Prepare, Prepare, Prepare -Riding the Catastrophic Change Wave part VI

It was the strangest of timelines, it was the clownworldiest of time lines.

It always amuses me — except when it infuriates me, because it’s used as an excuse not to actually listen to what I’m saying — when people tell me I’m a raging optimist. It amuses me because I’m the person most likely to see the worst case scenario in any situation. In fact I’m so likely to spiral down for absolutely no reason anyone else can see that I have built routines into my thinking to examine them for the reality of what I’m seeing, and more importantly, for what I’m ignoring.

And here I am, in the most bizarre of timelines, telling people to be not afraid and — instead of reminding them the enemy gets a vote — reminding them we get a vote (although in this case it’s not a vote-vote, natch, as well as that the enemies plans not only don’t go according to plan, but that often what they do turns upside down and sideways.

It is time to remind you of this again.

Yes, everything is broken. It’s broken by an almost-century-long assault on our institutions our thinking and our organization financed by Marxists. Or if you want to look at it another way, it is broken due to the ideas of — spit — Jean Jacques Rosseau percolating through the addled heads of those who hold onto the Marxist theories as though they were ONLY a Christian heresy. The rich people with tapioca brains have convinced themselves that if only all of society and property were abolished we’d go back to a paradisaical state of innocence where no greed or jealousy occur, and everything is free for the taking, with no labor or strife. It’s the sort of poppycock only rich and spoiled people would believe.

But it doesn’t mean the doom script in your head is the truth or that it’s going to play out till we’re Cuba or Venezuela. Because a) we get a vote too. b) the sources of money are running out.

The problem is that you’ve imbibed the script of a communist revolution as much as the Marxists have, and you’re convinced once they seize power it’s ‘game over.’

I will remind you the only place they have taken over in the 21st century was Venezuela. And Venezuela, I’ll be honest, had massive problems of its own even before this. And in taking over Venezuela, they lost their grip on a bunch of other places. In fact their empire has shrunk to nothing, and their “curtain wall” of vassal countries is gone.

What ya’ll are forgetting is that the spread of communism required big money and big force. The big money, ultimately, came from us, because well, we financed Russia by giving it food aid and others, and in turn they took over and despoiled half the world, robbing it blind. (And no, I’m not going to pretend it was the USSR. It was always Russia in a snazzy mask.) And then they used that money to soften the opposition (us) and to destroy the next victim from within. And if the victim didn’t fall on schedule, they deployed Cuban mercenaries. That’s mostly what devoured Africa, and why Africa became a lot more free (if still effed up) once Russians couldn’t afford to pay Cuban Mercs.

This can’t happen to us. We’re too big. Our population is too well armed. Russia is a shadow of itself. Money is now from financiers like Soros, who are malevolent but truly hell of stupid when it comes to really understanding us. And before you say he’s a master mind, I’m fairly sure he was behind the Occupy Wall Street sh*tshow where whoever organized it (and it most likely had input from Obama’s “world class” (I didn’t say what world) brain) thought if they showed the masses how to rise up, the masses would. I’ll point out they probably thought the same about BLM and antifa, and instead all they did was p*ss off Americans.

More importantly, they can’t do it — even if they think they can — because coming in here will stop the money engine of the world. They’ve already severely hampered it with covidiocy, which in turn is hurting China, because CHINA’s world class brains are so steeped in communism they didn’t realize destroying the economy of their main consumer would hurt them. (Shakes head.)

Since most of the money for continued internal subversion, including probably paying for the soft coup in 20, came from China, it will get tighter and tighter as things spiral. If they succeed at all in destroying part of the US (we’re too big to be all of it) things will get massively worse for them, even as we hurt.

Now, do I think it’s all roses going forward?

Are you kidding?

Look, minds that come up with a plan like worldwide lockdowns have no understanding of reality. This doesn’t mean they’re not terrifyingly destructive.

And they drink their own ink, so they run on scripts that would make an extremely cheesy revolution movie, however, they also run on their understanding of past history. They would love to run the WWI script to totally suppress internal dissension, or the WWII script to totally reinvent our structure. That is what they’ve been trying to do. And while things won’t turn out the way they think they will, they can still do a heckofalot of damage. Big time damage.

Damage that will be extremely hard to recover from, particularly because as BGE reminded us yesterday, the rest of the world is in worse shape than we are and is largely in the process of a demographic die-off.

So, the first way to prepare is …. to prepare. Food, water hardening of your position in case of shelter in place, and a graduated plan of places to run to if you have to run.

I don’t need to go over that. A lot of you have better preparation than I do. And a lot of us moved in the last two years to a more defensible/secure position.

Whatever the heck is coming down the pipe, won’t be bad every place. As a general rule of thumb, if your area was bad with BLM consider relocating, because it means you’re in an area that tolerates this kind of shenanigans and where the authorities are already corrupted.

Some places will see no disruption, or very little.

But the disruption as they try to break our back is going to do other things. It’s going to make the economy insane, and jobs impossible to get.

First, remember that there are always jobs, and always people looking. In Lebanon, in the middle of the civil war, there were people working, and people shopping.

Second remember most of the economy goes to connections and who you know, because when things are unstable, you can’t afford to pull a wolf’s head into your business.

So… preparing: Widen your skill set as much as possible. For instance, if you’re a programmer learn more languages and start looking a bit into hardware (I know most of you guys do that, anyway.)

And widen your network. Acquire a hobby, take a class, toddle down to your local pub and have a pint, talk to the other mommies when taking kids in or picking them up, and if you’re a church goer don’t be me, and rush in for the services, then out again. Consider volunteering to clean, or going to that pancake breakfast.

The wider your network, the more likely you’ll hear of a job when things start to contract and become less trusting.

Oh, and develop multiple streams of income (working on that) in case one of them gets taken down or blocked by TPTB. This requires assessment of “What can I do” and perhaps upgrading a hobby to a back burner job which you devote more time to than just for play, but not as much as your main job. Or develop two hobbies into streams of income, or whatever. Make sure that one of these can be done in cash, just in case.

