It’s full fledged autumn here. The leaves are falling, the temperatures are dropping, and we’re getting ready for winter. Are you ready for a “dark winter?”
I was excited to have four eggs for breakfast today. They were smaller than usual because they are pullet eggs and came from our young hens. Yes, the chicks we got the first week in June are now beginning to lay eggs. Now they can earn their keep and pay me back for their feed by feeding me.
(In the photo above, the larger egg on the right is a commercial egg. The other four smaller eggs are our home grown eggs.)
I look at it as being one step closer to being food independent. Are we going to live on eggs and honey? Of course not. But the price of eggs had increased by 12 percent in the past year, so producing them on-site will help our grocery bill. As I have stated before, having eggs will allow us to help neighbors and give us something to barter with. As the chickens get older, the eggs will get bigger. I expect our daily harvest will increase as well.
A year ago, Candidate Biden blamed empty store shelves on “a lack of leadership.” Now President Biden is blaming empty store shelves on businesses. What a difference a year makes.
I am amused that the hashtag #BareShelfBiden was trending Thursday on Twitter. It’s another example of an issue we’ve been covering here for months catching nationwide attention. That means we are one day closer to panic buying and even more empty shelves.
It feels good to be ahead of the wave and prepare before others see the problem coming rather than getting swept up and washed away by the surge. Keep prepping; one day soon you won’t be able to.
The photo accompanying this article (above) is from our local Walmart earlier this week. Yes, they had some empty shelves, but it wasn’t terrible. The canned meat shelf, photo below, was better stocked than the vegetable shelf. I guess the late-to-the party preppers must all be vegans.
(But as a serious aside, while stocking some fruits and vegetables is good, I stock less of them because 1) I can grow or harvest them in the wild, and 2) because meat and meat-based canned goods like beef stew and chili are calorie dense with more protein and fat than vegetables, which you will need when in a survival situation.)
Either way, both shelves are far better stocked than those I saw last spring when the COVID-19 lockdown was at its peak. At this point, no one is starving because they can’t find the exact can of beans they wanted. Nonetheless, it’s a sign of the deteriorating conditions we are experiencing.
I wonder what the hash tags are going to be in a month? #JoeTheGrinch or #JoeStoleChristmas?
Are We Getting Used to This?
I think the real question is, are empty shelves becoming normalized? Did the shortages of COVID-19 make today’s shortages and empty store shelves so common that they don’t alarm anyone? If so, then that is a pretty big step backwards and shows that the downward spiral has our society firmly in its grip.
How long does it take to go from a few empty shelves to waiting in line for bread and milk? A decade? Five years? Maybe just 18 months? Will a few empty shelves blossom into many? Will we have to line up outside Walmart every morning, like shoppers do the morning of the Black Friday sale, hoping to rush in and get potatoes, a dozen eggs, some laundry detergent or new shoes?
It can’t be a good sign that we are experiencing third world problems like food shortages and electrical blackouts. We’re supposed to be one of the most advanced societies in the world and we’re exhibiting symptoms you would epxect to see in the old Soviet Union. Sure, we can develop a robotic pizza maker or an automatic burger flipper, but they won’t do us any good if there is no flour, pepperoni, or beef available. Why, that would be like creating a robotic dog armed with a rifle and not having any ammunition for it.
I Don’t Trust the Government
Keep in mind that the same people that told us inflation is transitory are also telling us that supply chain shortages are short term. (See yesterday’s article for more on why I think they are purposefully knee capping the economy.)
Earlier in the week, we reported the CPI was up 5.4 percent. Today, we see that wholesale inflation in September was up 8.6 percent compared to last September. That means consumers will see even more inflation as manufacturers and distributors raise prices to cover their expenses.
Is it chance that the economy is spiraling downward and out standing on the world stage is faltering, or is it all par of a plan?
I was going to write about how I think the Biden Administration shot itself in the foot when it implemented a whole series of executive orders and regulations that, unintentionally or not, hurt the economy, but I changed my mind. “Shooting yourself in the foot” implies they did it by mistake. I think it is much more likely that the Biden Administration and the socialists behind the scenes purposely knee-capped the economy.
That’s right, I think they hobbled the economy by design, to undermine capitalism, to hurry the transition to the world where we “own nothing and like it.” They don’t want small business to succeed and create more middle-class people who control their own fate. They want people to be powerless, to lose their savings, be forced from their homes, and have no choice but to turn to the government for support.
I think the current political regime is undermining the economy and tearing apart our society in an attempt to transfer power from the people to the government. The tyrannical leftists who have worked themselves into power are not satisfied being congressmen and women. They want more power, more control, and more money. The pandemic, followed by the election of a weak, easily controllable president, has given them a window of opportunity.
