Archive | Advice

woo woo

I’ve been driving my truck and myself into the ground trying to complete enough census hours to get a decent sized paycheck. After the 1st couple of checks, I realized that if I would have to make a point of keeping the size of the check in front of my mind’s eye like a carrot on a string.  With that in mind I have been able to drive myself out of the house and on to the road for 4 hours and 8 hours at a stretch.  Not every day – but averaging about 25 hours a week.  That said, every two weeks i get a check that I can actualy deal with.  anything smaller than a few hundred is a wasted effort.   The check has to cover my time over two weeks, and allow myself to pay a decent sized bill or two.  So far nothing of substance has been paid, just lots of crap  – i replaced my 35 sunglasses only to watch them bounce out of the truck and get run over by the car behind me.  – . . . . but  i no longer owe money to anyone with a face.  The utility companies are next up in line…knock wood.   But the line behind them keeps growing, i try not think about it.  I have projects to finish before september.  The only things i am NOT doing this summer are cycling and rowing…and i am starting to look like the Goblin King guy in the Hobbit.  Unhappy, but not always broke- which probably will bite me in the end.

Long story short I fired the guy whom i had hired to work on revamping….. i have this thing…where i try my best to hire people to do things so i don’t have to learn how to do them myself.   That’s not saying i am trying to hire people i CAN’T do myself,  I am just trying to avoid dropping everything and learning hwo to do something new, and i have gone to some ridiculous lengths to avoid it.  I had been threatening to convert the website for months now…. and i got a guy to do it for an average price, but  needless to say, he wasn’t actually progressing,….i had paid him 3 installments- half the job….and then the  site went DOWN for nearly a  week and i freaked out.  i couldn’t beg him to work any faster – i don’t know if he was holding out for the rest of the money – others HAVE….First thing I did was block his emails and delete all his logins.  Considering I had paid him for basically nothing i didn’t feel the least bit bad.    But I finally had to drop everything and learn WOOCOMMERCE well enough to redo the website.    To be honest I found a guy on Fiverr that i have been hiring repeatedly to work me out of the tricky spots…and i have probably paid him about 10 times at $5 a pop…..WELL WORTH THE MONEY.    Having a backup source to pull me out of the soup makes it oh so much more relaxing to LEARN something new that practically my entire economy is based around.

WooCommerce is an EXTENSION for WordPress.





I’m going to try to explain it . . . but as with WordPress, it will take me some years before i really GET IT. With the right number of plugins WOOCOMMERCE can do nearly all the retail inventory/accounting and reportage that a simple seller like myself needs. The base Woocommerce plugin is free and a lot of the additional plugins are free . . . but the REALLY GOOD SHIT you have to buy. They are one time purchases usually 10-20 dollars and some of the more complicated ones in the 50-60 range. But using this A LA CARTE method, you can mix and match and only pick up the parts you need.  I bought a couple of cheap ones, and one of the pricier ones…and i have my eye on a few more…but i would need to have mega income from the site to justify making it overly complicated.  But I  just found one for $29 that lets you link multiple items together to form ONE item, i absolutely need that to sell my deluxer eraser selection and have the inventory come out right.

The product sections, not only keep track of inventory, but for stuff like the Meltonian where there is ONE product that comes in 40 different colors, i can add it as ONE item with variations instead of 40 different products.   nearly all the examples of WooCommerce website THEMES…which is like the SKIN… show T-shirts…ideally all this software is designed to sell T-SHIRTS, multiple items, variable sizes, colors and whatnot.    I am in basically using only a TINY portion of its potential.


What I am most excited about is that i only need one program to deal with things, previous to this, I used about 4…. unless i wanted to drop a wad on Quickbooks Online or any other proprietary application… THIS is using WordPress which I already have and love.   Right now a have to leave the site to ship the package via Paypal or USPS….but there are plugins to solve even that dilemma.  I just carry the tracking number over and paste it into the order.  The More I can get contained in the site the better, I am eliminating the chances of fucking up an order, losing it, selling stuff i don’t have anymore,  forgetting to ship a package, backorders that go nowhere.    And really I just had to get off my ass and learn it.  Granted I still keep reaching out for advise – but i don’t see that lasting forever.
I am definitely going to be adding a line of PAPER CRAFT KNIVES in fact i bought   but i may like with just roll it to sick press and put all the emphasis into the SEO – Search Engine Optimization.   Like the two knives i carry know, R Murphy and Co. in Ayer carries another 8 knife models with the squared off tip, a style of knife i think it ideal for paper work.  YET, they are alike enough to be classified as a group and marketed as such.   Right now i am playing with putting up the entire Ecommerce set up on a second sight…i think mostly to see how hard it is and how it works.

