Gas lit

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High gas prices and getting higher. OPEC+ announced earlier this month that they are going to cut production. It’s hard to know exactly who to blame. Some say it is the result of inflation. Some say it is the result of government policy. Some say it is the result of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Some say it is just the oil companies jacking prices for profit. It obviously isn’t as simple as one of these things and trying to make it solely about one of them is foolish.

However, here in the the US, it has a lot to do with the fact that our government (the Biden administration) has chosen to take a route with energy policy that does’t keep access to oil easy or convenient. As such, the supply is always short in the US when we could actually be nearly oil independent. The administration refuses to allow more refineries, more drilling, and no new pipelines.

The Democrats believe higher energy prices will force Americans to finally get behind “clean” energy of wind and solar, the faster the better in their view. But they also see the peril in allowing prices to get too high, especially when it comes time to vote. Biden has been trying to keep prices low (very unsuccessfully) over the last couple months because of the looming mid-term elections. With an upcoming election and prices rising rapidly, the Biden administration is trying to put pressure on Saudi Arabia because the cost of fuel (well, the cost of everything really) will be weighing on the minds of Americans when they fill in their ballot. When Americans feel pain at the pump and in their wallet they tend to vote away from policies that made it them feel it.

As an example, I have three receipts less than a month apart. In that time span, the gas price as my local Costco (nearly always the cheapest price) has gone up $1.10/gal. That’s a lot of pain at the pump in less than a month. The worst part is that fuel prices are typically going down this time of year (after Labor Day) since the “driving season” is over and consumption/demand is lower.

My last three fill-ups.

Obviously, this is weighing on my mind. I make a pretty good income, but I am feeling the pinch. I can imagine how others who were already on tight budgets are feeling now. It’s a struggle and really hard choices are having to be made. I am sure the last thing they are thinking about is clean energy and long term policy. They (we) all want some relief.

Manipulating voters before an election is nothing new. Both parties do it. It’s irritating as hell that most people don’t see right through it. But, put a little money in the pockets of voters shortly before an election and they tend to forget the pain they felt for a short time while they vote. We’ve seen this fairly often too – and in a not so transparent move, California (the largest state, dominated by Democrats) is giving money back to voters just in time for elections. It apparently goes by many different names – “Middle Class Tax Refund”, “Inflation Relief Check”, “Gas Tax Refund” – but the goal is all the same, make sure voters try to forget their pain at the pump and other places for a short time. Also, just in time (not a coincident or a surprise), the president releases more oil from the strategic stock pile. Didn’t see that one coming…*sarcasm*

Anyone else tired of the garbage going on in DC, or their own state? Anyone else tired of the rich and elite manipulating the government for themselves?

The OPEC+ decision to cut oil production will make prices spike in the short term. How that ends up translating to prices at the pump remains to be seen, obviuosly. However, can we be confident that the OPEC+ members will actually abide by the agreement? Not really. Traditionally, they decide on a production cut and then one or more members decide that the price spike is too good to lower production so they keep producing at the current level to maximise profits during the price increase. Members always accuse other members of violating their agreement and everyone ends up producing just as much or more than previous levels to make up for lost ground in the market.

Ultimately, their announcement is market manipulation and likely won’t really happen. But, it also might be American election manipulation too. To say that oil producing countries are “pleased” with American Democrats and their progressive push towards climate alarmism would be more than a mis-statement. Another political party would be friendlier, in their opinion. This may be their actual goal, but time will tell.

Deaf ears

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Can you believe that President Biden hasn’t really done a thing about fixing the gas prices? It’s as if all the pleas of Americans at every economic level in the United States has fallen on deaf ears, and I am not just talking about the fact that he’s old and can’t hear that well. He literally is ignoring the only solution that would fix the issue – pumping more oil domestically.

He just told Americans (and basically the rest of the world) that they are going to just have to continue to suffer under high inflation and high fuel prices. He will ask OPEC to pump more oil, which we’ll have to buy on the open market at market price, while everyone else in the world faces the same issue. He’ll ask Congress to suspend a tax for short term relief, which for most people amounts to very little savings at the pump. He’ll scold oil companies for making a profit.

