I’m in the part of the country that is starting to feel like fall. There’s a briskness in the air, morning and evening. Early morning the air smells like a crisp freshly-cut apple.

It’s the type of fall I always loved. And I always loved Fall best of all the seasons. Where I grew up, it’s a season of heavy fogs, though which the turning leaves show like jewels. The mind naturally tuns to warmth and softness. Soft warm clothes, and sweetned teas in a comfy chair. And favorite books, of the kind that make you feel warm.

Because of course, there is the dark side of the Fall. We know what’s ahead. And that Winter is a hard season for most of our species’ history. A season of scarcity, disease, cold and death. At the end of it the survivors would be changed.

But there were always those who didn’t survive.

We know this instinctively. Which is why we crave comfort and soft and warm things as we sense what’s ahead.

This year… this year feels like something bad coming for us, something hard and cold, something that glints in the darkness of the colder days, something that’s been kept away by our prosperity and ease.

Scarcity of course, but … things we’re not sure of.

Look, win or lose, this will be a hard winter. And we’ve seen how in other lands, even successful elections are subverted and overturned, because the mechanisms of the state are corrupted and infested.

These things never turn easily or cleanly. Like the ridiculous infection I’ve been battling, you get better you get worse, it comes back a little better everyday till it’s finally gone…

It’s going to be difficult and it’s going to be hard. This winter might be the first of many hard ones. And perhaps not the worst.

There is an unfunny joke going about:

Q – Are you ready for the Fall?

A – Of civilization, or Season?

A2 – Yes.

It is unfunny but it gets a bitter chuckle, as it captures the mood of the time.

But let’s keep things in perspective: It’s going to get bad. In some places, and for some people very bad. If you’re secure-ish help those who aren’t. And work, it both keeps the black dog at bay and it will provide security for you and those you can help.

But as bad as it’s going to be, it’s not the Fall of civilization. Just one of those unlovely periods one must go through on the way to an improved future. A major mistake that turned into a cul de sac is on its way out: this idea of rule by experts, from the center out and the top down. It’s maybe not completely discredited in the world, but in America it’s getting there. And the next few years will completely destroy it.

And then … And then we’ll start again, and create the conditions to meet the future.

Look, civilization isn’t dying. It’s just changing profoundly.

Change can feel like death. It is in a way a death of things that were good before.

Just like Fall is the death of the beautiful, easy days of summer. Truth is, they were always going to die. Forever Summer is as lethal as forever winter. And our summer of prosperity came with the seeds of its own destruction.

Gather warmth and softness around you, real and metaphoric, for the winter. And let’s work to make sure there is a spring.

Be not afraid.

201 thoughts on “Fall

  1. Gleaming eyes haunt the dark,
    Chill the air, in warning stark.
    Yet bright the stars and kind the moon
    Fall has come, yet winter soon.

    Terrors haunt the restless dreams,
    Fury lurks behind the beams.
    Yet warm the fires and bright the glow,
    Hearth and home and friends we know.

    Bleak the days that seem to come.
    Relentless beats the angry drum.
    Yet the future is not made of these,
    The future comes in falling leaves.

    The future comes through winter’s gloom,
    And winter’s start is winter’s doom.
    As comes the winter, so comes the spring,
    Life anew it, too will bring.

    So let the land have its rest.
    The winter’s chill both ill and blessed.
    Sleeps the ground and readies the day
    When Spring blows each winter away.

          1. And thank you. A lot of the response here has been what’s kept these coming more regularly rather than just randomly jotted tidbits in notebooks.

      1. I have been, at least the stuff since Greebo’s farewell poem. I’ve been scrounging up all the old poetry as well to get it in one place.

  2. I am not more that 1/4 civilized, so a big part of me hears “fall of civilization” and responds ” bring it.” Because I will be fine.

    Some smug folks hell bent on tearing it down -wont-.


    But in respect for the useful parts worth salvaging, that Flag that inspires me still, and the Republic it means,

    Not -yet-.

    Keep those burners handy, folks, but “we don’t want none, so don’t start none.”

    Meanwhile, a small stock of easily prepped comfort food will often tide one over the gloom. A bowl of hot oatmeal pushes back the cold grim bite of the lash of Winter’s rage.

          1. Finished my felling, bucking, splitting, stacking over a month ago.

            However I’ll stop and harvest the occasional deadfall on the trails around my property. If I gotta move it off the trail, I might as well utilize it.

            Grand Alaska autumn here by the way, 14° F. and around 4 inches of snow on the ground.

            1. Southern New Hampshire, only had 2 days of frost so far. I prefer a week of frost to knock the ticks down; otherwise, I spend a lot of time picking them off, even with using DEET. And nobody wants to run the risk of Lyme or any of the other dozen diseases the damn things can carry. So hard frost to first snow is usually the best time for felling and cutting for me.

              1. Luckily we’re snake free and pretty much tick free up here (Only one native tick, mostly on squirrels and rabbits.).

                Our mosquitoes and noseeums are world class however, I always carry my .45 Judge to fight them off. Hey, it’s my story and I’m sticking to it! grin

                1. At least in Canada, the mosquitoes are polite enough to warn you of their arrival and then say thanks as they depart, carrying off small children and pets. Alaska? Not so much.