The BIGGEST PAIN IN THE ASS I am experiencing is the THEME… i LIKE the theme, but it doesn’t like my images.  it crops some and stretches others… i or rather WE have massaged it enough so that it’s all presentable…but it is NOT designed for BOOK COVERS at all.   I am not going to run out and replace it just yet…. I have my eye on a Pricey WooCommerce theme that is touted as being completely flexible.  And I need to check out all the other free options before i decided on that course.

I know i can hear you saying…how much are you spending on all these plugins…my answer …does it matter?   i haven’t improved the site in YEARS, the better it looks and fuctions the more money i SHOULD generate, and well the less I will screw up…  but pound for pound..not counting what i wasted hiring 2 other people who took my money and didn’t DO anything.. I think i paid about half so far of what i would have paid someone else….and best thing..I don’t need to HIRE someone every time i need something changed…I know how it works and where everything is located..and the more i work with it, the more i learn so i can use these skills to build more sites for other people.  At least that’s my theory.

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wherein i make fire

photo years back… can’t remember how long…i had my gas stove disconnected and i bought a counter top oven (think giant toaster oven) and a hotplate. I was done heating an entire metal box just to cook a small anything. i also didn’t like the idea of a continuously burning pilot light..not to mention i always owe the gas company my soul. Anyway things work out fine with my other methods of cooking food. the mic on top of the fridge pops popcorn and reheats things, and the counter top oven…a model i adore but they no longer make, i keep in good order because i can bake bread, cakes and whole chickens in it nicely. The one thing you CAN’T cook without an actual flame is a piece of steak. at least i can’t..i’d rather not ruin a nice piece of meat by frying it up, so during the few times of the year that i have the overwhelming urge to eat steak… it’s not often but i do live downwind of a steak house…i will usually get it to go.

In the summer there are other reasons to have access to fire…grilling vegetables is one, grilled anything else is another. – chicken, steak, corn on the cob, the odd piece of fish… so every couple of years I buy one of those tabletop – all of the assembly required – gas grills. And when they get too cruddy to overwinter on the porch, i throw them away and buy another the next year…i know that’s frivolous of me..but they aren’t built to last and oven cleaner costs $6.50 a can…so in my mind’s eye….it works out. When i started buying the little suckers they listed at $19 on sale for $15.99 or something…then they inched up to $24 on sale for $19…where they hovered conveniently for 10 years…these last couple of years they have practically disappeared from the shelves replaced with much more elaborate and costly models. when i do find them..such as the back corner of the Walmart they are now $24 no sale price. So last year i didn’t get one.

This year I did…i told you can’t be trusted with money….and i bought a few small pieces of steak…i wrapped them and tossed them in the freezer to be thawed when the urge gets too great. mostly I grill vidalia onions and corn inside its wrapper and so forth. Nothing better than grilled onion and peppers even without any sort of dead animal flesh to accompany it.

photo (1)i bought the damn thing 2 days ago when i WANTED the steaks…and the box sat until i had time to assemble the i have constructed at least TEN of these fucking things – perhaps more…and can generally do it without the instructions…but what i have noticed is that every year the are different..and every year they are slightly more complicated – not in the design but in the assembly…the handle is still the hand, but now the hand screws also hold up a bracket for the heat diffuser, whereas last time the heat thingy just balanced on something not so complicated. needless to say, i like to cut corners and always end up with extra pieces…hell this year they sent along the name plate and two screws and wingnuts to make sure i attach it.

onionsNow the changes aren’t radical, it still looks the same and does the same job, but certain holes and screws and brackets are moved, changed enlarged etc.. just enough to require full attention..not something you can do drunk, unless you aren’t very hungry.  I suppose the improvements all stem from complaints lodged against the previous models… i mean it IS a small steel box meant to contain FIRE, it is a reasonable assumption that it is HOT to the touch right? I am hoping they do not continue to get much more complicated – my patience for such self serve things, wears thin and my screw-to-washer-to-locknut-to-wingnut dexterity will not likely improve.  If a part rolls away there’s a very good chance I will just continue as best I can with the ones remaining.    I don’t think cleaning or maintaining it for a life long affair is worth the effort they are prime examples of designed obsolence…by next summer what itsn’t carbonized will be sporting rust and so forth.  Or perhaps I should just get the stove reconnected so i can house grill my Vidalias in peace….nah… the gas company can still get stuffed.

