Report from the OP, July 2, 2022

I'm running out of pictures of observation posts, forward observers and the like. So, you're going to get pictures that at least have something to do with the post.

Here we are, celebrating (well, most of us are) the 246th birthday of our country. You can be forgiven for wondering how many more Independence Days we’ll be celebrating. Is the American Experiment over? Are we seeing the final days/months/years of America as a representative democracy and the birthing pains of America as empire? Are we seeing the end of the American Empire? Are we all getting wound up over something that is simply an inevitable part of a Fourth Turning or the Cycle of Empires or both or more than both?

I suspect that we Baby Boomers will never know the answer. Perhaps the Millennials will. Or maybe the cockroaches will figure it out in an epoch or so. But we can know what’s going on around us now, keeping our situational awareness up to date.

A trip to a nearby Walmart was interesting. I didn’t walk the entire store in deference to the ankle/knee. I did see these two signs of the times, however.

I was able to buy everything I set out to get-cat food, cat litter, some cleaning supplies and I even snuck in a couple of cans of Spam. “Wet” pet food, especially cat food, was a bit thin. I bought all they had in two flavors, not that it was a lot.

Something else I noticed in Walmart is that I didn’t see any “Price Rollback!” signs. Odd…

Son and I attended the Southeast Old Threshers Reunion on Thursday. Mostly, Son drove me around on Neighbor Across the Street’s golf cart. We’d stop at various places and see what the vendors had on offer, me trying not to break my ankle while walking the tables. Those muscles are weak, but only exercise is going to beef them up. I’ve been doing some medically unsanctioned work in that area. I do back off fast if any pain starts. I’ll hopefully get Doc Ortho to OK and prescribe a real exercise plan on the next visit.

While looking around, I did pick up a few items-a handful of sockets to continue filling the socket sorters, a real Yankee screwdriver in the remains of its original box, a set of inside calipers and a few other odd and ends. I’m not sure how I’m going to get all of the “junk” out of the house if I keep bringing more of it home. 🙂

Son has opined that we need to “do the Threshers” by golf cart every year from now on. The neuropathy in my feet agrees with him. I’m going to overrule them both. Keeping moving will extend your life.

Something interesting kept occurring while we were there. I’d say half or more of the people I talked to for any length of time brought up our current situation in some form or fashion. Inflation, the availability of various goods, *President Biden, war-one or more just bubbled up. It’s as if we were all each other’s unpaid shrink. People are worried.

Attendance was maybe a little lower than might have been expected, even being Day One and a weekday. Honestly that made my day easier, but it doesn’t do the Farmpark any good financially. It was easy to see that they are trying to cut what corners they can. For example, usually there would be a crew of young males directing parking. No young males in sight, same as last year. This leads to a certain amount of chaos in the parking lots. I bet it was a lot of fun parking today. Neighbor Across the Street said that it was a big day.

The folks that were there were spending money. However, not so many were walking around with purchases. Instead, they were availing themselves of the food and drink vendors. Son and I had fried baloney sandwiches. Boy, those were good. But I doubt that the quality of the food made the various tool and etc. vendors feel better, though. Many of them come from some distance (I talked with one from West Virginia, indulging in the usual where the family was from and so forth), and having a bad Reunion could be the difference between staying in business or not. At least West Virginia Guy sells on eBay. He had some interesting stuff.

I note that gas prices have ever so gently eased back up a bit. In the Bitty Burg things are hovering around $4.40 for regular. Diesel is about $1 more. You can find stations with “bargain” prices here and there.

A bit of somewhat unexpected rain yesterday bought us 3/10″ of lifegiving moisture. The yard greened up just a bit. I checked the soil this afternoon and it’s dry on the surface. We have the remnants of a tropical storm passing by our coast, but none of the rain is reaching us. Drought has returned.

Mrs. Freeholder and I needed to run some errands today. The local Lowes seems to be fairly well stocked, especially with seasonal goods. Cement in various varieties was also in good stock, while lumber wasn’t as good. Doors and windows were in abundance. Plenty of appliances on display, but if our latest experience in buying a refrigerator is any indication, those are all they have in the store and no, you can’t buy those.

The Food Lion grocery store seems to be well stocked, outside of baby formula. All the fizzy sodas were in good supply, as were convenience foods. Fresh vegetables were in good supply, although the squash was getting thin. Lots of snack foods on the shelves, and plenty of meat of all descriptions. Prices, as you might expect, were high. Er. Eggs at $4.39/dozen is the one that really shocked me. Things like eggs, hot dogs and beans used to be “cheap protein”, something that those who ate lower on the hog could always afford. Not so much these days. The poor are probably hurting now and will be hurting a lot worse if this keeps up.

A local restaurant of very long standing is closing at the end of July. Part of it is due to the owner’s steadily advancing age, and part is due to difficulty in hiring staff.

I’ve been watching SouthernPrepper1‘s “Boots on the Ground” series on Youtube just about every day. I call it my “Daily Dose of Doom”, which is my way of taking the edge of the wave of bad news it usually is. But it’s interesting to note what is short and where, prices, reports on the amount and nature of road traffic and so on. I’ve been able to get a couple of things that I hadn’t thought about stocking up on because it was on one of his videos. One thing I’ve noticed is that the shortages and prices vary wildly from place to place. Here in our part of North Carolina, we’re doing pretty good compared to some places, and for that, we give thanks.

Out here.

3 thoughts on “Report from the OP, July 2, 2022

  1. Out of curiosity, is this the Thresher’s Reunion in China Grove? I grew up near there, and I remember it pretty much shut that town down for the weekend. Of course, that was decades ago.

    1. I remember my Dad dragging my brother and I to it when we were kids. If I’d known then what I know now…

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