Is it me?

I wanna finish my little deck extension and new storage shed but lumber prices tripled and they are still ridiculously high. A 2×4 x8′ long at Windsor Mills was, a year or so ago, just under $5.00 a stick. Today, it is around $11.00 and two months ago it was $13 or $14.00. Plywood sales are worse, they haven’t moved down at all yet. They are still three times what they used to be. That means a $33.00 sheet of half inch ply is now and it remains close to $100.00 a sheet. That makes my 8×8 shed expensive. So, I am half way done and I will not finish. At least not yet. I am confused.

Gasoline has hit approximately $1.70 a liter. That, too, is ridiculous.

But, maybe it is me? Maybe everything goes up in price? Maybe I am just an old fuddy-duddy…you know? Ranting about the world going to hell in a handbasket…that kinda thing?

I guess what I am saying is: adjusting, changing, judging, evaluating and regularly altering one’s perspective is all part of being mentally healthy and seeing and dealing with reality. But that ability to adjust is predicated somewhat on the changes being incremental and, somehow, in the context of a generally perceived (societal) ‘normal’. To be honest, my sense of ‘perceived normal’ went out the window with Covid. Things were NOT normal last year. Hell, the weather wasn’t even normal last week!

Things are not normal.

And that is my blog topic today: My sense of normal is missing, my sense of crazy is rising. And my sense of confusion is wandering the halls with a lamp looking for an honest man. I not only find it hard to plan, I find it impossible to understand….much of anything, actually. What happened to this new world to become the one I am living in now that, in so many ways, does not resemble the world I was in just a few months ago? What changed THAT much?

Of course, Covid changed a lot but Covid did not change plywood or framing lumber. And yes, I read the ‘explanation’ for that (supply and demand crap) and I don’t accept it. And gasoline so expensive? Not because of supply and demand – no one is driving, flying or boating (not like before Covid, anyway). Housing has gone insane! Food is rising in price daily and still half the restaurants are closed or just starting up again. How did ‘commodities’ inflate to that extent because of a pandemic? How does Capitalism work in the new NOW?

The USA is a radically and racially divided country – so partisan as to having corrupted the entire democratic process. Trump is insane and yet STILL an influence! The GOP now state publicly that their main function is to screw up anything the Democrats want to do – regardless of whether it is good for the country or not! How does that digest in the stomach of the larger society? How do we defend democracy in a situation like that?

The USA is in a dangerous place.

Canada lost Jody Wilson-Raybould (not so surprising given our leader-centric party system) but then we lost Jane Philpott, too. And JWR is now getting further out by not running again! The Greens have self-immolated on the pyre of political correctness, the Cons are lost in Neanderthal land and the poor old NDP are in the same hallway with a lamp looking for an honest man. Simply put: we are led by a simple-minded, spoiled, drama queen and he may be the best we have.

That puts Canada in a weak and vulnerable place.

No one has an idea, no one has a vision, no one has even a direction in which to look for hope. This feels like a world gone way too far astray. Admittedly, Climate Change is looming larger every day and that puts us all in bad place.

“Geez, Dave, you losing it, dude? Depressed, maybe? Early onset, perhaps? Or are you just overly sensitive to lumber prices?”

I don’t know. Could be anything, I suppose. Maybe it is everything. That is the point: I do not feel as if I have a handle on much of anything right now. Everything feels off. Nothing feels right. Could just be me. Could just be age. I really don’t know but I am definitely feeling confused about any kind of future.

18 thoughts on “Is it me?

  1. Sounds like one Dave, as another, NEEDs that scotch tasting party, for a fun kickback and chuckle, more than ever.
    Please note tho, you, once again, are not alone in ANY of these comments.
    The World truly IS teetering on the verge of Madness, so we can sit back, sip a fine dram, or seven, and watch the fireworks… or the passing whales!πŸ˜‰πŸ™‚πŸ˜Ž

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  2. yes we could, but we can not bury our heads into the sand (well, maybe you could maybe just a little more then me because you are more out of the rat race…good for you by the way). But things are definitely getting out of hand, and like really fast. Prices of oil dropped at the beginning of Covid, because demand was low. It is still lower now then before Covid, but price has risen to a pre-Covid level without any real reason. same for timber and a lot of other stuff. Like in Canada there is a shortage of timber?? we are heading fast into a BIG inflation, with a lot of people hurting like really bad, bankrupcies, people no longer able paying their mortgages, unemployment,….and we all seem to be blind and deaf and walking straight into the ravine with our eyes wide open. There is NO real shortage, only speculation on a large scale and the rich even getting richer by the second. who is benefitting from this rise in prices, for sure not you and me. So maybe we should all stop consuming for all the non-essential stuff, so that they are stuck with all their stocks and let prices drop to a normal level again.

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    • I’m up for just about anything that will return things to … reasonableness. And this GREED at a time when all are so down really passes me off. All those folks are just lowlife, cashing in,stealing, when soany really Need them not to. I’m having a neighbour cut our lumber. I get cedar, fir or spruce for old costs, but plywood is a rub. We do have quite a few sheets on hand tho. Gas? We rarely leave Our home these days, so other than a NEED to do a town run SOON (not been to town in over 3 months!) We are good to go Wim!

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      • NOT been to town in three months! That’s damn good, rookie. I consider doing three-month-visits now to be too frequent. I am aiming higher…at least five! Confession: never made a full five months yet. Never-ever again also sounds good.
        I do agree that this round of inflation is more likely greed showing up. A lot. But this greed is fear-based, I think. Everyone is a bit frightened. Ask anyone and they are feeling more anxious than usual. The NY Times had an article on it – they called it languishing. β€œLanguishing is apathy, a sense of restlessness or feeling unsettled or an overall lack of interest in life or the things that typically bring you joy,” But that is not quite it. I like my life. I am happy most of the time. Methinks this is more of a premonition-like fear…makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up but you don’t actually see anything. It’s a feeling.
        I appreciate you guys understanding.