The more sources of “making a living” you have, the less likely they’ll stop everything. And the more resources you’ll have to fight back.

Add to that if you’re mouthy but anonymous, go as known as you can. It’s counterintuitive, but they’re less likely to attack someone like me than either the really big — for them, say Tucker Carlson. They always prefer talking heads, because reading is hard — or the small anonymous people. Not saying they won’t come after me, but even they have to judge there would be a reaction they couldn’t control. The middle-well-known seems to be the safest place to be.

That’s about it, and you’ll be very busy, which also will give you less chance for coming up with doom scenarios. (Works for me.)

And now pardon me, I have a short overdue, a novel hanging fire, and a comics script to finish. Setting up for the secondary stream of income will come in by the by.

Stay frosty, stay busy, remember that you are a person capable of spoiling their plans.

Go to it.

Be not afraid.

124 thoughts on “Prepare, Prepare, Prepare -Riding the Catastrophic Change Wave part VI

  1. “Some places will see no disruption, or very little.”

    I’ve actually been very clear to my kids that recessions (right up to the Great Depression) don’t hit evenly. When the housing bubble and its fallout wrought devastation in 2008—often hitting people very close to our age such that many of them still haven’t recovered—it was actually a boon to us, because our jobs were stable, we had not participated in the fiscal nightmare of ARM-based mortgages, and we were able to purchase a house for a price that our area hasn’t seen since.

    Heck, my MiL decided to pick up a few properties to rent, and she’s had some families as tenants for over a decade.

    The key is always, always preparation. And don’t believe when people say things like “permanently high plateau,” or “buy now or be locked out forever.” Or, for that matter, “Nobody could have seen it [the crash] coming.” Uh. Yeah, they could. I know that for a fact, because I was following housing bubble sites back in early 2005, which were able to not only predict the crash, but give a fairly accurate timeline based on statistical analysis.

    People could see things coming, but the “nobody could have predicted this” folk weren’t listening. So… listen.

    1. My daughter (who is now a licensed real estate agent) tells me that all the more experienced agents say that housing is on a boom and bust cycle. About seven years a cycle is that they say. We’re just now sliding down off the top of the latest “boom”. In about five years, anyone with the wherewithal, or an excellent credit rating will have an array of choices when it comes to buying property,

    2. “Some places will see no disruption, or very little.” And to build on what B. Drubin spoke about as well – it ain’t gonna be the same everywhere.

      The delightful Mrs. and I were just talking about it this morning. I contend there will be pockets or ‘areas’ that are hit far softer than others. Example: I live in the middle of Iowa and I feel the Midwest will be able to be much more resilient and self-sufficient than say the costal areas. Chicago, Minneapolis and St. Louis eh… not so much but North Plate, Rapid City or Cody just might be mostly ok. With that, there will be “issues” and disruptions all over yet the pockets of which I speak will be able to rebound and continue to support a sane and safe (ish) life for those who want and will work for it.

      So, yes – prepare as best you may. Heck I just got a good buy on a bunch of paper plates today and who knows if in 18 months that just might be important. Sure keeping some M855 on hand is prudent but so is talking with the new neighbor, getting that extra multi-tool or just putting ‘better’ tires on the vehicle. You do you but with the future in mind. Maybe I’ll start collecting a bunch of phrases… “Sarah says: Go to it and be not afraid!”

    3. Heck, Alan Greenspan was saying (in ’05 if memory serves) that real estate was a bubble and was going to pop . . . And he didn’t give a timeline, so people ignored him because “we know better.”

    4. It’s amazing how people say that no one could see something happen when it’s a matter of public record that some people did.

    5. 2008 was the most profitable year of my investing life by a considerable margin.

      This downturn seems to be coming for the better off more than usual. We haven’t seen anything like that since 91/92.

    6. :nods:
      And when things are chaotic, you can get a lot of mileage out of being dependable.

      If you buy beef from a guy– KEEP buying it, from that same guy. Maybe trade it out, too, but make sure you buy it in the first place.

      Like Durbin’s mother in law– don’t sell your house, but you might buy more and see if you can do well by doing good. (Clearly, she’s a good landlord.)

      1. She got skunked once—tenants ripped out the electrical junction box for the copper—but for the most part, she’d rather keep her rents low and keep the good tenants on hand.

    7. “I’ve actually been very clear to my kids that recessions (right up to the Great Depression) don’t hit evenly.”

      Neither of my grandparents had a clue the depression had hit. Of coarse one set of grandparents didn’t have anywhere to fall financially; grandpa just kept working in the mine. The other set, grandma continued to raise her turkeys, grandpa worked as a civil engineer. Although grandma was unhappy that her dad didn’t offer her and grandpa the places he sold for back taxes. Asked her brothers and male cousins, not her and they could have afforded to pay them.

      “not participated in the fiscal nightmare of ARM-based mortgages, and we were able to purchase a house for a price that our area hasn’t seen since.”

      We participated in an ARM-based mortgage, in ’88. No choice. Only loan we could get because the cost basis in the neighborhood was so low because nothing had been selling in the prior 10 years. Once our house closed it broke the market open. Refinanced before the year was out to lower fixed. Eventually refinanced it down to 3.258 in 2009.

      Our mortgage is currently not quite double what we initially paid in ’88 (how we paid off the fixes inside, roof, etc.). But still half the estimated “real value” it dropped to in 2010 (about 25% of current estimated real value).

      As far as SS? We really didn’t think it would still be around by the time we got to it. Or severely curtailed. Inflation? Come on. We were in school and first married during the last huge inflation run. Huge inflation rates, until the mid-’00s, was what we expected.

      While we constantly refinanced to drop the interest rate on the house through the ’90s, we didn’t hit the current rate until 2010 (could have dropped it more the last few years … waited too long).

      1. The ARM nastiness in the early 21st century was a game of hot potato. In the 80s, it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t set to implode like 2008.

        1. At least in 1980 the people saddled with ARMS, including us, qualified for the loan. Even with me just working half time, and in school full time, we qualified (loan didn’t know about the pregnancy … Heck we didn’t know.) Leading up to 2008 ARMS and “thou shalt loan” era. People got put into loans they didn’t come close to qualify for. Which allowed others who did qualify to push their eligibility on higher loans. Add to that loans were selling off as fast the ink on the loans were dry or faster. Last not new. Only our current mortgage is held by the loan originator (which is unheard of since the loan is over 10 years old now).

    8. In the lead-up to the bubble pop, a former co-worker in DFW had bought a large 7 bedroom house and 3 times refused to sign a loan because it was an ARM, then finally got their loan . . . . only to find the lender (who then sold it on ASAP) had just upped the starting rate and payment a bit and shuffled things so the ARM was hidden. It looked for a while like they might well lose the place, but got a lawyer who had been going behind and cleaning these things up.

      1. When I was refinancing about this time last year, I repeatedly told them “No impounds. I pay the taxes and insurance on my own, I don’t pay extra for somebody else to do it.”

        When the notary brought the final paperwork around, I read through it and guess what I found? Impounds! She called the finance company and they were all “Oh, just go ahead and sign, we’ll take that part out—”


        I made them take the whole pile back and do it over. They got it right on the second try, and I got my 3% fixed 30-year mortgage right before Bidenflation and Bidencession. Ah, the good old days, when they’d only had one year to F up the economy. [Nostalgic sigh]
        Governments can’t create prosperity; at best, they can refrain from destroying it.

        1. Did not know that paying the insurance and property taxes were called “Impounds”. We just state “Does the loan require additional payments for taxes and insurance?” If yes. “Next!”. If no, then “Is there a prepayment penalty?” If yes. “Next!” And repeat. We also never wanted an ARM. But we were between two different hard rocks. Our rental had been sold out from under us (we made an offer, but it was rejected) and we had 6 pets. Figured we weren’t getting lucky again (pets & renting). As it was, we got signed, moved, and immediately started looking to refinance. Took a few months as other properties closed to bring up the neighborhood values so the neighborhood would qualify under not risky area. House qualified, we qualified, the neighborhood didn’t. Nothing had sold in 10 years!

  2. Also think of volunteering. First, it puts you in contact with hopefully like-minded people…or at least partially like-minded people. That means more contacts and more potential friends. Second, you can pick up skills that way. 30 years ago, we tried to DIY a house and were only marginally successful. This fall, we painted two rooms and converted one to the guest bedroom, the other to a home office, just the two of us. Not to mention that as my beloved put it, when two pipes broke in the recent deep freeze, we couldn’t put in an insurance claim…because he spent $15 or so to buy replacement pipes and replaced the dead ones himself. Plus installing a new kitchen faucet and closing the hole in the wall that allowed the pipes to freeze in the first place. Which means fewer birds flying through the house this spring. All due to skills gained doing projects.
    And third, you know you’re helping people in very concrete ways, not just doing the, “Of course I’m a Good Person, I pay my taxes! Charity is what the government is for!” thing.

    1. Doing volunteer stuff can also help build skill sets and increase your world of contacts where you will be able to learn new stuff and become “more” yourself. At retirement I got into ham radio – not big, but just enough to get the basics down and earn my tech license. With that came opportunities to work with the local county Emergency Management folks and take part in area events (think marathons, bike rides, other group stuff). By doing so I now know some other like minded folks and have access to a huge base of knowledge I would have otherwise never been able to access. It sure beats going “breaker breaker for the rubber duck” if you need actual communications.

  3. I would love to have a “fix everything” button.

    Hell, just “fix 15% of things” button would be awesome (that 15% being medical-I have far too many friends and family with medical issues that I want a magic wand to wave it all away and never happen again).

    But I’m doing everything that I can. And recognizing that I am doing everything that I can.

    That’s the goal right now.

  4. I’m not looking for a secondary stream of income, at this stage of my life I don’t have or need a primary one. However skills I’ve developed and/or am developing are marketable in most possible and even some improbable futures. Such skills are of great value just making and maintaining a home and hearth, even if not exchanged for any monetary returns.

    If the Creeks don’t rise and my knees hold out I suspect me and mine, we’ll get by.

  5. Between my church and my family, I will probably be okay. Watching the rest of the world/parts of the country burn is going to hurt though. Personally, I need to spend more time preparing and less time freaking out.

    1. Yeah, I know several people who have actually moved to parts of the country that are unstable right now, and I’m trying not to worry about them. They’re in God’s hands, now – I hope they can remember that if things get worse!
      In the meantime, I am trying to make my home and my way of life such that I can afford to be generous when generosity is needed.

        1. Yeah, well, I tried my best to convince one of my dearest friends NOT to move to California, but she chose that course, and nothing would dissuade her. Unfortunately, she’s going off the deep end of woke lately, and is therefore impervious to reason and getting more bitterly angry every time we meet. Thankfully most of my family moved back close in the last few years, and have been actively working to inoculate nieces and nephews against the crazy.

  6. I’ve worked assiduously at ensuring my old age would be comfortable. At 67 I’m at what my parent’s generation considered old age. Trouble is the two pensions and social security that I’m already drawing depend on stable government that keeps it’s promises to me. Between the two pensions and my SS and now hers, we’re making well more then the average income for our county. And when/if I retire, a 3rd government pension will start.

    Wait- why aren’t I retired? I’m healthy, my job isn’t stressful, and I’m making good money at it. Why would I want to retire? TBH, I don’t know what I would do to fill all those hours. And- I’m somewhat cautious about retiring since almost everyone I know who has actually retired from my kind of job has died within 5 years. Whether they retired at age 55 or age 60 or age 65. And all of different things, too. One a whole year after retirement being hit head on by someone who crossed the road to do it…. If I die while employed, wife and kids get 5 years of base pay. Tax free insurance money.