                2. “The mosquitoes round these parts only carry off a few small children a year. Stories of ’em carrying off adults are just shamelessly exaggerated tall tales. Sensible folks don’t pay ’em no mind.”

                3. I’ve been assured by people native to Minnesota that the state bird is a mosquito.

                  We don’t get that many in Flyover County during drought years, but given my druthers, I’d rather have to haul out the DEET. I’m considered quite tasty to the local bloodsuckers, both mosquitoes and chiggers, alas.

                  1. considered quite tasty to the local bloodsuckers

                    Not only considered tasty, but son and I are allergic sensitive to the bites. (Not anaphylactic allergic. Cellulitis, blisters, and lots of swelling.)

  3. Harvest!

    There are times when I have to remind myself that early spring is the hardest season in this high fantasy world unless I build around it.

    Fall is the easiest

  4. As is often quoted;
    Hard times make strong men
    Strong Men make good times
    Good times make weak men
    Weak men make hard times

    Many people suspect we are at that part of
    the cycle where the men ( and women, of course )
    who can be strong are forged. And even though
    some of us are feeling the chill of our own age,
    we have been through some hard times before,
    and are ready for the forge. I don’t plan on dying
    this year. If I do, may my blood add fertility to
    the ground for the next generation that earns is.

        1. Depends on the people. Like everything else, some go one way and some the other. Some come out of hard times with heads held high, while others come out with downcast eyes and a memory of shame.

        2. So “Hard times make STRONK men” (in the Russian sense)?

          Honest government brings good times
          Good times breed more laws
          More laws corrupt the government
          Corrupted government brings bad times
          This is known as “bad luck”

      1. Hard times like the kids growing up during the French revolution, create horrifying man. Look up the Lafitte brothers sometimes.
        Or you know, George Soros in Nazi Germany

        1. Being hard doesn’t make you not-good, but managing to pull yourself up to strong takes a lot.

          I think I figured out part of why it bugs me– “Good Times” are not self-maintaining.

          It’s not, “there were weak men, they ruined the Good Times,” it’s “people didn’t manage to maintain the Good Times, which is nearly as much hard work as making them in the first place.”

          1. Hard times force (some) folks to make the effort necessary to bring about good times. Good times, even when they’re in decline, don’t rouse near as many folks to such efforts.
            Grandpa voted Republican until the day he died — but he’s been voting Democrat ever since.

            1. :points at the middle east: Sadly, the evidence does not suggest that “effort” is what is required for Good Times.

              It takes building the framework, and keeping it up, and taking action to keep folks who are screwing it up from being successful– and for that matter, “Hard Men” are generally the ones taking an axe to the good times, because they’re sure that they’ll get what they want if they do so.

    1. “These are the times that try men’s souls” was true in 1776, and we enter such times again…We “hang together or hang separately” as we deal with the Fourth Turning…

  5. Just remember that the tempo of events is highly variable. That’s one of the reasons why, “Hurry up and wait”, is so apropos to the military. Sure, there are times where everything happens at once and you have to get out, now, not even stopping for the go bag. For many people, the American Revolution only takes a couple of hours of reading, a week in the classroom at most. The same with the French Revolution, or either of the world wars. But that is an illusion. The reality is that these “events” took years. Not an avalanche, but the slow, remorseless creeping of an advancing glacial wall. And so many didn’t have a clue about what was happening, even while they were in the middle of it.

  6. We drove back home across Wyoming this weekend and listened to “The End of the World is Just the Beginning,” by Peter Zeihan. I highly recommend it, but do have your comfy warm chair and a nice hot cup of tea. The global order is going to collapse. I’ve known China is in trouble but I had no idea they are out of childbearing women. Just out of them. Zeihan gives a comprehensive look at what is coming, and it chills me to the bone.

    There’s also great hope, though. We’re not looking at a digital chipped world where we’re serfs to the elites. They wanted that, but its crumbling like a sand castle in the tide.

    1. ::chuckles:: I live in Wyoming–sorry you had to deal with the lovely slick roads this weekend! (Or, more to the point, the semi truck drivers who drive like lunatics on the interstate, even in bad weather) 😀 I was not happy they were still hanging around when I had to drive in to work on Monday. Because, of course, as it IS Wyoming, I live an hour away from where I work…

      Here in Wyoming, we have been enjoying an unusually long and warm fall–someone, incredulous, asked me yesterday when I mentioned Sunday’s snow and the more due later this week “You’re already dealing with snow?!” Well, yes. It’s actually rather late this year…

      I was thinking this morning as I drove in that Winter has definitely arrived in Wyoming. Most of the time I am grateful to live in Nowhere, WY, but with the coming scarcity…I am even more grateful that we started beefing up our food storage last year! A bad snowstorm here = empty shelves, so I hate to think what a diesel fuel shortage is going to look like…

      1. We were driving off the high plateau by Sweetwater Junction on Sunday, in fog and blowing snow, and a herd of (wild?) horses galloped into view off the road to the right, heading down toward the shelter of the river valley. I want to put that vision in a snow globe and hang it on my Christmas tree. Our country is so damned beautiful it hurts.

