It’s quite likely that there will be no substantive posting until after the holiday, so I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at the Freehold and its subsidiaries.
One reader pointed out in an email that I have much to be thankful for, and he’s right. Sometimes it’s hard to see such things when dealing with the crisis du jour. However, we’re still here, warm and fed, with two new healthy grandkids. All those who are still in the workforce remain gainfully employed. No one is in danger of losing their domicile, vehicles or anything else. We have neighbors who are not in such good shape, and they’re in our prayers nightly.
We’re still able to donate to our local food bank, humane society and a couple of other charities. If you’re still doing good financially, please consider donating to the “do-gooders” of your choice. I used to wonder if some of these donations were enabling poor behavior on the part of the recipients. I decided that I wasn’t going to worry about that, and just donate to the ones that are local and well-run. We’re fortunate to have several such locally.
Daughter, Son-In-Law and the Things celebrated an early Thanksgiving with his family Saturday last. They’re a large group, and scheduling is difficult. We will celebrate it on the day. Daughter is hosting despite our offer to take it this year. Mrs. Freeholder and I will go over early to mind the kids while Daughter cooks. She makes some mean deviled eggs, and I normally only get those on Thanksgiving, so I’m all for the idea.
Working from macro to micro again, let’s move this thing along.
I had a major “Oh SHIT!” moment when someone lobbed something explosive into Poland. There are several possible explanations for this occurrence, and I now subscribe to the “missile of Russian origin, launched from Belarus, coordinates either fat-fingered or deliberate” one. However, cooler heads have prevailed, and almost everyone seems to be more than happy to accept the story that it was a Ukrainian missile launched to intercept Russian missiles.
My reaction to the message I got through the AlertsUSA service was visions of a call for NATO Article 5 action. Poland has already shown that they have no reluctance to trot out this idea when they feel threatened by Russia. I can’t blame them, given their history, but WWIII is not on my wish list for Christmas–or any other time.
Here in the US, we still have elections that aren’t settled and don’t appear to have any settlement in the near future. Politics in Washington and a number of states is approaching Shit Festivus levels. I don’t know how any foreign government can take us seriously at the moment–we’re starting to look like a Third World banana republic dumpster fire.
I picked a heck of a time to get old, I’ll tell you that.
Locally, the news is mixed. An unknown number of people have lost their jobs at one of the last remaining local furniture manufacturers just in time for Thanksgiving. I expect there to be some ugly fallout from this, as, at a minimum, it appears to have been poorly handled.
A local gun store was the victim of a smash and grab robbery. This has been going on in other parts of the state, but this is the first time here. It appears to me that someone is arming up for something. I’m surprised that gun dealers haven’t taken measures to thwart such attacks, but it’s possible that in rented locations, which many do business in, the owners don’t want things like concrete barriers making the place look like a fortress. I can see insurance dropping these businesses and landlords canceling leases in the very near future.
I’ve seen even more new homes being started and continual progress on those I’ve seen earlier. All of these homes are starter homes, in this area normally a 3 bedroom/2 bath, chipboard and vinyl siding sort of thing. Depending on location, prices can be as low as $175,000 and range up to $200,000. To me, it’s hard to consider a $200k house a “starter house”, but that’s where we are these days.
Gas prices have dropped to $3.20-ish in recent days. Diesel remains around $5/gallon.
Grocery stores remain pretty well stocked with only spot outages and very little fronting. Prices are still high, but the rate of increase seems to have slowed. In good news, the Food Lion grocery chain dropped prices on frozen turkeys to 29¢/lb and dropped other holiday-related grocery prices a bit. It sounds like the ghost of Ralph Ketner may have visited his old company’s management. Or they were afraid of getting stuck with a lot of frozen turkeys. Who knows?
I’m starting to hear of, as well as see personally, problems with obtaining prescription drugs. I’ve also gotten notice that one of my drugs will no longer be covered under the prescription benefits part of the plan but instead will be handled under the co-pay/deductible part of the plan. Given this drug is a touch over $500/month, I’m going to consult with that particular doc when I see him next month. Luckily, I can stretch what I have a long way. This drug has a lot of waste in it when used as directed.
As a last note, Mrs. Freeholder and I have reluctantly decided to donate our Toyota Camry Hybrid to charity. This was her ride for many years and never gave us a bit of trouble until this. We’ve already had the hybrid battery replaced once (at least that’s what the mechanic claims; I have a different theory) and problems in that area persist. No solution is inexpensive, so off it goes. The Disabled American Veterans will benefit a few bucks from it. I hate it, but from what I can find on the Intertubz, a hybrid owner needs to drive the vehicle 500-750 miles per month just to keep the thing happy. Oddly enough, that isn’t in the manual as far as I can find. We only drive a little over that in a month in all our vehicles, so that won’t work for us. We’d be spending any gas savings on gas to do that much driving, doing silly things like driving 100 miles to eat lunch somewhere. No thanks. It was a great car when she was commuting to work, but now it’s an albatross.
Again, we wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving. There’s work to do, so I’m gone.