Tues. Dec. 8, 2020 – work, work, work. And more work.

Cool and sunny, lots of wind.

That was Monday to a ‘T’.  Still not drying outside even with only 35%RH.  I’ve still got standing water on my driveway from 2 days ago.

Well, I took 6 more bins of stuff to the auctioneer yesterday.  And I didn’t even get into the driveway, much into the garage, or at all in my secondary or my storage unit.   I’m going to continue pulling stuff today, and I’ll either get one last drop off today (if I can get away with my wife at work) or I’ll take some to my other auction tomorrow when I go to do my settlement with them.  It won’t be before Christmas, but it will be ready to go right after.  I’m finding stuff I forgot about which is nice but also horrifying.   I found some model train stuff, and some nice Hot Wheels cars from the mid and late 70s.  They should do well.  I wish I had a thousand of them though.

My industrial auctioneer is still listing a few items they didn’t get in the last one, but he’s already told me twice he doesn’t want more stuff from me until next year in January.  I’ve got a ton of stuff for him, but I can’t force people to take it.

On a personal level, I’m feeling very anxious while out driving around.  Everywhere I look I see new bums panhandling.  I see more new For Lease signs.  I saw workers taking down a big sign on a business today, and a whole strip development on what is a pretty busy street with ALL the businesses closed.  There were several- a chinese buffet, and ‘alkaline water’ boutique, some other salon, and a phone or tech repair place.  All gone this week.  Lots more trash in front of several stores too.  Goodwill is parking trailers full of stuff in front of the Outlet.  They can’t process the stuff fast enough to get rid of it.  Even the temporary ‘day’ labor provider across from the Goodwill closed down.

On the sorta prepping front, my wife did most of the jewelry badge with her Girl Scouts this weekend.  I was able to provide a dozen sets of pliers, wire, jump rings and clasps, different stones charms and bits from old costume jewelry, and some of reference material, even a ring sizing mandrel (one part of the badge is learning about the tools.)  I had accumulated the stuff with an eye toward craft projects with  my kids.  I had plenty to share…

And I went into Costco today.  I needed to pick up the Christmas cards, so I walked through the store too.  Not much Christmas merch left on the floor.  And they reorganized the whole place since I was last there!   It looks like they did a major upgrade to their cooling system, made dairy and eggs a big walk in cooler, and tied all their display coolers together- there were pipes linking them that weren’t there before.    They still had a guy wiping cooler door handles, and aisles seemed wider.  I could see marks on the floor that showed that the stuff HAD moved.   They had a whole corral set up for TP, mostly piles of Kirkland, but they had Charmin blue label, so I bought some.  $23 instead of $16 on sale, but it’s time to start building the stack up again.   The only other prices that jumped out at me were $1.87/lb for spiral sliced ham, and in the other direction, $6/lb for Kirkland organic ground beef.   It’s been on sale to match their normal ground beef in the past.  Normal hamburger was ~$3/lb which is a good price.

The TP was my only purchase.  I’ll do instacart for my normal stuff.

The lot was not full, nor were there lines for gas, but it was a Monday afternoon, which is normally a slower time anyway.  During my other dropoff I drove right past what should have been a busy shopping area, but it was not.  In person retail is in trouble if that’s any indication.

All this is to say, even here, in one of the strongest local economies in the country, with ‘sensible’ restrictions from COVID, I’m seeing evidence that the economy is in trouble at ground level.  Big trouble.   We’ve found our local charity for the season, the Stagehand’s local has an emergency fund and present collection for their members.  Yes, they are union pukes.  But they’re OUR pukes… (my wife was card carrying for years) and entertainment is in our blood as well as being part of my wife’s business.  I encourage you to find something local and direct that you can help with this year.  And if you need help, get it, there are resources out there.

Local local local, and Meatspace baby!

Keep stacking.  You can’t help others if you aren’t ok yourself.   And there will be others.

nick