        1. We’re getting close to peak fall color down here, and the recent storms finally washed the smoke and ask out of the sky. The colors just sing against the crisp blue above, it makes your heart weep for joy.

    2. ” I’ve known China is in trouble but I had no idea they are out of childbearing women.”

      They’d probably have more if they’d stop shipping them overseas to go to college.

        1. You have to wonder how many of China’s young adult operatives sent to colleges here have become just as corrupted by Woke-ism as our own children?

        2. Heh. Or straight up abandoned/killed them…(I vaguely recall reading somewhere, long ago, that taking girl babies out and leaving them to die was a thing as well)

          1. The numbers that were popping up on this, (per China) were something like a 10-15% (so 25-30%) imbalance. Or put another way, 35 million they admit to.. So.. say 50-70 million? Imagine that horror of a “dating scene” As a father to a 7 yr old girl. the entire idea is so much nightmare fuel.

            Also, and again Zeihan notes, “how they have 6 women to a 300 sq foot apartment working all the hours. The women dont kill each other in that, usually. Men will. Joke was: “that’ll work for men for a month, then someone’s head will be in the freezer.” Also the boys are on one side of the country and the girls are on the other. And you dont go back and forth. Real tough to make babies that way. Aside to that note, per Rudyard over on WhatifAltHist channel on youtube, “Large amounts of young men, restless, angry and sexually frustrated have lead to so much larger trouble”

            Same thing with how China’s numbers being so far out of whack. They’re not looking at 650 million by 2100. It’s more like 645 Million by 2050. And the 64K question is “how they go out” That does lead into the Taiwan question, and probably wont happen but Winnie the Poo is so “Xi over all” Cult, that nobody will take him bad news he’s shot the messenger so many times. No, really, has shot many.

            10 years ago, just another snake cult, now, all over China. Its like people are disinfecting runways cause they thing that’s what he wants. Oh wait, they are.

          2. On the other hand, a number of young couples apparently “adopted infant female cousins” from distant parts of China before they had their own allowed (hopefully male) baby.

          3. There’s a long history of infanticide by child exposure. In every culture that practiced it, they practiced it on girls for being girls.

            And how many cultures practiced it? Well, Roman writers would point out the Egyptians and the Jews for their odd custom of raising all their children.

            Was reading a discussion of Song China, the first era in which concubines were not occasional customs among those well-off enough to get one when the wife was barren, but what every powerful or even merely wealthy man had several of. Plus female infanticide. Plus the custom that a wife did not remarry even if she had merely been betrothed. (Actually that one was not so much practiced as theorized. A widow who hadn’t born a child was generally sold for her bride price.)

        3. Or forcibly aborted second children, followed up with forced sterilization of the mothers who tried to hide an unauthorized pregnancy.

      1. Well, one way to solve that problem, which has been used often throughout history. Send the young unmarried men out to make war on other countries, telling them they can bring home the pick of the women.

        1. Which only works if they aren’t the only sons of only sons, and each casualty the end of four or more lines.

          Doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but it will be ugly when it does.

    3. Having read that one (twice now) and just finished reading all 3 of his other books… And more than probably 15-20 of his symposiums ever since catching him on Peter Grant’s page. (thank you Peter, for that). Yeah, it’s about to get real ugly out there.

      Just watched this last night which is a few months old but answered one of the most pressing questions I’ve had that no one has asked him. “Where do you see population going” And as Zeihan said, “we’re in uncharted territory, we’ve never had a population crash without a big reason. Plague, war etc” My own question has been, What will we stabilize around? Zeihan in link below basically, mostly I’m quoting “Assuming Globalization continued, said that we expected to peak at 11-12 billion (15 years ago) by 2050 but now revising estimates, now number is under 10 billion. As data upgrades, peak just below 9 billion and falling back gently. Then Zeihna goes on to say “Assuming nothing goes wrong.” (my words: and it ALREADY HAS gone wrong. Crops not exported, fertilizer/potash/natural gas stuff etc). Continue quote “If I’m right about deglobalization, we’re going to have a significantly sharper drop off, and as on as deglobalization at large, which may be in the 4th quarter of this year. Population peaks. ” The interviewer just kinda of blinks on that. no idea how he did that.

      (closed caption shows he said “globalization” but pretty sure he was saying “de” at first)

      That’s. Right Now. Not in 2030, not 2050, not by 2100. Today. Right frick’n now.

      And thanks to Sarah on opening my eyes to this as a Population already isn’t what the UN says as the data sources are…. well the UN. Example, Zeihan has said multiple times over last 6 months or so “China has miscounted their population by over 100 Million” according to China. No one else.

      Link here at the relevant to the above: https://youtu.be/wRT7P-VKM0k?t=2671 Note this from August 18 2022 interview.

      1. He’s still believing the UN, which is like believing China, only dumber. We aren’t 7 billion. I’d be shocked if we’re half that.
        And yeah, it will fall, but not as catastrophic as HE thinks.

        1. I wonder if there is a way to assess how many calories of food are being produced and consumed by humans, and figure out how much of an available calorie drop we’re looking at?

          I wonder if that may be a source of numbers with less incentive to fudge?

            1. For an idea of how hard- folks here probably know the food waste statistics, right?

              The numbers they’re based on involve ignoring things like literal evaporation and shoplifting, as well as safety-based removing food from the human pipeline and shifting it over to animal feed.

            2. An oddity I just recently noticed. I seldom use sugar directly so I haven’t been buying it, nor looking at the labels. I remember that the “serving size” was one [1] teaspoon and 15 (kilo)calories. I looked at a couple bags of sugar recently and the “serving size” on both was listed as two [2] teaspoons and 30 (kilo)calories. Curious.

              1. You also find sugar in things that it really has no business being in.

                I mean, it IS addictive, so I suppose adding it to food products in the hopes that people will keep buying it… 😀

                1. A woman once asked online for spaghetti sauce without sugar.

                  I gave her a recipe.

                  She wanted something in a jar but a recipe was better than nothing.

                  1. Yeah. I was thinking of spaghetti sauce, as a matter of fact. Tomatoes are high enough in acid that you do NOT need sugar to safely can them (or variations thereof, like salsa/sauce/etc). I mean, it’s one thing if you are making tomato jam but…there is no good reason, not even for preserving it, to have sugar in tomato or spaghetti sauce!

                    I admit, I don’t know anything about the commercial canning process–but the basic principles shouldn’t be all that different. If it’s a high-acid fruit or veggie, then you do not need sugar to preserve it. If it is NOT…you only need sugar for fruits/jams/jellies. Otherwise–that is what pressure cookers are for, to get it all up to the right temp to kill anything nasty lurking, and to seal the cans!

                    I’ve been making pumpkin butter recently. That does need sugar (because, for one thing, it is a fruit butter) But if I decide to, say, take the last two pumpkins I’ve got and just can them as mashed pumpkin–well, the FDA says don’t (but they say that a lot, and that’s because they are factoring in rank amateurs who haven’t learned the ins and outs of it all), but if I do it in a pressure cooker? It’ll be just fine.

          1. Hard enough to do that with any of the dozen or so eating/weight loss programs out there. Unfortunately, I think it will become very important over the next few months.

          2. Food is probably in one of those LOL numbers when it comes to quantification, collecting, and correlation.

            Our controls on it are loose in some ways, and that makes for terrible information aggregation.

            But, in societies that attempt to tightly regulate a food supply, there is tremendous incentive to find work arounds. Only in a society not so regulating are you maybe not going to have people’s insurance hidden from you.

            And, then you would probably have a lot of regular food stuffs, being processed in different locations, with different numbers of steps, and not the same level of recording accuracy at each location.

        2. Ignoring the UN data strengthens his argument. I would argue that everything that’s gone on since 2007, possibly 2002, has been the population bomb playing out. What we can expect is a continuation and acceleration of what’s going on right now.

  7. Our opponents remind me of the White Witch (Between her and the villains in “That Hideous Strength” it feels like Lewis had a prophetic vision of a future he saw). They want to force it to be “Always Winter, But Never Christmas”. Heck the Turnip in Chief and his mumblings about a dark winter back in the 2020 race presaged that, of course he also mumbles about Rocky Road ice cream and other incomprehensible crap so take it for what it’s worth. His filter for his internal monologue seems badly damaged, a classic issue I’ve seen in many older men. But Aslan is coming and as the Badger says later “I’m a beast, I am, and a Badger what’s more. We don’t change. We hold on.” . Hold on like the admirable badger.

      1. I first read “buffet” as “a meal laid out on a table or sideboard so that guests may serve themselves” not “a whack upside the head”.

          1. I Corinthians 9:22 (ASV) 27but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.

  8. We have a roof over our heads and can keep it. It is now highly unlikely that we will be able to buy a house this coming late winter/early spring unless something seriously and rapidly changes in the economy (7%+ interest rates!). But, we have a house now and a very good landlord. We regularly stock up and are as prepared as we can be. I am… concerned about the coming winter, but not full on worried. Yet. I am hopeful. Let us see what November brings. Stay strong, y’all.

    1. 7% interest? OUCH. Our mortgage in ’88 was 13.5%, 5 year adjustable/balloon. OTOH we did not pay $535k. (Which is what realtor (dot) com) has it guesstimated. Until recently realtor has been under guesstimating, but now, who knows?) We paid $78k in ’88. Current loan is at 3.35%.

      1. We haven’t reached maximum inflation yet. As the scarcity increases, so will the inflation rate. And the Biden Misadministration is sure to print and inject another trillion dollars (at least) in the next two years.

        1. I’m not so sure. This is wartime inflation without the war time price controls

          I’m still looking at a crack up deflationary bust. It’s been painful but my underlying analysis hasn’t been refuted ….. yet. I wish it would burst already since being brave in the markets sucks.

    2. I am so happy that we were forced to move when we did last year. We were able to buy a house in a red flyover state that is half again as large as the house we were renting in AZ. We have a fixed VA loan at 2.625%, and even tho we are in a much cooler climate our monthly housing expenses for everything (PITI and all utilities etc) are a third less. We really lucked out the timing.

      And the fall colors are gorgeous! 😉

  9. I can think of nothing better than the community of this forum to discuss and share such a winter with after the fall… – adding a quote from the movie Groundhog Day for effect ….

    “When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn’t imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.”

  10. Fall, one of my favorite times of the year. It is the time of harvest and when we stock the shelves with the produce and game of summer that we are now collecting and storing for use through the winter. It is also when we put back the ‘seed stock’ for the coming spring! The ‘seed stock’ is what will be used in the spring when we once again start anew after the cold days of winter.

    Winter is when we hunker down and do the maintenance and get ready for spring when we will be planting (as a metaphor – starting lots of new stuff) and the cycle begins anew. This winter looks to be a tough one in many ways but we’re ready and will be able to survive it and are ready for our coming spring! I plan now on having a nice hot cup of tea and will go and gloat at the full freezer!

    1. Yup. I just started chicken stock tonight with all the carcasses from our meat birds, and picked persimmons and rose hips, the last fruit to be harvested after a rather later-than-average first frost (and the first persimmons I will have the chance to taste – I’m extra enough to plant a tree to find out what the fruit tastes like). Saved seeds from some lovely volunteer tomatoes that crossed in the hopes that they’ll be true to type, and got our loads of manure to till into the garden. By next week, I hope to plant our garlic for next year. Our storage is very full (overflowing, in fact) with canned and root cellared and freeze dried and dehydrated food from our little plot of land.
      My brother has an elk tag, though what we’ll do if he actually gets one this year I am sure I do not know, as our freezer is currently full of gallons of tomato puree waiting to be made into soup when we have the time . . .
      This winter I intend to enjoy what I preserved to the fullest. The jams, jellies, preserves, and peach salsa and pie filling will be particularly appreciated. Nearly my last project will be quince preserves, which taste and smell divine, and look quite jewel-like with their startling neon scarlet hue.
      Once I get all the chaos organized, I will certainly gloat over my full storage, and give thanks to the One who gives rain and sunshine in proper measure, and blessed us with the burden of abundance this year.

  11. For me, as the days ahead approach Thanksgiving Day and then the Christmas season, this time of year has always held special meaning. Gratitude for harvest and bounty, and a hopeful, candle-lite mid-winter solstice. The secularists hate these holidays because of the moral underpinnings and the warmth of humanity. Grinches hate moral constraints and humanism.

    Like the dwellers in Whoville, we need to defeat hate with hope!

    1. Christina Rossetti nailed it for me

      In the bleak mid-winter
      Frosty wind made moan
      Earth stood hard as iron,
      Water like a stone;
      Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
      Snow on snow,
      In the bleak mid-winter
      Long ago.

      Our God, heaven cannot hold Him
      Nor earth sustain,
      Heaven and earth shall flee away
      When He comes to reign:
      In the bleak mid-winter
      A stable-place sufficed
      The Lord God Almighty —
      Jesus Christ.

      Enough for Him, whom cherubim
      Worship night and day,
      A breastful of milk
      And a mangerful of hay;
      Enough for Him, whom Angels
      Fall down before,
      The ox and ass and camel
      Which adore.

      Angels and Archangels
      May have gathered there,
      Cherubim and seraphim
      Thronged the air;
      But only His Mother
      In her maiden bliss
      Worshipped the Beloved
      With a kiss.

      What can I give Him,
      Poor as I am? —
      If I were a Shepherd
      I would bring a lamb;
      If I were a Wise Man
      I would do my part, —
      Yet what I can I give Him, —
      Give my heart.

  12. So book was success? Was worried when we hadn’t heard anything pretty much all Monday, but figured there was a decent chance that the hostess was simply comatose after delivery.

  13. I love the fall especially harvest and the full pantries it brings to the prudent housekeeper.

    I do have to say I’m enjoying watching my peers finding out that China is a communist country.

      1. Their salary required they not look so they didn’t. Salary. Not their own risk capital. They were all playing with other peoples money.

          1. Just so. All the pros knew. I’ve stayed away from it for years now, but China has been the biggest short on the planet for years now. It was just a matter of time.

            Zeihan has nothing but hyperbole on me when it comes to his outlook. Still the US is the one eyed man in the land of the blind. I’m still hopeful.

    1. ATM, I’m feeling like I may also soon enough be watching my peers discover what I have known for a while.

      I do not think that I have hedged as much against my risks, as you have yours.

      but, part of my model is deeply screwed up with doomerism. I catastrophize, because I project myself on the other decision makers, and expect fast changes in behavior.

      Will almost certainly work out better than I can possibly forecast.

      1. I’m a hedger and grinder by temperament. I run a barbell strategy. Most of the time I do OK. Sometimes I do not so OK. Occasionally I do spectacularly well. Never do I do spectacularly badly. It’s easy to work out a barbell strategy but very very hard to stick to.

        The last hedge is seed potatoes and a shotgun for those who would wish to take those potatoes. I’m not really interested in what might come after that sort of hedging.

        I don’t see the US getting there especially as it wouldn’t be the US anymore

    2. We made lots of jam and gathered lots of pears and apples. The cherries were abundant in the summer as well.

      1. Everything was abundant where I live. Bushels upon bushels of pears, apples, peaches, berries, tomatoes, etc., etc. It may take me all winter to recover from all the preserving I have done. On the plus side, I discovered several new recipes that will be making the yearly repertoire – peach salsa and lemon-pear preserves with cardamom among them.

