Monday, April 30, 2012

California, or all about me drinking too much

I don't drink much, if any over a given year. A few glasses of wine or a beer, but when you were a pro at one point, you can be a pro at any time you want.
The trip to Napa was great, lots of time with our friends at a few vineyards but our favorite was Kitchak Cellars. The owners are friends of our friends so we spent 6 hours there tasting and having a picnic at the lake on their property and having a super relaxing time. The wines were amazing, you can tell the care and love that goes into each batch when you have a small vineyard that doesn't sell to the general public. The 4 of us split 2 cases, waiting for them to show up so we can tap into a few bottles with some Mayan cocoa brownies I will make.
I drank a lot, but it was all good, none of this mass produced stuff and never enough to knock me out the next day. I got a lot of sun running around the city trying to find a running trail. I was shocked they didn't have a dirt path around the area, the running on concrete didn't go over well with my body but at least I got out a few times. The people drive way too fast so I was constantly trying to avoid getting hit and trying to take in the scenery. There is a great comfort to running around my own home on the trails,  feeling I can't get anywhere else.

It's good to be home and sober, back to the comfortable routine, and not having to worry about something happening when I'm several states away. I had some boxes at home with some goodies I added to the preps and had to add a lot to the inventory sheet. While I was on the plane and at the pool last week I read Ashfall and Lucifers Hammer, always fun to read prepping type books when you are away from home. If you haven't read either of those books, they are awesome. Ashfall isn't as well known and it's supposed to be for young adult readers, but it's a great read for old people like me. The sequel called Ashen Winter is due to be out in October.
The plane hit a bunch of turbulence right when I got to the part in Lucifers Hammer where the plane goes down... seriously, not good timing.

I almost got my garden done but decided to hold off for a couple of weeks, I'm worried about watering when I am out of town later this month. While I trust my neighbor friend to watch the house and dogs, I don't trust them to water correctly for a growing garden. I did get the yard done and got all the bare spots filled in. I'll try to make it to my usual blogs and say hello when I can, work is of course taking most of my work time up like usual.

Friday, April 20, 2012

California dreaming

Seriously, I had a dream about green rolling hills full of grape vineyards. I'm hoping to relax a lot next week, but this week isn't over yet.

Finished up the firearms inventory with my friend last night. 127 was the total count, about 40 of them have never been fired or unwrapped. There were about 20 collector editions, including some stuff from his Dad that was still brand new from the 1970's. I got to assemble the .50's, what a dream rifle for no other purpose than to just say it's cool. The bolt action was heavy, the semi auto was stupid weight, but once all rigged up on the table for a photo it was awesome to see. I think he has at least $60k in firearms, but there are some that need to be appraised and that number could possibly double.

I had a lot of fun doing the inventory, learning some history and sharing old stories with a friend. It's not everyday you can hold dual Colt day of the dead 38 super pistols in your hand like you are in a movie. Well I really didn't hold them, just fondled the plastic so we could take pictures.. but the thought crossed my mind!

Now I can get back to running. I told him I'll help move the ammo when I'm back from California. Don't want to hurt my back before I leave, he has a serious amount of ammo and those .50 rounds aren't light.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

No more bottled water!

The dogs got a big bowl of water, the comment on the morning coffee (yuck) was that it was ultra smooth. This was a purchase I did a ton of research on, debating on brands, styles, filter types, etc. for about a month. There is a wealth of information out there, but not all of it good and not all of it accurate but I read it all.
After priming the filters and assembling it I had to tighten the spigot after I saw a small drip forming, otherwise it was painless and easy to figure out. I went with 2 filters instead of all 4, just to see how it would do. It took about an hour to get a good amount of water filtered, it's one drip at a time (or 2 drips in my case with 2 filters). I wasn't expecting it to be fast, I just have to remember to put in the amount I take out and it will be fine. No more bottled water and I'm hoping that using this water to cook with will help the flavor of the food stand out. This is the Royal model, 23 inches tall assembled.

I spent a few hours yesterday helping a friend inventory his gun collection and pack everything u for the new place. We spent 2 hours and only got one and a half safes done. 35 guns later I had to leave but we will continue today. A lot of the rifles have never been shot and a few of the pistols as well. He has some old stuff from WW2 and knows the history of each so the inventory went slower than planned as we talked about them. I wont say I have gun envy, but the collection is very impressive and we haven't even got the .50's out yet. My favorite so far was a prison gun, .22 with a drum that sits on top of the chamber (horizontal), I can't remember the make but it was a weapon for suppression if there ever was one.

A lot to do this morning and tomorrow before I head out to wine country for a few days of relaxing and sea level running.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Taxes paid, project wine finished.

I'm so glad to have all of those boxes out of the kitchen and off the table. I ended up helping with it all, things go quicker this way and lead to more time. We visited the in-laws and some friends this weekend and a few bottles of the wine was consumed and a few bottles got poured out. People who collect wine for a long time seem to just be wasting money. You never know if it's going to be bad when you open it, you can only hope. The bottles that were bad were all worth over $100 each according to online auction sites for wine. Pass. We have 180 bottles left.

