Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cereal Revolutions

And no, the post title is not a reference to phenomena like Frosted Cherrios, which was/is a miserable failure, an unholy alliance between Frosted Flakes and Cheerios, which satisfies nobody.  But I digress.

I have noticed, in my manic ramblings across the Interlink for news, that two new countries seem to be sprouting demonstrations of their own:  Mauritania, and Vietnam.  (Yes, that Vietnam.)  About Mauritania -- it is in north-west Africa, for those of you who don't immediately know, which is 99.5 % of you, and almost included me, but for an early high school game that had me and my inner circle poring over contemporary world maps -- all I can say is, 'Who gives a shit?' (WGAS), as their only possible export looks to be vast quantities of sand, which we don't especially need.  But Vietnam?  Hory sheet!  I didn't think that kind of thing was allowed.  But anything can happen these days, seemingly.  There's even demonstrations in several Chinese cities.  You can add them to those in Egypt (ongoing), Tunisia (ongoing), Libya (OMGaddafi!), Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, the West Bank (okay, that's normal for them), Yemen (getting bad and badder), Bahrain, the Sultanate of Oman, Iran, and -- wait for it, wait for it -- that bastion of Freed'm and Democracy in the Middle East, Iraq.  And these are NOT revolutions founded in some sudden, overweening (I don't know if that's the appropriate term here, but it suddenly occurred to me that I have not used the word 'overweening' in a long, long, while, and decided, DO IT.) desire for democracy.  These people are unemployed, broke, and STARVING.  Grain harvests around the world have suffered cataclysmically* poor harvests in the past year.  Thus, "Cereal Revolutions."  Wish I had come up with that on my own...

In other news, Silver(!) has been knocking at the $35/oz. door, and I have it on good authority (meaning, I read some quotes from important-sounding folks who I otherwise don't know shit about) that, due to impossible positions in the paper silver market (SLV), compounded with the usual breathless exhortations for buying Silver(!) from those good folk who are already "long" Silver(!), Silver (!) is about to make a move past its already 31-year high attained this week, to break the famous (and long dead) Hunt Bros.' achievement of $50/oz. of the early 1980's.  I've still been accumulating, though in longer intervals, and have it on good authority (the Wife)(!) that I must needs, uh, rein things in even more.  So I will.  Probably.  But there is still time to get in on what could be an opportunity to build true generational wealth.  Otherwise, start stocking up on nickels.

Today I got home from work in time to see my daughter running up to the house from our chicken coop, carrying three fresh eggs.  What a beautiful sight!  She loves to check for eggs every day.  Now we are averaging 2-3 per day from our girls Helen, Thelma Lou, and Aunt Bea.  Thelma Lou is a real sweet bird who likes to be held.  Helen is a bit skittish.  Aunt Bea is, well, Frances Bavier reincarnated as a chicken. 

Found a book, courtesy of a blog I follow only intermittently, called Gardening When It Counts:  Growing Food in Hard Times, by Steve Solomon.  I'm probably going to buy it.  It pretty much trashes the raised-bed approach I've been working on for a year and a half now, but I'm wanting a cheaper, more efficient way to garden, anyway.  That is, if we remain marooned here, and don't make it to Montana.

How about a pretty picture?

Nobody draws Old Guys in Tights (OGTs) like the incomparable Alex Ross!  (Yo, Fate!  Hands off Starman's ass!)

Wassail, friends. -- C.

*I spelled it right, Jeremy.  I think.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

In the Water, in the Earth, in the Air

Today I unsheathed Ringil... that is, I took my bike out for a ride.  It's a gorgeous February day, really too gorgeous for February, but one must take advantage whilst one can.  Ringil knifed through the warm breezes like blue ice.  I wanted to check out the house that burned a few nights ago, and to sneak up near the bustle of 16th Avenue, to check on the price of gas at our nearest Exxon.  (It is 3.05.)

Spring is not here, not yet; but Change (capital "C") is afoot.  If you haven't noticed it, or felt it, you're not paying attention.  Galadriel speaks of the great changes coming to Middle-earth, in her introductory monologue to The Lord of the Rings film.  Our world is undergoing a similar transition, though we are not willingly destroying our One Ring of Power.  It is being taken from us, even as we have (through its constant use) become wraiths ourselves, and slaves to its power.  We are losing our Ring, and we will never stop hunting for it, or for those who for a time may possess it.

I speak of course of Oil.  There is a Spike going on at the moment, due to the unpleasantness in Libya and further uncertainties about the viability of the House of Saud.  Doubtless this is merely just that -- a spike; and prices will ease after the murderous thug Qaddafi is finally hung from a utility pole, and the Libyan military moves in to secure Order.  Not Order for the Libyans, mind you, but rather an Orderly flow of the Devil's blood out of the country and into southern Europe.  True, Tripoli and Benghazi may get democracy, but the people of the Middle East should not be so ready to embrace democracy.  After all, they got democracy in Iraq; and what a resounding success that is!!!  But who can blame the Libyans, or the Egyptians, or the Bahrainis, or the Yemenis, for wanting a democracy of their own?  After all, most Americans still equate Democracy with Liberty.  Why, I myself am only recently come to D.A. (Democracy Awareness).  The propaganda for democracy has been vomited forth upon our society for the better part of fifty years, with resounding success.

If I sound like some right-wing Libertarian nut-job, well, I can only nod my head in agreement.  I've come so far from my post-University political outlook that I hardly know who I am any more. 

It is not yet summer, but the world is already aflame.  A word to the wise:  keep your nose to the wind.  Mend your fences.  Decide what you want to keep in this life, and what is best left behind.  A great Turning is taking place, but it is happening in fits and starts, and usually in slow motion.  Therefore, most people do not see it.  Nevertheless, make no mistake:  the world as we have known it is history.  In this new paradigm, there are opportunities to survive, and to thrive... for the wise.

Late is the hour.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I've added a new site to the TEOTWAWKI Tea-Leaves list:  permies.com, a website devoted to Permaculture.  Thanks to Ed over at Nature Bats Last for the link!

Wassail, friends!  -- C.
Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"