We Should All Spend More Time Alone with Ourselves

The snow has forced us into isolation and limited what we can do. I like it.

My neighbor called and asked if we could spare some eggs. I walked up and gave him a dozen. He was the first person I had seen, other than my wife, since last Friday. We had a pleasant chat, mostly about the snow and the dog, but I wouldn’t be averse to going another week without seeing another living soul.

We remain snowed in. The county has not yet cleared the road. The only downside so far is that we couldn’t have salad with dinner because it wilted. We fed it to the chickens and my wife had Swiss chard instead.

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A Warm and Sunny 16 Degrees

After a couple days of blowing snow and sub zero temperatures, a sunny day was a welcome respite. The days are getting longer, too.

We woke up today to a warm and sunny 16 degrees. It was a vast improvement over two days of snow and high winds. I allowed the chickens to leave their coop, but they were dubious about the idea. One brave soul ventured out and then acted quite upset when she landed in the snow. She retreated to the outside roost, which remains above snow level.

The snow around the coop is 14 to 16 inches deep, but the half-inch hardware cloth that lines the lower two feet of the chicken run acted like a snow fence. Inside the run, the snow on one end is only 6 inches deep. Still, that’s waist high on a chicken. I am glad I have not clipped their wings as they have taken to flying about rather than wading through the snow.

I ended up putting a waterer inside the coop and another in the run so they can access it where-ever they want. We checked on them several times during the day and never saw more than five outside at one time.

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We Need a Strong President

Is a country only as strong as its leader? If that;s the case, no wonder we’ve been sliding downhill since Clinton was elected.

I am amazed at how the country defines itself by its president and is viewed by others through the lens of the man in the oval office.

When we have a brash president, we are considered a brash country that might do anything from canceling a treaty to nuking an enemy. When we have a weak president, we are considered a weak country that can be taken advantage of.

Since Joe Biden was took office a year ago, our armed forces have not become less effective, but we are perceived as weaker because our president goes on TV several times a week and broadcasts his weakness for all the world to see. Joe Biden the candidate stayed in his basement. I cannot help but think the country would be better off if he had stuck with that strategy. Better a recluse than an incompetent or a doddering fool.

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Winter Storm, High Winds Arrive with a Vengeance

Its been on the news for days before it finally manifested, the winter had such high winds I consider it to have been a blizzard. And it’s not over yet.

It was cold all day Sunday. The snow finally arrived, but I can’t tell you if we have 12 or more inches yet. It’s so windy up here we have drifts of snow that are a foot high and we have other spots where the wind has scoured it away. Unlike many heavy snows, it is not piling up on tree limbs because wind is blowing it off. There have been times the snow was blowing sideways.

This morning, I put only my insulated overalls and parka. They kept me warm doing chores. I left the chickens in their coop with the door closed, although I gave them fresh water and plenty of food.

While this may not be a day fit for chickens, it was a great day for the dog, who was outside for at least two hours. She had a ball. She would stick her nose in the drifts and come up with a face covered in snow. The dog ran around but also seemed comfortable just sitting there looking around. I consider this her guard stance. A flock or herd guardian dog by breed and genetics, she sits there, nose up, eyes bright, looking for a threat.

I’m writing this Sunday night and snow is expected to continue into Monday.

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Alternative Payment Methods for SHTF or to Avoid Inflation

As the dollar becomes worth less and less thanks to inflation, there are a few alternative payment methods preppers should consider.

I’ve talked about having a few rolls of junk silver on hand in case the SHTF. Junk silver may be useful to buy items after a collapse that destroys the dollar or a catastrophe that destroys our utilities, including the Internet and the power generation and distribution system. Let’s face it, without power and routers, every dime or dollar not in your physical presence might as well not exist because it will be inaccessible. Even valuable in your safe deposit box may be locked away forever if the banks don’t open. If you can’t use your cell phone, a credit or debit card, or your ATM, having $1 million in the bank buys you nothing, but a roll of pre-1965 quarters might.

