I’ve been trying to write this post for so long (started in on March 8) that I’ve forgotten half of what I wanted to include and half of what is in here will be out of date. I plead grandkids. 🙂
Starting with the aforementioned grandkids, they’re doing well. Happy and healthy. Unfortunately, Thing 1 (our girl) will have to go into a helmet due to some issues with the shape of her skull. Since Daughter is 5′ 4″ and was carrying about 15 1/2 pounds of babies there at the end, things were a bit cramped. Thing 1’s head got pushed way down into the pelvis and was deformed. This isn’t a big deal, so I’m told. It happens with a lot of twins who are carried to full term. She’ll be in this rig 23 hours/day for 4-5 months.
I’ve threatened to paint it black and 3D print a visor for it so she can be Dark Helmet. Daughter thought that was hilarious, Mrs. Freeholder not so much.
Let’s look at things in the wider world, starting with the war in Ukraine. A bit over a year in and it seems that the situation is as murky as ever. We still have the “valiant Ukrainians vs. barbaric Russians” narrative on one side and the “Ukrainian Nazis vs. sticking up for the traditional culture of the Russians” on the other. Throw in continuing stories of allegations of corruption on the Ukrainian side, a fair number worries about starting a nuclear war plus the beginnings of donor fatigue and of viewpoints such as William Lind’s and you get…confused. I’m still rooting for the Ukrainians, but not as hard as I was after some of Zelensky’s comments about Americans having to send their sons and daughters to die in Ukraine. Yeah, all sorts of legacy media outlets quickly jumped in to
defend him add context, but that’s what the guy said. They don’t deny the words, they just are telling us that “that isn’t exactly what he said” and some things were missed in translation. Uh-huh.
China seems to be ratcheting down its pressure on Taiwan, although I’m sure this is only temporary. In a few days or weeks, something will be said or some visitor will visit and inflame their delicate sensibilities–AGAIN–and we’ll be back to Ermagerd-China! for a while.
I can’t help but think that if we hadn’t given ourselves that big “peace dividend” back when Slick Willy was prez we might not be having all these international issues. I don’t want to see the US playing fireman for the world; I want to see us as big and prickly enough that no one wants to eff with us. Too late for that, though.
Slow Joe’s Foggy Bottoms Smart Bois have also managed to be blindsided by the Chinese-brokered rapprochement of Saudi Arabia and Iran. Ermagerd-China! Dang, that didn’t take long.
Remember you really can’t trust the government’s numbers on inflation, unemployment or anything else, IMHO. Shadowstats is your friend..
It seems that California and other western states have gone from famine to feast as multiple weather systems have dumped inches of rain and feet of snow on them. As I saw someone post somewhere, 90% of all that water will work its way down from the mountains and into the sea without being trapped for human use, because water impoundments are evil. Dear ecoweenies, try drinking the salmon the next time you’re thirsty. My sympathy for any of the Pacific-facing states is all gone. They’ve shat in their own beds and want to blame everyone and anyone but themselves for the mess. Maybe they should all take the high-speed train to Sacremento and complain. Oh, wait…
While they’re not screwing up foreign policy, Slow Joe’s minions have moved from banning natural gas appliances to making washing machines perform even worse. They won’t be happy until we’re cooking over open fires and beating our dirty laundry on rocks down at the stream. Oh wait, those fires are deforesting the country and you’re polluting the stream with all those human pathogens in your laundry runoff. You’ll just have to be naked and starve, peasant.
Tucker Carlson has long been a thorn in the side of the Uniparty, but he’s dialed it up to 11 with his releases of and commentary on the J6 videos, leaked to him by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. Here’s an example if you’ve not watched them. I alternate between laughing and throwing (soft) things at my computer screen.
Slow Joe stumbled through a speech where he announced he’s going to try to executive order more gun restrictions. Most of them sound like what I’ve heard called “performative actions”. Lawsuits coming soon!
Electric vehicle manufacturers are removing AM radios from their vehicles. Their claim is that the electric motors in the cars cause interference with them. The ignition systems in gas-powered cars have caused a whine in AM radios since I was a 16-year-old driver, but no one wanted to take them out. I’m sure this couldn’t have anything to do with AM talk radio being dominated by conservative broadcasts.
And finally, let’s talk about our current PSH, the possible collapse of our banking system, after the 16th, 13th and 29th biggest banks (I think I have that correct) in the country have collapsed because high interest rates rendering their investments less than productive. #16, Silicon Valley Bank, was being run by the former CFO of Lehman Brothers and one of its Board of Directors was an author of the Dodd-Frank banking reform bill. The problem may be spreading to Europe and the Fed doesn’t know whether to freeze rate hikes, cut rates or go blind. Better-run banks and depositors are taking it in the shorts to pay for Silicon Valley Bank’s, and I expect other failed and failing banks, sins. Today’s news (3/15/2023) seems to indicate that the situation is deteriorating. Got cash?
What a grand and glorious time to be alive and getting old(er)!
Locally, we’ve traded the glorious 80-70o days of January and February for the 40-50o days of March, in addition to the March’s usual blustery winds. Everyone is freezing. Strangly enough, since there’s been no frost and the wind is blowing fairly constantly, thee’s been no frost and the flowers and trees that have budded seem to be surviving.
Gas prices are bouncing like mad from $3.00 to $3.30/gallon. As far as I can tell there’s no particular reason for this behavior. As I write, it’s hovering at $3.19. Diesel is even more variable, ranging from $3.89-$4.59/gallon. No problems with availability.
Grocery prices are still creeping up, but at a slightly slower rate. We’ve noticed more products that have been cheapened. Aldi’s is still a go to for good quality as a “reasonable” price. Availability is good. I’ve seen a lot of reports about shortages of eggs, pet food and other items, but haven’t really seen it around here.
Our housing sector remains healthy. “Starter homes”, which seems to be defined as 3 BR/2 BA and 1400-1600 ft2 with a carport are the most in demand, with some built in places that leave me scratching my head selling in days. House prices through the mid-range are holding up quite nicely, which will please the tax man no end. The upper end seems to be feeling some pressure, with price cuts coming faster than they have been. It’s a great time to buy a house at the local lake, if such things appeal to you.
MY AO has also snagged another new employer, Siemens. 200+ jobs with an average salary of over $51,000/year. I’m a little less sanguine than the local civic booster types, as I’ve seen this movie before. If this keeps up, we’re going to get into the cycle of rising prices for everything due to over-demand, increasing taxes, not enough infrastructure and so on. Despite Mrs. Freeholder’s opposition to moving, I’m keeping an eye on real estate in several potential bailout zones.
The first mowing of the yard has been accomplished. Most outdoor trimming was done to facilitate the window installation fo a few week ago, but all the liriope needs it spring haircut. Normally I do this using the generator and hedge trimmer, but since the battery string trimmer has done so well, I decided to try a battery hedge trimmer as well. This one was bought as the bare tool. I can use the Flex-volt battery that came with the trimmer. If this works out, it will be another small victory in making my portion of the home maintenance easier to deal with.
With that, I’m going to close this out. Hopefully it won’t be quite so long until the next one.