Report from the OP, February 12, 2022

(Behind in my reading? I’m behind in everything at this point. I started this on February 10 and you’re just now seeing it.)

I hope you’ve been watching the festivities in Ottawa, elsewhere in Canada and at our norther border. Obviously the mainstream media isn’t going to offer complete or truthful coverage, but if you are a Telegram user, you can find good stuff at TruckersForFreedom. They’re being pretty tough on us in the US for not being as involved as they are in the action, and with justification-our efforts appear, from my perspective, to be a hot mess. I’ve already been part of the schism in in NC Freedom Convoy group, which seems to have been driven by what some in the group thought of as controlfreakism. The schism didn’t help and now both groups are afflicted with controlfreakism. I was taken to task for the use of some words that , o-o-o-h, might get the attention of the Feds. Guys, I think we already have their attention. I’m not about to go all self-censoring now-better to be damned for a wolf as a sheep. I’ve signed off both, and I’ll figure out a different way to help out.

A couple of things to consider about the truckers’ actions. The first is that if they are blockading cities, they aren’t running, and therefore goods aren’t being transported. If you haven’t stocked up yet, get on that. Second, while many people support them now, let the grocery store shelves get empty and they’ll turn against them in a New York Minute. If they’re smart, they will allow food to get through.

Looking at things locally, gas prices have spiked up 25¢ in the last week and so gas is now $3.36 at most stations anywhere in the AO. It seems crude oil inventories have dropped as has the inventory of finished products. I’m really happy that we kept the Toyota Camry Hybrid. It feels like you’re using a lot of gas in it, but that’s because it has this little 17 gallon fuel tank. Range on a tank is about 600-650 miles, depending on your driving. It beats anything else we own by 10+ MPG. Son is already complaining about what he’s spending on premium gas to feed that 6.4l Hemi of his. I told him he cannot have it back.

Grocery stores are really getting to be less than fun to visit. Milk was 79¢/half gallon a few weeks ago. This time it was $1.79. Eggs are nearly doubled in that same period. Meat prices seem to be holding for now. One thing that the sparse shelves don’t show you is the lack of shoppers. There were not very many, and these pictures were taken on a Friday. Most shelves looked like the eggs-something there, but not a lot. Also note that they aren’t even trying to hide the holes now.

We are being hectored by Internet realtors to sell our house. Normally, I’d say if someone wants to pay me the inflated price they seem to think we’d get, I’d be packing tomorrow. But in this market, someone probably would pay that price and possibly more. But we’d be left trying to find a similar property, and we’d fail. There are simply not many “nice” houses in “nice” neighborhoods for sale right now. Of course, if Mrs. Freeholder would consider moving up in back of beyond, I think I could make it work. It seems that, despite the news stories about city folks buying up second homes in “rural areas”, their definition or rural in this state is Asheville or Boone, and houses in truly rural areas are going for what is effectively bargain basement prices.

Speaking of homes, I found one more RV that appears to be lived in full time. I also happened by the pop-up camper I noted as being lived in back in early December. It appears that the cold weather has ran whoever it was out. Oddly enough, it’s like they just walked away from the camper. It’s obviously falling down now, so I don’t think I happened by while they were are work or something. Just another weird thing, I suppose.

I took a trip today to help Mountain Man catch up on some of the backlog in his business. He’s been afflicted with health issues stemming from some foot surgery last summer. While he’s improving, it’s being slow, and therefore his work of repairing commercial two-way radios is behind. From what I understand from him, the problem is too many radios to repair. That’s being driven by a lack of new radios to buy, so old radios and ones that had been pretty much junked by their owners are being sent for repair instead of being replaced. Spare parts supplies are holding up for now, but he feels that’s because these are old parts that had been gathering dust as companies bought new radios instead of repairing old ones.

I found myself in need of a Raspberry Pi 4B+ for a project. Yeah, good luck with that, unless you want to pay 3-5x original retail, which was $55. New PCs are also getting harder and harder to find if they have reasonably decent specs. There are still plenty of low end ones for reasonable prices. I don’t look for that to be the case for long.

Business at restaurants seems to be down on the whole. I expect our Valentine’s dinner out in one of the nearby metros won’t have that problem, but no restaurant can live on one big night every couple of months. I’ve already seen a couple, that were opened as we were coming out of the Time of Wuflu, that are now closed. I expect to see more close as well. However, we are getting a Dunkin’ Doughnuts here in the Bitty Burg. We’re just hummin’ along, I suppose.

It’s late, and I’m running out of steam. Out here.

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