Day: November 22, 2023

Wed. Nov. 22, 2023 – 112223 – Well now. Better get some groceries in for the big feast…

It’s supposed to be in the low 60s and partly cloudy today. And we might have that. Some places. And for a while. It’s just as likely to be warmer and colder, rainier and drier. Yesterday certainly was.

Spent the morning getting caught up with online stuff, and doing my normal at home morning stuff, mainly auctions. Had to take the kid to a “not a date” with some other kids. On my way home I dropped the Expedition at the repair place. I’m overdue for an inspection and won’t pass with a ‘check engine’ light, so there needs to be some diagnostic work and probably some part swapping before I have a chance of passing. It’s probably emissions related too. I should hear something from him today. Even a truck that is 6 years old is too new to work on without a ton of specialized tools and knowledge. All the mileage and eco cr@p grafted on to meet arbitrary standards does not increase simplicity or reliability. Or economy in the economic sense.

In the mean time, I’ll drive the Ranger for my errands today. I’ve got pickups, a trash run, and possibly a drop off to do. As vehicles become more computer than machine, Pournelle’s observation that to keep n computers running takes n+1 computers, starts to apply.* I’m fortunate to have the choice of vehicle, like I have the choice of tool for the job.

One of the errands will be hitting the grocery store for some stuff for Thanksgiving dinner. If we had to we could go with what we have in stock, but some things are time savers- like the refrigerated pie crust. And some things it’s nice to have fresh versions, like fresh apples instead of canned filling. In any case, I’ll be shopping this afternoon. I wonder what inventory is going to look like. I know prices will be higher than last year.

Which brings me back to my broken record. We’re living in the beginning of a serious decline. It might be the 70s, to be followed by the 80s rebirth and exuberance, or it could be the 20s-30s and the misery that only ended after the war ended. But even that was followed by the 50s and the explosion of our industrial might. Point being that things are going to get worse before they get better. They might get a LOT worse. But there are steps you can take to ease the passage to the good times that will follow.

It’s not impossible, or even particularly hard. You just need more of all the stuff you won’t be able to afford or even get at any price, to carry you through. You need a way to continue bringing in money/valuable stuff, so that you can get some of whatever is available. The harder part is being in the right place, and surrounded by the right people. But I’m pretty sure we can all identify what places NOT to be, and what people to avoid.

Make your plans and work the plan. Be flexible, and open to opportunity. There will be a great many of them as things undergo tremendous change. Don’t hold on to the wrong stuff or the wrong ideas for too long either. Now more than ever be aware of fighting the last battle, and not what is actually happening. With planning, foresight, flexibility, and luck we can get through this, and even thrive.

Keep your head on a swivel, and keep stacking.


*I haven’t missed the joke in his statement, it’s just that there is often truth in jest.

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