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at the end of my wrist

I was subbing at the middle school, and it was early in the day when an administrator went by and had me put away my iphone…which i did…no big deal..and i can see the goal is to lead by example..because 99% of the student devices are used for texting and accessing youtube videos.  In the middle grades it’s an abberation in the high school it’s the norm – jsut TRY to get them to put away their phones.   Regardless, if in another situtation, one where say texting or youtube videos were the verbotten behavior,  I would have given a bit of an argumemt….i nearly never watch videos on my phone.


In the last few years I have had the iphone I have worked really hard to make it a useful TOOL and not just a toy.   It is for that reason I still rationalize paying the $70 a month phone bill, which includes the 300mb dataplan, which i have from time to time raise to the 3Gb $99 a month level when i sub a lot and like to get my email during the day.  I really wish i had the funds to go the net level  at $150 a month I can use the kindle to access the iphone’s hotspot…but i digress.

This post is  about a few of the tools I have been using to excess lately.  Where if i were challenged again to put away my phone for philosophical reasons I would give great debate and have to school people about what your phone CAN do besides let you watch kittens and sloths cause humans to wee themselves.

photo (1)

For this post we will limit it to native apps, though there are a lot of lovely apps to access cloud memory. One of my favorite everyday apps is AwesomeNotes which has gotten much more maleable with every release. Ideally it works closest to my favorite desktop apps, similar to a stripped down Evernote, think of it as an assemblage of note collections – and the notes can hold images and check lists, dates, alarms, etc.. It will also sync these with evernote and google docs, and or mail the notes. The fact that it is a native app, contained in the phone, makes it quicker and easier to use than Evernote, since Evernote for a mobile device tries to sync before you can use it. Awesome note is quick and easy and i use it for all the stuff i just need to KNOW right away, Shopping lists, photos of something i need to find at the hardware store. a picture of a receipt or phone number. You can keep a journal or a diary with it, Sync with Google Calendar and make reminders etc. It’s a lovely invention, unfortunately doesn’t have an Android/Kindle version yet.

photo (3)

Lately I have been using the phone not just as a datacollection device which it is superlative at, but as for data retrieval. These four apps rely heavily on the bar code scanner though you can add stuff directly without using the bar code thank good.

photo (5)

Since I started stockpiling food, I started using the Home Food Storage app, which is ostensibly designed for people who take it MUCH  much more seriously than I do. I have no end of the world or survivalist goals. I’m just using it to augment my memory – which the older i get the more I need. It is quite flexible, though i am having a hard time figuring out how to delete something once i have created it. One of the features i insist on with an app like these is the export feature, what good is the data staying inside the phone? Home Foods Storage takes in inventory data and then generates lists and reports you can send yourself and print out. Especially if you want to keep minimums and make shopping lists or even just consume stuff before expiration dates.  I just can’t imagine having to remember all these things in my head.

photo (4)

Dvd Profiler is a newish addition to the phone..back in the day when i had thousands of DVDs I had a very intricate inventory control program online, but that website folded and my heart wasn’t in reentering all that data…but since then I have unloaded a couple of thousand dvds.  i think i am down to 1100 maybe and i do intend to go down to fewer but i am hoping by next year this time to have replaced my TV with a flatscreen blueray appropriate as well as a blueray player which means i have to start figuring which dvds to keep which to replace and which to unload etc.  So I poked around and found the most recommended is DVD Profiler and started adding my titles to it.  It also has a desktop app and cloud storage etc..and a lot of features i find worthless..who lends their dvds so often that they need to keep a record of it? the few times i have lent a dvd i never got them back so why bother?   I tried a couple of others before this one, the barcode scanner needs to collect the ExACT edition for the collection.  Some of the others don’t have the appropriate data access for this.  Editions in my collection are chosen very specifically, so i’d like to keep track of that.  photo (6)

I added IBookshelf the other day, with a specific intention though I haven’t used it yet.   One of my goals this summer is to cull the book collection  yet again..there are a few items in my high value cabinet that i feel i can unload comfortably.  The books are something that i review on a quite regular basis, it is after all my job..or one of them.  I always say that real book dealers die with worthless collections since we have sold off all the items of high value,  but i have a habit of aquiring books and reshelving them wherever they fit and every so often i like to have a shake down and put stuff back where it fits.  So, having a little database of some of the stuff I want to keep will prevent me from REBUYING books i already own…yep..been there done that.  It also will help me replace some of the items i have sold off accidentally on purpose…not often i have sold off books i went looking for later, but it happens.

