Author Topic: Four Seasons Total Landscaping  (Read 7021 times)

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Offline nacho

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Re: Four Seasons Total Landscaping
« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2021, 09:07:45 AM »
Jen Psaki's press conferences are so polite! I'm not used to the press secretary complimenting reporters' masks vs shouting their questions down as fake news.

She's hot, too. Sure. Trump hired that porn star there at the end, but she seemed evil.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: Four Seasons Total Landscaping
« Reply #46 on: January 16, 2022, 01:19:04 PM »

Offline nacho

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Re: Four Seasons Total Landscaping
« Reply #47 on: January 16, 2022, 03:40:54 PM »
America will die this decade. We've bankrupted ourselves and broken our democracy.

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Four Seasons Total Landscaping
« Reply #48 on: January 16, 2022, 05:57:29 PM »
Yeah, definitely don't think things are going to get any better. I feel like it's only a matter of time until some far right outfit starts an armed uprising at this point... another Trump campaign is just going to hasten that. I'm not even sure we'll make it to 2024 to find out.
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Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: Four Seasons Total Landscaping
« Reply #49 on: January 16, 2022, 09:29:04 PM »
I've read a couple good articles about "What's next for America." None of them say anything like, "Hey man. This is all just gonna blow over." What's weird (or maybe not so weird) is that we've all just resigned ourselves to it at this point. We'll slowly turn into this "autocracy in denial" at war with ourselves. Maybe not physically though the doomsayers say Civil War II is imminent. But just lost in that constant Russian "Hyper-normalization."

Or maybe we're all killing each other in the streets. My brain can't see it, but I guess it doesn't seem as far-fetched as it used to.



« Last Edit: January 16, 2022, 09:47:55 PM by RottingCorpse »

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Four Seasons Total Landscaping
« Reply #50 on: January 17, 2022, 11:43:31 AM »
I've read a couple good articles about "What's next for America." None of them say anything like, "Hey man. This is all just gonna blow over." What's weird (or maybe not so weird) is that we've all just resigned ourselves to it at this point. We'll slowly turn into this "autocracy in denial" at war with ourselves. Maybe not physically though the doomsayers say Civil War II is imminent. But just lost in that constant Russian "Hyper-normalization."

Or maybe we're all killing each other in the streets. My brain can't see it, but I guess it doesn't seem as far-fetched as it used to.

No, I don't think anything you can imagine is far-fetched anymore. I actually read a Guardian op-ed last week that posits the next civil war is already here and underway... hard to disagree given 1/6/20. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/04/next-us-civil-war-already-here-we-refuse-to-see-it)

I know none of us are on this forum as much as back in the old days 10 or 15 years ago, but all of this kinda feels like... we've seen this coming for the better part of 15 years here on the forums and have all been pointing to it in some way or another. I think back on all the threads and stories we've discussed here... the apocalypse stock market, tea party rallies, extremists, etc. Sure, maybe W wasn't as bad as we thought at the time, but it feels like we're living through the inevitable conclusion of all that hand wringing we did in 2004 or so.

I guess what's changed for me is me. Although logically I'm with your thinking as far as things spiraling out of control, I struggle with the fact that I need to stay as positive as possible and try to make sense of stuff for my two kids who will only ever know a pandemic-filled, fractured American landscape.
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Offline nacho

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Re: Four Seasons Total Landscaping
« Reply #51 on: January 17, 2022, 12:11:26 PM »
I've read a couple good articles about "What's next for America." None of them say anything like, "Hey man. This is all just gonna blow over." What's weird (or maybe not so weird) is that we've all just resigned ourselves to it at this point. We'll slowly turn into this "autocracy in denial" at war with ourselves. Maybe not physically though the doomsayers say Civil War II is imminent. But just lost in that constant Russian "Hyper-normalization."

Or maybe we're all killing each other in the streets. My brain can't see it, but I guess it doesn't seem as far-fetched as it used to.

