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.
In one year, Biden has screwed up the economy, domestic policy, foreign trade, and international relations. It’s getting to the point that even the mainstream media has stopped covering this up.
While I am happy that Biden can go to Capital Hill and lobby Democrats and change no one’s mind, it’s unfortunate that his incompetence has to lower our standing on the international stage as well.
Empty Shelves at Grocery Stores
Empty store shelves is appearing on local newscasts from coast to coast. So far, it’s being taken in stride by the populace which just shows you that the American Citizen no longer has very high expectations for our country. That’s a shame.
I’m seeing reports that the empty shelf issue is caused by a lack of employees at stores and distribution centers because of Omicron and could last into February. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to disruptions. Bigger supply chain problems are coming down the pike. Expect to see more and more shortages in the coming months as lockdowns in China closes ports, which will contribute to higher and higher prices.
This may be your last chance to stock up on things you need in 2022. If you have a “cushion” of critical products you keep on hand, I recommend you double your cushion when you next get the opportunity to do so.
Inflation Gets Worse
The Producer Price Inflation came in at 9.7 percent. That means the prices retailers pay to buy something at wholesale has gone up by almost 20 percent. Yikes! I remember being alarmed when it hit 8 percent and now it is close to ten.
This drives home the point that inflation is not going away. Sellers will have to raise prices to cover their costs, which will mean more inflation for consumers. A few days ago, I wrote that our economy is out of control; this is another example of rising inflation that the government appears powerless to stop. Or perhaps they don’t want to stop inflation because it is like a secret tax.
When we get down to it, we may have two choices: inflation or recession. I choose recession., but I doubt the government will.
Snow Storm Preparations
Today I dropped off our trash, picked up the mail, filled up my truck and two additional 5-gallon gas tanks. I have a case of oil, so I can change the oil in the generator if we need to use it for days.
While I was out, I picked up a 25-pound bag of black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS) and started feeding a small amount to the chickens. While there are some in their five-grain scratch, I figured an extra ration would give them some added calories and help them keep warm during this cold spell.
My wife spent the evening setting up her “emergency console,” as I like to call it. This is a table on which she lays out her flashlights, transistor radios, spare batteries, etc. She also did a load of laundry, just in case, and I expect we’ll run the dishwasher tomorrow.
I jumped on the bandwagon and started charging all my flashlights, batteries, and power banks, including the batteries for our power tools. Most of our batteries were fully charged, although some of the Enerloop AA and AAA batteries needed charging. I don’t think they live up to their billing of holding their charge three years. My 18650s had dropped from their maximum charge of 4.2 volts do around 4.15. It took only 40 to 50 milliamp hours to top them off. Considering most of these hold 2600 mAh, this isn’t much of an energy loss.
I also gave my wife the rechargeable headlamps that had been in our bug out bags. It is a nice lightweight model that has two settings. The low setting is ideal for close-in work and reading. The other setting is better for walking around in the dark. We each have one, so we plugged them in to charge them up. At last count, we have six headlamps. In case you could not tell, I think they are a critical prepping item. I would not be against having dozens of headlamps as they would make good barter items.
All is Calm
It’s interesting that the people around here are not at all concerned about the predicted snow. If we were back in our old home, the idea of two feet of snow would cause panic. Here they take it in stride because it’s not that unusual. I chatted with a friendly older fellow while we were pumping gas. His chief concern was his feeding his animals.
At least two friends with whole-house generators have offered to have us come over if we need a hot shower if there is a lengthy power outage.
No one living here is going to get caught on the highway unprepared.
Shoe Goo Fails
Well, those shoes I fixed with Shoe Goo fell apart. The sole peeled partway off again. I am lucky to have noticed at home, before I set out.
My take based on my experience of the past two weeks is that Shoe Goo will get you through an emergency, but it will only defer the need to buy new shoes. Now I am in the market for new hikers.