My taxes were exactly what I thought they would be, but the paperwork is just a pain. The Health Savings Account form is super confusing and it takes me the longest out of anything to get done. I only have to pay in about $1800 and I won't mail that in until tomorrow. I think I've paid in about the same for the past 5 or 6 years, it's better than getting a refund when you overpay all year. The Government is going broke and I think refund checks won't be available eventually, or the money you get will be (more) worthless.

I managed to put another 191 pounds of food into long term storage buckets. I even woke up really early on Sunday and opened a bucket of sugar that I had put an O2 absorber in on accident. Everything I have read said it turns the sugar hard and you don't need it, so I snatched it out and resealed. I then hit Costco and got some more canned chicken and salmon and a few other things I can't remember right now. Costco is great as long as you know the prices at other grocery stores, I was able to get 88/12 ground beef for $3 a pound instead of $5+. Shopping in bulk can add up fast if you don't pay attention and just buy on impulse.

The gun safe is finally secured to the floor and this was a 5 hour project. Normally a concrete pad is 4 inches, so we had everything we needed and drilled. When dirt started to come out of the hole we knew something was wrong. Our pad is only 2.5 inches thick, hooray for old houses jacking everything up I plan. A trip to Home Depot for shorter concrete bolts got it all finished, it just seemed to take forever when only one person can work in such a small area. The bad news is I have so much ammo I don't have the room for it in the safe. I'm going to take up my friend on the free safe he offered. It might not be as secure, but it will work great for keeping ammo temp and moisture controlled in something other than cans and buckets.

Next week it's off to CA for a few days in Napa Valley. I need some mental R&R, the guilt free kind where you don't wake up at 2:30 to see if the dogs want to go out. The kind where you can sleep in and not worry about things not being done that you had planned. Etc. I'm sure I will have a few drinks and enjoy some wine tasting, something I haven't done in a long time. The friends we are taking said they want to get me drunk, but that will not happen, it's a total waste to drink so much you can't enjoy it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Welcome to my kitchen

I started to get some more mylar bags into buckets last night. It was raining heavy outside (cheers!) so I wasn't going to run in a monsoon. I got the stuff on the counter and had one bucket set ready to be filled when the front door opens and I'm greeted with, "uh, I have a car full of stuff that we need to bring inside." Like an obedient and helpful dog I hauled the stuff in: lots of boxes full of booze.
Not just booze, but wine as well. Someone we know is moving and they don't want so much in the wine cellar, we are the lucky recipients. That's awesome if you drink, but it's not too bad to have in storage either I can't remember the last time I even had a glass of wine, I prefer my calories in solid form and if I'm going to take in crap then I want chocolate cake instead.
All of those boxes on the counter are wine, the box on the far floor is wine, the box in the lower is all booze. There are also 4 other boxes of wine that are on the dining room table. It's about 250 bottles of wine and 30 bottles of booze. Some of it is good, some of it is worth a few hundred a bottle, and some of it we already dumped out just by looking at the cork.
This booze festival isn't my project, I made it perfectly clear that I will help when asked but otherwise "I love you, you are on your own".

We now have the safe after a few days wait, and perhaps getting another. The same donor of the wine is consolidating from 7 safes down to 4 and offered us one for free. It's a nice safe but I'm not sure if it will fit, I'm honestly not trying to cram as much stuff into the smallest area possible. It just feels like that lately.
I'm hoping to have my kitchen back tonight so I can make some bread. I also have 8 buckets needing to be done for long term storage, hoping to have that done tomorrow. I'm not screwing around, I feel very anxious about making sure my food is well over the amount needed for a few years. Especially as I expand my circle of prepper friends who are not as ready, I have the feeling the burden will be on me.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Finally organizing again

Long post.

There never seems to be enough room, so either I stop getting supplies or I make some other kind of change. I opted for the later and I began Friday night on a total reorganization of all of my food and water preps. I needed to make room for my new gun safe that was supposed to be delivered yesterday, but the store forgot they would be closed on Easter.
Forgot you are closed? Sigh. Not only did they forget they were closed but after standing there for 40 minutes being ignored and having other customers walk up and get helped I had a chat with the store manager. I told him I might look poor but I was there to spend $800 on a safe and after being ignored I wasn't sure I wanted to do business with them anymore. He took care of everything and gave us 5% off for the hassle. But even he told me we could pick it up Sunday. Attention to detail.

I removed a cabinet, cleaned and organized, moved all of the water. Assembled a rack and moved a bunch of #10 cans, moved the old rack they had been on and put dog food on it. Moved, shuffled, re stacked, etc. About 20 hours over the weekend went into getting all of this done, only a few hours left of minor things but the end result is going to be nice. I also hit up Walmart for some cheap sheets to keep everything covered from dust and people, I don't want a plumber to spend 5 minutes fixing something I can't and see everything I have.

