Saturday, August 28, 2021

Some Updates

It’s been a busy summer. Early on we were stuck down to Concord NH for a week as my lovely wife got picked for Federal jury duty. After being isolated for so long it felt weird to have to be out in pubic. Worse yet, it was for a civil case with no good guys. Picture the sleazy bank vs the sleazy land investor.

After that we spent lots of time with family and that was wonderful. 


I’ve been riding the scooter a lot. Still knocking off sections of the New England Backwoods Discovery Route. There are plenty of back roads around here that are a joy to ride. Good fun and it goes a long way on a gallon of gas.

Speaking of gas, I’m making sure my vehicles and a couple of jerry cans are topped off. Also ordering a heating oil fill up. Hurricane Ida will be taking down more oil production that Katrina did.

If you are anywhere near the projected landfall it’s time to get the heck out of Dodge. This is shaping up to be a major hurricane. I’m praying for those people, but prayers go better with a ride out of the area.


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Supply Chains and Expectations


Your experience with supply chain disruptions and shortages depends on where you live and what you plan on buying.

My area of northern New Hampshire is a known food dessert in the best of times. It’s gotten worse. A few days ago the food section of the nearest Walmart was half empty. They were out of some very basic items like eggs. A much smaller store had them, but they get a lot of supplies from more local sources.

One underrated survival skill is the ability to cook a wide variety of foods. A good cook can take whatever is available and make something good tasting out of it. At one time I said, only half joking, that I did so much with so little for so long that I could anything with nothing. That goes for more than food, of course.

It’s been well publicized that there have been shortages of everything from computer chips, to foam to even lubricants. If you were shopping for a new vehicle or an RV you know all about it.

So what’s going on? Why are we so vulnerable to supply chain disruptions? Blame late stage Capitalism. Capitalism is very good at selecting more and more efficient ways of doing things. That’s great, but it comes at cost of making the whole system more fragile. For example just in time manufacturing is efficient because it eliminates the cost and expense of warehouses full of parts. Unfortunately, when there is a disruption the whole line shuts down.

Toyota is smarter than most companies. While they benefit from the just in time system, they don’t use it for all their parts. They’ve identified key parts, like computer chips, that need to stockpiled to prevent manufacturing shutdowns. It makes them a bit more resilient to fluctuations.

Going into the winter I’m planning having at least three, maybe four, ways of heating my house. Keeping warm is a basic need that I won’t gamble with. Do I expect heating oil and gas shortages? Not in particular, but it’s something that could always happen.


Monday, August 23, 2021


New England isn’t used to hurricane prep. I did a few things like taking in anything that could become airborne. As for the rest of my hurricane preps, there wasn’t much to do as we are always prepped here.

As it turns out we might not even get much rain here in northern New Hampshire. A lot of weather systems don’t make it over the White Mountains.

We are all doing fairly well here. Health precautions have paid off. I am recovering from a leg injury but it’s not big deal -and it has nothing to do with my scooter. It was a freak encounter with a suitcase that tore a fair bit of skin off my shins.

Hope all are doing well.