Sun. Jan. 6, 2019 – First week gone

46F and sunny. Yesterday warmed up a bit, and was sunny with a clear blue sky for most of the day. Really nice.

Well, the first week of 2019 is gone. I got no prepping done. No garden, nothing. I did do some stuff around the house.

I re-aimed one of the security cams to get more coverage of the street and the approach to my house. On our “Neighbors Night Out” the Constable’s Deputies who patrol our subdivision asked that we provide more coverage of the street if possible. While I don’t want .gov surveilling my street, I don’t mind if my neighbors do. If it comes to the new stazi, well, some of them disappeared in the middle of the night too. Listening to the scanner the last two days, the police are able to use citizen video to track down and apprehend serious offenders. It takes a lot of effort, and it should. It should not be used trivially. Even just a Ring or equivalent doorbell cam catches the approach to your door, people passing by, and vehicles on the street.

I did a bit of maintenance around the house, cutting back some tree branches, and re-leveling some flagstones in a walkway. I’d like to pick up some of the branches and logs my neighbors have set out for heavy trash, but don’t know if I’ll get the chance to drive around before they finally pick up. Pickup was supposed to be the weekend before Christmas, but they are delayed. There is a lot of debris out that still looks like Harvey flood damage. The volume of debris and heavy trash is probably higher than normal. It sure looks like it.

Sweden got an Ebola scare, just a bit earlier than predictions. Thankfully it was not ebola, but it should be an eye opener. Africa’s problems won’t stay in Africa. I’d suggest being ready to spend 45 days in your house under self quarantine as a minimum goal for pandemic preparedness. That means being ready to earn money and care for your kids too. Probably not a bad idea to look at your PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) situation. Use any bleach that is more than a year old to wash the deck, sidewalk, and driveway, and refresh your stores. If you can’t smell the ‘bleach’ smell, it’s lost its potency. The closest I expect to get to real zombies is some sort of pandemic like ebola breaking out in the first world.

With the incoming House democrats and extremists look for prices on guns and ammo to rise. You did take advantage of the lull to stock up didn’t you? If not, you might want to consider it. If you’ve been thinking about getting your state’s version of a CHL, get off your duff and do it. Get some additional training, and then actually carry. Get comfortable with carrying.

Work on personal fitness too. My goal for the year is to lose some of what accreted around my waist over the last two years, and to work on flexibility, balance, and a bit of strength. Nothing drastic, but I need to stop jamming sugar into my pie hole every night. I need to do a bit of stretching and something for balance, like Tai Chi Chuan, or yoga. It would be nice to swim and rock climb with the kids this year. I’ll start with some stretching at home, and maybe a bit of form, while I wait for all the other New Year’s Resolution goobers to get out of the gyms…..

Hard times are coming. They always are. Sometimes they actually get here. I look at the situation in Venezuela as an example of how quickly (and yet without a specific incident or tipping point) things can change. Five years or less was all it took. Most of their issues were brought on by their ruling class and destructive politics. Do you think ours will do any better?

Robert thought we were headed for a slow decline. I’m arguing that we’re already well into it. I look around and see scavengers everywhere. Ordinary middle class people are dumpster diving, and doing youtube channels about it. Scrap buyers are springing up everywhere to service all the people out picking thru garbage for scrap. Lots of people are becoming ‘resellers’ (like me) and scouring the used marketplace for something they can resell. And the kicker is- they ARE reselling which means other people are buying. They are looking to that secondary market because they can’t or don’t want to spend the money for ‘new’ from a traditional source. Think about what that means in a consumption driven economy.

[aside- first it was the Cash for Gold and Payday Loans storefronts. Then the check cashers, and Car Title Loan places. Now it’s the scrap metal buyers. In other words, people have already sold their gold, leveraged their second biggest asset, no longer have checks to cash, and now are picking up scrap…]

We tolerate a degree of violence, filth, homelessness, public disease, and drug use that is simply astonishing when you take a step back. San Diego and LA wash the streets with bleach in an attempt to stop the spread of serious diseases. San Francisco has needles and feces littering their streets, and NOT just in a Bowery area, but everywhere. Houston has giant tent cities downtown under the freeways. Cali has mile after mile of tent city. MS13 is literally CHOPPING OFF HEADS in NYFC! Long Island for Pete’s sake! But NYC is more concerned with bodegas selling loose untaxed cigarettes and oversized sodas than the serious crimes and gang violence.

The decline has started. Compare five years ago with today, then extrapolate five years hence. What do you need to do today to make that survivable?