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      • This is our 2nd time going over 3 months, the 1st was just before Xmas till … March. We manage this because We have Great neighbours and when they go to town they do pickups for whoever. It’s a code!πŸ˜‰πŸ™‚
        And Greed is still Greed, bettering one unfairly on the back(s) of others, and during a time of considerable strife. Such are most humans, and possibly why some folk choose to live away from ‘most’.
        We hope that once we have all of our systems, including sufficient gardens, we too can take a crack at 5 months as well! We both do not enjoy leaving Home, miss Home, and are so very happy when we return Home.
        It IS the better way!πŸ˜‰πŸ™‚
        Have a fine day ALL…

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      • Yeah. That this is better and way healthier becomes increasingly obvious as the years go along. After 17years, I still marvel at how good this is. After awhile, the so-called real world just looks totally crazy. But, you see, THAT was true before the real world got even CRAZIER!!! Stay the course, DW. I think we are headed in the right direction.

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  3. I’m thinking inflation has a lot further to go.
    The amount of “We’re Hiring” signs I see EVERYWHERE is like nothing I’ve seen in 4o years of living on the west coast.
    And the same stories are coming from all over Canada and the US.
    The Covid cheques have gutted an entire cohort of workers…..30% that have indicated in polls….they arent coming back….

    Wages will increase to lure the lazy from their CERB basement video game rooms.
    Wages up = inflation across the board.

    Speaking of boards.
    The price of lumber is dropping.
    It may take a while to reach you.
    How about a small, portable mill to cut all those free logs you round up into lumber?
    I’ve seen some pretty ingenious set ups with just chain saws and rails…
    Look on the bright side.
    You get to sing the Monty Python song , ” I’m a Lumber jack and I’m ok….”

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    • Those small portable mills run around $20K give or take, they also need a yard area and usually some kind of moving equipment. End result: you get non-finished lumber that still needs treating and it all has to still come up the hill. The wood is 1000% better than Home Depot wood but even ‘better’ wood doesn’t last longer than treated wood. And no one has a small portable plywood mill. I must reluctantly defer to treated wood to get me through the last 15 years.

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      • I saw ( pun intended) a kind of weird contraption on Youtube a while back where a guy cut up a large log with a chainsaw and straight “rails” made out of angle iron to hold it “square” to the log.
        Worked like a charm.

        Channel your “inner Russian” and drink some vodka before wobbling out to mess with a chainsaw…..

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  4. Those small bandsaw mills start at about 6K$, but add plenty for the necessary attachments and then shipping. Most logs can be moved by an atv, check, and a hoist, check,and can come with manual cranks to load the logs. They can also come with a planer so true dimensional lumber, ie. BIGger, and just right, are easily doable. We had planned on a LucasMill, which is a big circular saw, from Australia, but it well approaches 20K$ all in and so we are now thinking our beighbour can supply all of our lumber needs, sans plywood, and we get to work on other things, or not – some play time would be Grand at this point – and we keep a very fine neighbour happy. We may not really have thatch to build beyond the shop, but we do tend to fantasize about a kitchen extension as well as a 2 floor ‘wing’! We shall keep thinking and see.
    I suppose the main point is,we’re here and God willing, not going anywhere, tho I do wish I was 30 rather than almost too old. Regardless, Life seems pretty damn fine. As long as SHE keeps smiling, and cooking, and making the cocktails I see no need to alter things, just keep my head down and keep working. Better days ahead!
    And chuckles noncon!πŸ˜†πŸ€£πŸ˜‚
    Cheers!

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  5. We did get one of those Alaskan Chainsaw Mills, to rip some big logs down to a more manageable size, for the two of us, that we can then rip and cut on a table saw for use on ‘projects’. Not tried it as yet but it too is coming…
    And that Russian YouTube fella is very impressive!!!πŸ˜‰πŸ™‚

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    • You need a ripping chain for the Alaska mill, otherwise you just go nuts it takes so long. Advoko is a lawyer who works in St Petersberg (I think) and has a shop at home. But, OMG! That guy works hard on his cabin and with Better Homes and Cabins type skills.

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      • Ripping chain installed on the new Stihl, that has full injection. Should be my best shot at it, tho I have a regular chain as well.
        I enjoyed that russkie’s vid on the waterwheel. His work is quite impressive. He is something I am not. A Craftsman.πŸ˜•

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  6. Craft just takes time ;-), if we ask you within 10 years, you’ll be the next super OTG craftsman. JD is alredy at that level, but he is so modest he doesn’t want to brag about it. And noncon it sees is a real professional expert. I truly am in the companionship of experts….makes me a bit humble and look up to you guys!

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    • πŸ˜†πŸ€£πŸ˜‚
      Wim,
      If only you could see!
      Sometimes I feel like we are the Keystone Kops of offgriders!!!
      But Damn We ARE having Fun!
      Be Well. DnA (David&Amy)

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    • Modesty has never held me back, humility ain’t my style. I do not have enough abilities to be modest! Hubris and arrogance (bluster and bravado) are my shopmates along with bandages, ointments and tons of extra materials for the do-overs. Do not follow false prophets, WdG. We’ll lead you to ruin and blood loss. NonCon, on the other hand, knows stuff. Mind you, he, the most knowledgeable guy, also lives in town still. Even Advoko lives in St. Pete’s.

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