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StockControl took me a while to find, I had actually downloaded and tried running another app and it was dismal.   This one is actually exciting.  It allows you to have different groups of products, using the barcode scanner go directly to the item.  It also allows one to add fields to the records since obviously i have books and non books, so the  books need a few extra fields.  I dream of one day using a sales app with a database aspect, such as something from Intuit or quickbooks online, but i don’t do enough point of sales away from the desktop to warrant it..yet.    I don’t have barcodes for all my non book products, and that would make it much quicker to do an inventory and check stock levels.  I am using a free online barcode creating app to make stickers of barcodes i can attach to the shelves.  A couple of clever features,  are  the ability to have mulitple locations..which will let me track stock at libraries and stores if THAT ever happens, and it attaches the vendor contact info to the items….love it.  The more portable the better, I say.

Most of the other apps I use regular make it easier to collect data, like the scanning and photographing, and the rest access the internet directly so it takes as little time as possible so as to keep the minutes to a mininum.   The Kindle HD Fire has been taking up the slack on a lot  of other activities… like the other devices  i found you have to WORK at finding uses for it, otherwise they just linger in your bag until you find yourself waiting for an oil change and decide to play some sudoku on an device.  More later.

what i should have known before i learned

So i woke up in at 4 am the other day  and started typing…i had this idea for another ‘book’ — i don’t know why i insist on putting book in quotes or calling them anything else.  But i’m a tech writer i LIKE writing instructions, and my brain thinks BOOKS should be something more than that. Whatever..i started typing an outline for a book of information i wish i had when i was 17/18.  Stuff that i had to learn along the way, and felt like a goof for not knowing.     it started off with stuff like Change a tire, balance a checkbook and has spun out of control into something a bit more.  right now a lot of chapters are blank,  i did have some material i could work into it.  But I am doing a lot of stream of consciousness typing to get it on the page.  I have a lot of researched practical information to work into my opinionated text.

Working retail bookselling for 15 years and then all my crappy oddjobs I got to see a lot of X gen, Y gen and millenials….They are hitting the market and still living in mom’s basement comfortably playing with their WII and W.O.W. , while having absolutely no intention of changing their lifestyle just because a calendar is telling them to grow up.  Fine.  So far the working title of my next book is called ‘How to Fake Being an Adult’  at least that’s the title it has right now.  When I get to the end It may have another but I’m partial to that one.

This section I wrote a few minutes ago – it’s just a draft.  But you get the idea of what i’m writing:

Drinking — Adults don’t like drunks, not tipsy, not I’m-gonna-be–sober-in-two-hours but flat out everything’s funny, including breaking things drunk. Drinking is fine,  for most people it is a pleasurable social exercise, but overdrinking is frowned upon.  

  • Adults view drunks as a problem. Adults don’t like problems.
  • Drunks can’t be controlled or predicted, they have surrendered their judgment.
  • They are hazardous and break things by accident.
  • They are potentially dangerous, not just driving.
  • Drunks can hurt themselves and not even realize it.
  • Someone has to elect to ‘parent’ them until they are back into a safe environment, hopefully their own home. 
  • Congratulations you have now ruined your evening and everyone elses.

 Find your limit, stay under it.  Hit it and stop.

If you and your friends are having a great evening IN, sitting on the floor drunkenly solving the problems of the world. Great. Take responsibility for your condition. Sit or sleep there until you are sober.  They won’t mind.  Hosts are responsible for the condition of the guests.  Overserving, can bite them in the ass too. 

My last two Digital Books are still selling nicely for absolutely free at Smashwords.  Between the two of them they have over 150 downloads. You would think that would translate into some reviews …but it doesn’t. Sooner or later I will mark them to .99 cents which should slow down the downloads considerably.  But I was hoping I would have a few reviews.


One of the things one does to make yourself feeling better, when one is utterly broke is round up all the things in your house that you have been meaning to send back and then actually sending them back. The Maxpedition pouch with the stitching coming undone, the case for the kindle that doesn’t fit, the USB to Micro connector that doesn’t do what it was supposed to do..they all went back, granted if i were flush i wouldn’t worry so much about spending $2 to ship a $6 item back, but right now that $4 is a big deal. Sales are still flat do not only will i be pawning dvds today…but i have a really have to contemplate selling my Mamiya 645…I love that camera but i don’t need it.

Another things I one does is start fixing all the little things that are in your to be fixed pile. Shelves that needed to put up, shades that need to be rewound, I even slapped a bit of glow in the dark paint on my Kindle On/Off button which is so indistinct that sometimes i have to turn the light on to find it.  Bad practical design even if it does look cool.

