Quote of the Day

"One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that 'violence begets violence.' I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure — and in some cases I have — that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy."

Colonel Jeff Cooper


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Guest Post by Captain Crunch.


Captain Crunch and I have known each other a good long while.  He and I both served on the U.S.S. Puget Sound AD-38, although at different times.  She was a destroyer tender, but was also the Sixth Fleet Flagship during  the time I was stationed at Naples, Italy.

  CC and I live very different lifestyles.  He lives on the beach along the Texas gulf coast.  I live in the mountains of N. Georgia.  He's single and I'm married with a family.

But we have a lot in common. Both vets, both shooters and both conservative.

He doesn't run his own blog, because like a lot of other good people he usually stays off the skyline.

I'm glad to have this post of his to put on the blog.

Here it is, complete and unabridged!




The Economic Lie,


I have some friends involved in the portable office building, mobile home business. That business is kind of a economic bell weather of sorts. When a construction company wants to build a facility, they lease a portable building, office, with air conditioning, electricity and other creature comforts. Thease buildings are 'towed' behind a diesel truck called a 'Toter' usually a single axle truck. You may have seen a toter going down the road towing one half of a double wide mobile home.

Some of the buildings are single wides, some are doubles and if you put many of them hooked together, you have a 'plex' example, eight of them pieced together and its an eight plex.
The portable building business has dropped, or almost shutdown in Texas. In the oil business, hundreds, if not thousands of units (portable offices) were being used by contractors. There are three stages to bringing a well online. Exploration, completion and production. All three require contractors, sub contractions etc, to have portable offices. Since the price of oil has dropped becouse the Saudi's have killed the American oil business in essence that business has dried up.

The next really bad thing that is happening is all the repo's in the portable building, mobile home business. I cannot confirm what I heard offhand but a major player was quoted to have said there are upwards of 30.000 repo's of mobile homes alone in Texas. I'm sure the majority are tied to the oil industry. Now  the guy's driving the toters will be busy for awhile doin' repo's and making money (at least until the banks start shutting down)

What is also bad is that the bank will be left holding the note on a mobile home that can only be sold for 30 cents on the dollar (if anyone wants it) so banks and financing institutions will be laying off people and or going under.

The price of fuel.

The price of fuel is also a bell weather. Price of fuel is up, its because people and business are using the fuel so its an increase of demand. Price of fuel going down, people and business's are not using the fuel. That means the economy is much, much worse than we are being led to believe. Walmart has announced they are shutting down some stores in the U.S. as of this morning. I am assuming they are shutting down in area's of decreased population with people leaving economically impoverished area's.

Keep an eye on the stock market. Markets were down this morning with investors realizing what is really happening. This may turn out to be another crash like in 2008 or another market correction. The wave of layoff's has started the oil bust in Texas and I think will spread outward as time progresses to other states and other industries hitting the big ticket items that consumers purchase like housing and auto companies next.

Think like an Okie in 1930.


If anyone gets the chance. Pay off your house, car, credit cards. I know most people can't and most American families are up to their necks in debt. If you can, only buy stuff you really need. Think like an Okie in 1930. I know that will further erode the economy but its about survival, your survival and the survival of your family.






36 comments:

  1. I think that the last sentiment is right, the only debt we have is our house, but that is a big debt. Family survival should always come first when it comes to money matters.
    Nice to read a post from captain crunch!

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    1. I'm down to the point where I don't owe, which is one reason my wife doesn't want to get a new Jeep for me to tootle around in. She does't want to make payments and she doesn't want to spend our retirement reserve funds on anything but an emergency.

      I told her I am bored and I want a new Jeep and that's an emergency. She was unimpressed with my line of thought. Her dad was from Texas and her mom is from Mississippi. With those genetics working against me I can't argue her out of that position so I will have to be sly and cunning. Haven't come up with anything yet but I will.

      I've been asking CC to do a post for a long time. I also have been bugging him to blog since he leads a very interesting life, but he's so busy surfing and such that he hasn't yet.

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    2. I was always taught by my dad that you have to sow the seed, mention that you want something then don;t mention it for ages, and slowly work it round so they think it;s their idea!
      I second it for CC to do a blog, I'd be a regular reader!

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    3. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      Okay, to do my own blog would require a lot of time and effort. I would rather go to other blogs and listen to what others have to say, especially others that are older and wiser than I am.
      That's my secret to my success. Listen to your elders. There is a reason they are still alive and successful.
      Myth no.1

      Polar Bears don't surf!