No, I don't think anything you can imagine is far-fetched anymore. I actually read a Guardian op-ed last week that posits the next civil war is already here and underway... hard to disagree given 1/6/20. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/04/next-us-civil-war-already-here-we-refuse-to-see-it)

I know none of us are on this forum as much as back in the old days 10 or 15 years ago, but all of this kinda feels like... we've seen this coming for the better part of 15 years here on the forums and have all been pointing to it in some way or another. I think back on all the threads and stories we've discussed here... the apocalypse stock market, tea party rallies, extremists, etc. Sure, maybe W wasn't as bad as we thought at the time, but it feels like we're living through the inevitable conclusion of all that hand wringing we did in 2004 or so.

I guess what's changed for me is me. Although logically I'm with your thinking as far as things spiraling out of control, I struggle with the fact that I need to stay as positive as possible and try to make sense of stuff for my two kids who will only ever know a pandemic-filled, fractured American landscape.

What a great post. I've felt the same looking back on these threads.

I think there will be people dying on the streets. There currently are with the ongoing protests. In terms of the complacent "hyper-normalization" society that RC talks about, that only works if everyone's fed and kept at the same general level of comfort that they're accustomed to. I'd have the same opinion if it wasn't for the shipping crisis and other shortages. I live in one of the most affluent zip codes in the country and all the local grocery stores have had empty shelves for months. People are starting to fight over rice and tea in the aisles. Other people are prepping up -- most of our neighbors now keep chest freezers and backup power supplies in their garages. The inventory at all of our local gun stores are wiped out. The new high rise condos they've been building are dark and empty. 30% of the storefronts in Bethesda are boarded up. The paper crisis means I can't really keep my company going. I can't afford to print books and, when I do, it takes months for them to arrive.

I've never seen anything like this -- even during the initial lockdown panic (or the generic snowstorm panic). At least the empty lockdown shelves in early 2020 were sort of treated with, gosh, how silly is this and a generally okay attitude. Here we are two years later and some of those same empty shelves are still empty and the "we'll get through it" attitude is very much gone.

So maybe all this will be fixed. Even if we go back to full normal, it's not going to happen before the summer. And, in fact, it'll get worse before the summer. The White House is now saying towards the end of the year is when they'll be able to unfuck the shipping crisis. And, meanwhile, we're spending trillions on broken infrastructure bills, and the vaccine, and now a billion at home test kits (all with a $30 price tag, which you know they upcharged for the feds). So the test kits alone cost as much as two aircraft carriers. In fact, the price tag on the free government test kits for just this first round is more than the entire budget for the planned Artemis moon landings.

And these test kits are totally useless and unreliable.

Meanwhile, the vaccine, at $25 per shot, isn't actually a vaccine it's simply a therapeutic so you don't get as sick as you would otherwise. Which means the Rona is free to keep on settling in our blood and finding interesting ways to mutate. Everyone says it'll be like the flu with an annual shot, but now they're talking about Booster #2 by March. So, what, a $25 shot every three months now?

There's no way we'll bail out of this financial swamp. China's already set to pass us on the GDP angle within the next few years. Once that happens it's the start of our decline into former Empire status like the UK. Except it won't be a gradual generational shift like they had. It took about 45 years to dismantle the British Empire. And it was a (somewhat) gentle financial decision brought about after two catastrophic wars and a global financial disaster that made the idea of a colonial empire next to delusional. Comparatively speaking, the fall of the American empire will be overnight. 

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Four Seasons Total Landscaping
« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2022, 12:28:55 PM »
It's all too much to even think about for me most of the time. My news consumption is basically the 20 minutes of NPR I can stomach when I'm driving the kids to places, and that's about it. It's all I can bear to listen to any of it anymore. I feel like I've intentionally ground my focus down to the six or seven people we see regularly, and that's it. I think about how much I personally have changed in the last 3 years, let alone in the nearly 20 since I joined these forums, and it's nuts. I'm not sure I would have believed it 5 years ago.

We have a Costco membership now. I keep 25-30 pounds of rice on hand. I have about 150+ freeze-dried meals in buckets. I keep 3-4 gallons of clean water on hand all the time. I buy milk 4 gallons a clip. Our grocery runs probably average $300 or so every other week, but I can easily ramp things up quickly and replenish our supplies in an hour or two so that we don't have to leave the house for 2-3 months if need be. I have a gun now and have been buying ammo when I can for almost 2 years now. I haven't had a haircut since February 2020... that started as a pandemic thing, but now I just don't give a shit anymore. My next haircut will probably be a shaved head.