Times like this I am tickled pink with my new assembled ‘hardware store’ and repair box…when i put the shelves in the closet for spare food…i added the pegboard to the door and as I clean the house I hang up everything that is just hanging around waiting to be used. You know packages of things you buy and use ONE of and have the leftover in a blisterpack. The Industrial Strength Velcro hard to find in the real world had to be ordered off ebay, so i could hanging bulletin boards on a hollow wall at the animal clinic. Since then i have been lopping little snippets off when needed. Some of my favorite things are bungees, bulldog clips, zip ties, magnets, shower curtain hooks…love my shower curtain hooks, Gasket cement, gorilla tape. things to fix other things. Same deal in the tools box, seems most of the crap i own is just to support all the other apartment is one big junk drawer, taken individually things have purpose but lumped together without organization it’s scary.

Despite all my efforts to get rid of possessions, these little widgets and doohickeys escape the rule, technically it is NEW product, so it would wasteful to dump it. My decision was to keep gathering them together into clusters and jam it into a container. I worked through all the boxes of stuff for sale on the flood of the office…still have a few things to load onto ebay. But the way is clear to emptying the office cupboard, which will give me more space for more stockpile…i will of course need to make more money to feed the cupboard ..this week i didn’t even look at the sale money takes the fun out of it.

I have 4 essential things to pay this week…or today actually..Car insurance, phone, internet and the garage. Aside from that i need to buy cat litter, and eventually products to keep selling to people. But i am gambling on a few some booksales and i think i have an editing job coming in the mail with a check.  Yay.


subprime – just in time for the holidays

I don’t even know what a SNELLED BAIT HOLDER is, but i just bought a pack of twelve of them.

Goddamn bastards at Amazon who have been flogging their PRIME ACCOUNTS with the FREE SHIPPING for years now, yet now they have finally figured out that we are even stupider than they hoped.

All items under a certain price point have been reclassified as ADD ON ITEMS Translation NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRIME MEMBERS TO BUY…and i don’t mean you have to pay shipping, they just TAKE it out of your basket so you CAN’T BUY IT. Unless your basket exceeds $25 which is the SAME SHIPPING POLICY for NON PRIME MEMBERS.

I don’t know why I am so angry about Prime Membership was a birthday gift to myself last year, so it was going to expire in December anyway. I am actually pretty happy that I don’t have to BUY it again. I STILL believe in ordering things online to save money…i LOATHE big box stores, they never have what i want and i don’t like buying items JUST because I am already there. I KNOW i save money buy not going into stores unless i absolutely have to.

I am just pissed because I finally got a positive bank balance in my account and i forced me to part with $25 all at once instead of JUST the $5 for the 6″ x 9″ brochure holder. I have 1 holder with books down at the coffee shop and 1 at the antique shop and 1 extra, but the Local Farm stand/store agreed to take TWO with 20 copies of Memories of My Childhood…so i stole the one from the Antique shop….who actually SOLD 3 books last week so I needed another brochure stand to replace it.

My wishlist had the oxygen absorbers on it for nearly $20….i can’t imagine using up all 300 but i will have to make a stab. That left me .02 short of free shipping. I tried to find the online app that i used to use which shows you amazon database item in reverse order by shipping,   most of the Amazon filler Item Finders were all wonky and didn’t show me the .02 items i probably fucked them up as well with their new changes. While i was drifting i stumbled on the fish hooks for .89 and i stopped there.  They pushed me over the $25 and i will spend some time next year learning how to fish….i always like learning new things..but goddamit! i am still spending $25 when i need NOT to.

Amazon bastards.

so this happened. . .

 The weather’s changing…i’m starting to nest again…this is how my stress manifests…i am vacillating between depressed, where i do nothing and stressed where i try to do everything.

i was depressed the other day, so i watched nothing but extreme couponers which made me physically ill…who the fuck wants to own 1000 tubes of COLGATE toothpaste? Colgate it the one they give you when you are homeless or burned out of your house…show me 1000 tubes of Toms of Maine Baking Soda toothpaste and i will wrestle you to the death. These people are just the clean cousins of the Hoarders people. same illness different symptoms….

That of course, lead me to watching youtube videos about PREPPING…which is what they call it when you have the stockpiling symptom but your excuse is that you are waiting for something BAD to happen in your life where you will need it. Before Katrina we could laugh at these people…since then we have to always undercut it with ….”you know they may have a point.”