      I have arthritis and I don't surf in 58 degree water. I prefer 75 degree or warmer on a hot, sunny day.
      I can not tell you how good it feels to surf and swim in 85 degree water. The aches and pains go away. Imagine being suspended in a giant hot tub filled with highly oxygenated salt water. Its like zero gravity.
      Sometimes Im out there so long on a surfboard floating around waiting on waves when I go home and lay down in bed, my equilibrium makes me feel like I am still going up and down with the wave action.

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    4. The giant hot tub has sharks, lion fish, sting rays, barricades (however you spell it) and God knows what else lurking in it. No thanks, I don't go in salt water over my ankles!




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  2. It's another canary in the mine going claws up. Kind of freightening.

    At least I'm debt free and live out in the country. But I'm 70 and worry about my children.

    Thanks for the post.

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    1. Wade, you and I are essentially in the same position. I have grown kids, 30 and 29 but things are so tenuous now that we keep a close eye on them to make sure they are doing ok. I just bear in mind that if it really goes to hell and turns into Grapes of Wrath time, they can come home. They don't want to but we have plenty of room here, and nobody would be cold or hungry. That's one reason I want to hang on to this place, so I can have it as a fall back position for them, a safety net.

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  3. There is a demand for those mobile office trailers as B.O.L. and cheap housing. Even with a glut banks are holding them on book rather than take a loss. Banks have a growing ledger of assets that are sitting deteriorating to hide losses. The economy is contracting and I agree you better have you finances in order.

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    1. Gary, up here in the mountains we used to have lots of vacation homes. Then along came 2007 and most of them, the people just put the keys in the door and left. I'm talking about hundreds of these 800 to 1200 square foot, cheaply made little weekenders. The banks took them back and in the time that has passed they haven't spent one red cent to keep them up. Since they were made of pine siding and pine studs, they have just rotted away. Most of them now are so far gone they aren't worth fixing. I don't know but I think the banks are just going to try to sell the land out from under the cottages if property values ever come back.

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  4. Thanks for sharing C.C.'s post. We are debt free, except our house. We are making extra payments each month on the principle and hope to have it payed off in five years. But, it is so scary. We live very frugally and are trying to be a positive influence for our grown children. They seem to be slowly getting onboard. It is amazing how much one can save, if they stop eating out and going to the movies/shopping every weekend. Harry, I think you are very smart to hang on to your place. Jana

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    1. Jana,I am glad he wrote a post. He stays pretty busy down there and I wasn't sure he would get around to it. Some day he might leave the beach and get some land out in west Texas where he can live without other folks around. If he does I hope he gets satellite internet so we don't lose touch!

      I agree with CC completely. If you have debt someone has power over you. It also has a limiting influence on your ability to cope with unexpected problems.

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  5. awesome post captain! and i found it really interesting to read about the portable buildings....i know nothing of that industry but what you wrote makes complete sense! i read your article to jambaloney and he said that everything you said makes sense, too, when you think about it.

    i hope that you do more posts for Harry's blog as i really enjoy them. the posts can be about the world, places you've been and seen, doom and gloom, and/or your everyday life. Harry's right - you do have an interesting life. in fact, i think that Harry and the people who comment here all have interesting lives.

    sending much love Captain! and sending much love to you, Harry!
    your friend (to both of you),
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, it was a good post, wasn't it. I appreciate his going to the trouble because a new perspective helps keep the blog from being boring.

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    2. Harry - your blog could never be boring...EVER. we have learned so much from you over the years.

      sending much love as always! your frienf,
      kymber

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    3. But there's only so much you can write about the same subjects. That's why so many gun magazines start sounding like a broken record. A little new blood never hurts. I appreciate your saying that though Kymber.

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  6. I have to say that Captain's post was very good. Everything he said is true and is happening. Sad thing is most folks don't see it coming. Something's gotta give with the price of oil and I think it will be soon.

    In the spirit of CC, I leave you with this tidbit: Went to the gun show, not much ammo this year. But like you said Harry, there are always some guys walking around trying to sell their military rifles. I ran into this guy who was trying to sell his Finnish M39. Original stock and Hexagonal receiver. He's is a collector who said he had too many Finnish guns! (40 of them actually). He is trying to sell most of them. The sad ending to this tale is that I didn't have enough on me but he gave me his information. What a nice rifle that was. Cheers --Troy

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    1. You should have said you would buy it but the two of you needed to go out to your truck for the money. Then you bludgeon the guy, put the body in the truck bed under a tarp, and admire your beautiful new M39. You could stop by the hog farm on the way home and get rid of the inconvenient corpus.

      I didn't do anything fun this weekend, it's supposed to snow again and that kills my ardour for any trips. I envy you going to a gun show :-(

      CC was on target. You're right , a lot of people just don't get it. But they will...

