Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Bloody Mess

It’s surprising how much blood can leak from a black fly bite. There’s probably some sort of anticoagulant involved or something. They got me good as I was finishing up the brake job on the car. It’s like they know your hands are busy and can’t swat them. My forearms are covered in red dots from their feast. At least they aren’t potential disease carriers like the ticks I’ve been pulling off. Good thing I’ve found them before they could latch on. 

In the next day or two I’ll be dealing with the little beasts as I mow the lawn. Fortunately I’ve got some really decent face masks for the job. Nothing worse than inhaling black flies. Trust me on that. Actually, lawn mowers throw a lot of stuff up in the air that you probably don’t want to breath. There’s all the pollen this time of year, but there’s things like animal droppings that get picked up and dusted around. Yuck.

Maybe this bug season is driving me a little crazy. It’s not even one of the worse years we’ve had. There was the year I was trying to drive home on my motorcycle. My old KZ-900 didn’t have any fairings or even a windshield. That night I had to stop about every 50 miles or so to clean up some bugs. My helmet visor was so splattered that visibility was seriously impaired. Even the headlight had to be regularly cleaned as it was getting dim.  

At any rate, it won’t be too long before the black fly season is over. That’s what I tell myself anyway.


Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Memorial Day

Hope everyone had a good Memorial Day long weekend. I also hope that sometime during the weekend you might have reflected on the meaning. It’s to honor and mourn our service members who made the ultimate sacrifice. 


Friday, May 26, 2023

Vagabond Life Ruined?

Only a few years ago it looked like a pretty cool idea to build a Skoolie (bus camper conversion) and travel the country. Or maybe you’d get a deal on an old RV and do some boondocking. My lovely wife and I converted an old ambulance to a mini home on wheels. Good times. 

Now things kinda suck. Campgrounds and RV parks have gotten both overcrowded and expensive. Many also have a rule where your RV has to be less than 10 years old. Forget about coming in with a bus conversion or something else homemade. 

Free camping is drying up. Fewer businesses are allowing overnight parking. To be fair some people have really abused the privilege. It’s one thing to quietly park on the back of the lot overnight and be gone in the morning. Too many people moved in long term. They open up their sliders, set up grills, lawn chairs and even clothes lines. Then there’s the drama of too many people on too many chemical enhancements. (or people who should be taking meds not doing so.)

Even Federal dispersed camping is shutting down. The rangers lack the resources to deal with the huge influx of people. Property is destroyed, garbage left behind, and some people even dump their waste tanks right on the ground. It’s disgusting. 

There are still some reasonably priced options left. There are Federal, county, and municipal campgrounds that are good deals. It takes some poking around to find them and they are more popular than they used to be. A vagabond on a budget has to plan carefully to make it work. 

Tent camping still has good possibilities. Tenting doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. A quality tent and a good sleep system make all the difference. That doesn’t mean you can’t still overpay for a tent site. During Independence Day week on the coast of Maine last year I paid over $80/night. Not much you can about that. It’s not something I’m going to make a habit of. 

If you are more flexible it’s easy to spend a whole lot less. In fact, after a couple nights we moved from  that expensive site to a much cheaper one in the same campground. Just going to a non-electric site can save a bundle. That’s one reason we camp with our own solar electric set up. 100 watts of power and deep discharge 12 volt battery provides enough for our needs. 

A big problem with camping right now is the huge number of homeless people. There are too many people living in old RVs or in tents who don’t have any other choice. It’s dangerous to camp in a lot of places these days. I feel for the homeless, but I also know better than to leave my stuff around desperate people. 

Security is more important than ever. Not only do you have to watch out for crazy homeless people, you could be mistaken for one by law enforcement. Neither outcome is good. 

I’m still tempted to live out on the road again, but it’s not going to be like it used to be. 


Thursday, May 25, 2023

Dreaming with the dead

I’ve reached the age where a lot of people I used to know have now passed on. The vast majority of people who were my brother firefighters have gone to their last call. Most, but not all, were older than me. 

My high school graduation class keeps getting smaller. High school reunions have resorted to combining with a previous class to get enough people to rent a hall. Such is the nature of things. 

On the bright side I’ve outlived some of my enemies, but that’s a blog for a different day. 

My dad and I were really close. We both had a similar twisted sense of humor. Our whole lives we did a lot of things together. I miss him almost everyday. My relationship with my mom was more complicated, but we loved each other. 

Here’s the thing. I’m one of those people who remembers their dreams. Life in the Dreamtime is very full and rich. A lot of the times the dead show up in my dreams. They generally don’t have any special messages from beyond the grave or anything like that. Most of the time we just hang out and visit. Today I dreamed of my friend who just passed. We hung around my grandmother’s place and had a few beers together. 

I woke up feeling pretty good. Also, it was a surprise to be sober after all those beers. 


Wednesday, May 24, 2023

The Pantry Issue

Looks like my food storage has taken a hit. There’s nothing wrong with it in general. It’s the people I have to feed that has caused issues. Right now I’m regularly feeding three people. One has a rare condition where most vegetables have to be avoided. Whole wheat is also a no no. Another person recently received allergy test results so cow milk, bananas, and egg whites are somewhat allergic. As for myself I should be eating a low salt diet. 

About the only things we all have in common are potatoes, white flour, white rice, meat and fish. I suppose it could be worse. Guess I’m stocking up on more of those items. It’s the dehydrated soups and stews that have proven problematic. Often there’s something on everyone’s forbidden list. 

I cook a lot of stews and soups from scratch. First I make a base with the ingredients that everyone can tolerate. Then I save a serving for the non vegetable eater. Only then are the precooked veggies added.. Everyone  salts their own dish. It’s a bit of a pain, but it works. I make special pizzas that fit everyone’s requirements. For dessert we can all have homemade non-dairy ice-cream. It’s actually really good. 

Of course, in a real emergency I’m betting the dietary rules won’t be followed as strictly. The side effects are milder than starving to death.


Tuesday, May 23, 2023

A little less under the weather

I’m still suffering from a lovely mixture of a cold plus allergies. On the bright side it appears that I’m getting better instead of getting sicker. 

In spite of feeling less than 100% my patience has run out. There’s stuff to do. Right now the car is jacked up and I’m in the process of changing the brakes and rotors. Normally I could knock a job like that off in an afternoon. Looks like this time it’ll take two, maybe even as many as three days. That’s frustrating, but those days are going to go by whether or not I do anything with them.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that sometimes you have to pace yourself. When starting to feel too crappy the tools are set down. Then I grab some water and put my feet up for a while. Better to take my time than push forward and do something stupid. After all, these are brakes, not some cosmetic accessory. 

I’m also not too keen on dropping the car on my foot or something else equally stupid. The car jacks that come with your car generally aren’t the highest quality. They are barely good enough to change a tire on the side of the road. A new floor jack would have been great but this month’s been hard on the budget. Reluctantly I’m using the car’s jack for this job. The emergency brake is set, wheels chocked and jack stands are in  place, but I sure do miss having a regular floor jack. 

But if wishes were horses I wouldn’t be changing brakes on a car. I’d be riding a horse instead. 


Monday, May 22, 2023

Solar Panels for the Resistance

Solar panels have demonstrated their value during the Ukraine conflict.

One of the good things about solar electric panels is that you don’t need a functioning grid for them to work. Sure, grid tied can make a lot of sense. Still, it’s extremely useful to also have battery backup. Battery technology has come a long way but even old fashioned lead acid batteries can do the job. When power plants are targeted it’s good to know solar is there to keep essential services working. 

Nuclear plants have proven to be a real liability during a conflict. It’s bad enough that a large power generator can be taken off-line. Worse, the environmental issues can be catastrophic. We’ve learned from Chenobyl how widespread the contamination can spread. 

On a personal level my own moderately sized system has served quite well over the years. It’s nice to have at least some power under my own control. 


Saturday, May 20, 2023

Under the weather

Not much to say today. I’m a bit under the weather. I thought it was just my seasonal allergies. Oh no. On top of that I decided a nice spring cold was in order. On the bright side the Covid test is negative so there’s that. 

At any rate I’m not feel particularly clever today. 


Friday, May 19, 2023

They Darken the Sky

Well it looks like the black flies are back in full force. I’ve been know to wear a face mask when mowing the lawn so as not to inhale them. They are that bad. On the bright side, unlike mosquito, they don’t come inside houses. I’ve no idea why but I’ll take what blessings I can get.

I’m not a big fan of using bug repellent but there are times of the year I make an exception. Thanks to my lung damage I can’t deal with bug repellents made from natural ingredients. For quite a few years I got by not using bug juice at all. No matter how hot it got I was wearing long sleved shirts, long pants and head nets. 

Then I discovered that for some reason DET doesn’t set off my chemical sensitivities. How my lungs can tolerate a chemical so nasty it can strip varnish is a mystery. I use it sparingly but it makes all the difference. 

After a few weeks the black flies lessen in number. That’s the good news. The bad news is that mosquitoes, deer flies, horse flies, moose flies and other biting insects take up the slack. Fortunately we also have plenty of dragon flies and they do a number on the biting flies. Good thing as the swallows and bats aren’t in the same numbers as when I was a kid. I’m a big fan of anything that eats biting insects. 


Thursday, May 18, 2023

Middle of May Snow?

Wednesday, May 17, 2023 it was snowing early in the morning. We received another blast of snow early in the afternoon. It’s pretty weird to have my allergies in overdrive white it’s actively snowing. Would the seasons please wait their turn?

My planned outdoor project were definitely put on hold. I’ve never much seen the point of trying to paint something in the snow. My shady tree auto body repairs are behind schedule. 

Locally the old timers around here used to say that it’s safe to plant after the full moon in May. That hasn’t been the case this year. We’ve had a few below freezing nights. One of these days I’m going to have to put up a greenhouse to avoid these cold snaps. 

Today it’s supposed to get into the low 60s. By Friday we will be back into the 70s. The long range forecast looks fairly seasonable after that. Of course, long range forecasts are not worth much these days. 


Wednesday, May 17, 2023

The Bear Facts

On trash day I always put out my garbage just before the trucks come by. It doesn’t sit out there very long. The first thing I noticed was that my neighbor’s trash had been torn apart by a bear. They go to work early in the morning so it’s still dark when they put their trash out. 

Just down the road someone else is still putting out trash the night before. No doubt the bear found their trash too. Once a bear gets a free meal they will keep coming back. 

Worse yet was the guy from Rhode Island that actively fed bears. He was lonely. That was entertaining for him  -until the bear starting waiting right at his door for him to come out. Mama bear was demanding. He moved back to RI soon after. 

In the long run training bears to look at humans as a source of food is a bad idea. That’s when ugly encounters happen. Usually it’s the bear that ends up getting shot. I know I have to be be a lot more careful around my property. That’s all thanks to my neighbors not taking the proper precautions. 


Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Weed Island

New Hampshire is in a weird position when it comes to recreational cannabis laws. While illegal currently in New Hampshire it’s legal in all surrounding states and Canada. In practice it’s hard even for cops to take weed laws seriously. 

New Hampshire legalized medical marijuana. The problem is that it’s more expensive than what’s available for recreation in neighboring jurisdictions. You are never too far from a weed shop just across a border. 

Right now it looks like New Hampshire will eventually do what they did with booze. If you want something stronger than beer or wine you have to get it from a state store. That’s probably what they’ll do with weed. Frankly, I’m surprised New Hampshire hasn’t done the whole state weed store thing by now. It’s unlike New Hampshire to let business go to other states. The state does a good business selling booze to those who come across the border. 

It’s pretty weird that the Federal government hasn’t legalized it across the country. That makes for a lot of nonsense. You can go from Canada where weed is legal to Vermont where weed is legal, but don’t take any across the border. The border is Federal so it’s illegal. 

Weed laws are just an example of fractured laws. Our laws are getting even more intrusive as each state makes more and more decisions for their people. Your state doesn’t just dictate what’s legal to party with. It matters what kind of health care you can get or what text books your kids can read. Depending on how you want live it really matters where you live.


Sunday, May 14, 2023

Road Trip

I finally was able to pick up that Ford Escape located way out on an off-grid property. The ground had finally dried out enough so the vehicle didn’t sink up to its belly. 

So far the only big issue I noticed on the way home was a dead battery. I jumped it then drove for about 40 minutes. After stopping for gas it would not start up again. Once more it had to be jump started. The next time I stopped was in front of an auto parts place where I purchased a new battery. While there I had them test the alternator which was fine.

Tomorrow I’m going to plug in my scan tool to see if the computer is throwing any codes. Changing a battery can do that. Of course, sitting parked for six months with a dead battery can do that too. 

It still has to pass the state inspection so my fingers are crossed. 

All in all it was a good trip. A good friend gave me a ride out to the location. It’s been years since we’ve been on any sort of a road trip together, and that was almost worth it all by itself. 


Saturday, May 13, 2023

The Old P-89

I don’t get too deeply into firearms on this blog. There are plenty of other people who do. That being said it’s no secret that I have a decent collection. For me, living out in the country, a firearm is just another tool. While I’m conscious of self defense from other humans, I’m much more likely to shoot a wild animal. For example, right now bears are a nuisance. I’d rather avoid one than shoot one, but sometimes that’s not an option. In the past I once shot a groundhog that exhibited rabid behavior. 

Back about 20 years ago my lovely wife took me handgun shopping. Dang, I love that woman. I decided on a Ruger P-89. They are no longer in production but quite a few of them are still around. It’s not a popular type handgun these days. It’s a big clunky all metal handgun, totally unlike all the polymer guns out there. 

The size and weight aren’t an issue for me. I have very large hands and have no problems. It’s also not my go to when I want to carry something concealed. 

One of the things old Bill Ruger was focused on was building a handgun that could digest just about any make of 9mm ammo. In that he succeeded. My old P-89 functions with the cheapest stuff out there all the way up to very hot high end self-defense rounds. When there are ammo shortages it’s nice to know the gun will feed just about anything. Too many expensive handguns are finicky and can only function properly with certain rounds. 

In the end, what really matters is having a reliable gun that will go bang when you need it too and send the rounds where you point it. 


Friday, May 12, 2023

Are Troopers Your Best Protection?


Moving on. 

Probably should say a bit more. 

Law enforcement provides protection, but it’s not the best. More often than not they are more of an after the incident clean up crew. They will look into who killed you, but only rarely will they prevent it. Even the best responses to things like mass shooter incidents arrive after the bodies have already piled up. They may prevent victim number eleven but not victim number one. 

So . . . Is your best protection a concealed carry gun? Well it is a protection. I’m going to discount that. That assumes you’ve trained, have the weapon on you, and have the mental fortitude to respond properly. That doesn’t mean you won’t get shot anyway. It just gives you a chance to shoot back. 

In reality your best protection is a civil society. Ideally society pulls together and supports each other. Few people feel truly isolated with no way to address their issues. Mental issues are dealt with before they reach the high powered rifle in the bell tower stage. It’s not magic. Places all over the world fit that criteria. 

So if you want to feel safe move to a place with a good sense of community. A place with decent wages, good health care, a strong education system and good services. Yes, they do exist -even in the US. 

If you have to rely on cops to provide protection it’s too late. Any society with enough law enforcement to actually provide that level of control is one you probably don’t want to live in anyway. Police state anyone?


Thursday, May 11, 2023


There’s an old saying that three can keep a secret if two are dead. That’s one extreme. On the other end the government did a pretty darn good job of keeping the development of the nuclear bomb secret. It’s amazing what war time powers, unlimited money, isolation, and compartmentalization can accomplish. 

I’m sure there are currently projects on-going with that same kind of secrecy. Never mind why I’m sure. 

Setting that aside, I think we are entering a time when more and more secrets will come out. I’m not talking so much about secret military projects but political and business secrets. A fair amount of information will come to light through the legal system. While the justice system grinds on slowly, it grinds very fine. Some long running major cases are coming to their natural end. It doesn’t matter to me which way politicians lean. If they are doing bad things I want their misdeeds to come to light. 

There’s an old saying that you don’t want to know how the sausage is made. Personally I want to know what goes into those pig guts. 

Financial stresses have brought a lot of businesses practices to light. Looking at things like bank failures shows how badly some major institutions are run. These guys are supposed to be pros? Don’t even get me started on crypto. We’ve been conditioned to accept a lot of BS from big companies. The conditioning is wearing off.

Pharmaceutical and medical companies have feet of clay. They’ve had some embarrassing things come to light. Once you accept it’s not about health care but about making huge obscene piles of money it makes sense.

We seem to be in an almost cosmic alignment where a lot of secrets are coming to light at the same time. It won’t happen overnight and there will b some chaos. However, I bet in the end we come out stronger with more protections for the little guy. 

-either that or some elites get strung up on lamp posts by their intestines. 


Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Successful Day

I’m always a bit nervous when trying to register a vehicle bought out of state. New Hampshire’s requirements and other state requirements don’t always mesh. When I bought a boat on a trailer in Maine the boat paperwork was fine. However, the trailer had no documentation New Hampshire would accept. Was a pain. I had some back and forth with the previous owner and law enforcement had to inspect the trailer. Weird. 

Tuesday I was only a little nervous but the SUV I bought in Maine had acceptable paperwork. (don’t try to register a car bought in Florida in New Hampshire if you don’t have days to waste.) It helps that I can do all that at my local town hall. There was only one customer ahead of me. I know the town clerk by name and they know me. It was actually a fairly pleasant experience.

After that I stopped in at my insurance agent to slap some insurance on it. Did you know that car insurance is optional in New Hampshire? I won’t go without it but I think its cool that it is not required. 

Now all I have to do is get a ride out to the remote area of Maine where the SUV is. The dirt roads have had a few good dry days so the mud situation should be acceptable. 

Look at me: being all responsible and acting like a responsible citizen. 


Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Broken Sci-Fi Dreams

Back in the Golden Age of Science Fiction we dreamed of a time when robots would do all the drudgery jobs. Humanity would be free to pursue their creative passions. That was the dream at any rate. 

We got just the opposite thanks to AI. Now computers are doing the creative stuff and we still have to clock in at the Midget Widget Factory. The next thing they’ll be doing is taking our vacations for us. 

It’s estimated that up to 80% of all jobs will be lost to AI. That’s not a problem -unless you need a job to earn money to live on. While there’s some talk about a guaranteed income, it doesn’t look like our masters want that. Then again maybe they do. We’d get just enough to survive and keep consuming but not enough to actually get ahead -perfect control. 

So how much can society take before it breaks? 

Have you noticed how large and how many homeless encampments we have these days? Don’t expect them to get fewer and smaller. Also, never loose track of the fact that most of us are just a few paychecks away from tent living ourselves. They are people not all that different from you and me. 

I used to joke that any machine smart enough to do my job would be too smart to do it. That might not be a joke in the future. 


Monday, May 8, 2023

200+ Miles Later

Sunday I put over 200 miles on the scooter. It’s been a while since I’ve put that kind of miles on the little bike. My trip involved going through the White Mountains. It was a pretty pleasant day, but it was a lot cooler in in the mountains. Some thaw out time was needed when I got into the valleys.

So why the big trip? It seemed like a decent day to check out that little SUV that was offered to me. The dirt road to where it was parked had dried out enough to get most of the way there. The scooter only bogged down a couple hundred feet short in what passes for a driveway. Close enough.

