First a note on the GrandThings. Grandthings celebrated their first birthday last weekend, much to the enjoyment of the assembled family and friends. Much cake was smooshed, rubbed on faces and some was even eaten. The rest of us made do with cupcakes.
Thing 1 is trying, hard occasionally, to get up on her knees preparatory to crawling. Occupational Therapist says she’s doing fine and not to worry. We still are concerned. Thing 2 is pulling up and pulling himself from place to place on whatever he can grab. The kid has no fear. He grabs the sofa, the coffee table, a cat–whatever is handy and holding still for that critical moment.
We have started buying Christmas presents. I will not overly inhibit Mrs/ Freeholder’s urge to overdo things. I on the other hand am manfully resisting the temptation to buy them matching Jeep riding toys with remote control two years before they can safely steer them around the yard.
Now for all the depressing stuff.
The great wide world now has a whole new war to play with, as if Russia-Ukraine wasn’t enough. The Hamas terrorist group has attacked the state of Israel with surprising force with surprising planning and discipline. Israel seemed to be knocked back on their heels in the early going but appears to have recovered and is now entering what may well be vermin extermination mode. The usual suspects are lining up to cheer Israel or Hamas along with the crowd chanting “false flag” at the top of their lungs. I am trying to keep my eyes and ears open along with my options.
In the news that I had planned to lead off with before yesterday, the global economy continues to push a limp rope. China is rapidly becoming a black hole that no useful information can escape as Xi is apparently purging anyone and everyone who…somethinged. There seems to be no real pattern to the officials who disappear, are arrested and reappear months later, the billionaires who are beggared and the beggars who are simply ignored. The only thing we can be sure of is that China is facing serious troubles, both political and economic.
The Russia-Ukraine war continues to lurch along with neither side able to defeat the other and neither side willing to toss out a branch, olive or anything else. The countries who have been emptying their armories into that maelstrom are now suddenly realizing that yeah, you may need to defend yourselves long before you can rebuild your stocks. Brother, can you spare some 155 mm rounds?
Europe is preparing for a predicted cold winter. There are reports of much legal and more illegal tree-cutting in Germany. Survival Lilly reports that things in Austria are becoming a struggle, with the middle class slowly sinking into the lower class. The End of the America Dream blog points out that our society is sliding down that slippery slope faster than anyone believed possible. “Food Deserts” are going to turn into just plain old deserts at this rate, and that right soon.
One correspondent on the Mailing List That Shall Not Be Mentioned has once again called attention to one Yuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov, a supposed Soviet turncoat. Short version, the whole Soviet collapse was a put-on with the goal of getting the West to put down its guard and leave themselves open to conquest. Having recently listened to Spymaster by Tennent H. Bagley, I reserve judgment about the guy. Maybe he’s what everyone seems to believe, maybe he wasn’t. The KGB was very good at the spy stuff, possibly better than we ever were. But you have to admit, the guy’s predictions seem painfully close to accurate.
Here in the US, the drooling guy in the White House has announced that now he wants to build a (little tiny bit of a) border wall. He also stands with Israel, at least after he’s had a good night’s sleep and a fresh diaper in the morning. No, you won’t find those “the President was briefed at 8:30 AM” stories anywhere now. Funny, that.
Meanwhile, we have strikes and strikes and strikes, a new $20/hr minimum wage for fast food workers in California and a September jobs report that blew the top off of expectations. The betting for another interest rate hike seems to be running even money in the financial press. If rates go up, plan on housing sales to drop further, builders to stop building and all the various businesses that make their money in large part off of people buying houses to start hurting. Consumer spending, which accounts for something like 70% of our GDP, will get hammered. Layoffs and bankruptcies and dispair, oh my!
No, I’m not at all sanguine about how things are going. However, I’m not indulging myself by running out to pick up more ammo or food or whatever. More on that shocking development in a bit.
Locally, gas is in the $3.30s, with diesel in the $4.20s. Given the situation in the Mideast, this will not last long. I plan on filling the empty gas cans tomorrow. It’s the start of fall, so it’s time anyway.
Grocery prices are just downright painful. We’re doing OK but being careful to keep things topped off while avoiding overspending. I don’t know what the poor are doing. I know that local food banks are soliciting donations constantly, so I know they are filling some of the gap. They aren’t going to be able to fill all of it.
The arrests register in the local fishwrap is full of drug arrests, robbery/breaking and entering arrests and more drug arrests. There is also a long string of shootings here, there and everywhere in all local media. I am armed all the time. I’m glad I don’t live in a big city, because I’d break my neck trying to watch everyone at once. Here, you’re still relatively safe if you stay away from certain well-known areas. So far.
Now, about that shocking development. I have discovered that I am not Superman. I’m not 25 years old any longer. I will not put together that group of rugged survivalists and withdraw the the back of beyond in the mountains somewhere. I have Memento’ed my Mori.
This isn’t brought on by some dread medical condition or terrible accident. It’s been impressed upon me by an uncaring and unfeeling universe. It’s been demonstrated to me by a continuing inability to get all the things done in a day, a week or a year that I used to even a decade ago. The truth of the matter is that I have used and to some extent, abused my body hard and now I’m paying the price for that. I should have listened to my Dad when he told me to lift with my legs, not my back. 🙂
This doesn’t mean that I’m having a firesale on prepper gear and getting out of the business. Far from it. I have realized that I am actually about as ready as I can reasonably be given time, finances, location and abilities. I will not be manning the ramparts to fight off all comers in some Mad Max scenario, but I am in pretty darn good shape to handle most things below that, at least for a time. There is no hope that, even with the unstinting help of Mrs. Freeholder, we could grow all the food we’d need if there were no grocery stores. Listening to this video (Yes, you can actually “just” listen to a video, I do it all the time when mowing) from Two Drs Homestead where he very generously calculates just how much gardening you’d need to do to feed yourself was the thing that really drove home something that has been rumbling around in my brain for a while now. It’s time and past to face reality and deal with it.
So I’m free, sorta, of that “end of the world” albatross that’s been around my neck for a couple of decades. I don’t have to feel bad when something proves beyond my reach or abilities. Better yet, I don’t need to keep all of the stuff that I have hung onto after its realistic usefulness is long past because “I might need it”. There will be something of a purge in certain categories of goods. I won’t say that I won’t occasionally backslide, but I’m going to try. The groaning shelves and bulging closets of our home will thank me.
And no, you won’t be free of my occasional prattling here. As a matter of fact, after a time you may even see more of it, as a certain amount of time may become available. Sorry. 🙂