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    2. Ha! Good idea there...except he had a buddy with him with an old 68 cal. with a bayonet on it!

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    3. That's an awkward complication but where there's a will there's a way!

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  7. Hey Harry (everyone else) and "The Mighty Canadian" Kymber too!

    I am honored and humbled at the same time.

    I gotta say to the anonyomous above that wished had an Finn, M39 (I want one too)

    I have one truck driver friend that's getting his hours cut from lack of work during the winter to the slowing economy. I may hook him up with the people I know in the mobile home transport business. Maybe he can help with those 30.000 repo's.
    One horrific repo story from way back. I knew someone who had to go to an area near the Mexican, Texas border to repo a mobile home.
    The person I knew had the keys and went in and smelled a horrific smell of rot. This person thought it was dead dog abandon in the mobile home. After noticing all the household belongings were still in the mobile home, the individual I knew started searching and found a very, very fat, large male dead on the toilet with two bullet wounds to the chest.
    The individual I knew ran outside, puked his guts up and dialed 911.
    After the initial investigation the body had to be removed. The fat man's body was (somewhat) decomposed that it was impossible to remove off the toilet so the medical examiner had to the fire department to cut a hole in the mobile home with one of those fancy fire department sawall's and remove the dead man with the toilet still attached to the medical examiner's vehicle. There was a gaping hole left in side of the mobile home.

    Now that was bad, however it was someone attached to the drug smuggling business so I can find the dark humor in it, 'Hell its straight out of Breaking Bad.

    I don't believe in making fun of the dead, however dead bad guy's are fair game.

    Another fun story is another individual who was driving with a 14 by 80 (14ft wide, 80ft long singlewide) went down a side road (frontage road) in Texas and someone from Texdot (Texas department of Transportion) decided to put orange cones down because of some shoulder construction. The Texdot crew did not properly measure the shoulder and set the cones up about two feet in further than the should be, making the road narrow (much narrower)
    Now when a (Toter driver) is hauling an oversize load he has to stay on the route that the state permit dictates no matter what. So this toter driver had no choice but to knock down one mile worth of orange cones along side the road with the '14 by '80. The cones were knocked off the road, one after another. Doink, Doink, Doink, Doink. Yeah, you get the picture. One miles worth.....

    Gotta find the humor when you can in life.

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    1. captain - all of us here love your insights and your stories...please keep 'em coming! sending much love your way, buddy, as always!

      your friend,
      kymber

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    2. My brother the cop had a similar experience. Some neighbors called the police because of a bad smell coming out of a house. He and his partner had to go out there. Nobody answered the door so they kicked it in. It was a hot summer day, in California. The house was an old wood house with black asphalt shingles. The stink was coming from the attic. They flipped a coin and he lost. He pushed open the trap door. When he did it hit the giant swollen body of a guy who had hanged himself and the body exploded. My brother was covered from head to toe. He had to throw away his uniform and his wife had to scrub him down with kerosene. Yummy!

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  8. glad i'm not in a profession like that.
    'sixbears in the woods' was a fireman and once crawled through a burnt body.
    says his equipment always had some of the stench ever after.

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    1. Life can be really unpleasant sometimes. Everybody has different ways of dealing with it I suppose.

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  9. I'm in the oil business (exploration) and our company has laid off maybe 20% of our people and docked several ships. Who knows - I could be gone tomorrow. This is BY FAR the worst oil-related downturn of the 3 or 4 that I have ridden out in the past almost 30 years.


    This reply of yours cracked me up :
    I told her I am bored and I want a new Jeep and that's an emergency...

    My wife jokingly accused me of getting in a wreck n purpose just so I could get a new truck.

    I wanted a truck in '93, so I had planned to sell my mint-condition '69 Impala, but nobody wanted to pay more than about 1500 dollars for it. About 3 weeks later, I got T-boned (the other guy's fault, and a good story on its own) and received almost 3000 from the insurance company, and Hooray! I had my down payment for the truck.

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    1. My wife has wrecked three vehicles in the last ten years. I always wound up getting less than the vehicle was worth from the insurance companies. I'm still paying off her hospital bills from the last one :-(

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  10. Here in Hampton Roads Virginia things do not bode well. General Dynamics NASSCO-Norfolk shipyard has warned its employees of pending layoffs. BAE Systems Norfolk announces 650 layoffs and Newport News Shipyard to lay off more than 1,500. These are all good blue collar jobs and those families depend on those paychecks.

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    1. It seems to be the same all over the country. Meanwhile, Barrack holds court up in Cloud Coo Coo Land and maybe he really believes the nonsense he spewed out on the state of the union address.