My jumper pack got the vehicle started and it sounds good. Not bad for a vehicle that overwintered in the woods. The SUV looked good and I left with the key and the necessary paperwork. My next trip down there will be to slap new plates on and take it home. 

As it turns out some of my good friends lived only about 20 miles away. They had been gone for the weekend but were on their way home when I texted them. Their arrival was about 10 minutes before mine. Great to touch base with old friends. 

It was pretty great to ride some nice twisty mountain roads. All in all, a good day.


Sunday, May 7, 2023

How Inbred is King Charles?

Consider this my tribute to the new King of England.

If England wants to keep pet royalty that's their business. Personally, I've never been fond of Kings.


Saturday, May 6, 2023

Break in the weather

It finally stopped raining, just in time for campfire night with the guys. 

There’s something special about campfires. Humans have been hanging around the campfire for thousands of years. We don’t it so much to keep the wolves away anymore, but it’s still good. Mostly we hang out and keep the technology away. For me, the pretty flames are much more relaxing to look at than electronic screens. 

We are finally going to get a nice dry spell. It’s pretty wet after all the rain we’ve been getting. My friend’s neighbor’s lawn has enough standing water to float a canoe. The fire pit is slightly higher than the rest of his backyard and that makes all the difference. You don’t have to wander too far away before the ground gets pretty squishy. 

Heck, I even took the scooter into town. It was in the high 40s coming back, but I still enjoyed the ride.

I found out another brother firefighter just passed away. We worked together for quite a few years. He was looking pretty gray back in December when I saw him at a Christmas party. He was 81, which isn’t too bad for a former firefighter. The job takes a toll. It’s been a spring for funerals and I’m getting tired of it. 


Friday, May 5, 2023

Medical things I’ve learned

Almost 30 years ago I almost died while performing my duties as a Firefighter. My lungs were heavily damaged and I struggled for every breath. There were a lot of weird symptoms like cough syncope. When a good coughing fit would hit me I’d pass out like a puppet with cut strings. 

The problem with getting hurt on the job is that you fall into the Workman’s Compensation system. That sounds good -until you realize the main job of Workman’s Comp doctors is to find a way to deny your claim. You’d think that getting hauled away from a fire scene in an ambulance would be proof enough. Between the doctors and private investigators they tried every avenue they could think of to prove my lung issues were not job related. 

While that was going on I couldn’t refuse any medical treatment, no matter how uncomfortable or unlikely they’d help. They tried their best to patch me just well enough to send me back to work. When that couldn’t be done they stopped trying to treat me. Of course this is an over simplification of a process that took many months. 

Once I was able to choose my own medical care I started the long road to recovery. Some of it was unconventional, like taking lessons from a martial artist on how to strengthen my lungs. That really helped. A good part of my lung care is avoiding a long list of chemicals that cause bronchial spasms. On a day to day basis right now you’d never know I’d once lost almost all my lung function. 

Now that I’ve gotten older there are other conditions that crept out of the woodwork. I’ve learned which treatments to avoid and what helps. I’m happy that I’ve a doctor who’s willing to work with me. He says I’m the oldest on the job injury survivor he’s met so I must be doing something right. Even though I’m overweight my blood pressure and blood tests are good. 

Too often I see people just accept whatever the doctor wants to do. They make mistakes too. A number of times doctors wanted to treat a wound condition as if I have diabetes. Those treatments actually make my condition worse. I guess they just assumed an old fat guy had diabetes, even thought I’ve normal blood sugar. 

Do I know more about medicine than doctors? Of course not. Do I know more about the body I’ve lived in for over six decades -hell yeah!


Thursday, May 4, 2023

When Insurance Unravels

Everybody complains about insurance. The medical insurance industry is awful. Car insurance is a pain. Right now I’m going to concentrate on property insurance. 

If we are going to talk about property insurance problems we might as well start at ground zero: Florida. 