Needless to say being utterly broke, i don’t have the ability to indulge in either of these abundant stockpiling fantasies…i think struggle to keep the cupboard stocked with an empty bank account, led me to watching these videos, like a person on a diet watching Paula Deen.

Regardless – I started out the day with about 100 bucks in the bank, after shipping customer orders all morning, i went to Home Depot, Walmart and The supermarket and ended up with about $12 which i will have to hope propagates during the night because i still haven’t bought any gasoline.

With $25 I redid the closet into a hardware store/pantry (i had all the pegboard on the porch)….THIS WAS indeed ON MY TO DO LIST…it was just way down at the bottom. The reason I pushed or rather dragged it to the top: I WANT to spend the weekend listing stuff on ebay…yes I CAN CONNECT those two me…. and the stuff i need to list is all in sealed boxes stacked around my tiny office…meanwhile the closet was basically empty cept for some items piled into it. So I figured if i added shelves I could get MORE stuff into the closet and off the floor in the office…so i would have ROOM TO OPEN THE BOXES of stuff and sort the things i want to put up on ebay to make some money. TADA

SEE? told you i could rationalize spending $25 on wood for shelving. Money trickles into my accounts and then evaporates like spit on a griddle. We have a storm coming here in New England..and the last few years..any storm at all is a chance of losing power..strangely more often than i ever remembered. Personally i can go a couple of days with just the food in my cupboards….i can eat any sort of cereal for 72 hours no problem. But I usually only have a few days of cat food in house. One of my goals with the closet is to squirrel away some extra cans so i WOULD have 3 days extra on hand..there’s no such thing as EXTRA in my house, so this is gonna be tricky.

I spent my last $6 bucks on a chicken today…I’m gonna cook that first thing and perhaps make some potato salad or something..stuff i can eat cold if i lose power. At least that’s the plan.

BOBs your uncle

still here….keeping busy, money comes in and evaporates like spit on a griddle..meanwhile I am fussing around with cleaning house, rearranging things and taking inventory.  I don’t know if it is a panic attack disguised as something else…but i have been hanging around on those stockpile preparing for the end of the world forums…love the internet..there is a board for every mood.

Meanwhile I wrote something I had been meaning to:

BOB Mean Bug Out Bag for the paranoid among us…(and EDC means Every Day Carry – I feel better knowing more people carry more crap than I do.)

If you have to leave in a hurry you collect your BOB – your Bug Out Bag which should be everything you need to get you from point A to Point B ..that’s your BOL, Bug Out Location and keep you healthy, fed and safe for 72 hours.  By this logic your pets should have a BOB of their own…normal amount of Pets not MY amount of pets. you dig?

I looked around the net and didn’t like what i was finding so I came up with my own.

RECENT PHOTOGRAPHS – It helps if you are in the picture.
MEDICAL/VACCINATION RECORDS ON PAPER (Rabies tags on collars aren’t valid ‘documents’
DUPLICATE COLLAR/LEASH/HARNESS WITH TAGS: ID, Rabies, Microchip, including FLASH DRIVE with records.
SADDLE BAG – Personally if the pet is large enough to carry a saddle bag, i’d get one for much of its own gear.
PET CARRIER/CAGE large enough for your pet. Collapsible for medium and large dogs. Smallish and toy dogs should have HARD SIDED carriers, they feel less vulnerable in a crowded area. Even cages, should be covered to keep the animals calm in a crowd.
FOOD DISHES The sort that screw onto the cage/carrier make less mess. But SS dishes for Water/Wet & Dry
7 DAYS FOOD & WATER. I don’t know what pets think of the taste of the FIVE YEAR stored food but you should start with their REGULAR FOOD. They may turn their nose up at strange food and get irritable bowel. Three Days of food is NOT ENOUGH. What happens if you put down the food and they ignore it and then it gets ruined and you have to feed again..or you have to toss it and move to a new location? Extra won’t hurt. 
DOG TREATS/Chew sticks etc… You will need bribes and distractions.
HEARTWORM medication
FLEA/TICK MED 1 dose of Advantix or Frontline flea and tick
PUMPKIN 1 can (for irritable bowel – do YOU want to be the one with the dog with diarrhea? – yogurt works too.)

BROAD SPECTRUM ANTIBIOTIC – Clavamox, a combination of amoxicillin and clavulanic acid, used for infections caused by bacteria. Clavamox requires a prescription from your veterinarian, and is sold by the tablet. It is also available as oral drops. actually it comes as a powder you have to rehydrate and i am not sure of the expiration date window. i will check. 

