Report from the OP, June 16, 2023

Three months since I did a report? And it’s taken me a week to write this one. Bad Freeholder!

Grandthings go first. At a little over 8 months, they are distinctly recognizable individuals, except I’m starting to have problems distinguishing who’s crying for some reason. They had their first beach trip two weeks ago. Great fun was had, or at least the pictures seem to show them having fun. The last doctor’s visit went well. Happy and healthy and growing. Still no crawling from anyone but Thing 2 is so very close to both crawling and his first tooth. Finally–Thing 1 has seven teeth at last count! And Thing 1 will be coming out of her helmet soon.

Globally, it seems like things are still drunkenly staggering toward World War III or a reasonable facsimile thereof. If Russia doesn’t start it, it’ll be China. Or Iran. Maybe Israel. Possibly Poland. It could be the homeless guy on the corner. Or any of several NATO members. Additionally, there are so many places that a Black Swan event could occur and take us from uneasy quasi-peace to TSHTF that you can’t keep up with or handicap them. You just keep on prepping and praying.

In the US, it seems like the merry-go-round is running faster and faster, threatening to toss us riders off. I’ve kept a few tabs open to illustrate what perks up my ears.

True, the entire world isn’t darkness. It’s just felt that way most days. I was talking to Mountain Man the other day and it seemed that no matter what we set out to discuss, it just circled back to doom and gloom. Not a good place for your head.

Locally, it seems like summer is here, and it’s getting warm in more ways than one. Those in the demographic groups that have a disturbing tendency toward violence are being more violent. Not so much here in the Bitty Burg, although the larger cities surrounding us are constantly swapping places on the daily shooting leaderboard—shades of Chiraq.

Gas prices are going up and down. We hit a low of $3.06 three or four weeks ago. I paid $3.27 late last week to refill Mrs. Freeholder’s vehicle. Today it’s $3.10. Diesel is available for $3.50 at the lowest price location with most stations hovering in the mid-to-upper $3.50s.

Houses are also going up–all over the place. I know of one large and two smaller subdivisions building multiple houses at once. There are also around a dozen individual homes going up in various places. I’m not sure who’s buying them, but apparently, someone is.

Home prices are also going up if one can believe Zillow and Our house is allegedly worth $300,000 on the open market. I find that difficult to believe, given we paid $156,000 for it some 13 years ago. Face it, the Bitty Burg isn’t New York or San Francisco. Prices are up, but not that much.

I’m noticing more vehicles, mostly pickups, parked in yards and sporting “For Sale” signs. There are a few toys, RVs mostly, for sale as well. Facebook Marketplace is awash with anything you can think of (except that mini mill I’m looking for). Rather a lot of it appears to be cleaning out Grandma and Grandpa’s or Mom and Dad’s home. The earliest of the Baby Boomers are exiting, stage left.

I’m happy to say that there are only random holes at grocery and big box stores. It’s been a while since we couldn’t find something we were looking for, although we may have had to settle on brands or sizes. Prices continue their rise, even if the rate of increase has slowed. I think price inflation is going to be around for a while yet. We’ve noticed that the prices at our local discount grocer, Aldi, have gone up more than at Food Lion or Walmart.

Unfortunately, the supply chain issues are still with us in other areas. Even though the legacy media would like us to believe that “Everything is back to normal, have Bud Light and enjoy sportsball!”, it just ain’t so. We just had railings installed on our front porch, and the contractor had problems finding some of the materials. He was able to find everything he needed, but it took some time. The railings look quite nice and also tick off one of the items on my “Getting Older Risk Management” list.

I’m still watching the price and availability of mini-mills similar to the one pictured above. It’s nothing fancy, but I think it will be more than sufficient for anything I’ll want to do for the foreseeable future. The price has gone up about $150 since I started watching them. I’m closer to pulling the trigger, but I’d sure like to have those excess ham transceivers sold. That would pay for this. I’d be broke in terms of personal cash on hand, but I can live with that. I’m just trying not to tap the remnants of my bank account again.

I almost pulled the trigger on a mini-mill on Amazon last night–“Only 1 remaining!” I loaded it into my cart, turned down the extended warranty, and was sent back to the item page, which now showed 17 remaining. So I took it out of my cart. This morning we’re back to 1 remaining. I wonder if they have a clue how many they actually have in stock.

This weekend is the annual ARRL Field Day event. My club is anxiously awaiting the Saturday 2 PM EDT starting time since the weather forecast is fluctuating between marginal and bad weather. No one wants to risk their expensive gear to the tender mercies of showers and thunderstorms. I’ve got my gear mostly together and will have it ready before go time.

I’m finalizing my plans to attend PrepperNet‘s “Bug Out Camp” in October. I may be presenting on the topic of communications.

And with that, I need to get up and move on to another project. My ham shack is still torn apart, and I’d like to get it back together before Field Day, since I’ll probably run some under my own call from home. The rules change that the ARRL made during the Time of Wuflu is one of the good things to come out of that nightmare. I do hope to post more often, even if it’s just selected short subjects. Cross your fingers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *