Tuesday, 20 October 2015

09:22 – Top of the fold front-page article in the paper this morning that says there are 9,000 people in this county who are addicted to opiates. Seems a bit high to me. County population as of 2010 was about 350,000, so that would mean roughly 2.5% of the population is addicted to heroin, oxycodone, or other opiates, or about one of every 40 people. I’d be very surprised if it was even 1% in our neighborhood, but I suppose it’s much higher in underclass areas that surround us.

We’re starting post-freeze/thaw germination tests on 30 species of seeds today, so we’ll set up an assembly line to get that done efficiently. We’ll allow them to germinate for five days, and then compare germination rates with the control specimens. Barbara is sitting at the table right now, making up little ziplock bags of seeds nestled in paper towels dampened in Miracle-Gro fertilizer. Five days from now, we’ll count the number of each seed type that’s germinated successfully and determine percentage germination rates.

Then we’ll start packaging those that pass the freeze/thaw germination test, and start further drying and then retesting on those that don’t. We’ll start shipping the kits as soon as we have everything tested successfully.

My profound hope is that no one will ever actually NEED these kits, that things will get back on the right course and there will be no disruptions in the food supply. I think that’s the most likely outcome, but I also think that the probability of a bad outcome is high enough to be terrifying to anyone who’s watching what’s going on. The last thing I want is for Barbara and me to have to grow our own food. Actually, that’s the next-to-last thing I want; the last thing I want is for us to go hungry.


12:38 – Someone asked some time ago in the comments about how much detail I’d go into for the planting guide to be included in the seed kits. Here’s an example for one of the species:

Bean (Lima)

The Henderson Bush Lima Bean is an annual, early-maturing, heat- and drought-tolerant baby bush bean that requires no poles for support. It is widely adapted, and can be grown successfully in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9. This plant produces copious 3” to 4” pods. The seeds are light green when fresh, and dry to a white to very pale tan color.

Lima beans are suitable companion crops for most other species, particularly including other beans (where cross-pollination is not an issue), beets, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, collards, corn, cucumber, potato, squash, sunflower, and tomato. Avoid planting Lima beans near chives, onion, garlic, fennel, leek, shallot, or other Allium family members.

Plant in well-drained soil in full sun at least two weeks after the last frost, when soil temperature is at least 70º. Plant 1” deep, eye-side down, 4” to 6” apart, with 3′ row separation. (The eight ounces of seeds included in the HS-1 seed kit are sufficient to plant a 160′ to 280′ row.) Use compost, manure, or other organic matter to enrich the soil, and work it deeply. If available, treat seeds with a Rhizobia inoculant suitable for P. lunatus. Germination may be slow.

After germination, thin to 8” apart, but do not transplant the plants you have pulled. Avoid watering, which may damage seedlings. Carefully weed only until the plants come into bloom, because flowers are very delicate and may be damaged or destroyed by weeding. Mature plants are 12” to 18” tall. First harvest should be 60 to 80 days after germination. For consumption, carefully pick pods when pods begin to fill out and are firm. Prompt and frequent picking increases yield and produces tender beans. Leaving pods on the plants yields beans that are too tough for consumption, and are suitable only for saving for next year’s crop. Lima beans may be eaten fresh, canned, or frozen, or they can be dried for later consumption.

Lima beans are pollinated by bees. For seed saving, avoid cross-pollination with other varieties of Lima, fava, or runner beans by isolating the plants you save seed from by a quarter mile or more. Alternatively, you can plant flowers to attract bees away from the Lima bean plants intended for seed saving. At the end of the growing season allow the pods to dry thoroughly on the bush. Dried pods are light brown, and the pod will rattle when shaken. After drying in place, pick the pods and remove the seeds. Spread the seeds to dry further, and store them in a cool, dry place for planting the following year.

50 thoughts on “Tuesday, 20 October 2015”

  1. I’d be very surprised if it was even 1% in our neighborhood, but I suppose it’s much higher in underclass areas that surround us.

    Opiate addiction is cross class. Even the rich and famous can be addicted (i.e. Rush Limbaugh). I live in an upper middle class neighborhood and one of the neighbors was arrested for stealing pain pills from a neighbor. It can start with a prescription for back pain or post-operative pain and progress to addiction. It’s why it’s very, very hard to get a legitimate prescription for anything above Tramadol. One national drug store chain has stopped dispensing most opiates. The government has declared war on doctors that prescribe them and the outlets that sell them.

  2. My job today was canceled late last night, which is just as well, as I managed to get a head cold yesterday. A lot of our work is in doctors’ offices and I suspect this came from there. Another person in our group a couple days ago was sick, but showed up anyway. Lawsuits are like steam rollers with momentum, and the sick guy was the only one in his office familiar with that case, so substitutes were not possible and that depo had already been postponed and was finally commanded by a judge for that date. It really was not possible for the sick guy to do anything BUT show up.

    So a Trudeau is back in power. Not that the Canadians have much influence on US politics and policy–which is a shame. A friend was joking about this Trudeau, Margaret’s son. He commented that the guy does not look at all like Pierre; to which I responded, “No, he looks more like Mick Jagger.”

  3. Oh, I don’t doubt that opiate addiction crosses classes, but I still doubt that more than 1% of the people in this neighborhood are addicts.

    I’m a big fan of Tramadol. It should be OTC. Its addictive potential is nil, and its therapeutic index makes it nearly impossible to overdose on.

  4. Tramadol is also on my wizard list. Give me P. somniferum seeds, and I’ll eventually turn out Tramadol in reasonable quantities. Only if TSHTF, of course.

  5. We know that various levels of opiate addiction are here in this county but we’ve also noticed a minor trend with the MSM jokers regularly churning up hysterical scare stories that it’s an “epidemic” and the streets are just crawling with junkies. I’d wager there is far more abuse of alcohol than opiates, anywhere in this country, but it’s rarely put at the same level as drugs, and the hysteria among the med profession is such that we gotta worry that we won’t get sufficient pain meds if we have procedures done that cause a lotta pain. Already it’s a standard one-size-fits-all when they prescribe.

    It does cross class lines, but the preponderance here seems to be among young people, who do pills AND heroin, break into houses, and rob banks. If it’s one in 40, then we got maybe a thousand or 1,200 or so junkies here in this county of about 48,000, and probably around 400 in this town and “city.” Enough to be concerned about B&E’s and home invasions, not to mention standing in line at the bank to make a deposit and having some junkie clown show up suddenly with a gun, or in the case of the last cretin, his son’s toy gun.

    I also note the presence of 4,000 veterans in this county, or one in twelve peeps. Probably around 400 combat vets and 40 or so hardcore muthas. I need to make the acquaintance of more of these guys at the local posts and the gun range. But it’s kinda hard hanging around the posts when they’re still, after all these years, little more than bars, and the occasional big charitable event and the annual parades.

    Overcast and gray and windy, but I take the position that the fall colors stand out even more.

  6. I have been on hydrocodone/acet for many years. I see my doctor every 3-months for my diabetes so I meet the State requirement that allows him to prescribe the hydrocodone and he must annually send me to a “pain therapy specialist” (a real quack who doesn’t have a clue about pain management) just to satisfy a State requirement. Starting about 2-years ago I can now only get a 30-day supply (used to be able to get 90-day) at a time and I must go to the doctors office and get a script printed on a special paper and signed by the doctor, then take it to the pharmacy and wait to get it filled.

    My doctor tells me that the State considers anyone who has taken any prescribed opiate for my than 30 days to be an “addict”. It is probably the same where you are at @RBT so that would explain what you consider a high number.

    The WA State regulations and bureaucracy for opiates got way more restrictive two years ago. So, the pharmacy price for hydrocodone has gone from less than $10 for 120 tabs to $73.35, I now have to pay a $20 co-pay. If a person does not have a regular doctor and follows all the BS requirements they are SOL. Is it any wonder that it is readily available on the street.

  7. Yeah, I was unclear, and Mr. DadCooks illustrates the problem nicely. Many of the so-called “junkies” are regular citizens who have difficulties for various reasons managing pain. So what are they supposed to do? Jump through the med establishment’s and gummint’s endless hoops and expenses so they don’t live in agony the rest of their lives? What if they can’t? That leaves the black market, doesn’t it? Illegal. Potential for arrest and imprisonment. What a sick effin country.

  8. Well, I’ve often argued that all drugs should be completely uncontrolled, including heroin, crack cocaine, crystal meth, and so on.

    It seems that the UN agrees with me, because it’s just recently called for removing controls on everything.

  9. “Let Darwin sort them out?”

    Yes. With maybe one-shot deals for those seriously trying to get off something, including booze.

    I see Webb is considering a third-party run now; he must be on something; what’s the friggin’ point?

    Empress Cankles cometh, the rough beast slouching out of Arkansas…but I’d take a bet that she’ll croak or be otherwise incapacitated while in office and the VP will take over. At some point, the Exec branch may get so bad that a general or admiral will step in.

  10. Miles said

    That’s not my experience. Minority governments tend to be beholden to Green nutcases and make very bad policy decisions to keep them onside.

    That’s more likely in a proportional representation systems. Here, the Green party once again won one seat, for its leader. There are only three parties that count and the differences among them are small. The fringe parties simply fail to get any traction in Canada. There once was a member of the Communist Party of Canada also elected to Parliament. The Canadian electorate tend to stick fairly close to the centre. Repeated attempts to move us very far either to the left or the right always fail. Harper’s backbenchers have always considered him to be too left wing. Mulcair’s supports say that he’s too right wing. The Liberals at the moment seem to have no platform at all.

    Trudeau’s majority is the second worst outcome as far as I’m concerned. The worst would have been another Harper (conservative) majority. I had hoped for either a Conservative (Harper or better, his successor) or an NPD (Mulcair) minority. But we have Trudeau now. I suspect that he may well self destruct much as Paul Martin did. Paul Martin was a brilliant Minister of Finance, one of the best we ever had but proved to be a totally incompetent as Prime Minister. With luck we will have less than five years of this Bozo.

  11. But we have Trudeau now. I suspect that he may well self destruct much as Paul Martin did. Paul Martin was a brilliant Minister of Finance, one of the best we ever had but proved to be a totally incompetent as Prime Minister. With luck we will have less than five years of this Bozo.

    Do you have Sharia courts yet? If so, good luck with those.

  12. Well, I’ve often argued that all drugs should be completely uncontrolled, including heroin, crack cocaine, crystal meth, and so on.

    It seems that the UN agrees with me, because it’s just recently called for removing controls on everything.

    URL?

  13. I generally agree about drugs, but I worry about the kids. Mine, especially. Unfettered access to these things, in the hands of children, can lead to some pretty gruesome results. I think reasonable controls on hazardous substances does promote the general welfare. But drawing that line? That’s the hard part.

    Perhaps Pournelle’s position that Snake Oil MUST contain the oil of a snake makes sense. Then leave the rest to the market.

  14. Almost agreed on removing restrictions on drugs. The only exception I can think of is for antibiotics. Misuse affects the health of others, not just the user. There’s a reason that a lot of superbugs are originating in the PRC and other places where antibiotics are OTC.

  15. Agreed. I’ve always said that antibiotics should be the only controlled drug.

  16. Jump through the med establishment’s and gummint’s endless hoops and expenses so they don’t live in agony the rest of their lives?

    Don’t blame the doctors for the problems getting pain meds. Blame Washington. Blame you local state government. They are the ones that have added all the hoops to jump through. With doctors being prosecuted like mentioned above, expect fewer docs to prescribe “scheduled” painkillers. To the detriment of us all.

  17. They are not prosecuting just the docs. A pharmacist friend of mine was working over at a pharmacy here in Houston. She warned her boss to stop filling so many pain meds and decided to jump jobs over it. The next month, the DEA came in and closed the pharmacy.

    I think that this is the case but I am not sure at all:
    http://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/pr/doctor-and-pharmacist-charged-distributing-16-million-doses-oxycodone

    That would give one a healthy dose of fear in doing your job.

  18. “Don’t blame the doctors for the problems getting pain meds. Blame Washington. Blame you local state government. They are the ones that have added all the hoops to jump through.”

    You are correct; I was once again unclear; what a demented old boob I am. Jeez. Yes, it’s again, the State that makes the docs and nurses jump through hoops so that we, too, can jump through them. I didn’t mean to dump specifically on the docs.

    “That would give one a healthy dose of fear in doing your job.”

    Yup. The DEA, yet another Fed agency rife with incompetence and corruption, but they won’t hesitate to ruin your livelihood, your life and your property anyway. We’re probably all gonna be on our lonesome with various meds if the SHTF bad enough, unless, of course, we have a local wizard who can concoct stuff for us. Maybe some of us oughta take RBT’s home-study courses and do a bit of research in that area; what sayeth thee, Mr. nick? Where’s Mr. nick? Hope he wasn’t carried off by coyotes, sidewinders or yet another dang flood….

  19. Ah, a longtime pharmacist in Tiny Town was shut down for supposedly dispensing pain meds without a prescription. They did not put him in jail, but he lost his license.

    I do blame the doctors, because this is their industry and even their own orders are being countermanded by the likes of insurance companies and others. The nurse of one of my doctors said the insurance companies tell patients they will only pay for ‘medication x’, when the doctor prescribed ‘medication y’, because the patient has conditions that prevent the use of ‘x’. The problem is out-of-control and doctors need to take a loud lead in getting it cleaned up.

    The nonsense has even affected me. I was always able to get 6 months of my medications at once in Germany. Not here. I signed up for an insurance plan that is supposed to send the drugs by mail, 3 months at a time. It is now the 10th month and they have provided me with only 5 months of meds so far. I have had to go back to Walmart to get them refilled monthly, which has always been problematic, because I pass Walmart on the way to work before the pharmacy opens, and drive by again after it is closed, on my way home. I have probably accumulated 3 weeks of days this year without meds as a result. No pharmacy in Tiny Town is open past 8 o’clock.

    Agree with OFD that alcohol is as problematic as drug addictions. However, I do not see obviously drunk people on the street here, as I did in Deutschland. It was especially rife after football games (soccer to Americans), when gangs of inebriated grown men–some of whom could hardly stand or walk) would be a major bother to patrons of the transit system. I once saw a bus driver take the keys and walk away from his bus when a rowdy group would not do as the driver ordered them.

    In my work, I deal with lawyers almost daily and law enforcement a couple times a month. Both say the drug problem in my area is serious. Sheriff says the vast majority of people locked up in this and surrounding counties (sheriffs run the jails around here) are for using and/or dealing drugs. Meth labs are rife around me, and about once or twice a month, one catches fire or blows up. Amazing how many people think they are super chemists–even though most are school dropouts. Latest nearly burned down a whole trailer court in a neighboring county. The sheriff says the drug problem is worst in Anderson, the former home to Delco-Remy and Guide Lamp. Anderson was once a boom town, but like Tiny Town, has shrunk to considerably less than half its peak population. Guess I have to agree with our host that it is the poor who are the big problem, as I am the only employed person on my whole street (which is 3 blocks long). I am also about the only person not using EBT cards in stores here.

    Meanwhile, the older guy (mid-70’s) who lived next door to Tiny House, just moved out. His longtime girlfriend (decades) died almost 2 years ago now. He told me a couple months ago that he just could no longer afford the combined mortgage and maintenance for that house without her Social Security. He had 8 years left on the 30 year mortgage.

    So he declared bankruptcy, and is letting the house go to the bank. His house was built by my grandfather and his brother for their sister, and is a mirror image of Tiny House, with kitchen windows facing each other so the sisters in-law could wave to each other. Oddly, he and his first wife never divorced, and he has moved in with her and 3 of their daughters who live together in the next major town east of here.

    This means that I am now surrounded by 3 empty houses. Guy across the street abandoned his, turning it back to the bank about a year ago. It is still empty, although a Freddie Mac sign appeared in the window last week. House next to that was renovated for sale a year ago and was on the market for a good 8 months but never sold. Renters then moved in, but just left after only about 6 months. That house is empty and for sale again–this time by owner, who bought it as income property before the housing crash.

    Tiny Town is not the hottest real estate market on the planet, although it may be the slowest.

  20. The DEA, yet another Fed agency rife with incompetence and corruption

    -shrug- What do you expect? The DEA was unConstitutional from the very first day for every dollar spent and every action taken. Given that they are not acting legally, they can be acting only bureaucratically or ideologically.

    In this and other things, Thou shalt remember the Tenth Amendment and keep it wholly.

  21. Meanwhile, the older guy (mid-70’s) who lived next door to Tiny House, just moved out. His longtime girlfriend (decades) died almost 2 years ago now. He told me a couple months ago that he just could no longer afford the combined mortgage and maintenance for that house without her Social Security. He had 8 years left on the 30 year mortgage.

    So he declared bankruptcy, and is letting the house go to the bank. His house was built by my grandfather and his brother for their sister, and is a mirror image of Tiny House, with kitchen windows facing each other so the sisters in-law could wave to each other. Oddly, he and his first wife never divorced, and he has moved in with her and 3 of their daughters who live together in the next major town east of here.

    Newest line in the book, “Hey baby, wanna combine EBTs?”.

    It is getting weird out there.

  22. Newest line in the book, “Hey baby, wanna combine EBTs?”.

    Not new at all. I’ve known several older people who lived together in order to combine SS and manage to pay the bills. I’m not sure about marriage; have heard conflicting stories about whether it’s better for them to get married or better not.

  23. Hey all, appreciate the concern, there is a real community here.

    I’m being a bit cagey for security reasons. I’d hate for anyone to be shot by my house sitter, thinking my house was empty because I was traveling….

    It’s tedious to post from my phone, even using Swype. Lots of autocorrecttofix. And some won’t fix no matter what I try.

    I have our host’s chemistry book, a variety of wizard references, some of the required apparatus, and interest, but no time, and there is a large learning curve. Perhaps if things hold together long enough, I will learn it alongside my daughter.

    I haven’t seen much news, I assume the kard ass Ian’s are still busy doing whatever it is they do, still have big behinds, and the media still is trying to convince the world that that is what sexy looks like. Politics seem to be proceeding apace, although I see that hilarity has the name of a cia source in an email. My understanding is that source name is automatically TS/SCI and she knows that. I could be wrong, but that should be a smoking gun if one was needed.

    Bed time now. I’m sure there will be more later.

    Nick

  24. No, it takes a chemist or a biologist, ideally both, to make a wizard. And that scientist needs a lot of good reference materials, like the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Encyclopedia.

    http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/081551526X

    I have dozens of such references, and from them I could make important stuff myself, although I’d prefer someone with more recent serious lab experience to take the lead.

  25. someone with more recent serious lab experience

    Like one of the meth brewers that live near Chuck. Not one of the guys who blows himself up, though.

  26. Not new at all. I’ve known several older people who lived together in order to combine SS and manage to pay the bills. I’m not sure about marriage; have heard conflicting stories about whether it’s better for them to get married or better not.

    All the ones I know are older women living together to save money and for companionship. One friend of mine is 70 and moves between her RV in Galveston and a friends house here in the Land of Sugar weekly. She goes down to PL and spends weeks with my parents at a time (they have been friends for 40+ years).

    My father-in-law has buried two wives. His current girlfriend won’t marry him because she would lose the benefits from her late husband who was a captain for American Airlines. We put my FIL in a nursing home XXXXX XXXX skilled nursing facility about 1.5 years ago and his girlfriend visits him twice each day, on the way to work and on the way home. Yup, she is 82 and works 4 to 6 hours, five or six days per week, selling perfume at Macy’s.

  27. @Lynn
    “Do you have Sharia courts yet? If so, good luck with those.”

    No and not a chance.

    Sharia courts would be unconstitutional at the Federal (criminal) level and invoking the “notwithstanding clause” of the constitution would be suicide for the government that tried it.

    A province might try and add some aspects of sharia law to its family law but again it would be open to a constitutional challenge and the political fallout would probably be catastrophic to the government that tried it. There was an attempt to add sharia law to family law in Ontario and it was rejected out of hand. A few years ago, the Conservative candidate (John Tory) running for premier of Ontario said that he would extend public funding to other denominational schools (Catholic schools do get public funding here, but that is an arrangement that goes back to Confederation). That brought a shitstorm of biblical proportions down on his head. A shame really because except for that boneheaded policy, he probably would have been the best premier we’ve had in decades. Instead we have the Liberal cretins who can’t even tell if they’re lying, they’ve been estranged from the truth for so long. John Tory is now mayor of Toronto. So far he’s been better than Ford.

    Of as much interest as the election here is the trial of Toronto Police Const. James Forcillo. This sterling example of police competence shot Sammy Yatim eight times. His first three shots hit him in the chest and took him down . He then fired six more time, hitting him five times. The kid was standing at the other end of a streetcar. He was holding a pen knife but had made made no move towards the cop (or anywhere else). There were four other cops there at the time. I don’t have a handy link but the story is all over the Canadian media. To date, no cop, on duty, has ever been convicted of homicide. We follow this with interest. Even more interesting is the fact that a cop with a taser showed up after the shooting. Go Metro’s finest!

  28. I haven’t seen much news, I assume the kard ass Ian’s are still busy doing whatever it is they do

    lol I guess you didn’t hear about Lamar Odom OD’ing in a whore house here in NV. A week long binge of alc, drugs and whores. Two whores reported him unconscious in his suite at the Ho House. They were going to medevac him on a chopper, but he is too damn big, so it was a coach ride to Vegas. Apparently he almost died, stroke(s), organs shut down, the works. His ex Khloe big-ass rushed to his bed, dumping her current squeeze. Now the whole clan is here is Vegas. Probably to film for the TV show. lol

  29. My father-in-law has buried two wives.

    I’m frequently tempted to do that, too. If she hasn’t pissed me off lately, I may even wait until she’s dead first.

  30. “Tiny Town is not the hottest real estate market on the planet, although it may be the slowest.”

    Mr. Chuck, weren’t you planning to sell Tiny House and move out, IIRC? Sounds like a dying town and region, like so many around the country. We saw it here in New England decades ago when all the textile mills rolled south to the Carolinas for the cheaper labor, lol. Lotta dead ol’ mill towns here, where, as one of the engineers at my first full-time IT job used to say…”where the teenage girls push their baby carriages down the street at night and smoke cigarettes…” Adult men and women sitting on their front steps during the weekdays with ciggies and cheap-ass Murkan lager six-packs. That said, they didn’t blow up and burn their own ‘hoods when their sports teams won or lost.

    “In this and other things, Thou shalt remember the Tenth Amendment and keep it wholly.”

    Agreed 100%. Now step outside tomorrow morning and ask any dozen Murkan citizens on the street what it is. Hell, make it two or three dozen.

    “I think that @nick is on the road.”

    That’s right, I forgot. You youngsters got better memories than me.

    “… although I see that hilarity has the name of a cia source in an email. My understanding is that source name is automatically TS/SCI and she knows that. I could be wrong, but that should be a smoking gun if one was needed.”

    No one cares. She’s The Annointed One. Our first womyn Prez. On your knees, boy. Of course you or I would have already had the secret court hearing by a picked judge and been sent to Utter Perdition, a cell deep and dark somewhere forever, probably. Others, and recently, too, have gone to jail for far less.

    “Not one of the guys who blows himself up, though.”

    No chit, hombre. I have my scanners on all the time and I’m just waiting for one of these cretin rat-fuckers to do that up here so I can rush over and get vids to upload to the net and make a few bucks.

    “Instead we have the Liberal cretins who can’t even tell if they’re lying, they’ve been estranged from the truth for so long.”

    Don’t feel lonely; we have these sons of bitches down here in the millions, and they generally have control of most of the media, “education,” and very well represented at all levels of government and throughout corporate life now as well. Cankles lied throughout the supposed Dem debate here recently, and more than two-dozen of them were cataloged, documented and put out on the net. The result? Crickets. And she “won” the debate, so naturally that should clinch the Presidency. Maybe she can hook up with your PM and generate some mutual communist repression across the border.

    ” This sterling example of police competence shot Sammy Yatim eight times. His first three shots hit him in the chest and took him down . He then fired six more time, hitting him five times.”

    Well yeah; the corpse was still twitching and put the police officer in fear for his life in case the perp might be able to still launch that pen knife at him. Naturally the other four bozos on the scene did nothing and will stick up for him.

    “Now the whole clan is here is Vegas. Probably to film for the TV show. lol”

    Y’all have so much fun out there! I might fly out with wife if she gets a gig sometime; she’s been there before. I wanna see Babylon-in-the-Desert and genuflect at Bugsy Seigel’s grave.

    Speaking of wife, she’s in rural Louisiana this week and the weather warmed up a bit today, so she’s keeping a real close eye out for slithering venomous reptiles down near the bayou there. Checks the place good at night and makes sure the doors are all closed tight and looks out first in the AM before she leaves for the day. That’s one damn thing we don’t gotta worry about up here.

  31. Mr. Chuck, weren’t you planning to sell Tiny House and move out, IIRC? Sounds like a dying town and region, like so many around the country. We saw it here in New England decades ago when all the textile mills rolled south to the Carolinas for the cheaper labor, lol. Lotta dead ol’ mill towns here, where, as one of the engineers at my first full-time IT job used to say…”where the teenage girls push their baby carriages down the street at night and smoke cigarettes…” Adult men and women sitting on their front steps during the weekdays with ciggies and cheap-ass Murkan lager six-packs.

    No different now in Tiny Town. When I was a kid, nobody was on the porch until after supper. Now there are people sitting out all during the day smoking. (And where does the money come from for their ciggies these days?—which aren’t cheap!) Hardly anyone even tries to find work around here—even the young girls and boys pushing baby carriages.

    In Germany, you had 2 strikes if unemployed. Their unemployment office (which was more of a placement service than the totally ineffective system we have here) sent you out on interviews, and if you were offered a job, you could turn down 2. The third you must take, or lose all of your unemployment money (which was equivalent to the full pay of your last job for up to 8 months, then slid down in steps to nothing should no one offer a job). The work ethic was high there, though. Few people actually wanted to sit around on their ass collecting the dole. Work was life to them, and not working was just unimaginable—unlike here. Same with rules. Rules were worshiped and obeyed without question.

    There were 5 renters in the house across the street (until a couple weeks ago) including 3 adults. None of the adults worked, but yet, they appeared to lack nothing and had 3x 5 or 6 year-old cars. No visible means of support, but yet, they lived like the middle-class. The mother of the middle-schoolers there had just gotten out of 6 months of jail for drug offenses, and she had a massive public break-up with her husband the day he got out of jail just before they all recently moved out. Both she and the husband had just turned 32. There was always lots of yelling coming from inside that house. Grandmother and her younger boyfriend, jailbird daughter and 2 of her 3 girls (her 18 year-old had left home because she was sick of the mother’s repeated drug offenses—which means the mom had the oldest when she was REALLY young).

