Report from the OP, September 19, 2022

Ours should be so nice. :-)

Geeze, it’s been a week since I posted? Time flies when the weather is beautiful and you’re working what’s left of your butt off.

A bit of housekeeping. No grandbabies yet. Latest report is that they are both quite healthy, weighing well north of 8 pounds each. If Daughter doesn’t go into labor on her own, an induction is scheduled for October 4, at which point they may be 9+ pounds each. Daughter is somewhat grumpy, miserable and ready for this to be over. Mrs. Freeholder suggested she serve an eviction notice.

In the world, the signs of accelerating toward <something> keep accumulating. Germany expropriates three Russian oil refineries. US stock market volatility is whipsawing investors. *President Biden declares that the Wuflu “pandemic” is over–and only 51 days to the midterm elections. China may be the subject of pre-emptive US sanctions. We’re going to do away with our racist highways. California resolutely remains California. You can be forgiven for thinking the world is going absolutely mad.

But there is good news among the bad. An Austrian farmer lets 1/5 of his farm return to wildflowers to help out his neighbor’s bees. A baby given 6-12 months to live is declared cancer free in 8 months. A missing cat rings the bell to be let in. Southwest Florida has the best turtle nesting year on record. Flooding and coast loss in Louisiana is going to be addressed.

Sometimes, you just have to go look for some good news. “If it bleeds, it leads” is a real thing, but a continual diet of doom doesn’t help your blood pressure or your mental calm. Both of those are going to be increasing in importance. You might look at these tips for becoming more resilient in the face of adversity.

Locally, gas prices have dropped again, and range from $2.99-$3.30. Diesel is $4.33-$4.49. Still high, but slowly subsiding. It’s cheaper in some places around Bitty Burg and higher in others.

Business in restaurants seems to be trending down. People are going out to eat, but they are going down market in their dining. The local high end (and very good) steak place is now open 4 days a week. Fewer people seem to be able to afford $100 or so for a couple to eat there. Those folks are now going to Cracker Barrel, and the Cracker Barrel crowd is at Arby’s. The Arby’s crowd is mostly eating at home, I guess.

The news from grocery stores is largely the same old story. Most items in reasonably good stock with scattered empty holes. Prices continue to trend slowly up. We continue to add to the food side of our preps, but that is slowing down as funds have been reallocated to baby gear.

Yes, there is prepping going on for them as well. For now, we’ve bought furniture, car seat bases and the like (Mrs. Freeholder is still ruling out a fishing boat), so for now it’s most medical items, but as soon as we see what sort of formula they can tolerate, we’ll be out there buying that. Daughter has decided that store-bought baby food isn’t on the menu (much), so we’ll be learning from her about the home-made variety. I wonder what age is appropriate to introduce them to fried okra? 🙂

On a trip with the newly retired Old Friend to visit Mountain Man, we both remarked on the number of vehicles, mostly cars but some large trucks, on the side of the road. No tow trucks in sight, either. Traffic seemed normal both in volume and vehicle mix. Being a Friday, we saw a number of folks heading up toward West Virginia with ATVs and UTVs.

On the way home, my Kenwood TS-790A, which had been repaired by Mountain Man, took a fall off the back seat into the floor during a sudden application of the brakes. Completely my fault for not securing it better. It landed on the front panel, with one of the double-ganged potentiometers taking the worst of the impact. After disassembly, I found that the shaft was bent. I reassembled and tested the radio, finding that everything aside from that pot is working as it should. Parts for old radios like this are pretty much unobtainium. I’m going to watch eBay and see if one pops up. Since it’s a control for the secondary receiver, it’s not as critical as it might be. However, there goes that idea of working satellites for the time being.

This week is the local county agricultural fair. I had hoped to go tonight, but a migraine decided to visit. I think that blasted hurricane is involved in this. I’ll try for tomorrow or more likely, Wednesday night.

I saw a 1984 Sears Craftsman tool catalog for sale and bought it. It’s been an interesting trip down that particular part of Memory Lane, but I was struck by the prices. Many of the items are about the same price, in unadjusted dollars, as they are now. Of course, that inexpensive 1984 table-top drill press was made in the USA rather than in China by slave labor, but this aroused my curiosity. So, I found an inflation calculator and plugged in the numbers. It turns out that a 1984 dollar is the equivalent of $2.75 in today’s money. I suspect that as our situation continues to evolve, we’re going to see prices rise until we’re equivalent to 1984 or even higher. We may find ourselves owning less stuff and discovering that we are not worse off for that. Wouldn’t it be weird if the World Economic Forum was right-ish, but for the wrong reasons?

Out here.

2 thoughts on “Report from the OP, September 19, 2022

  1. “Mrs. Freeholder is still ruling out a fishing boat” But, dear, fish is brain food and um, omega-3 fatty acid and, um, stuff! Self-sufficiency! Mental rejuvenation! Fresh air! Sunshine! etc. etc. 🙂

    1. Prices on fishing boats are likely to drop if the economy goes into a tail-spin. Boats are a luxury item for many people.

      In my humble opinion, it is hard to go wrong with a 14′ jon-boat and a 9.9hp or 15hp motor. It isn’t interesting to the cool kids with all of the money. There is not much to break on them and they can carry a butt-load of gear. If you have to sail 20 miles to the fishing hole then it is too far to be economical regardless of your ride.

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