  14. I’ve been feeling more “nesty” and restless than usual this fall. And hubby has been the male equivalent of that, trying to get the house battened down for winter. We did get our new boiler in and running, just in time for the first real winter storm of the year, so mission accomplished there. We are fixing up his workshop in the basement and trying to get the rest of our fall projects done that got bumped for the boiler project. We have been working too hard we decided last night and need to work a little less frantically now that we have heat in the house. Winter is coming, and the decline of civilization as we know it, whether we work ourselves sick or not, so best to stay balanced and healthy so we are ready to meet the challenges. We both are on the verge of being sick. We can feel it.

    So, here’s to trying to prioritize and do what we reasonably can. Which I hate. I want to do all the things! Yesterday if not sooner.

    I hate learning patience. It takes so looooong.

    1. We need a new roof. It has been a PIA to get bids, now questions answered so we can commit and get on someone’s schedule. OTOH we have the new sky lights to replace the leaky ones when the roof goes on. Hubby got new tarp to put over and around said leaky sky lights until we have roofer’s onsite. I don’t want to wish the housing industry a slow down, but the way things have been going getting this roof replaced … I kind of am.

  15. A man said to his wife, “I am sorry we must raise children in such an apocalyptic time.”

    His wife replied, “Do not apologize for raising dragon slayers in a time when there are real dragons.”

    1. Amen and amen. Some of us are trying to help them learn to spot the dragons, and perhaps anticipate bursts of dragonfire.

  16. Readied (and tested!) propane heater. Switched one lantern to a better fuel (they ain’t kidding that ‘paraffin lamp oil’ gives only half the light of a proper kerosene – kero can sustain a larger flame without sooting.) Have various fuels, and lanterns/cookers to use them. Other things laid in. And I keep thinking “What am I missing?” Some night before it gets Full Winter, I want to do a test run as if the power was out (leave it on, don’t bother $HOUSEMATE) to see much of a go I can make of it. If I plan for 6 hours and make it, alright. If I have to bail at 2 hours for some reason, at least I know before things get critical. But right now I need to tidy things up so that new windows can happen without a last-minute panic. Oh wait, this kind of is. Bugger.

    1. Was wondering if E85 would work in a Coleman lantern, or stove. Power went out yesterday so no better time, and I gathered the test fuel (I bought it the day before) and nope, needs more heat to burn correctly in the lantern. decided not to bother with the stove. It’ll do regular/premium, just fine though.

      1. I’ve read/heard that regular will clog the generator, but I have no experience myself (I have a couple Coleman kerosene lanterns…) with white gas / regular lanterns. I was wondering what it would take to convert such to alcohol – evidently the orifice would need to be about double the area for white gas. So it’s interesting that even 15% alcohol degrades performance that badly.

        1. Uh, no, E85 is 85% alcohol.

          Alcohol is a piss-poor fuel. Low energy density, positively sucks water out of the air and corrodes your whole fuel system. Not to mention, making alcohol out of corn is a waste of corn and a waste of oil.

          1. And, yes, corn is a lousy feedstock (save for bourbon…) and while the energy density is lower yet, methanol does burn the cleanest of the alcohols in my experience.

            1. D’oh! Yeah, that’s what I meant — making alcohol for fuel is a waste of corn and oil. Making alcohol for, err, other purposes is all right and proper. 😀

            2. If they simply must make fuel out of corn, they’d get better results pressing it to make corn oil as a substitute for diesel fuel. That actually works, and the leftover corn meal is still good for food.

          2. One problem with ethanol fueled vehicles is the engines are designed like gasoline engines. I get that for “flex” fuel but flex-fueled engines are notoriously inefficient except for the fuel they are optimized for. However, with a 19.5:1 compression ratio, supercharging, and low-pressure port fuel injection, an ethanol fueled engine is very efficient. It just can’t burn gasoline and our passenger car fuel distribution infrastructure is based on gasoline.

            1. Is it more thermodynamically efficient than a gasoline engine, though? That is, better than 15%? I’d have to see some evidence before I’d believe that.

              The biggest problem we have is using piston engines that waste 85% (or more!) of the fuel’s chemical energy as low-grade heat. What could be more idiotic than designing a heat engine with an entire subsystem dedicated to removing heat from the engine and dissipating it into the environment without getting any work out of it?
              “Gentlemen! You can’t fight in here — this is the War Room!”

              1. One more try…

                The brake thermal efficiency of the engine mentioned above was 40% which is comparable to a modern diesel engine at full load. I’d post a link to the paper but I keep getting denied.

                “High Efficiency and Low Emissions from a Port-Injected Engine with Neat Alcohol Fuels 2002-01-2743”

                It a 20-year-old paper so might be dated.

  17. There is also the Adam&Eve “Fall”.

    I think that story goes to telling us we’ve been screw-ups from the beginning, but we’re still here.