We are reaching that inflection point where inflation and supply chain problems can no longer be brushed under the rug.
Judging by the headlines and the cable news coverage, I’d say that the mainstream media just realized that inflation is here, and it is not transient. We’ve been saying this for months, as has anyone who pays attention when grocery shopping, but it took another rise in the CPI to get the consumer oriented media to actually start covering the topic.
Earlier today, President Biden gave a speech saying he’s working on the supply chain to make sure we have what we need, from Christmas presents that arrive on time to kitchen appliances. Looks like he’s setting himself up for another failure because there is little he can do here without eliminating the vaccine mandate and relaxing a few other regulations related to COVID-19 and truck drivers.
Power Bills Predicted to Jump up to 54 Percent this Winter
The first major snowstorm hit the Rocky Mountains north into Montana, leaving from a foot up to 28 inches of snow, closing highways and delaying travelers. The cold weather is bad news for people’s heating bill. The Associated Press reports that the government expects heating bills to be up to 54 percent higher this year than last. The 54 percent increases is expected to hit people who heat with propane, followed by heating oil (a 43 percent increase) and natural gas (30 percent). Those who rely on electricity will see the smallest increase, below 10 percent.
CPI Shows 5.4 Percent Inflation
Let’s keep in mind that these numbers are artificially low compared to the way CPI was calculated 40 years ago. So inflation is probably closer to 7 to 10 percent higher. Either way, it’s going to get worse. For a myriad of problems. This article gives the annual increase in a rage of items so you can see why inflation feels higher than 5.4 percent.
This is a perfect example of why you should never let your guard down. The bears showed up two days after I had relaxed because our mystery visitor was just a raccoon.
Less than 48 hours after writing “I have been so focused on the possibility of a bear eating my honey that I hadn’t been paying attention to a raccoon that wants to steal eggs,” the bear made an appearance. A mother bear and her two cubs ran across the dirt road at the corner of our property, less than 30 feet in front of me.
Happily, I was in the car rather than on foot. I was also happy that the dog was not in there with me.
I was less happy that this is the end of the property that is near the bee yard/garden/chicken coop. The bears headed towards the bee yard, not away from it, so I assume they had not been there yet. After I got home, I checked the area and there was no sign of their presence and the electric fence was on, clicking away at full power. This time, I didn’t test it out personally.
A meat industry insider predicts more shortages will come as vaccine mandates force meat processors and packers to fire employees.
A friend of my daughter has a degree in poultry science (yes, that’s a thing) and works as a USDA inspector at poultry plants in the South. He warned my daughter that once the vaccine mandates go into effect November 1, there will be a drop in employees at poultry plants and meat production will slow down. He said this is likely to happen for beef and pork as well, but he only has first-hand knowledge of the poultry plants.
Let me put this in plain English: Expect meat shortages starting in mid-November and lasting months because of unconstitutional vaccine mandates aggressively implemented by the Biden Administration. Expect prices to rise even further.
Sometimes things go bump in the night. Sometimes the dog barks and we don’t know why. Then I saw a pair of glowing eyes in the distance.
Frequent readers may recall that I patrol my property late at night. OK, I am actually just walking the dog, but I think of it as a de facto patrol. We walk down the drive way to the road, scout the perimeter, and check the chickens and their enclosure. I hope our presence and smell motivates any predators to think twice about paying a nocturnal visit to the chicken coop.
Each night, I don my headlamp, and I am always armed because, well, I am always armed. Some nights, especially of the dog has been acting like something might be out there, I strap on a 1911 with a Streamlight TLR-2 light/laser combo mounted on it.
I bought the TLR-2 relatively cheap years ago for use on a Smith & Wesson M&P with an extended magazine that was my bedroom self-defense gun. How long ago was this? Let’s just say that the light has only 135 lumens. Yeah, that’s old. Still, it is enough light to identify your target at pistol-engagement distances.
In this article on the new energy crisis, the Washington Post points out that some power plants in India are about to run out of coal, so we can add demand in India to that in china and Europe. They also report that in Asia, the spot price for natural gas jumped from $5 for one million BTUs in September 2020 to $56 this month. That’s a helluva jump.
Grocery Shopping Will Never Return to Normal
According to CNN, the pre-pandemic days of full shelves at the grocery store and plenty of food are gone for good. The y even used the phrase “Before Times” with the initial capitalization, like we are in the “End Times.” I kind of like “Before Times.” It sounds like something the survivors would say in a dystopian future. Hey, wait a minute….