    Yes, my intention to sell remains unchanged, but there is about zero demand for houses built in 1923 around here; only the modern ones are turning, and they are bargains here. Retail is almost non-existent, and prices at Walmart, groceries, and gasoline are significantly higher here than equivalent stores in Indy and Muncie. Thus I do most of my shopping either after work in Indy or on a trip up to Muncie, which is about 20 minutes north.

    I have gone through lots of mental exercises about how to proceed, but the bottom line is that it could possibly jeopardize my finances to go ahead and leave the unsold house, until I get fully on my own Social Security, which will considerably increase what I currently get from my wife’s death benefits. But that is still almost 3 years away. Renting the house out is not a plan, as my research into that has revealed renters these days do not take care of a house and $2,000 of repairs is a minimum to expect between renters. The owner across the street had the house in pristine condition trying to sell it, and says it is going to take $1,500 to bring it back after getting only 6 months of rent at $400/mo. He is in a bind, because property taxes here are considerably more for rentals, whether the house is rented or sits empty. He is going to owe more in taxes and repairs than he earned in rent this year.

    Also, my intention had been to build the earth-sheltered house design my wife and I worked on while still in Germany, but I am having serious second thoughts about that. A friend who is about 8 years my senior and active, has just closed on a condo in Muncie and will turn his house over to a younger niece, as he judges that the lawn upkeep and winter snow removal is now beyond his capabilities. Although I still do both, they are becoming more of a chore than the breeze they were in my younger days (in my mid-20’s, I spent a half hour every winter day at 06:00 in Minneapolis snow blowing and shoveling). By the time another 2 years pass (assuming the house does not sell), I am guessing my interest in building a house will have passed—even though I have already done some research on possible locations. I have no bank to turn this house back to, and the city will not voluntarily take it.

    So the status quo remains—who knows for how long?

  32. Sounds like you should consider becoming a slumlord, turning your house into a rooming house and renting out rooms to illegals.

  33. I have been to Tiny Town. There aren’t enough jobs there to attract illegals as far as I can tell. I hadn’t realized it was as bad as Chuck described, but I realized things were better in Smallville. Although I’m not sure my once or twice a year visits to Tiny Town are enough to have an accurate opinion.

  34. @nick, I have been using the dictation function on the stock keyboard on my Note 3. It does take some practice, but works better than any voice recognition I have tried so far. Amazingly fast and accurate. I believe Google does its magic on their cloud servers.

    For times when I don’t think that fast, I type. I have Predictive text and swipe turned off. Suits me.

  35. “Rules were worshiped and obeyed without question.”

    Ja, die welt knows full well. The situation there in Tiny Town does not sound good at all; what is law enforcement like there and the crime rate? I dunno what the CCW law is in Indiana offhand; but shouldn’t you be carrying? That and a lot of your travel is around courthouses and law offices.

    The scenario I described concerning Maffachufetts was nearly thirty years ago; it’s worse now, with way too many peeps on the dole permanently, yet, as we’ve all noticed, there is evidently plenty of dough for ciggies, beer, junk food, etc. Dope dealer across the street here drives a red BMW (like he’s at Le Mans) and has a giant-screen tee-vee in his subsidized apartment which we can see flickering at 02:00 most nights (when the old folks get up to pee). And this isn’t a bad ‘hood at all; the trailer park several miles up the road and down in a bog near the lake shore is kinda nightmarish; like stereotyped Appalachia on Halloween. And a couple of ‘hoods near the downtown of the “city” are a little sketchy. These will be the source, or are currently, of our two-legged threats, not counting any survivors of the zombie hordes fleeing Megalopolis and inexplicably headed up this way for our northern winters.

  36. So the status quo remains—who knows for how long?

    Mr. Chuck, when it comes down to finally moving, have you looked at auctioning the house off? It might go, and for cheap, but it would be off your hands. There are any number of house auction places. Also, watch for those “we buy houses” signs and adds when you want to get out. Also will go for cheap, but it will be off your hands.

  37. For some reason, that made me think of Les Nessman on WKRP trying to pronounce Chi Chi Rodriguez. Cheye-Cheye Rod-ruh-gueeze. And Chihuahua as Chee-who-ah-who-ah.

  38. Retail is almost non-existent, and prices at Walmart, groceries, and gasoline are significantly higher here than equivalent stores in Indy and Muncie.