I’ve also written about barter and the likelihood that survivors will trade with each other after a collapse or other disaster.

Today, I want to cover another alternative to the U.S. Dollar that might be useful in a different type of collapse. I’m talking about having a cryptocurrency wallet on your phone with some crypto on it.

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Quick Updates and Some Thoughts on Burning Issues

Am I the only one who feel like multiple issues are coming to a head? They say Joe Biden has had a bad week, but he could be leading the country into an even worse time.

Ukraine Invasion Imminent?

It seems like headline writers around the U.S. are betting that Russia will invade Ukraine, possibly using a false-flag operation to give Putin an excuse to do so. While this is primarily a European problem, as I said before, and not a U.S. problem, by getting involved in last-minute negotiations this week, the U.S. will look weak when Russia invades and we failed to stop it. We’ll look even weaker with we respond with some financial sanctions.

Putin is proving that Biden’s international standing is on as shaky ground as his cognition. If Russia invades Ukraine, my guess is Biden will give a speech in which he whispers, repeats a few key phrases, and then raises his voice and yells, yet makes little or no sense. I fact, he’ll probably say some stuff that will leave everyone scratching their head until his spin doctors come out and tell us what he really meant.

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Viral Storm Ignored in Face of a Serious Snow Storm

This area is getting whacked by Omicron, but people are busy preparing for a major snowstorm threatening to hit our mountain community.

Yesterday, our county had its highest number of positive COVID-19 tests ever. My guess is it is from all the holiday visitors who came out to see mom and dad. They unknowingly brought it out from the cities, gave it to a relative, who spread it on to other people. Now those folks are sick, so they get tested and come out positive.

What I am not clear about is how serious the illnesses are this time around. In 2020, the local newspaper had the largest obituary section ever. So far, we have seen nothing like that.

Interestingly, there are still very few people wearing masks. I think the only people panicking are the public health folks. I think there is more concern about the impending snow.

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Inflation Sucks… the Money from Your Wallet

Government reports show inflation was up 7 percent in 2021, the most since 1982. What they don’t tell you is tThe true rate is probably twice that.

Inflation hit a new high today, but I expect I didn’t have to tell you that. If you’ve gone grocery shopping, filled your gas tank, gotten new lease terms for your apartment, or tried to buy a car, then you already know it.

In fact, I think everyone but the government already knew it. Just like we all know the true inflation rate is higher than the reported 7 percent. Only the government can average together a 37 percent increase in used cars prices, a 14 percent increase in the cost of furniture, a 50 percent increase in oil prices, and a 6.5 percent increase in food and come up with a 7 percent rate of inflation.

Inflation is going to get worse. Even if next month’s results show it is growing at a slower rate, it’s still growing. I think Omicron may give us a brief economic pause as people stay in and spend less, either because they are sick or because they don’t want to get sick, but then it will speed up because of the supply chain disruption. Many companies, including manufacturer and meat-packers, are seeing production drop due to absenteeism attributed to Omicron. This is hurting production line speeds and slowing output, which will result in future supply chain problems.

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It Begins Again: Empty Grocery Store Shelves and how to Compensate

We lived with empty shelves after the panic buying of early 2020, but shortages today are caused by supply chain issues, not panic.

I recommend you go to this article and watch the video. It’s all local shoppers talking about how empty the shelves are. No pundits or talking heads, no corporate spokespeople making excuses, just pictures of barren grocery store shelves and customers complaining about how there is no food to be found in the area. One man predicts people will starve and says, “It’s gonna get rough around here.”

It’s not just meat and fresh vegetables, but dairy products, eggs, bread, and even lunch meat and frozen foods. If you want to see more images, just look for the hash tag #emptyshelvesbiden.

The problem seems to be largely in areas where omicron is bad, with the situation in some areas exacerbated by bad weather. Still, if grocery stores in your area are empty, it doesn’t matter if the shelves are full somewhere else. People aren’t going to drive to Florida to buy groceries.

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