    From history, collapse takes place very slowly, then quickly. Look at Romania for a prime modern example of that. While some are less optimistic then I am, I suspect I’ll be in my late 80s early 90s when that happens. And I try to live my life so I’ll still be both alive and healthy then. Looking around at people I know, being old and unhealthy because you didn’t take care of yourself sucks. The number of people I know with COPD who have to carry around O2 is way too large, and it’s because they wouldn’t give up tobacco.

    And, for the USA, the collapse may yet be avoidable. We’re not going to be invaded, and as mentioned in many articles describing the oncoming unavoidable collapse, we’re better armed. I’m left to wonder what the tipping point will be to use them. Had a discussion with one of my kidlings the other day. So far all of the real idiocy hasn’t affected our family. If a cop had arrested any of my immediate family for being in a public park during the covidiocy, that cop and his family wouldn’t be around any longer. Along with any judge who imposed a penalty. That this hasn’t happened is what truly surprises me. You have to willing to accept what happens after you let loose. We are.

    1. I also have wondered what will be the final straw that fires off the new civil war. My daughter and I have talked it over, and what we think will be the “firing on Fort Sumpter” moment will be representatives of the fed-gov landing like bricks on someone or something in a strong red state by insisting on their authority over … well, whatever is going on… and not only the locals but the state law enforcement objecting strongly and with ammunition. As in Feds insisting, “This person/activity has transgressed against fed-law! We demand….!” and the local authorities saying replying, “No, this person/activity has done nothing against state law/community/local culture, take your demand, fold until all corners and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine!” And the local fed-on-the-ground getting creative with ammunition on the local law … and then … and then…
      G*d, I’m getting ready to finish the work on my ACW novel. This is so depressing… living through Interesting Times. At my age, I only wanted to read about Interesting Times, not live through them.

      1. My money is on something to do with the border. And TX is the most likely state for that: CA, AZ, NM all have blue executive branches.

        1. Florida’s getting a ton of border hoppers, as well.

          But as far as California is concerned, a San Diego County Supervisor recently complained about the Fed’s mishandling of illegal immigration. Something there or in Orange is possible, even if it’s California.

    2. Given the current state of affairs, a conflict between local authorities and non-locsl authorities is probably the most likely trigger. And the non-locals don’t need to be Feds. It could be state versus city/county. It could even start with a blue county and a red state, with the Feds ham-fistedly stepping in when a stand-off starts.

      Or it could be something else. But the above seems most likely by far, imo.

      1. I’m looking at the Greater Idaho movement. Saw an article on it today (Zerohedge?) where apparently even those in NW Oregon would like to be shut of us Deplorables. (I assume they don’t have nukes, and some of the brighter ones might realize that rural people grow the food that gets eaten. Yeah, the second point is a stretch… We’d be hard to conquer.)

        If GI happens, it’d be part of a bunch of similar actions. I’ve heard that a lot of counties in Illinois would like for there to be a State of Chicago. Other examples abound. We’ll see.

        1. A lot of us in VA would like to give Fairfax County to MD. Alternatively, we could let the I95 corridor be VA and join WVA.

        2. Eastern Washington would love to get shut of the coastal progtards — the idea of creating a new state out of the eastern 2/3 gets 70% support in polls — but getting people to bestir themselves to work for it is another thing entirely. I may be a bit of a pot calling the kettle black here, but at least I’ve been to some meetings; for an idea that has so many people checking the “yes” box, they’re very sparsely attended.

        1. They likely think that they are. But since the chief executive has pudding in the brain, it’s likely that no one’s keeping a close eye on said agencies. So it’s an open question. If a real domestic crisis did hit the US, we might very well see twenty different agencies all acting as if they’re in charge of the response.

    3. Develop a hobby. Then if something forces you from your job, you will have something else to do.

        1. Father in Law did “three times around” at the FDNY — 62 years, 40 in uniform plus naval service at Leyte Gulf and Okinawa. Never missed a day of work. All this on bad coffee, Entenmann’s Coffee cake and two packs of unfiltered Camels a day.

          They don’t make them that way anymore. Thank God, but that’s a long, sad story.

      1. @ Mary > “Develop a hobby.”

        My hobby is reading blogs and comment threads.
        Not sure yet how to monetize that….

        1. My granddaddy was a fire captain in Raleigh for years, then when he retired he became a hotel detective. Dropped dead of a stroke at 71. I wish I’d been old enough to hear his stories. (For BGE).

          1. MY FIL a was a real nasty piece of work at home. He was also an absolute legend in the FDNY. I still run into guys who knew him and when they find out who my wife is say “wait, you married Bob O’C… daughter? Sh-t, I remember when he …..”. His funeral was epic.

            My dream job when I was a kid was to be the tiller man on a hook and ladder truck, that’s the guy on the old trucks who steered the trailer. the wheel turned the opposite way. I have lots of NYPD in the family, but i never had any desire to be a cop and I’m a two cheers for the police sort of guy, but I have nothing but admiration for the FD.

            1. Married into a fire family. FIL was the de facto chief of the FD of the city my wife grew up in, although he was technically the fire marshal. Right up until he got kicked out on BS, likely at the prodding of the city administrator who is a real see you next Tuesday. I’m still willing to killer. BIL is a LT in the large county fire service.

              1. My. Family was.big in the fire service as well. Dad’s uncle was.deputy chief and my cousin ended up being the chief. So.after college I took the exam and scored a 98 out of a possible 99, I had the highest town, and one of the highest in the state. but because of the folks with the veteran ‘s preference I was 12 on the list. So after waiting for.a.couple of years I applied to law school, after I started classes the Town called me up, for what was the last opening of that list, I declined and went on to other things.

            2. I remember Granddaddy’s funeral. I think the cortege drove by every fire station in Raleigh, and the firemen were lined up outside every one as we passed.

    4. Hmm, I retired at 50. (Got laid off at 49, got a nice/well paid consulting gig for a year, then the client/consultancy went toes up.) I used that money to renovate our house in California, we sold it and moved to Flyover County, east of the Cascades in S. Oregon. I’m now 70.

      Retiring didn’t mean stopping work; upon moving in, we had some small stuff to do, and the next Spring, construction started. I did a kennel for our dogs, then a shop for my wife, then a workroom in the barn. Add two more outbuildings, a couple-three solar systems, plus the stuff needed to keep a 13 acre micro-ranch going, and I don’t have time to expire. 🙂

      I also had a couple of volunteer gigs (Fire/EMS for a couple of years, then church elder for another couple), and we’ve done some work in the house, with a combination of DIY, contractor, and a mix.

      Where we moved, it’s defensible. Surrounded by a bunch of tribal members still royally pissed off at Antifa/BLM for the arson wildfires in ’20. IMHO, people are remembering the hamfisted overreach and the curbstomping as done by TPTB. I think there’s a tally being made.

      1. I retired at 40. Lasted three months before the wife told me that I had to get a job since otherwise she’d divorce me and take all the money. The choice was not whether to get a job but whether I’d stayed married to her. I think the problem was that I didn’t have what I’d do worked out. Going to try it again two to four years from now. I’m working on a plan to keep busy.

        1. My late (Vaxxed, grr) BIL said do $SPOUSE: “You’re retired, right? Not doing anything, right?” He got a short list of what we were working on and an open invitation to help set a truckload worth of pavers at the San Jose house. He passed, but did shut up.

          Moving to Oregon, we’re busier in good weather. For bad weather, I have a juvenile Border Collie who insists on company when she goes outside, so lots of walking. Get to bird watch, and saw a bald eagle land on one of our treetops and do the avian version of “Hey babe, wanna boogie?”. They have a rather high pitched call for such a big bird.

      2. We each retired at 59. Technically for hubby, 7 weeks later he turned 60. I retired 10 weeks after I turned 59, four years later. (Took a trigger at work. It was always will retire after hubby as he is almost 5 years older, but don’t know when. When came at a realization of “I need out of here. Now!”)

        Hubby is busy. He joined a golf coarse, OMG 20 years ago now. First on the family plan so son could play too. Kept it that way well past time son was 18 (technically “not immediate family” under the plan anymore). But since son was in college the place overlooked that. Now we just pay monthly fee for hubby. He golfs 4x a week even in the winter. Participates in the men’s club group, get the heck out of the rain trips, that don’t involve flying anywhere. He is busy.

        Me? I read Sarah’s blogs and the comments. Write a few. I’ve painted the inside of the house, or most of it. Need to paint upstairs family room. Not very handy tools wise. We’re likely to tackle the painting on the outside of the house (which I really, really, do not want to do, but …) Roof we’ll contract out. The dog insists on going for walks and playing both inside and outside. I need to go to the gym more. I thought I’d miss work. I don’t. Not a bit.

        Hubby’s brother and wife have both gone back to working. They got bored. Neither of us will ever get that bored. Never.

        Mom retired at 62, after working for 12 years, when she qualified for her PERS pension and was could use it for medical insurance (until medicare kicked in … most of it). A few years, in their early 70’s that she was busy just dealing with her parents, and dad’s health issues. For the last 14 years, since dad’s death (grandparents passed a couple years before dad), she’s been busy with the various women Shriner groups. At 88, she has only backed off because some of those groups got so small they’ve folded, others combined with other chapters. Now we’re working out how to meet others so she can still participate. Same with getting her to youngest daughter in Battle Ground WA. (She’s not quit driving. She is giving up driving I-5. And, yes, we (hubby, son, sisters and their husbands) think something happened, but don’t know what, since it didn’t involve banging up her car.) She has traveled. Generally with other widows, known through the Shriner groups, who have two-fer trips and air miles. Most recent trip, Florida through the Panama Canal, was with a neighbor whose husband didn’t want to go (got back 12/22/2022). This last trip has left her tired (getting salmonella didn’t help).

        1. I have to drive I-5 a few miles when I go to Medford. It’s not a happy road to be on. (It was considerably worse when we had to go to California a lot; $SPOUSE decided that her solo trips would take the older two-lane highways.

          The two times I drove back east since coming here, I drove (seriously) back roads highways and picked up I-80 in Winnemucca. Far less spooky than I-5 and dealing with the crazies driving from Sacramento to Reno (worse the other way) in Cali. “80” isn’t the speed limit, you idiots!*

          (*) Except in Utah near the salt flats. 🙂

          1. I was coming back from Down State on New Years Day. Lots of cars from Colorado going 10-15 over the 75 MPH limit. I was happy to see them go. They can flush all the nice police/sheriff/state troopers for me. beatific kitty smile

            1. Best part of the Flats O’ Texas . . . seeing far enough ahead one could open things up a bit. And even if not wanting that much extra, anything with a line painted near the shoulder is 75mph.

            2. The real speed limit on any decent highway is 8-10 mph over what’s posted on the sign. Everybody knows that.

          2. Think we did that route a few years ago, during the wildfires. Smoke all across Northern Nevada. Spooky.

          3. ““80” isn’t the speed limit, you idiots!*
            (*) Except in Utah near the salt flats

            Or I-80/84/126/20/22 – across Idaho and the N/S freeway east of Tetons/Yellowstone in eastern high plains of Wyoming and Montana. At 80, one is in the center, or right slowwwww, lanes … (60 MPH for semis or RV’s, including truck towing anything, or packing RV campers).

            1. I cruised through most of Montana at 85. Got to Yellowstone in time for lunch.

              There wasn’t much else to do in Montana. 😀

              I do wish I had taken the time to stop, and get a picture of the exit sign with a buzzard perched on on it, glaring balefully at the world. Bet they didn’t get many visitors that day!
              At my house, the ‘things that go bump in the night’ are cats.

              1. To be fair. No one is driving I-5 at 65 anymore. More like 80/85. Not posted 80. But traffic is moving at 80 or faster, even through Salem; not so much through Portland, but that is traffic congestion problem not wanting to “slow down”. And I-5, except greater Portland, through Salem, and a few miles through Springfield/Eugene, is two lane. There are parts of southern I-5 that there are flashing signs stating “slow to 55” with an implied “idiot” appended. South of Roseburg, and a few curvy canyons … seriously people, slow down south of Cottage grove, until you get into Scott Valley! Twilleger Curves approaching the I-5/405 split don’t count. Traffic itself slows the speed down, usually … that stretch isn’t built for high speeds, and staying in your own lane.

              2. We never waste the opportunity to stop to take pictures of wildlife even if means eating lunch at a late dinner time 🙂 Well okay. We’re down to not taking pronghorn, bison, or elk, pictures, unless particularly unique. When we hosted my sister and BIL at Yellowstone Fall 2020 and again Spring 2021, we had a little difficulty finding wildlife, at first. But before they left they decided they’d seen enough bison and pronghorn. The bison jams are legendary. Vultures on a sign aren’t common.

      1. Not “bad”, “peak”.

        Reagan nailed that one. But one must remember it is a long game.

  7. The powder kegs are all setting there waiting for a spark, and some idiot stole all the fire extinguishers to hock at the pawn shop after the government declared fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems were racist. Even as we speak the authorities in Oregon and Washington are looking for Homophobic/Trans-phobic people who are shooting power stations. When anyone with an ounce of grey matter knows its climate freaks. But you see leftists wouldn’t do that, they hate guns and fascism…….sarc

  8. For the more seasoned folks, may I suggest you contribute by getting to know your homeschool community ? Many of us homeschooling parents are genX or younger and we know a heck of a lot of nothing about tools, crafts, repairs, and we’d love to teach our kids from humans not YT. And we’d pay tuition for these courses or barter if necessary. And then you might know people who could help you as well. There’s lots of way of finding homeschoolers where you are but I promise, everyone I’ve read on this blog has something they could teach that would be valuable to some homeschooling student.

      1. Do it. You’ll find the kids who are like you and your kids: the misfits, the neuro-a-typical, the fun, the gifted, the talented in non check-the-box achievement and those willing to buck the system. They’re energizing.

        You know what homeschoolers would love? Live instruction from a human they could trust. Real Spanish! Real writing! Real literary analysis that isn’t CRTqueerfemtheory. Do it!

          1. But even stuff many of you don’t think of yourselves as skilled at because you forget others don’t know, like using reference books, reading a paper map, basic first aid, those are valuable skills people want to be taught.

              1. I should take a basic first aid course, honestly. Whatever they call it. The red cross used to offer them. First responder? Something like that. I’m old but not stupid, and I remember the impotence of seeing a disaster unfold unable to help.

                1. First Aid / First Responder is Amazingly simple stuff. Stop the bleeding. Support the circulation and breathing. Prevent shock. There are details, but any semi-intelligent clod can learn enough to make a difference.

                  -willing- is the key.

                  Have used such training over the decades to support lost-count major accident victims. Haven’t lost one yet. ( still breathing/viable when turned over to pros)

                  Highly recommend.

                  1. Once you have the basics of first aid down, take a Wilderness First Aid course. The Boy Scouts require two members of each high adventure trek to be current in it.
                    Good for situations where EMS isn’t going to be there in 10 minutes.

                    It was amusing (grimly) watching some of the participant’s reaction to the triage discussion. Some people could not wrap their head around the probably results of more injured victims than rescuers…

                    1. 100% recommend. When son and hubby went to Philmont, it was before that requirement for troops. But was a requirement for Philmont contingents. The two of us, our 13 year old son (he was 14 before going to Philmont), and the other 3 contingent leaders, with their sons, took the Wilderness/When help is delayed First aid class. The group did use their skills. Had another contingents 2 scouts come tearing through their campsite just after midnight. Got the information, sent two of their scouts with one of the the other scouts to report problem to nearest emergency station, took the other scout back to the other campsite, and proceeded to support one of the Wilderness First Aid trained leaders. Their other Wilderness First Aid trained leader was the one having the high elevation medical issue … Lesson. Two trained leaders are not enough. Have troops locally that make it a point to have all leaders who regularly go on outings, and any older scout, at first class or above, Wilderness/When help is delayed First Aid trained. Even before the new requirement was established. Our Wilderness First Aid qualifications are out of date; don’t remember how many years (two or 5?). When help is delayed First Aid is one and done.

            1. Had to laugh at a new lady I found on Tubes Of You. A Troll who moved up here to the U.P. of Mich. In a video talking of How much she liked it and what the differences were: “Get a paper map! You can mark good places to eat and where to get gas.” because there are still places here there is no cell service, no matter who you might have as carrier.

    1. I’m not sure stealing babies, drinking, turning milk sour, drinking, dancing, drinking, stealing musicians, and drinking is something the locals would be wanting taught to their children.

          1. I’ve been to Sliabh Luachra, my maternal grandmother’s people came from not far from there, Nothing there but cows ….. and fiddlers, Sliabh Luachra had an awful lot of really good fiddlers.

            1. And box players as well. I knew a Sligo fiddler who remarked that there were alot of highwaymen and outlaws and people on the run who made it into the rushy mountains to be away from the law – and that there were a lot of musicians up there as well, for some of reason. 🤔🤣

    2. “For the more seasoned folks, may I suggest you contribute by getting to know your homeschool community ? Many of us homeschooling parents are genX or younger and we know a heck of a lot of nothing about tools, crafts, repairs, and we’d love to teach our kids from humans not YT.”
      There are homeschool groups popping up EVERYWHERE! They desperately need people to work with the kids on things outside of math and English. Or if you want to teach Math or English, they would also welcome you with open arms.
      If you are comfortable using the Book of Faces, that’s an easy way to locate homeschool groups. If not, look up your state’s Association of Home Educators. They’d be happy to get you connected to groups in your area.