Notice he didn’t say he would open areas for more drilling in the US? Notice how he didn’t say he would do anything about opening a pipeline in the US? Notice how he didn’t say he would do anything to increase refining capacity in the US? Notice how none of the things he is doing make the US energy independent? Notice how none of the things he is doing are long term solutions and will have little to no real impact at the pump for a majority of Americans?

Not only is Biden hard of hearing physically, but he is apparently deaf politically too. His own political followers are bearing the brunt of his poor economic policies and he can’t hear that they’re totally suffering and unhappy.

“Build Back Better” was his slogan. Know what he has built back better?

Resentment. Inflation. Economic recession.

Anything else we can add to that list?

Good grief!

Tired choices

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Northwest living can be an actual and total grind. Seriously.

The joke around here is that summer starts after July 4 and the number of rainy, cool July 4ths I have experienced in my 50 years is pretty high. Look, it’s wet a lot up here and we all know it. BUT…

Right now the grass and weeds are growing uncontrolled because the rain literally stops for like one day, maybe two, every week and a half. As such, I am forced to make choices about what activites are going to take place outside.

Do I do something fun or relaxing outside? Or, do I do yardwork in an effort to catch up after not doing yardwork for a week/week and a half? If I choose what I want to do, that which I should/need to do suffers. If I choose what I should/need to do, that which I would prefer to do suffers.

If you choose incorrectly, it could be a long while in between being able to do either outside.

I am tired of making these choices.

How about summer start now for a change?

Retained stiffness

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Or maybe it’s retained soreness?

Last weekend I began working on building a planter by the new patio. It’s going to be one that has a short retaining wall to keep the soil and such contained. But, to get the project started, I had to dig out the area first. That part wasn’t actually as much work as I expected (the soil was mostly sand) but there was still a couple hours worth of shoveling and wheelbarrowing the soil away.

Once the initial groundwork was done, I put down weedblock fabric and the shoveled and wheelbarrowed drain rock to form the bed of the area where the planter is being created. Again, it went faster than predicted. I then sorted retaining wall blocks already on hand to see what I had versus what I was going to need for the plan in my head.

I stopped at this point though, for several reasons. One, it was starting to get late into the evening and my stomach was telling me it was time for dinner. Two, it was getting much cooler since the sun had gone down over the horizon. Three, my body was really sore already.

Here we are three and a half days after I worked on the project and I am still feeling the soreness, stiffness, pain(?) of the weekend’s work. I can probably chock all this up to the fact that I am “old-ish”, out of shape for such a physical activity, and well, it’s hard work. But, mostly because I am out of shape.

Not that I will probably do anything much about it. I am just complaining.

I want to try and work on the next steps this week after work, but I am not sure the weather will cooperate and a holiday weekend is fast approaching. There are likely other chores that will need to be tended to first.

Counter-productive

Or maybe mixed message.

Hell, all I know is the Democrats want to have their cake and eat it too.

Democrats push clean energy. Like PUSH it. It is the solution to all the world’s ills and will save the planet. We keep hearing this over and over and over. It doesn’t matter that creating clean energy also has it’s drawbacks. Except…see below.

Democrats also want to protect the environment. By that, they mean earth, plants, animals, etc etc etc. Thus, their push for clean energy is their answer. At all cost, protect the environment. Seems that protection has a cost that is intentional and unintentional at the same time.

Democrats are punishing clean energy (their answer for everything) for killing part of the environment (their favorite hill to die on) by using the very government they control (at the moment) to hurt the industry they tout because it hurt the environment they want to protect.

I mean, come on, this is kind of ludicrous any way you look at it. You want clean energy so they build it. But, in building it, there will be some wildlife that dies because, well, their wild and you can’t control their actions. So, you make suggestions to mitigate the damage and you make exceptions and create acceptable collateral damage waivers. If the companies don’t play your game, then you punish them for wild things doing what wild things do.

Equivelent? You need to get from one place to another. You need a road to get there. Someone wants to build said road (let’s say 100 miles) through an area where wild animals are known to exist. You tell the road builder (or the people using the road) that they need to do something to keep the wild animals crossing the road from getting hit by vehicles driving on the road. You tell them they either need to build a 8 foot fence on one side, both sides, or apply for a waiver that will exempt people from having to pay a fine when animals get killed. They decide the cost is too prohibitive to build the road because of the regulations, so they don’t build the road you wanted. OR, the rules get waived, the road gets built, and then the rules are reinstated afterwards leading to the people that built the road or travel the road to get punished because you changed the rules on them.