    It is not just you. Our Walmart prices are significantly higher also, up 10 to 15% in the last year alone. Walmart has decided to stop seeking the bottom pricing and is competing for the hearts and minds of consumers on a level basis. It is not going well for them as Wall Street just noticed.

  39. It could be that the execs are trying to get back the taxes they know are going to what would otherwise be the indigent here. Although I was off again today, I had to deliver a check and in the next county over, bought gas for $1.99/gal. Tiny Town gas is price-fixed and locked in at 2.49. Just a perfect example of how everything is sold at a premium in this truly depressed town.

    Actually, I have looked into the auction angle, but have it on good inside authority that there is a mafia-like connection going on here. Only 2 auctioneers will do houses in the county, and there is a string of ‘insider trading’ where the houses go for a song (couple thousand) to a plant. They then turn around and sell privately a few months later for as much as 10 times what the plant supposedly paid. The giveaway was when one of the plants turned out—on the Assessor’s records—to be a relative of the auctioneer. As a result of this, there are never any farm auctions in this county, because all the farmers know they will get screwed.

    This is a strange (and OFD is right), probably dangerous place. When I was about 4 years old, the governor had to bring in the National Guard to quell shootings that were going on during strikes at Perfect Circle Piston Rings, and Ingersoll Steel here. The town is still run by union radicals who have infiltrated the politics here. Which is one reason why there has never been a replacement of businesses that have left—the godfather does not do compromises or tax relief for new businesses, thus the new Honda plant is in Greensburg, not Tiny Town—as those were the two final contenders.

    I could sell for $12 to 15k (it WILL go for that price) but I have $20k in the kitty as of this date. The question is whether to treat that as a sunk cost and take the 12k, or hold out with the hope I can clear 20k. Although it would be more convenient to be outta here, I can deal with the travel at the moment.

    Walmart has become an intolerable place for me to shop. I avoid it except for a couple items I cannot get elsewhere. The climate there changed radically when they did the major renovations just after I returned in 2010. Stockers in the customer’s way, used to apologize, move, and even offer to get an item if you still could not reach it. Recently, I asked a stocker if he would move so I could get something, and he told me to come back in about 10 minutes as he would be done then. Walmart is now the worst around here at having only a couple manned checkouts open, hoping everyone will choose the self-checkouts. My last wait was over 20 minutes, which is another reason I avoid Walmart at all costs.

    I probably already mentioned that I know 2 people who were on the overnight shift at the local Walmart. Management accused the night shift of theft, but had no specific proof—like security cameras. They ended up firing everybody on that shift. It wasn’t them, as the pilfering continued unabated. That’s tragic treatment, which is why I support the anarchy views of Emma Goldman. This state is famous for allowing companies to ‘fire somebody if they don’t like the color of your tie’. I personally had the top boss at a place I worked in Indy, tell me that—although he did not fire me, and he was gone before I was.

  40. My former boss at IBM once told me that although he’d been there eighteen years, he could get canned over nothing at all in a haht-beat. His boss could be out playing golf with some other boss and the other boss might say “Hey, ya know that guy you got working for ya over at the data centers? I really don’t like him; if I make this next putt, you gotta fire him.” And he would be gone.

    He was gone anyway, about a month after they dumped me and a few hundred others. He started “reading law,” which you can do here in Vermont, but I see he’s gone back to IT management and now has an “IT architect” job with the state, where his wife has worked for a zillion years. I’m still out, but the hell with it. I have other fish to fry.

    @Mr. Chuck; given your environment and travels out there, I’d look into a CCW permit if that is what’s required and start carrying. Get the training, of course, but man, I’d certainly be packing heat if I was you. I do here, and this is Retroville, but we got some real characters floating around.

  41. The problem is out-of-control and doctors need to take a loud lead in getting it cleaned up.

    Doctors have bitched about narrow drug formularies since they started, to no avail. Here’s why:
    Company Beancounter: “Our employees are complaining about getting the drugs they need.”
    Insurance Saleman: “Well, you are on our most restricted formulary for drugs.”
    CB: “We want your widest formulary for drugs.”
    IS: “O.K. Let me check …. we can do that by increasing premiums by 10%.”
    CB: “Never mind.”

  42. Recently, I asked a stocker if he would move so I could get something, and he told me to come back in about 10 minutes as he would be done then.

    Welcome to people working by the job instead of by the hour. That dude is a contractor who bid for the job. You are lucky he did not just ignore you.

    This is the brave new world. People are paid by the job instead of by time on the job. I am fairly sure that I do not approve. My home addition was built this way. The wood framer had to come back five times to rework stuff or add a new feature. He told me that he was only paid for the first visit, all other visits were considered warranty work.

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