IMHO in NON SHTF (Shit Hit the Fan which is shorthand for all the myriad of paranoid events that could possibly happen and before Katrina this was a not so much)  situations you want to stabilize and transport. If your pet is hurting they may injure YOU while you are trying to treat it and that benefits no one. So pack what you are comfortable doing,
Tape, Scissors, Bandages and topical antibiotics are the mainstays.
Cheap pair of Needle nose pliers – porcupines, thorns etc..
Dog Nail Clippers – small pair, can’t hurt.
If you think you do stitches and set limbs more power to you, even working as a vet tech, i won’t try that unless they are unconscious.

ROPE LINE AND ANCHOR – just because your dog comes when you call it, doesn’t mean other folks want him sniffing their pant leg.
MUZZLE of the right SIZE, the fabric velcro type, these are used for short instances when you want to treat your dog, or trim their nails etc..
Empty Collapsible Bladder for collecting water and using the purification tablets
RECENT PHOTOGRAPHS – It Helps if You are in the picture.
MEDICAL/VACCINATION RECORDS ON PAPER (Rabies tags on collars aren’t valid ‘documents’)
DUPLICATE COLLAR/HARNESS WITH TAGS: ID, Rabies, Microchip, including FLASH DRIVE with records. Your cat may not wear one normally but in THIS CASE HE CAN SUCK IT UP.
EXTENDABLE LEASH…i don’t advise ‘walking’ your cat. It becomes more of a drag…but if you have to take them out of the container, it is best that they are attached to you. If they take off and you let go of the handle, it whips behind them and they stop and stare at it, giving you the chance to grab it.

CAT CARRIER &/or CAGE – hard-sided carrier and the LARGEST collapsible cage you can get away with. Your cat is going to stay in it as much as possible along with the litter box, food dishes, and bedding. Medium sized collapsible dog crates work fine, but don’t forget blankets to cover it. CATS DON’T ENJOY TRAVEL or crowds, etc. Limit their field of view. I let mine hang out in theirs with the door bungeed open so they think of it as HOME and won’t dart out the 1st time the door is open. IF you actually bug out with your cat. TRY NEVER to open the cage/carrier outdoors, do it only in a room, or car with the doors & windows shut. Don’t trust cats, they have their own ideas about safety. It helps to have a CAVE made of a box or fabric cube for them to hide in while you change their food or litter.

FOOD DISHES The sort that screw onto the cage/carrier make less mess. But SS dishes for Water/Wet & Dry. Cats like dogs don’t HAVE to have wet food all the time, it may be less messy to switch to dry for the duration with wet as a treat.

7 DAYS FOOD & WATER. I don’t know what pets think of the taste of the FIVE YEAR stored food but you should start with their REGULAR FOOD. They may turn their nose up at strange food and get irritable bowel. Three Days of food is NOT ENOUGH. What happens if you put down the food and they ignore it and then it gets ruined and you have to feed again..or you have to toss it and move to a new location? Extra won’t hurt. 
CAT TREATS – Bribes to distract from stress.

FLEA/TICK MED 1 dose of Advantage flea and tick
HAIRBALL Treatment Tube


Tape, Scissors, Bandages and topical antibiotics.
Cheap pair of Needle nose pliers
Nail clippers.. even the Large human kind are cheap and you can get a good grip on them.

2 or 3 CAT’S PRIDE DISPOSABLE TRAY WITH LITTER. These have litter already in them, you just peel open the covering.
hint: nearly anything can be used as a litter pan as long as it fits in the cage…SS steam trays, aluminum casseroles, plastic food containers, or cut down cardboard boxes. And in a pinch you can use leaves, shredded newspaper and wood pellets. Real Clay or Scoopable litter is messy even when it’s clean, it gets into everything and spills in your car, so i wouldn’t transport half used containers unless it was really sealed tight.

CAT MUZZLE, the fabric velcro type it fits over their face and eyes,
Empty Collapsible Bladder for collecting water and using the purification tablets

FOLDING NET with Telescoping Handle – i bought this very cheaply from Walmart on a whim, unlike my big nets this collapses down to the size of a small tripod or umbrella. I have used it to get at animals under bushes and cars and it slides behind the seat in the truck.

Well that’s what i got so far.  Personally it’s been impossible for me to get that far ahead with stored pet food, i have too many rescued animals around here. But i have everything else and more meds since i use them often.   I am happier with MY list than the ready made kits i have seen on the net.

