Report from the OP, December 19, 2021

(I’m in the second day of a migraine, so if this gets a little “off”, there’s your explanation. As Mrs. Freeholder put it this morning, I’m not my “best self” today. But I want to get this up before I forget any more of the items I want to include.)

It appears that the latest version of the “New Normal”, which I believe is v87, is anything but normal. That’s one thing we all need to get through our heads – “normal” as defined by December 2019, will never return. Grieve and move on.

Obviously our big news is the OMGnicon variant of the Wuflu. Yes, it appears to transmit from person to person far easier than ever, however, at the last report I’ve seen, it’s killed one person. That’s it, one poor soul has been felled by OMGnicron. But it’s being used to gin up yet more fear and loathing of the unjabbed, because they’re why all those vaxxed people are getting the New Improved Wuflu. Just ask the Australian government about it, if they’re not too busy putting my fellow lepers into camps to answer the phone. If they don’t answer, try Austria. I’m sure they can tell you how well their house arrest of the unvaxxed is solving the problem with typical Teutonic efficiency. Or China-I hear they have it well in hand.

For me, this December isn’t only Christmas, but the Month of Doctor Visits. Everyone wants to get things in before the insurance year changes, even though, as a government retiree, mine changes at the end of June. I was concerned that I would be pushed about getting the jab, and I was going to try to be nice about it, followed by being an asshole if they continued. Interestingly enough, no one commented one bit about my status. I’ve talked to unjabbed friends who have had similar experiences lately. I wonder if the docs in the trenches are starting to doubt “The Science” as promulgated by Fauci the Fraud and the CDC (Centers for Disinformation Coordination)?

In an earlier report, I’ve mentioned that Mrs. Freeholder’s favorite auto, her Toyota Camry Hybrid, was experiencing some difficulties with the hybrid battery replacement-as in, the shop didn’t have the one they thought they had, and so rather than a remanufactured battery with a 5 year warranty, I was going to get a reconditioned one with a 2 year warranty. (The difference is that the remanufactured one has all new cells and internal parts while the reconditioned one only has the “bad” cells replaced and reuses all reusable internal parts.) Well, it turns out they shop had to delay their completion of the work twice. By the time they were done, it seems they had to replace nearly all the cells and quite a few other internal parts, and, wait for it…they had a difficult time finding enough new cells. I’m betting the guy lost his butt on this job because someone couldn’t get the right box in the right hole on the shelf. I feel for the guy if this is actually the case, but I’m at a loss of what, if anything, I should do about it.

I drove it home and Mrs. Freeholder has taken it out a couple of times. She declares it drives just as good as it did when we got it. However, since we didn’t get the remanufactured battery, we considering if we should sell it and take advantage of an over-heated used car market. I like the idea of having a high MPG vehicle, but I also like the idea of $profit$, and we could triple our money on this.

On the day this week that was doctor appointment/ pick up the Toyota day, we also took advantage of being out and in a town where the Walmart wasn’t built next to a public housing development. As always, I was looking at the shelves. In the health and beauty aisles, it was business as New Normal-occasional holes and a low depth of stock. Even though we had no reason to actually go into the toy aisles, they appeared to be pretty well stocked for this late in the season, which is remarkable because they were well stocked. I guess a lot of kids are going to get fewer presents this year. In sporting goods, there were 3 shotguns and not a round of ammo I could find.

The automotive area had bare shelves in the motor oil aisle. I guess that warning about shortages of motor oil was accurate. Glad I stocked up on my preferred synthetics several months back. There were tires and batteries on display, but the racks behind the counter looked thin. Everything else looked to be in good shape.

Clothing seemed to be in good shape as well, although I did notice a lack of winter jackets. We didn’t really go through that part, just passed by on the way to the grocery aisles.

This time, the aisles seemed to be well stocked, except for the seasonal items that often run short at the holidays. We did not find Mrs. Freeholder’s preferred brand of non-chlorine liquid bleach, but since foresight has a good stock in-house, that isn’t a crisis.

One of the latest “soon to be short” warnings is for pest control supplies. Better get on learning how to do it the old-fashioned way. And expect shortages of mouse and rat traps in the near future.

One thing these continued rolling shortages points out to me is the need to “shop like a Soviet”. If you need it, can get it and can afford it, buy it. Buy extras to trade. With inflation rising (now at 15% according to Shadowstats today, calculated using the 1980s methodology), you might consider making investments in tangible goods, from real estate and precious metals down to dried beans.

Taking my own advice, I’ve parted company with some funds to keep accumulating parts for my “huge” solar build. The latest was acquisition is an EPEver 40 amp MPPT charge controller. Rated at 540 watts input at 12 volts, that would allow me to use not only the two little Hazard Fraught solar kits I have, but my big folding panel as well. Finding the link for the solar kits, I see the price has dropped from $189 to $159 if you can find them in a store near you. Any electricity is better than none if the power goes out for more than a day.

Gas prices have dropped a few cents more, with $3/gallon the general going rate in the Bitty Burg. Some shopping and one of my gas station discounts got it for $2.93 for 87 octane. I expect it to go up next week as Christmas travel begins.

Son seems to be serious about ditching his apartment and getting his own piece of property, and I’ve been looking on his behalf. The market is the pits. Everything is either out of his price range, a POS or both. We keep getting solicitations to either sell or buy our house. Those just get tossed into the recycling.

Restaurants are doing a good business. I expect some of it is driven by the holidays, but it’s good to know they’re going to make it a while longer.

Moving to the Christmas holiday and the celebration thereof, it’s going to be a mixed bag, family-wise. As soon as brother-in-law and his wife, both extreme Covid Cowards, found out that I and my children are still among the unwashed, they quickly backed out of coming for Christmas Eve. I think that hurt Mrs. Freeholder’s feelings a bit. It may be uncharitable of me, but trust me BIL, I’m keeping a tally of this stuff. However, making lemonade from lemons, it leaves more BBQ shoulder for me. It will also make it easier on Daughter, who can celebrate with us on Christmas Eve and be free to celebrate with Son-In-Law’s family on Christmas Day.

We will also be celebrating Sunday with Old Friend and his family, who adopted us long ago. Some are jabbed, some aren’t and no one seems to give a hoot. Given the number of grandkids that will be present, it’s going to be noisy. We’ve been warned to bring earplugs.

We still have housecleaning to do before the weekend, there are some small inside projects to be tidied up, and presents to wrap. There may be two reasonable days where I can get outside and maybe get my radial field for my new ham antenna completed. Given the weatherguessers record lately, I’ll wait and see about that.

I think that’s it. As always, more when I have it to report. Out here.

1 thought on “Report from the OP, December 19, 2021

  1. Our monthly grocery shopping was notable in that maybe 90% of the shoppers wore masks. This was not the case last month, or previous. The store shelves were lacking several items ( no penne pasta, no creamy peanut butter, no beef kielbasa, very little canned cat cat food) and filled in with one of whatever they did have. Granted, it’s Christmas week, and the store was filled with shoppers, so restocking is hard to maintain. Frozen turkeys were 1.49/ lb, outrageous. Holiday price is usually around .50 /lb, but lately that’s only for Thanksgiving, and this year was higher. I’ve noticed the sausage section is being filled with chicken based sausage, turkey hot dogs, and plant-based meats. I think someone is trying to force this on us, or the beef prices are just too high to use for sausages. Ground beef is holding steady, 3.49 for 80%, 3.99 for 85%. Pork is still decent, chicken is a bit high but, again it’s steady – 1.29 for leg quarters. Used to be under a $1.
    I did buy extra, as usual. Never know what will gone next month.
    The cat food shortage mystifies me.

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