Report from the OP, September 12, 2022

It’s been a busy few days around here.

In macro news, I’ve noted these data points from the ongoing process of collapse:

Lest we think that all is gloom and doom, there are bright lights out there:

Locally, gas has dropped to as low as $3.03 for 87 octane. The high end of the range is still $3.49. Diesel ranges from $4.34-$4.89. On the subject of gas and diesel prices, I hear that refineries are trying to produce more diesel and heating fuel oil to alleviate shortages across the nation. A side effect of this is increased gasoline production. So barring any other shocks to the system, such as a hurricane hitting the East Coast or bad news from Europe or the Mideast, we may see gas prices dropping even further. That’s welcome news for everyone’s wallet.

Grocery stores continue to be pretty well stocked, with only spot shortages/outages. Prices have dropped on a few things and increased on others. Overall, prices are up. Again.

On a visit to the Walmart in Small City we were able to confirm a continuing story in Southernprepper1‘s “Boots on the Ground” series–lots of shipping containers in Walmart parking lots. Not only did we confirm that for our locality, but we also noted that the store was packed to the gills with merchandise and there were a lot of sales. The clearance asile has expanded to the clearance six asiles. I was able to score a Christmas present, which is on the shelf and waiting for giving.

Restaurants have been…strange. We’ll be out and one will have a packed parking lot while the one across the street is nearly empty–and I know both to have good food and good service. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. However I can tell you that all restaurants are raising prices, cutting portions or both. “Specials” may be good food, but even they aren’t cheap.

Auto dealerships are equally strange. One has somewhere between zero and a dozen new cars and the one across the street is packed. It doesn’t seem to be specific to brand, either. Our local Dodge/Jeep dealer has a nearly empty lot, but another an hour’s drive away is full-and larger than the local dealer. Go figure.

We’ve made a couple of trips to West Jefferson, NC in the past few days. They were both interesting. The first trip was the Friday of Labor Day Weekend. Nearby Appalachian State University was playing UNC-Chapel Hill in football, and some of the crowd spilled over into West Jefferson. Lots of people, lots of money changing hands. No masks. Felt like the Good Old Days of 2019.

We returned this Thursday. The place has a really good infants/small children clothing store. With grandkids nearly here, Mrs. Freeholder is attempting to bankrupt us buying for them. What I found interesting was that, while the foot traffic on the streets was much lower, there was still more than I expected. However, the crowd was nearly all obviously retired folks. The NC mountains have been drawing retirees from across the nation for the last 20 years or so, and quite a few have landed in the vicinity of West Jefferson. I guess they come out when the crowds are absent. Can’t blame them.

West Jefferson also attracts a lot of young people who are doing hiking, canoeing and kayaking. Fishing doesn’t seem to be a big thing. Camping opportunities abound for everything from tents to big motor coaches. Didn’t see many RVs, though.

I was simply to point out to Mrs. Freeholder that temperature and humidity levels at 3000′ are both lower than we’re accustomed to at 750′. My stealth campaign for a move to the mountains continues. 🙂 Of course, I will have to find jobs for both kids and Son-In-Law, but I have confidence in my ability to solve problems.

Daughter is now in Week 35 of her pregnancy, and toting around 13 pounds of babies. She is getting grumpy and is ready for this to be over. I don’t blame her. If it were up to me to do the job, the human race could die out for all I’d care.

One last thing and I have to hit the “publish” button. Something I ran into by “accident” was this article on Bible translations. I don’t think I believe in accidents like this. I have a number of different translations of the Good Book, but perhaps someone within reach of my words is in need.

Out here.

1 thought on “Report from the OP, September 12, 2022

  1. RE the UPS gun rule: are customers required to ship 2nd Day Air? Heck, I’m always willing to wait a few days (sometimes weeks!) to get my goodies with lower or free shipping.

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