After a nice Easter dinner with the Mormons, it was time to get some stuff into mylar. I don't do this too often, so I had some stuff backlogged that had to get sealed up. I use really large bags so I'm able to open and reseal them as needed, if needed.
I found myself short on some flour, sugar and elbow noodles so I will pick up enough this afternoon to finish 3 more buckets. I didn't want to use a whole bucket, absorber, bag, etc. on 1/2 a bucket. This was the end result, before the O2 absorbers sucked the bags in:
150 lbs. of food including rice, pinto beans and elbow noodles. This morning the bags were all sucked in, but one still needs a little more time before I put the lid on. I didn't keep track on the cost of all the food, but I think it was around $50, the elbow noodles being the most expensive since they don't sell them at Costco. You can see the covered rack next to the buckets, makes a clean look I think. I have some carpet someone gave me that I am going to cut up so it's a little more comfortable and home-like, although it's leopard print and should get some chuckles when I'm done. I will finish the buckets up, including buying a few more buckets: 35 pounds of flour, 35 pounds of sugar, 60 pounds of spaghetti noodles, 23 pounds of elbow noodles (just can't get 25 in). I will get pictures of the new safe and such when it's all set later this week.

I'm also buying a water filtration system, leaning toward a Berkey since the filters last a long time. Katadyn systems needs new filters every 6 months from what I can figure out. I have a gift card I can use on the Katadyn so it makes it a little harder to not buy it. I can get 6 filter swaps before I actually have to pay a difference vs. the Berkey. Tough decision, but one I'll make this week. I'm in fast track mode on some things, I feel really anxious about it all and I don't know why.

Can't wait to run tonight, that's going awesome and I'm having fun while doing it, again.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Get busy everyone!

I sometimes wonder where the survival instinct is, do I just enjoy being lazy once in a while? I enjoy relaxing but I still get all the chores done so I suppose it's not really being lazy. I took 6 days off from running and whatever issue I was having with my left quad has been resolved but of course I felt like king sloth.
iPhone lens is jacked up, it's not your eyes.
With cooler temps I had no excuse and really need to get busy on the trails once again. I only put in about 140 miles last month, this month I'm shooting for 160 hoping my body will adjust correctly. I have a few 15 mile runs planned and next weekend I'm running Pikes Peak if the weather holds up until then. I want to start pushing the 200 mile a month goal in June, I just have to find a few easier routes so I'm not doing super intense mountains each night. I hope everyone is working on fitness on some level, if you can't get home with your get home bag you might as well not even have one.

I'm heading to Denver today for a few hours, wishing we could have corporate level meetings closer and without food. I don't know how people eat so much, a meeting from 1:00 to 2:30 shouldn't include lunch, they should just have the damn meeting and save 30 minutes. Everyone seems to think more people will come if they have food and I suppose that's true for the average person, people can't stop eating. 90% of the people at this meeting will be obese and they will all ask me about running and if my knee's hurt....

Someone from work got a company car stolen this morning. They wanted to warm it up and were only inside the house for 2 minutes. I feel sorry that they have to deal with the shit storm that is likely to come, but I have to deal with it as well since I have a company car. Can't manage to the individual, you have to manage to everyone so one person won't feel singled out. Lame.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The dead neighbors.

After making hundreds of pet tags and having my heart broke seeing all kinds of pets needing a home, I packed up and headed back home. The adoptions fair was a success, 37 animals found new homes, including 5 from the organization we got Rock from. I'm making them 50 dog tags today so they have the new phone number on a tag, and don't have to pay for this.
I have a soft spot for dogs, I would have adopted another dog or two but practicality got the better of me. We had 3 dogs once (real dogs, not handbag accessories) and that was a lot of work, more than I would want to do again unless there wasn't any other choice.

On the way home I took one of several different routes only to find my way blocked with crime scene tape across the road. That's never a good thing, and it's really not a good thing close to home. The house is a rental and the couple living in it packed up to move, had a yard sale... murder suicide. They were in the mid 60's (and from all reports they were a quiet couple, they kept to themselves... really.) and I'm hoping to find out more information as to what might have happened. I wonder if they had anyplace to go, jobs, etc. since nobody should feel that alone. My deputy neighbor said they were found in the bed with a pistol between them, one of those calm crime scenes. I didn't know the couple, I don't make it a habit to say hello to many people, especially renters since they don't hang out long.

My neighbor is not a prepper, I saw him yesterday and asked him if he was worried about an EMP and if he was a prepper. He said China and Iran is working on the technology to hit us with long range rockets, and that he has never watched that TV show (assuming he meant doomsday preppers). He said people who think like that are nuts, hoarding food and waiting for the world to end. So much for that, and I'm sure it wasn't him trying to be careful. I've seen his whole house and there isn't anything in it for preps besides his daily work stuff. I told him they should buy baking stuff in bulk like we do, makes it much easier than going to the store each week for flour and sugar. They haven't seen my preps so I'm not worried about it, ignorance is bliss.

I got my chainsaw running but it's dripping way too much bar and chain oil, not sure what's going on with it. We decided to go ahead and pick up a new one anyhow, an 18 inch bar this time. It's nice, smooth, has all kinds of safety features on it to help prevent me getting hurt. It's a chainsaw, sigh.

85 yesterday, 45 today. Can't wait to run.