Private insurance has pretty much completely fled Florida. What’s left is Citizens. If it wasn’t for a state run company a huge number of properties in Florida would be uninsurable. That doesn’t bode well for the future. Private companies have bailed out of Florida because they see nothing but losses. Citizens is badly underfunded considering its exposure. Unlike private companies they can always hit up the taxpayers to get an injection of funds. 

The way Florida has been built up is insane. You don’t build multimillion dollar buildings on barrier islands and expect everything to be fine. It used to be there’d be nothing more substantial than shacks on those islands. After a storm would wipe them out they’d be rebuilt with debris washed from somewhere else. There wasn’t a lot of investment as people knew they’d get swept away eventually. 

Insurance makes building expensive properties in bad places possible. The big question is: how long can the game be played? The last hurricane season did a number on Florida. A few bad storms this season could be the tipping point. 

Then again, Florida has a long history of being able to kick problems down the road. A few more band aids on the problem could hold it together a bit longer. 

For non-Floridians, why should we care? Florida is a basket case but it’s not alone. What happens in one part of the nation affects all the other parts. Heck, just think how billions in property loss will affect the national stock markets? You can’t take that much money out of the system without causing problems. 

Insurance is one of the legs our economy stands on. It’s a boring part most of the time because it generally happens in the background and mostly just works. When it doesn’t work there are serious problems. 


Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Bank Failures

Another major bank just failed: First Republic. There are two ways to look at the current crop of bank failures. One way is to look at the number of banks that have fallen this year. If that’s your only metric it’s not really too far out of line for a normal year. The issue, however, isn’t the number of banks. The big problem is the size of the banks. These aren’t little Podunk banks suffering from a local downturn. The banks that have collapsed were all heavy hitters with lots of funds in play. 

This might be the early days of a much broader collapse. Okay, most likely we will have a major collapse. So far it’s been weird. Unemployment is low. House and car prices are still very high. Even used car prices haven’t come down much. When times are tough a paid off car is an asset that can be turned into cash. Not too many appear to be doing that. 

Maybe the used car market isn’t that great an indicator anymore. When your average regular new car goes for around $40,000 there’s incentive to hang onto your old car. With dealerships adding on all kinds of extra fees new cars are even less attractive. 

So how do you weather the banking storm? Everyone’s situation is different. At the very minimum keeping accounts below the Federally insured amount is a no brainer. Then you have to look at your banking situation. Having accounts at more than one bank makes sense. Set up your accounts so you can more funds electronically. Only losers wait in line to take cash out like during the Great Depression. 

Investments, your employment situation, bills -all these things should be examined. Day to day most people run their lives on autopilot. It would serve you well to stay alert and get a jump on problems. Keeping some actual physical cash on hand is never a bad idea. 

Of course we must always be prepared if everything grinds to a halt. Eventually a new normal will be established, but you don’t want to be caught out lacking the basics like food, water, and shelter until it does. Preps are always in order.


Tuesday, May 2, 2023


I pretty much ignore local flood warnings. To be clear I can ignore them if I’m staying home. When your house is on the side of a mountain flooding isn’t your main concern. There have been times when all the roads out of the area were flooded though.

It looks like we’ll be dealing with rain until the end of the week. Rivers have been rising. A friend’s son  had to swim from his vehicle while camping next to a river. He’s okay but the vehicle was flooded to the roof. That will be a total loss. 

The rain has set my plans back a good week. There’s a SUV I’m supposed to look at. The problem is that it was parked at a very off grid location. The “road” is a soupy mud track right now. Frankly, even walking to the location would be extremely difficult. 

Floods are a killers. During hurricanes it’s not usually the wind that gets you, it’s the flooding. At the time of this post western states are in serious danger from floods. Huge melting snow packs will cause flooding that hasn’t been seen in some time. Historically, there’s a huge area in the center of California that can turn into a giant temporary lake. This could be the year. 

Interesting times. Keep your life jacket handy.