My wife asked me what I want for my birthday, I said a deep freeze to go next to our second refrigerator. I own a meat grinder and can make my own ground beef and sausage now. I've actually had earnest, not at all joking conversations with my friend, who also owns a deep freeze, about connecting with a local farm or butcher so that we can go in on an entire cow together.

I can COOK, man. And not just like, macaroni and cheese flare. I can blacken chicken, grill just about anything, and know in my head the canned goods, fruits, vegetables, etc. we have on hand and can meal plan in my head. Three years ago? I had like two meals I could make and the rest was just whatever I could throw into a crock pot.

For me... just having kids alone was a giant paradigm shift terms of my priorities, but the clarity and galvanization of what's truly important to me is, I guess, the silver lining of this whole ordeal.
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Offline nacho

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Re: Four Seasons Total Landscaping
« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2022, 09:32:23 AM »
You're much further down the rabbithole than we are! We've switched to shopping local for as much food as possible. All proteins, fruit & veg, dairy, and general condiments (sauces, etc) are sourced from local, sustainable farms. This is less to do with the availability issues and more about how we've become convinced that buying this stuff from the store is simply dangerous. Like, for example, only 10% of beef shipped out nationwide is checked for parasites, viruses, contaminants, etc. Which is insane! Does that mean we have a 90% chance of chowing down on some listeria or E. coli or mad cow?

We made the mistake of tracking food recalls and it was simply alarming.

We did gun up. That was during George Floyd when people were throwing trash cans through the windows of local businesses here and the Montgomery County police literally formed a linked human chain at the border of MD and DC. The local news spent a few days in OOOH MYYY GODDD mode.

We have started into canning and preserving as well. Not in any serious survival capacity, but space has been made. (And, speaking of deep freezes, what brand do you recommend for a garage?)

I don't think we've fallen completely into this because we live in a convenient area. If we were more countrified, yeah, we'd be well ahead of you. The fact that it's in the back of our minds now, and influences most of the decisions we make, is telling. Because this is still posh Bethesda with a 100% walkability score.

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Four Seasons Total Landscaping
« Reply #54 on: January 18, 2022, 12:45:46 PM »
I feel like we're in a pretty good, manageable routine right now, so while we muddle along in some respects (like... what are we going to put IN the deep freeze?), we've been at this for two years straight now, so we've learned a lot.

With Russell being 1 and Caroline 4, we've finally broken out of the depths of diapers and midnight feedings enough to consider getting to work on our garden. We were extremely lucky to have bought a house in July 2020 on about .6 acres with plenty of sun and a lake. Once winter breaks, we'll start into planning out the garden and possibly canning too. I pickled some stuff last year just goofing around and it was surprisingly good, so I think canning should be a breeze once we teach ourselves how to do it. Thanks YouTube!

As for freezers, I'm probably going to go for whatever Consumer Reports rates the highest and is under $1k. You'll need to think about how much food, frozen items your household consumes... if it's not much and you don't plan on storing much, any old freezer will probably do and they're only like $350 or so. Home Depot had them last time I was there. Since we're a family of 4 and often have relatives over for dinner, lunch, etc. we go through so much food here it's ridiculous. I will likely get the largest freezer we can afford because I know whatever we buy, we'll eventually get around to eating it.

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Offline Nubbins

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Re: Four Seasons Total Landscaping
« Reply #55 on: January 18, 2022, 02:19:26 PM »
Figures. All the highest-rated freezers have a 3-6 month lead time, and that's just for store pickup. If you want delivery and installation, it's even further out. Now, there are probably some smaller, low-end freezers that are easier to get, but since I figure I'll only ever buy one freezer in my lifetime, might as well make sure it's the one I want. We're accustomed to waiting anyway, I suppose.
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Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: Four Seasons Total Landscaping
« Reply #56 on: January 18, 2022, 04:22:23 PM »
I'm reassured that I'm not the only one who has "full societal breakdown" in the back of their head.

We had guns leftover from when my wife's father died, but ammo-ed up in March 2020. Been meaning to get out and target practice but have yet to do so.

Nacho, to your urban vs. country point, I'm now in small town Appalachia where we're less survivalist / gas hoarding / zombie apocalypse prep. (Though we do have about 10 pounds of rice stored away, and pretty much keep that much on hand.)  Everything is late getting here though. (Our Omicron problem is just now starting.)

We have been keeping a garden with the idea it may become a necessity in the back of our heads. Funny thing we found out: if you plant store-bought seeds then try to keep the seeds form the fruits and veggies to plant next year, thing comes up. Turns out they're designed not to germinate so you have to buy new seeds next year. (The seeds from organic farm produce will give you fruit that potentially keeps on giving.)

In a total freak-out situation, we have the homestead/compound property we've been working on. The dream is a house that's totally off the grid; solar, well-water, composting /cistern toilet, etc, but we're far from that. Its 33 acres with meadows that have been gardened/farmed before. My wife knows enough about canning and keeping livestock (including how to properly kill chickens) that we could go full on isolated farmer if we had to, though the first year would be insanely hard. (And of course, we'd have to be able to get ahold of everything we need.)

To be honest, I don't think it'll quite come to full on Omega Man in our lifetimes. (My heart goes out to your existential dread about your kids, Nubbins.) I think we're likely to see more of a devolvement into a Hungary then Israel then Ukraine type situation. Autocracy followed by terrorism followed by civil skirmishes where the illusion of normality somehow still marches on. In some ways, we're already there with the pandemic, supply chain problems, random police v citizenry violence... The end is more Children of Men than Walking Dead.

And though it's awful to say, even in a terminal republic, we're still the privileged middle aged white men who have benefited financially from the broken system. We can afford our panic compounds and deep freezers. It's our BIPOC economically challenged allies who will truly suffer in this brave new world. That's the sad part of the problem; all the people who say, "Well fuck it. How bad will it really effect me?"

Offline nacho

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Re: Four Seasons Total Landscaping
« Reply #57 on: January 18, 2022, 05:19:34 PM »

Quote
We have been keeping a garden with the idea it may become a necessity in the back of our heads. Funny thing we found out: if you plant store-bought seeds then try to keep the seeds form the fruits and veggies to plant next year, thing comes up. Turns out they're designed not to germinate so you have to buy new seeds next year. (The seeds from organic farm produce will give you fruit that potentially keeps on giving.)

I actually knew this courtesy of PARANOIA PARANOIA. We source our seeds from sustainable folks and our little prepper network outside Santa Fe in the mountains where I have a handful of erstwhile cousins who have been planning for all this since 1972. We have literally .002 acres to work with, but I've been doing small winter gardens and window box gardens. In the summer we just fill up the porch with stuff. My uncle has completely gardenized his backyard in Takoma Park. He gets everything out of there from the same black market prepper seed source. They're debating filing a waiver to get chickens.

Quote
To be honest, I don't think it'll quite come to full on Omega Man in our lifetimes. (My heart goes out to your existential dread about your kids, Nubbins.) I think we're likely to see more of a devolvement into a Hungary then Israel then Ukraine type situation. Autocracy followed by terrorism followed by civil skirmishes where the illusion of normality somehow still marches on. In some ways, we're already there with the pandemic, supply chain problems, random police v citizenry violence... The end is more Children of Men than Walking Dead.

Very much agree with this. I'm thinking more Soylent Green than anything. But, yes, in reality we'll just become third world and ruled by paramilitary gangs, mobsters, and whoever is strongest. Bad news for the labradoodle class!

I see increased police freakouts. I see food shortages becoming the new normal. I see the dollar getting Weimar-ized. I see luxuries vanishing completely. And I see it all taking 10-15 years.

To your final point: I do see it affecting us. The privileged classes really are just three meals away from collapse. So it's easy to sit here and say that sort of stuff now, but we can't get rice in Bethesda right now. Nor have we been able to for three weeks. Your ten pounds of rice stockpile is actually enviable. And, you know, that's haha funny now. But...I can't get rice. How many "I can't get XYZ" do we have in us before the very, very fragile privileged network falls apart?   