  18. Thank you. That’s comforting and has a homey truth to it. Fall… yeah, crawling into one’s cave, having a bit of hot chocolate and then taking the long nap till planting season. But this jumped out at me, “Look, civilization isn’t dying. It’s just changing profoundly.” One Russian could have said the same to another in the early part of the 20th century. But they did survive their long winter. Took them 75 years, and something else took its place. Actually, what they have now in Russia may be better than what we are up against. At least they are a homogeneous country. When (and if) things fall apart here, people will have to find their ‘clan for safety’s sake. It will be like a white man who suddenly finds himself in a big democrat city Jail or prison. There’s the black crips, the Hispanic brown supremacists, and the Nazi skinheads. You can’t be neutral. You have to pick a clan or die. Sorry to be so dark, but there is a crash coming. (did you all know that the social network, Clouthub, was just de-platformed by IBM? Just shut down overnight. What’s next? Gab? Truth? We’re in it now. I have a sibling who is launching himself out into the heartland, bought a trailer and is going to have ‘an adventure.’ He’s a good democrat and believes everything is right with good ole Biden in place. Well, we’re all going to have an adventure soon. Make sure you have plenty of beans, buddies and bullets.

        1. We are at the end of our 70 years. Except more like a hundred for us and much milder than the rest of the world. Just like every other disaster that happens….

    1. At least they are a homogeneous country.

      That is very easy to arrange: all you have to do is pick out your unwelcome sub-ethnicities and keep cycling them through your war machine until they are wiped from history.

      See also: WW1 France.

      1. Ian, ‘My?” unwelcome sub-ethnicities?” I have two different ethnicities in my family, so I don’t have a problem with ethnicities… for the record. Also, it ain’t ‘my’ war machine, and whoever is running it already ran me through it (along with a lot of minorities) 1968-69, so I know what that’s all about. And I’m not interested in ‘wiping out’ any ethnicities. Okay? I was just, earlier, expressing my opinion, that the nice mix of ethnicities that we had in days gone by, got along relatively well. Not so much anymore. In fact, the people who are running the show and stirring the racial pot. Not me. I’m just stating my opinion as to the current state of race relations… and other things. Also, for anyone just logging on. I don’t hate Russians or Russia. I do not like communism. I don’t like Totalitarianism, not matter whose it is. Also, I don’t know what you mean about ‘us’ having kids, and what, Russia… they don’t h ave kids? I don’t understand that one. Anyway, I just don’t hate Russians. No matter how much Pelosi or Schummer or Biden or McConnel tells me I should. So we can leave that notion behind.

        Well, as Granny Yokim would say, I has spoken. Peace to all… and keep your beans, gold, and powder dry.

        1. Ian’s channeling Bob the Registered, I think. “If I were an asocial dictator in charge of the world, and wanted to solve two ‘problems,’ I would . . .”

          1. Might be a commentary on rumint about doings in Russia.

            Apparently the folks being expended in the Ukraine are not so much the long term Muscovites as much as they are all the little ethnicities squirreled away in remote corners of the Moscow empire, that the Muscovites have quietly wanted to replace with ‘purer’ stock for a while.

            The sort of thing that they got part way through doing in the Ukraine in the 1920s and 1930s, for example.

            Moscow grade psychotic paranoia of ‘foreigners’ pretty much means enough internal distrust to amount of a dislike of populations that have long been distanced from the capital.

            Possibly the Soviet era stuff was simply an anomaly in an otherwise humane imperial history.

    2. Waiting to see if they cut off Parler again.
      Let me put it this way; when all the communications media have been cut off, then it is time to go hunting without any regrets or qualms.
      Live free or die; death is not the worst of evils.

    3. Russia? Homogenous?

      Hahahaha! Not even the historical Russia parts of Russia! Not ethnically, not religiously, not anything else. They are as homogenous as Rocky Road with sprinkles.

  19. It’s not up to us to determine the future. It’s only up to us to stand up and do what’s right.

    Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori

      1. Well, I think that’s part of the intent; but I’m more into making myself better than making other people achieve room temperature. A lot of the time, a strong showing chases away leftist cowards.

      1. Horatio defended the bridge regardless of whether he would be ultimately successful.

        There is value in attempting something good. Of course it’s better if we succeed; but we honor Travis, Bowie, and Crockett anyway. And we honor the brave Unknowns as well.

        George Leigh-Mallory died on Everest for a much lesser cause; but one he was deeply passionate about. In my limited thinking, he was not a hero, though he had many of the characteristics. Merely dying for a cause is not enough, even if we feel strongly and effect change. There needs to be something deeper and more spiritual than mere athletics or record books.

        Yes, I listen to songs like “The Green Fields of France” and enjoy the melancholy lines; but I honor those willing to go so my family could be free. And I served, though not as dearly, when my time came. Eric Bogle and others of his ilk were free to shit on dead men because those more noble men died to give them that right. And they hate that debt.

        War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” — J. R. R. Tolkien

        1. Fair enough. In fact I agree with most of what you wrote. However, I am not particularly spiritual so I guess I am safe from ever being a hero.

    1. I admit I am a wee bit more pessimistic. I expect very little from the GOPe wing of the Rs, and I would not be terribly shocked if the Ds tried to retroactively “correct” election results by refusing to seat or even arresting OrangeManBad-adjacent candidates and then installing their own approved placeholders.