      1. The only reason I am still on FB is because of the private groups. In my case it is Owner Trained Service Dogs, Yellowstone/Teton National Parks (and Grizzly 399), and finally the Jesse Applegate Historical Cemetery. After all, even if I wasn’t getting AccordingtoHoyt in my email, I’d still get links through MeWe. Sure, still occasionally get posts from immediate family, but most of them have moved on to Instagram or group posts on Apple phones (neither of which I have). I post very little.

  9. A 24-year-old pro football player just collapsed on Monday Night Football. They were doing CPR on the field and the game has been suspended.
    It says something unpleasant that my first thought was, “And when was he vaccinated?”
    In the meantime, joint the folks praying in the stands couldn’t hurt.

    1. It says something unpleasant that my first thought was, “And when was he vaccinated?”

      Mine too.

      It’s not a vaccine, it’s not approved, it’s not safe, and it’s not effective. Hey, what could go wrong?

      1. And in other news, Martina Navratilova was diagnosed with two unrelated cancers (throat and breast). Same question in my case.

          1. A web search on her name + Chernobyl came up dry. She defected from Czechoslovakia some time before 1975, so I assume that she wouldn’t have been forced to stay downwind of the reactor when it went up in ’86.

    2. Commotio cordis is also a distinct possibility. That’s where a hit to the chest at just the wrong time creates cardiac arrest—and it’s often a death, even with CPR and immediate defib.

      It’s a known hazard of football.

      1. And one of the more disgusting hazards of modern life is the fact that the delay before they cancelled the game (half an hour after suspending it) has provoked screams of “RACIST!!!!” 😦

    3. Now I hear there are a lot of ‘experts’ that don’t actually know anything about medicine jumping up and down and screeching “Nothing to do with the COVID shots and you’re a Kulak Deplorable MAGA Republican White Supremacist RRRAAACISSST!!! if you say it was!”

      Tucker Carlson wants to know why they are so vehement in their denials, because we don’t know what caused it. We don’t know it was the COVID shots. We don’t know it wasn’t.

      He did talk to a real medical doctor who studies sports-related medical issues and said that before 2020 he saw an average of 29 athletes a year experience sudden heart failure on the playing field, usually not fatal. Since the COVID shots, there have been more than 1,500, most of them fatal.

      Sure looks like there’s something fishy going on.
      People can make stupid mistakes, but only the government can force everybody to make the SAME stupid mistakes.

  10. Saw a commentator on ESPN talking about the football player who collapsed on the field tonight and whose status is unknown. The commentator stated that the thoughts of everyone are with the player… and with Ukraine


  11. Game has been shut down. The fans were very classy, very quiet. The commentators I saw were actually talking about praying for the young man. Lot of people in shock. I gather at least one ESPN guy was a jerk, speculation he may be an unemployed jerk by morning.
    This just feels very bad.

    1. Just heard about this– also heard that the coaches pulled the refs over to chat with them, because the NFL was telling them they had 5 minutes to be ready to continue play.

      Sending up prayers.

    2. Yeah, aside from the Ukraine stupidity, there’s been no room for complaints about the coverage that I’ve seen. Also no room for complaints about how the fans from either team have been acting.

      Unfortunately, the fact that officials haven’t even given a statement about his condition have me fearing the worst.

        1. Still in critical condition as of 0700 EST today. Electrical short in the heart, it sounds like from what CNN has.

          When the talking heads said that the players were coming out of the locker rooms without pads and just talking, I knew it was over for the night. The guys were too upset and distracted to play safely. The coaches made the right call, no matter what the league said at first.

          And yes, once we knew the young man made it to the hospital, there was speculation at RedQuarters about a vaccine-related “cardiac incident.”

      1. I’ve been seeing some pushback that blaming the vaccine is to the right what “the shooter was a MAGA supporter” is to the left: an unthinking reflex.

        Sorry, but there have been enough shenanigans that suspecting the vaccine is not irrational.

        1. Honestly, I haven’t seen blaming so much as looking in that direction when there’s an unexplained medical event– exactly because that is how blood clots and cardiac events work.

          They are UNEXPECTED!

          Blood clots are freaking terrifying– do any of these guys remember the flip-out about sitting on airplanes for too long?– and ‘cardiac events’ in folks without a history or family history of the same are, gosh, unexpected.

          1. I know, right? This has always happened, but we don’t know what the base rate was.

            1. My family has a high genetic risk factor for blood clots (I didn’t get it, my sister did) — they’re pretty sure that it came from her dad, who had a “family history of cardiac events” and had several heart attacks– and even with that family history that should mean we’re over-exposed to these, we’re seeing a lot more “events.”

              We just don’t know HOW MUCH more common it is, if it correlates with a natural infection, if if if if….

            2. That’s just it, we DO know what the base rate is/was. It’s not like we don’t keep track of that. It’s more that we can’t get the incidences in a reliable fashion. Took forever to get the excess death rates in the Covid years and even now, it’s hard to tease out which is infectious, and which is other. Working in a large ER, the docs should have a good feel for whether there is more or less, or no change, but I don’t hear from them. Our numbers are corrupted.

          2. My beloved’s partner had a pulmonary embolism a few years ago. Fortunately her daughter insisted she go to the hospital. She went into cardiac arrest in the emergency room and had to be defibrillated three times before she stabilized. She was on a ventilator for weeks (actually more like months). It was a scary time for all of us and a minor miracle she was able to come back to work the next tax season.

          3. I’ve known or known of plenty of folks dropping from attacks and what or having clot issues at young age . . . BUT, JHFC not this many, especially among those without a family history of such. It’s starting to NOT be unexpected.

