, but using Venezuela as a model it could be another year or two. Or something could kick off tomorrow. If it did, it’s unlikely that things would be very bad for some time even then. Unless it’s something like 2008 only 3x as bad, or 9-11 only with a container nuke in a port city.

Even when China moves on Taiwan, I think it will have immediate negative impacts on us but we’ll dither… and there will be time for a ‘last run’ or two. We’ll probably even let them have it in a short sighted attempt to keep the chips flowing and the entire world economy from crashing. Then it will be up to China how fast they crack down, or start the extortion, and manage to kill the golden goose. And it WILL all crash down anyway, because China will be as heavy handed and brutal as always.

I’m not so worried about Russia in Ukraine, or Estonia, they don’t make the underpinnings of the entire world economy. Russia will move, we’ll let them, our oligarchs will maneuver to profit from it, and that will be that for us. It will suck for whoever the Russians move against, but it won’t make much difference to us. Taiwan on the other hand does make a difference. Since we’ve put chips into almost literally everything (my toaster brags that it is ‘microprocessor controlled’ on the front panel) we need to keep getting chips. No matter what China tries to do, there will be disruptions in the just in time flow of chips, and we’ve already seen some of the effects of disruptions in the chain… When NOBODY can get the chips they need, it WILL fall apart.

And that will be very ugly.

These are the Crazy Years. We celebrate madness, literal madness, when we celebrate the mental illness of trans people. We revel in debauchery that would have made the Romans blush as part of our public ‘culture’. We become more partisan, more divided as a people with every passing day. Our ‘leaders’ have become our rulers and the power relationship enshrined in our founding- that THEY work for US, that THEY are our SERVANTS- has been inverted. The barbarians aren’t at the gates anymore, they’re being bused and flown to cities well inside the empire. The gates have been flung open, and the flooding continues.

Most of us just want to be left alone to live our lives as we see fit, with as little contact with, and interference from our government as possible. I don’t think that is going to happen. They can’t let it happen, because as long as someone could point to us and say “well they’re doing ok without you” the whole lie falls apart. We must be brought into the fold, we must be forced to repent, and we must be punished for our sins.

Keeping our heads down and our profiles low might work. For some people, maybe most people, there will be an accommodation arrived at. But for some, it’s going to be violent, and destructive. People have argued that all we do when we bomb foreigners is create more people that hate us, and create the next generation of terrorists. WTF do those same people think will happen here to the children of THEIR political prisoners, or the people who will be killed by the state when this kicks off? What happened to the people who remember Waco, Ruby Ridge, Ashli Babbitt, LaVoy Finicum, and others killed by the state already?

Bad things. Bad times. Coming like a freight train. I keep asking for a reality check, asking if anyone sees a way to avoid it, and I keep getting no answer. It’s coming. People are gearing up in every sense of the word, and in every conceivable way. You can feel it. You can see it in their actions.

Stack it now, or wish you had later.

nick