Closing the circle for 2022

One of the things about making very non-specific predictions is that you can declare yourself right and get away with it. 🙂

This day in 2021, I posted this set of predictions for 2022. All the cool kids were doing it, so it seemed like a good idea. Let’s see how well I did. Apologies for length.

Wuflu

I fully expect a new variant of Wuflu to show up, right when people are maxing their tolerance for this BS. This variant may or may not be Captain Trips, but it will be played up as his slightly more likable first cousin. Don’t be surprised at new nation-wide lockdowns, vaccine requirements and so on. They are not going to let go of this.

Well, it hasn’t happened–yet. China is blowing up with Wuflu, and I have to wonder about their recent shoulder shrug on the subject. Coupled with the Brandon regime’s half-hearted reaction to it, due to start Monday after a couple of weeks of doing nothing, I have to figure that we’re seeing a second act. This is how the Chinese played it before, and here we are falling for it again. We deserve what’s going to happen to us. The good news here is that, for the most part, the whole mask and jab business is over here. People are mostly getting on with their lives after wuflu interruptus. I’ll predict this, though–no matter what happens this time with the virus, I ain’t wearing your stupid masks or taking your mRNA jabs. Get stuffed.

I’m calling this one a miss.

The Economy

I expect inflation to continue rising, and possibly at a breath-taking rate in the second half of the year. ShadowStats currently has us at 15% as calculated by the 80s methodology, and unfortunately inflation has a nasty habit of creating effects that reinforce inflation. The only way I think it will drop is if the Fed overdoes it and rather than a “soft landing”, we get a stall-spin into the ground. If you have a 401(k) or an IRA that’s going up, good for you, but be ready to cash out at a moment’s notice. If you’re sitting on cash, this might be a good time to turn it into a new residence in a state run by adults, such as Florida or Texas. Or food storage-food is always a good thing to have on hand. Firearms and ammo. Tools. All the things you can think of that will help see you through the next decade. And by the way, this is one of those behaviors that reinforces an inflationary trend. Let’s hear it for positive feedback loops!

Shadowstats is showing inflation is currently at 15%, down from a high of 17%. Still waiting to see if the Fed over- or under-does it on fiscal policy. I’m pleased to see the exodus from blue states to red states is a thing now–California took a 300,000 net loss in population this year. My sources tell me that consumer demand is still strong. Everyone is still stocking up, right? If you aren’t, you’re now behind the curve.

I’m calling this one a hit.

Energy

Energy is going to be a problem area. Inflation is going to push the cost up, Democrat policies will push it up further, and a war with either/both China and Russia will lead to immediate attacks on our energy infrastructure, probably causing wide-spread and long term outages. Keep your gas tanks at a minimum of 3/4 full and store spare gas, treated with stabilizer, if you can. A generator is a good thing. The new and fashionable “solar generators”, actually battery packs that can be charged from either a wall charger or solar panels, are another good thing. Understand how much power you need to run the critical items and try to meet that number with some extra. For diabetics, the new 12v compressor refrigerators are something you should have to go with that solar generator.

I’ve finally convinced (or perhaps browbeat into) Mrs. Freeholder that a small scale solar setup would be a good thing. I’m looking at a 12 volt, 4 x 100 watt panels with 2 100ah LiFEPo4 batteries. Nothing fancy or flashy. I would like more panels, but this is what I could sell. For now, it could run things like the freezer, the Golden Rod in the gun safe and my radio gear, allowing it to partially pay for itself. In a pinch, it will run the refrigerator, the freezer and the blower on the wood stove. This is a proof-of-concept experiment, to see just what can be done on what is effectively a shoestring budget for the project.

I didn’t really think that we would go to war with Russia or China, but here we are, slow-walking our way into both, perhaps. Energy has went up, down and is going up again around here. We have been warned by our electric co-op to expect a sizeable price increase. Propane is up. Gas is starting to go back up. Firewood is up. You can’t buy AA and AAA lithium batteries anywhere I’ve looked. Even the crappy alkalines are no longer “cheap, crappy alkalines”. Stock up on rechargeables.

On the solar front, I have all the parts, but my attempt at breaking my ankle this summer sidelined that project. Now inclement winter weather is keeping it on the sidelines. I’m hoping for Spring, 2023.

I’m calling this one a tie.

The Supply Chain

The supply chain is stressed and will stay stressed. Any sort of military action we get into will break it. Go over that mental list you have of things that you use frequently, from toilet paper to oil filters. I’m not going to say you need enough of any of that for a decade (unless you own a warehouse and are rich, in which case party on Garth), but I’d have enough for a good while on hand. Any consumable you can think of, you need to consider stocking up as much as possible. This is especially true for things that come from overseas.

Expect continued spot shortages of everything from food to screws. We are too dependent on items that are manufactured outside our borders. We are about to learn why this is a bad idea, and why “just in time” is a tool of the devil. Countries such as China will use our dependency as a lever.

I’m going to say I nailed this one, even though it was sort of like shooting fish in a barrel. It’s not going to get any better in 2023.

I’m calling this one a hit.

Skills

You can have all the beans, band-aids and bullets in creation, but without skills they’re nearly useless. Build your skill set. It’s one of the reasons I watch YouTube. I despise Google and all things associated with it, but until places like Gab TVRumble and others can attract enough content to be viable, YouTube is the place where you can learn just about any skill you might need for the rest of your life. I don’t care what it is you want to learn-first aid/medical topics, building houses/outbuildings/cabins in the wilderness, mechanical or electrical work, bushcraft-whatever it is, there is good information out there. There is also bad information, so your first topic might be how to tell one from the other.

I’m set up for a “Machining Technology” class through the local community college starting in January. I have this silly idea that a small lathe and vertical mill might be great things to have around. I might eventually start a side gig making short run parts for small local companies with needs or just making things you need in order to fix my and my friend’s and neighbor’s stuff. If nothing else, it will exercise my mind, which is always a Good Thing as one ages.

The big skill I learned this year is more medical knowledge, and I learned it the hard way with my ankle. But I’ve also learned some basic radio direction finding skills, improved my electronics knowledge and learned a lot about how hybrid vehices work. The Machining Technology class didn’t “make”. Either not enough students or no instructor. Looking to try signing up again, I can’t find the class listed anywhere on their website. They have CNC machining classes, but that’s way beyond anything I could ever do in my garage. They do have a “Small Engine Repair” class that looks intriguing. I’ll think about it.

I’m calling this one a tie.

Relationships

Speaking of friends and neighbors, you’ve been working on those relationships, right? Knowing who’s around you and who can and can’t be counted on is going to get more and more important as we go forward. If you haven’t done an area study, it’s a great time to start one.

Difficult as it is for an introvert to do this, I’ve been making some contacts. There’s a big cross-over between ham radio and prepping, so that’s helped. I’m also going to be attending the Preppernet Bug Out Camp this year, which will really require me to put myself out there. I’m out of practice, but I may as well jump in the deep end.

I’m calling this one a hit, at least by my standards.

So I’m counting 3 hits, 1 miss and 2 ties. That’s better than your average stock market prognosticator. I’ll take it.

1 thought on “Closing the circle for 2022

  1. A note on LiFePo4: I was smugly prepared for power loss. Then the bomb cyclone hit and my batteries were too darn cold to use. Redundancy is important…

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