Offline Nubbins

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Re: Four Seasons Total Landscaping
« Reply #58 on: January 19, 2022, 03:20:38 PM »
To your final point: I do see it affecting us. The privileged classes really are just three meals away from collapse. So it's easy to sit here and say that sort of stuff now, but we can't get rice in Bethesda right now. Nor have we been able to for three weeks. Your ten pounds of rice stockpile is actually enviable. And, you know, that's haha funny now. But...I can't get rice. How many "I can't get XYZ" do we have in us before the very, very fragile privileged network falls apart?

Definitely... I think that's why our family focus is starting to shift to sustainability vs stockpiling. It's all well and good if you've got 20 pounds of rice on hand, but if it's sourced from Costco or the local supermarket, then you're shit outta luck when it runs out, which it will eventually. All I know is, I fuckin hate people and outside the ones I consider friends, I don't care to ever be around them again. Don't care if I ever see another NFL game live, concert, take a packed plane to some far off location. Maybe someday I'll feel differently, but for now the less I have to see or contact other people, the better. I don't fuckin trust anyone anymore in this hyper-armed, entitled, utterly retarded version of America.

That said, I do worry about those less privileged than us a lot. The only reason our family has any sort of preparation effort, supplies, tools, etc. ongoing is because we own a home, we have one person with a stable income, we have land and space, we have extended family that live nearby and help us out... tons of middle class resources we can fall back on in the short term to help get us through. If I were still single, living in an apartment with a shitty job and no car... I really have no idea what I would do.

I wound up buying a freezer online today from Lowes. It's set for delivery sometime before May.

I went to Best Buy yesterday on my way to pick up the kids because I wanted to see a) if they had freezers on hand and b) what they looked like, get an idea for space I'll need, etc. As soon as I get out of my car in the parking lot and start walking to the store, I hear a man's voice yelling very loudly, "Get away from me. Leave me alone. Leave me the FUCK alone. Leave me alone. Drive away, man. Drive the fuck away. You don't know me motherfucker!"

I see in front of the store there is an older black man, wearing a mask. He's the one yelling. As he continues yelling, I see him walk around the back of this lifted F-250... all black wheels, all black paint, interior... BLACK OPS in a matte black is stickered across the windshield. He's yelling and pointing at the guy driving this truck. All the windows are rolled down even though it's 40 degrees outside. Bald guy smoking a cigarette in front with a large doberman poking its head out his back windows. I didn't witness what the altercation was about, but I'm assuming it was road rage.

I walked into the store after watching the truck idle away, then parallel park in front of a closed furniture store. The older man was at the registers attempting to re-adjust his mask. His hands were shaking so badly, he couldn't get it on. I go over to him and say, "Hey man, are you ok???" I didn't really consider the fact that I'm also wearing a mask and have like, this wild Hagrid hair that hangs down to my chest now, so I forget sometimes I probably look insane. He reflexively started to put up his hands in a fighter stance before he realized I was genuinely concerned about him. He said he was fine and thanked me and said that people just need to "mind their own fuckin business."

I looked outside again and could see the truck now circling. The man finished his transaction and started to walk out. I said, "Hey man... be careful. That guy's still driving around out there." He just waved me off and left.

I walk into the store and see empty shelves, lots of shoppers. Aimless staff socializing with one another. Half the camera display pedestals were empty. Appliances were plenty, but if you walked up to check the price on any of them, almost all had a "sold out online and in stores" callout at the bottom.

It's still very surreal to me... I perceive this fa├žade of normalcy everywhere, but now it's usually punctuated by stuff that's clearly symptomatic of a society that's spent the better part of 2 years isolating, hoarding goods, and stewing in our own juices. Dystopian as fuck.

EDIT: Having to dig through my cobweb mind to remember how these html tags work.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 03:52:39 PM by Nubbins »
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Offline nacho

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Re: Four Seasons Total Landscaping
« Reply #59 on: January 19, 2022, 03:50:07 PM »
The lack of trust for my fellow humans is strong with me as well. In fact, I'm downright afraid half the time. We've had three murders here in Bethesda in the last month (there hasn't been a murder here since I was a kid). I've been attacked in the street both physically and with people swerving their cars at me five times in the last eight months. I feel more ill at ease when someone starts following me closely here than I do in New Orleans, where shit is definitely sliding into a third world situation.