  12. I had a grim thought this morning. The last time I took CPR, they had stopped doing “rescue breathing,” on the theory it wasn’t helpful. Bf if they didn’t do something, that’s 10 minutes the young man went with only the oxygen in his lungs. That’s not good at all.
    Keep the prayers up, those of us who pray.

    1. They gave up on mouth-to-mouth because squeamish folks won’t do it, so CPR never starts. AIDS-fear was a big reason. COVID paranoia just hamnered the coffin lid shut.

      You can survive low O2 much easier than no blood flow, so they went with what they can get.

      Triage ain’t pretty.

      Note, there are masks you can get that facilitate rescue breathing without direct contact.

      1. Well, as I was told with CPR classes, if your work is successful, the very first thing the victim does is throw up. Into your mouth.

        I can see the non-appeal.

      2. I know. Both single-use and multi-use. I probably have both,but I haven’t upgraded my kit in a while.

  13. Sarah,
    Great piece/pieces. to the end.
    I got lost in the comments that ventured into many “different” places.
    Everything is true and you basically covered it all with a writers grace, with some sarcasm, of which I love. The only thing, the thing thing, I found missing, was the issue of ones own responsibility in all of this…..mess. Responsibility for ones own actions.
    For me, I came of age as the spawn of a military family. Born here, travel there, basically “homeless” until I was old enough to enlist and try to ground my soul in some meaning. I learned skills, I developed confidence in myself, I found a camaraderie that I still miss today. But mostly, I learned to be responsible for my own actions, or I could perish. Such are the requirements for that “job”.
    After my fun clamping vacation in sunny SE Asia, I jumped in feet first in the rushing river of life with a new outlook. Getting “educated” in the 70’s. In Chicago. Flower power, hippies,
    god, the hippies, SDS, SLA, “People of Color” Panthers, the 7, Dailey politics, and the emerging VA.
    Spit out into the rivers workforce flow, I took notice of all the people on the banks. Why were they not swimming with me. I collected Knowledge versus “education” and survived the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and through the change of century.
    Here I am, happy at my own progress, but saddened at the rest of the so called human, so called race.
    The river banks are now polluted with the flotsam and jetsam of the flow I fortunately crawled through and over the bank to where I am now.
    The lack of action leads to a lack of responsibility.
    Without action, there is no experience. Without experience or movement there is no action.
    Ouroboros. But taking responsibility for your own actions keeps you on the evolutionary path without becoming a Darwinian statistic in the wrong column.
    this is not a “game”. you can’t LARP reality and come out a survivor.
    In all your takeaways, the self enforced responsibility code should be the first in order to not fail in life, or not fail too soon.
    Waiting for #8 to drop.

      1. I am sure on your side of and in your blog, responsibility is taken into account.
        Your 7 part essay has more or less laid out a field of conflicts.
        In any conflict, on any battlefield, you can never ASSUME anything.
        Responsibility is a stoic pillar. Too much assumption can be fatal.
        Sorry if I was misunderstood.

  14. I’m late to the party, having not had power since NewYear’s Eve, but I don’t think this is correct… “the only place they have taken over in the 21st century was Venezuela.” Looks like they’re taking over in Brazil. I’ll let others define the they in ‘they’re.’ In my opinion, the proper name for the bad guys is not ‘communists,’ but rather totalitarian elitists. Klaus Schwab and the Bidens, the Obamas, the Clintons and the Bush’s, instead of Fidel Castro.

    Anyway, like I said, having just gone through a total power outage here in Nevada, with lots of ice and snow on the ground and bitter temps, and, three of us, serially going through a bout of covid (diagnosed), we survived all of that. This time. But we’re all in our seventies. A lot of oldsters AND medically needy others (diabetics, you-name-it) will die off when the pressure gets racheted up. When you’re thirty nine, that’s a shoulder shrug, except for your own Mamma or Grandpa. And yes, a certain segment of the population will survive. The young and strong, men with lots of ammo and tactical training, okay with eating flies if need be. Women who will be vastly reduced in value, etc. It could end up a brave new world. The great culling.

    There have been great human tragedies down through time. And sometimes the human race was almost completely wipred out, with only a tiny percentage surviving; this based on a lot of new research on Cataclismic Archeology.

    So if the world gets shoved into this fight, the old Bob Dylan song comes to mind, Talkin World War II Blues. Goes like this:

    “One time ago crazy dream came to me
    I dreamt I was walkin’ into World War Three…
    Well, I rung me fallout shelter bell
    And I leaned my head and I gave a yell
    “Give me a string bean, I’m a hungry man”
    Shotgun fired and away I ran
    I don’t blame them too much though, they didn’t know me.”

    (Bob goes to a psychiatrist about his dream)

    Well, the doctor interrupted me just about then
    Sayin’, “Hey, I’ve been havin’ the same old dreams
    But mine was a little different, you see
    I dreamt the only person left after the war was me
    I didn’t see you around”

    Well, now time passed and now it seems
    Everybody’s having them dreams
    Everybody sees their self walkin’ around with no one else.”

    (Clayton here… I love this song and I love this fantasy. I and a lot of elders like myself probably won’t make it through the first big battle. But the fantasy does provide comfort and hope to some. So that’s good.

    Happy New Year, everyone. Yeah, Here’s hopin’…

    1. “Everybody sees their self walkin’ around with no one else.”

      I was a kid of the 80s. Yes, those dreams were pretty well endemic, which was fascinating to a couple of younger compatriots when I explained how none of us thought we’d make it to the millennium.

  15. So much love for this post.

    “….I’m the person most likely to see the worst case scenario in any situation. In fact I’m so likely to spiral down for absolutely no reason anyone else can see that I have built routines into my thinking”

    Any advice for our long-suffering fam?

    “In the end, we win, they lose” – Mrs. Hoyt

    “We are living in a fairy tale” – Mrs Wright

    Go ahead. Be scared. Scared is reasonable.

    Do it anyway.

    See above

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