Nearly all the supplies can be stored inside the pet crates but once you are at your BOL you will need a ditty bag or box to store it all. Right Now I am using a Gatemouth Canvas Tool bag. which can be shoved inside the carrier when the pet isn’t using it.


fluoride in the water

as you can imagine from my lack of….anything…i’m seriously depressed…. i am even depressed at the thought that i will be getting worse. Winter is coming, i will have to turn on the heat, i have no extra money to pay for it, nevermind what i already owe the gas and electric.

I am stealing coins from couch cushions to pay for pet food and gas, which is about all i buy lately. homemade soup and cereal is most of my diet. i went seriously mad this week and have been sneaking redbulls on days i have to leave the house. I need them and headache pills just to stay alert. The backfire is that combining them with my stress and i don’t sleep long either.

That aside, i spent yesterday tromping the woods looking for a friend’s dog that has gone missing. Today I did rail trail work for an event tomorrow – I pulled off illegally dumped tires and trash and carted it all off to the dump.

I still need to clear the porch for the winter, and laundry is way over due. but it’s raining and I don’t want to haul shit around in the rain. It’s hard to get motivated when anything i do just makes things worse. I CAN sell at least 10 copies of the Dorgan history book and make 90 bucks,  but i need to find the money to buy them and get them here first. See how it all kinda sucks?

I did emergency evacuation training the other night for the Nuclear Power plant..i will eventually get a check for 65 bucks. I registered for another training course next weekend..UNPAID this time but like the last time i registered for it, I may have to cancel for lack of gas money, these are another way, i fool myself into thinking that i am keeping busy.

After tomorrows walking event, it should clear up enough for me to do the porch crap. Sunday we have a lot of trail maintenance on the docket. I expect my truck will be loaded for a Monday morning dump run – before i get up the Spay / Neuter clinic, they know i’m broke, so they have been tossing me gas money for the clinic. It is going to be painfully hard to work there from now on without the Vet’s dog.

I had set my mind on using the November Novel Writing Month as motivation to work on putting the CHEAPASS GUIDE TO PUBLISHING A BOOK down on paper. I still have a couple more chapters i’d like to test drive on the blog. And I will, i just need to imbibe a shit load of Caffeine to get it done. Caffeine should be added to the water like Fluoride.

all foamy

Today’s mail brought an ebay box of melamine foam..yes the stuff from which Mr Clean’s Magic erasers are made… wait let me explain….
To keep myself inspired to clean the up the joint, I hang out on a few places on the net like Unclutterer Discussion Forum or and most recently UnfuckYourHabitat tumblr blog which is an offshoot of the Iphone App. yes there’s an App for that. The way to use these places on the net, is to cruise them for about 30 minutes until you feel guilty enough to get up off your ass and go clean something. Anyway…the UFYH posters are all in awe of the Magic Eraser….i had tried it before but i really couldn’t rationalize the costs of the damn things 75 cents to a buck for a piece of foam that last about the length of the average tv commercial.

So I’m looking at all these before and after pictures of what magic it can do, so i buy one and i like it, but you know how cheap I am. I try the ones from the discount store and discovered they are the same…no i mean they are EXACTLY the same…and I did a little research…BASF owns the patent to make this shit, so they are ALL the same. Regardless of where they come from, even the foam that’s used for insulation is the same as these…i KNOW…a buck each? what are we HIGH? Mr. Clean really saw us coming… and is preying on our brand subconsciousness.

Now armed with this information…i tried ebay – the boot sale to the world. There are a lot of folks on ebay selling these little form bricks at fire sale rates. My box contained 50 extra thick for $ was so light when i brought in the box, I’m thinking …oh no, i must have gotten ripped off…so i count the bricks…50 bricks…exactly the same as the ones from US.

They seem to be sheets of this foam insulation cut by hand. What I’m NOW thinking is – what are these guys thinking they made out selling dirt cheap foam insulation to some idiot in the US, who’s willing to pay for $15 for it. Though to be fair half that price probably went towards the shipping, which can’t be all that free. So now I have paid 7 or 8 dollars for 50 of these things..can i do BETTER than that? probably if i can find someplace locally that vends this stuff AS Foam Insulation..then i have to buy it in a sheet probably for more than 8 bucks and then figure out how to cut it up. so who am I to begrudge this guys labors of cutting foam insulation into little legos and shipping them overseas.

Meanwhile since i needed to take a shower ANYWAY, I grab a couple of bricks and did the shower surround…yes it’s easier to do while you are taking a shower. There are not many things in life you can say that about.

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