      "If they have no bread, then let them eat cake!"

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  11. Ralph and I cannot imagine how the powers that be say the economy is good. This post reaffirmed and added to our observations of economic health. Walmarts layoffs being one thing, did you know rail freight shipping is down an enormous amount, the sale of Tractor trailers [big rigs] is at record lows and anyone who has ever had anything to do with oil production must be tearing their hair out. Yet the politicians go happily on with their "concern" over getting elected or keeping their cushy jobs on the hill and NOT one of them ever mentions we need to severely belt tighten! Great Post CC.

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    1. Fiona, the indications of big economic trouble coming down the pike are all out there. Most people seem to be adopting an ostrich approach and just not worrying about it.

      Years ago, I watched a television show about the California department of government responsible for disaster preparation. The head of it was this huge, obese black guy. He was interviewed for the program. The guy took his job seriously. He said the worst thing about it was that everybody knew another big quake was coming, but he couldn't get the average citizen to even put away three days worth of food and water. I felt for the guy, but that's how most people are. The stand on the track and don't see the train coming til it runs over them.

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  12. Gentleman, Thank You to both of you for your service to our country.
    One of my sons is living with his GF and she just bought a house her first one ever. I pray that they can keep working. They both work at the same company, but that company supplies fresh eggs to many businesses and business is up. Another sign of bad times? I'm not sure.

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    1. Rob, it was a long time ago for both of us, but thanks for the kind thoughts.

      I hope your son and his significant other can keep things going .It's very hard for young people today, much harder than it was for me at that age.

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  13. Harry,

    My husband and I did read a piece about part of what CC mentions above. Two sources mentioned on Friday Walmart test stores setup on a 5 year contract were closing, no mention of their larger stores.

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    1. There's one of those test stores in an adjacent county. I don't know why Walmart is closing that one, if they are, because the parking lot is always full. But I know in some locations people are just cash poor because of business closings and that would be a bad place for a Walmart.

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  14. CC, I misspent my youth as an oil field brat in Venezuela, and saw several boom bust cycles. Dad was part of the bust in Texas during the late 70s early 80s as well. Inevitably it comes back around again and they make money again. Oil is the life blood of everything we consume and absolutely nothing we need to live today is possible without it. Demand will come back again. I have read that Shale-Oil break even point is about 17$ a barrel. That's the hard and expensive stuff to get out. At just around 30$ a barrel they are still making money. No, we are not drilling new wells and that reflects as roughneck layoffs. But no thanks to O'bumer we have increased national production to something near 75% of our needs and reduces off-shore demand. Ultimately that is increased self sufficiency and that is a good thing, as we depend a little bit less on Arabs who'd just as soon cut our heads off given half the chance, and turn 50% of every dollar on subsidizing their religious fanatics who actually are trying real hard to cut our necks off. Like I mentioned before, world oil demand went up artificially high because the Chinese were going nuts building high-rises that now sit empty just to keep 2 billion China-men busy and from taking their pitchforks to the fat cats in Peking. Now Peking is out of money and they got wise and put the kibosh on the excess. The Saudis have been living high on the hog with all the income they got from the Chinese and did not save for a rainy day. Same goes for all the other countries that were feeding of the Chinese spending. Now the Saudis can't keep up with their own social security payments to their retirees or the usual lifestyle their government people are getting pink slips. They are dumping their unpaid Lamborginis, Maseratis and RRs at the airport and fleeing the country as defaulting on a loan in Saudi Arabia is punishable by real prison time. No chapter 11 monkey business there. With Iran coming online in to the oil market it will take some time. But it will come back around when things stabilize. I still believe low oil prices is a good thing for the economy as it makes everything we consume cost lest and each dollar goes further. I spent 1000 $ less on heating oil and propane this year than last year. And am only spending 30$ to fill my truck tank as opposed to 70$ I was at the same time last year. That leaves me money to spend on other stuff which when multiplied by 350 million citizens in this country ultimately stimulates the economy.
    Harry, as for Wranglers, yes they are a bit dear these days even a 10 year old one with 130K miles on it is going for 10 grand around these parts. Why do you think I did all that work on the T100 this summer. Best not get in debt just for a fickle hankering.

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    1. Damn It! I'm not getting a break on propane at all! In fact, the price has gone up a few cents since I last topped off in the Fall. It really browns me off because I know propane is tied to oil and if oil is falling, that must mean the propane companies here are ripping us all off. It strikes me as strange that they all charge exactly the same price. I asked them why propane is still so high and if they were fixing the prices and the people in the office just blew me off. They think I am an eccentric old man. I may be but I still know when someone is stealing from me.

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