      1. I fear real reality may interfere with the (D)’s plans. If things get cold and expensive, well, reality will bite. Speaker Pelosi’s $35/pint ice cream might be store-brand generic vanilla. Should that come to pass, a lot of luxury politics will go out the window. (And the Powers That Think They Be may decide to ‘let’ the other party have Congress, because then it will be ‘their’ fault.)

      2. We have options, peaceful options, if we do not win a political event right away.

        The basic problem for the opposition lies in the opposition’s thinking, goals, and the kind of event outcomes that they need in order to win by their terms.

        We are mostly looking at a leadership cohort in their eighties or so. As kids, they bought into the New Dealism of their parents, and into communism. They spent about thirty years thinking that the communists would be able to murder their way into power, and then, older and demoralized gave that up for ‘working inside the system’. Now, with mortality calling their names, they are desperate to pull off the revolution, because surely open use of human flesh potions will make them immortal.

        They have some models of human behavior, wrong models, that they are utterly confident in. One, is that if they bullshit hard enough, that it will necessarily be effective. Two, they simply need to bring enough force to bear, that they can murder or intimidate anyone that they need to. Three, there is some natural category of ‘oppressed’ who are innately sympathetic to their cause.

        The stupidity and ignorance is obvious in saying that fighter jets and nukes are reasons for it being impossible to fight a government. What is less obvious is that the speaker brands themselves as someone who picks force over persuasion and moral authority, who does not have a keen eye for force, and who is probably bluffing. Jets fly very fast, and those guns are never going to be really accurate at hitting single targets on an infantry battlefield. At most charitable, someone is expecting formal bodies of troops in a civil war, at least charitable, they have an indiscriminate taste for use of force. The more likely war is irregular. This is also the case where either those politicians are mentally incompetent, or where instead of being fearless of civil war, they fear it and are trying to intimidate the ‘other side’ into surrendering.

        The basic challenges they need to overcome for their goals, require event outcomes that they cannot create.

        They can fraud political wins, but that does not do the job of persuading anyone that those ‘wins’ should be respected. Furthermore, they need people on the ground for those ‘wins’, and such people are perhaps a bit demoralized and feeling underpaid right now. They do not predict this failure, but their answers to it have been BS and attempts to create fear by use of force.

        But surely they can win by force alone? LOL, nope! No matter how many Republicans and independents one handwaves vanishing into literal thin air, there are a certain amount of non-leader Democrats that they need to have tolerate them in order for them to remain in power. And, these Democrat leaders are in all appearances too crazy to leave even Democrats alone enough for Democrats to be able to afford to tolerate them as leaders. Addressing climate change now involves mass murder by artificial mass starvation. (Losing to Republicans is the only way the Democrats have any hope of avoiding being lynched by whatever Democrat voters there are outside of the graveyard and the nursing home. )

        Republicans are not simply going to vanish into thin air, and there probably are not enough living Democrats, of fighting age, and worth anything in a fight, to win any conflict, much less a short one. And, unless a civil conflict is very short the political status quo postbellum is necessarily gonna be very different from antebellum.

        They are malicious, crazy, and think that they are not alienating the ‘oppressed’. This last is because they are sure that everyone else in the world is exactly as mad and theory obsessive as they are, and calculates the symbolism of behavior exactly as they have done.

        This has bitten the communists in the rear many times before. In their murdering, they forget that there are these things called kinship networks, and thus random terror murders make more enemies than their theory predicts. Their theory predicts that a poor man primarily cares that he is a poor man in the Marxist way, and hence will be happy instead of sad or angered when the young daughter of his distant cousin is murdered in a market place bombing.

        The truth is Americans are by and large peaceable.

        1. “The truth is Americans are by and large peaceable.”

          And when NOT, wish to return to that state as fast as possible, and if that means.. well, where was the term MASSIVE RETALIATION coined?

  20. What the censors and silencers miss, is that the signal they suppress often is

    Not yet

    Stay calm

    Don’t go first.

    In other words, in their mad quest to prevent a hypothetical “insurrection”, they will quite likely signal kickoff of a real one.

    That ends worst for them. Lol.

    Note: some of them understand that, and appear to be counting on it. The ability to act quietly and independently will kinda screw up their plans to round up squawkers.

    1. Yeah. I’ve often imagined the “signal” is like a warrant canary for the resistance. When it goes away is the time to start worrying.

  21. And of course there’s this whole “UFO” subplot the writers keep forcing to the forefront every couple of months that has me worried . . .

      1. What I fear: “We’ve contacted aliens! You’ll have to take our word! And they tell us they’ll let us into the Galactic Collective, but only if we eliminate fossil fuels and capitalism! You can’t question this, because aliens! Also, we need to pass laws against alien denialism.”

          1. If you exert yourself, and think up the stupidest thing anybody could possibly do in any given situation, and then bet on the government to do it, you will seldom lose the bet.

            And most of the time, it will be because the government came up with something even stupider than you could imagine, and did it.

  22. Right now, it’s stockpile what I can, where I can. Stay calm. Keep my gear in good working order. And, have enough of a reserve of everything so that if the worst happens, I have margins.

    It doesn’t help that a lot of the idiots are self-designating themselves that they could be potential enemies of humankind…if that happens.

    1. Two pair of well fitting, properly broken in boots, best you can afford, no cheepoes.

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