Anyway, you can see the stupidity here, right? Democrats hurting the very thing they encourage.

Overly distracted

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It’s hard to focus today. There are so many things going on in the office today that it doesn’t help. They have been shuffling, reimagining, rearranging, moving, reorganizing, whatever you want to call it, the office space. Cubes are moving people are shifting noise is being made. Besides all that distraction, there is more going on inside me.

It seems like there are a hundred different things going on in my head at any one time.

I can think of 30 other places I’d like to be other than at work.

I have 50 things I’d rather be doing than working.

I can think of probably 5 (maybe more) people I’d rather be spending time with.

Can’t say that I am the ideal employee today.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

On fire

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Anyone else feel like the world is on fire? Like, if you were to stand still for a moment and take a look around “everything” seems to be burning up, falling down, getting destroyed?

Look at the news – crap.

Look at health – crap.

Look at finances – crap.

Look at law and order – crap.

Look at the assault on freedom loving people – crap.

Look at the disregard for the Constitution – crap.

Look at safety – crap.

Look at spending and deficits – crap.

Look at the disintegration of infrastructure – crap.

Look at education – crap.

Look at younger generations – crap.

Look at entertainment (music, movies, tv, etc) – crap.

Look at leadership – crap.

Look at political leadership – totally crap.

Look at exploitation people, the environment, goverment – crap.

Look at the “social justice” being pushed – crap.

Look at the loss of moral ideology, leadership, fortitude, living – crap.

Look at….you name it and it’s probably crap too.

Everything has gone to crap, is on “fire” and any semblance of returning to “normal” is pure fiction. If you believe that anything will “go back to the way it was” you are lying to yourself and to everyone around you. It ain’t. It won’t. The hope of such return is gone.

“The good ol’ days” isn’t really a thing because everything has a different perception of what was “good” so we can’t really hope for something that people can’t agree on.

Anyway, anyone else feel this way? It’s been a bit overwhelming as of late and it really makes one consider moving to some place that has no contact with the outside world.

Commute bonus

An early morning, first day of Fall, sunrise. #nofilter

There are very few things good about getting up early. There are very few things good about having to commute to work. There are just very few good things that can even be mentioned when you combine those two things together.

However, this morning I was witness to one of the best sunrises I have seen in a long while. It was quite breathtaking. I wish I could have stopped right there on the highway and gotten a better picture.

So, I guess you can call it a commute bonus. I wasn’t looking for it. I wasn’t asking for it. I really didn’t even want it. But, I am glad I got to see it.

Baked ham

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OK, it’s hot! It’s really, really hot!

These temps, up here in the Northwest corner of the United States, are not normal. If anyone asks, it rains all the time. Don’t move here. But, seriously, there are nice days here…except the the last two, and probably tomorrow too. It’s just unusually hot.

It isn’t the hottest part of the day, but the forecast is calling for a high somewhere in the neighborhood of 104 (105 depending on where you look) today. Of course, we all know those guys are rarely correct, so it will be hotter, for sure. At 12:31pm, it is currently 95 degrees outside.

Now, if you have been reading this blog for the last year and a half you will know that I have been working from home for the time of the “flu that is known by another name.” And, you will also know that my home office is in my garage. To further give details of my situation, know that my home and garage have no AC.

So, currently, at 12:31pm, the garage temp where I am working is 88 degrees and the house is 85 degrees.

I know know what a baked ham feels like, or a baked chicken. My family would probably say turkey. A baked turkey.

Anyway, stay cool out there…

Well, well, well…

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Interestingly enough, it may turn out that Dr. Fauci is more politician than scientist.

“Follow the science” they say.

Something else they should be following is the truth. Because it certainly appears that what was being said in private and what was being said in public don’t exactly align with each other. Yes, one can change their opinion about something, but as we have learned all along during this ordeal – people knew more than they were letting on and the truth wasn’t always being told.

Was this crisis manufactured for political gain? Monetary gain? I don’t know. But there are definitely some things that appear on the surface to point in the direction that personal freedoms have suffered (and will continue to suffer) far greater than actual medical necessity demanded. Lasting implications and trends are doing far greater damage to society than the actual illness.

I am sure of one thing. There will be more developments in this story.