Report from the OP, July 23, 2022

Once again, it’s been a while since I posted anything, violating Rule #1 of Blogging, which is “Post something every day.” Somehow, I doubt that any of you are interested that I mowed the grass Thursday or sprayed weeds and such today. I may be a crappy writer, but I’m not a deliberately crappy writer.

We’re getting some much-needed rain just now. It’s a pop-up thunderstorm, meaning a good bit of it will run off the hardened ground. We need a two-day soaker, but that isn’t anywhere in the forecast. Dog Days came in hot and stormy, so I figure we’re stuck depending on thunderstorms for rain. I hope it does the local fields some good. I’ll see when I can walk out and see the corn field behind us.

The news on my pickup truck was good and bad. The good news is that it’s been checked out and the problem determined. The bad news is that it’s been looked at and the problem determined. The good news is that the oil leak was from both valve cover gaskets leaking at the back. The bad news is that the remainder of the leak is the rear main seal, which is leaking into the bell housing of the transmission. The good news is that the oil didn’t get into the transmission, so it should be fine, or as fine as a 21-year-old transmission with over 160k miles is going to be. The bad news is that I’m going to be dropping $1000 or so on the repairs. The good news is that I got my first Socialist Insecurity check this month. The bad news is that this repair is going to eat up the vast majority of it. The good news is that all the needed parts were in stock, so no supply chain issues. The bad news is that the shop is insanely busy, and the work is being done on a time available basis, so it may be a while before it comes home. The good news is that I haven’t bought the ceramic plates or the spare fridge. The bad news is that I did buy the NAS device and the drives for it. The good news is that even if I had bought all of the above, I could still afford to get the truck fixed. On that point, there is no corresponding bad news.

And at the price, it still isn’t two payments on a new pickup, which I don’t want anyway. Old trucks for the win.

I’m still considering the ceramic plates and looking at refrigerators. No firm decision on either yet.

Yep. Totally out.

I’ve been out and about, and gas prices are still slowly subsiding. I can find 87 octane for as low as $3.90, but the going price overall is about $3.95. Diesel is $5.20-5.30. Still not down to what it was when we had a fairly-elected president, and I have to wonder if we’ll see those prices anytime in the next 2 years. In researching the subject, it seems that our biggest issue is refinery capacity. We need to get all the nimbys together and machinegun them so we can get a few more refineries built. (Ditto nuclear-powered electricity generation plants.) Yes, my patience with green stupidity is totally gone. I like my lights, my AC and all those sorts of modern conveniences. If they want to sweat in mud huts and eat a plant-based diet, they can feel free. I’ll wave as I drive by in my old non-electric pickup, burning buck-fifty gas and spewing global warming exhaust gases, on my way to the steak house. Heavily armed, of course.

The rain is over, the temperature is down 16o, and we got 0.44″ of rain. I’ll take it. Of course, I’ll be mowing about Tuesday.

While out and about, I noticed a significant increase in the number of cars and large trucks sitting on the side of the road. Our Highway Patrol is quite efficient at slapping towing stickers (“Move this miserable POS by mm/dd/yyyy or it’s getting towed.”), and since none of them had stickers, I have to assume they had all crapped out in the previous few hours. Only one car had a tow truck present and none of the big rigs had a service vehicle in sight. SouthernPrepper1 has been reporting that this is increasing around the country. I also noted that every one of these vehicles was of recent vintage, rather than old clunker types.

In my AO, we’ve been pretty fortunate, as most of the worst things in SP1’s “Boots on the Ground” series have not been widely evident. I suppose that is changing.

A tale of the supply chain: The backup battery for our alarm system picked now to go bad. Luckily, it’s a common type, and amazingly Amazon had the exact same brand and model as this one in stock. The old one lasted 6 years, so I figured we’d try another. Ordered it. Delivery in two days, on Friday. The next day, I got an email. “Sorry, but your shipment is delayed. Delivery is now two weeks.” The following day it was “Your order will be delivered Sunday.” We got it today, which is Saturday. So were they a day late or a day early?

The blazing hot sales of houses seems to be slowing down. Even “starter homes” are starting to sit on the market a few days longer. I’m guessing interest rates are starting to destroy some of the demand. However, I doubt that we’ll be seeing prices decline all that much. There is still too much demand from better-financed buyers.

We haven’t needed to go to the grocery or other stores, but that’s on tap for the coming week. I expect to have a breath-taking experience, as it’s been about two weeks and I’m sure prices are still going up.

A bridge on one of the two ways out of our area has been closed since the first week of June for replacement. I checked Friday, and so far they haven’t gotten to the point of removing the old bridge. The new one is scheduled to be in by sometime in September. I don’t recall if DOT gave us a year on that, though. It’s going to be entertaining when the nearby middle and high schools re-open for fall. A lot of their traffic comes across that bridge.

I need to get up and get back to work. There is furniture to refurbish. Out here.

3 thoughts on “Report from the OP, July 23, 2022

  1. Grocery shopping last week for us. Prices the same, higher than a year ago. But the shelves were mostly full, lots of stock boys on the floor and lots of people in the store. Still a bit thin on flour and sugar and rice. Those are now about .60 to .65 per pound, used to be .50 per lb. My shopping cart was barely full, not piled high, and it was still over $200. Only meat we bought was 3 lbs of burger, 2 kielbasa, hot dogs, and brats. Butter is still at 3.49, up a buck from last year. Eggs are 3.69/doz, up $2 from pre-Biden days.
    Sorry to hear of the truck troubles. At least the parts are available.
    Housing prices here are still outrageously high. A new house we’ve watched going up, on 2 acres, listed last week for $980K. It’s already sold. Small houses in the city on tiny lots are going for over $300K. Local rural houses are averaging over $400K.
    I’m glad I don’t have to move.

  2. Edit. The new house is still listed, for those with deep pockets. That price is not unusual for some of the local towns. And it’s no mansion; about 2800 to 3000 sq ft, with a garage. 2 acres used to be a small to average lot size, many were bigger. Now that’s considered large.
    Gas has come down in price. Regular is 4.19 to 4.39, diesel around 5.39 or so.

  3. “I’ll wave as I drive by… to the steak house”. Need a tail gunner? I might be available. Queue the theme song from “Have Gun, Will Travel”. Nah, who am I kidding? I can’t afford to retire; my 401(k), etc., lost more the last six months than I used to make in a year working full-time. Dammit.

    Amazon’s delivery-ETAs are Ridiculously Wrong as of late.

    Ordered a non-Amazon SHTF-related item April 9th. A few days ago: “We’ll be OOS until our supplier, um, resupplies us. They have no idea when, if ever, they will get the stainless steel stock they need to make their item. You’ll know as soon as we know; please don’t ask, Mary is overworked as it is. Thanks for your patience. BTW, we won’t bill you until we actually send it to you”. I may never get my part but I very much appreciate their honesty.

    WI DOT: “Um, we’re delaying basically everything cuzza reasons”. Sigh. FJB.

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