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...

Friday, August 19, 2011

The New (Old) Reserve Currency

After dipping to around $38 following last week's magnificent market meltdown (MMM), Silver has again topped $42.  Good girl!  Meanwhile, big sister Gold is reaching for $1900/oz. as of this morning.  Will she make it before September?  Will she make $2000 by autumn?  Hardly matters to me, since I can't afford the yellow metal, but it sure is fun to watch.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fucking Chinese...

There's supposedly a Chinese curse that goes, "May you live in interesting times."

Am I cursed, then?  'Cause times are interesting, all right.  I don't recall ever offending anyone of Asian descent, although admittedly I haven't known many in my life.  There was a guy who used to come in the store where I worked -- before it closed -- who was obviously Asian, but whose name was Andrew.  He wasn't even supposed to rent on the account he always used, since his name wasn't on it as an authorized user.  But the account holder's name was Phung, Diep Phung, so I figured it was probably okay.  I wasn't going to get into what surely would've been a bottomless can of worms to try and sort that one out, at any rate.

Yeah.  Diep Phung.  Awesome, awesome name. 

So.  "Interesting times."  That's me on the charger there, by the way.  Going along my merry, chivalrous, naive way, doing what I am supposed to be doing, and about to be waylaid by three voluptuous, naked witches, who are in point of fact also cannibals.  My plate armor will make excellent serving trays for serving my roasted carcass, no doubt.

The above image, conversely, represents what I am most assuredly not:  in control of things.  Here you have a guy who is Master of His Domain (and not in the Seinfeld sense, mind you).  I suppose there are some out there who are like this guy, but I don't know any of them.  Or, I like to think I don't.  Most of us are as blindsided by all that's going on as I am, or worse.  At least, I can say I've been thinking ahead to this exasperatingly slow collapse of our civilization.  Hasn't made me that much more prepared, I must say.  If I had to rely on my preparations to feed myself and my family, we would starve within a month, two at most.

I won't bore you, kind visitor to The Gable Grey, with the details of my daily, unemployed life.  The days go by too quickly.  They really do.  I'm up at 5, Monday through Friday, helping the wife and kid get out the door so they can start their day.  That gives me an enormous amount of time, a wonderful leg up on the day ahead. 

I've cut what can only be described as a massive amount of grass.  I've gotten a painting project done that I've been putting off since last year.  I've nearly completed a new chapter of The Woodreeve's Tale (for those familiar with the work, I can tell you that one of the thanes doesn't make it), and am maddeningly close to finishing Where the Whang-Doodle Mourneth for Its First-born, a short story I've been trying to finish for the better part of a decade.  (I'm not exaggerating.)

Lots of job applications, resumes, behavior assessments.  I can almost recite my resume verbatim.  No call-backs yet, but it will happen, right?  Right???

I am not really optimistic.  I know it's un-American and all that to be that way, and I don't let my contrarianism bleed over into my applications -- at least, I hope I don't, not at detectable levels.  But realistically, I am not likely to find a job making what I made managing a video store.  It's that bad out there, friends, at least for those with my qualifications.  I understand this.  Not many others do, annoyingly.  Not many understand that this is not the job market of the 1990's, or even of the 2000's, or even of 2010.  I'm not even sure you can call it a job market.  It's more a kind of carnival, or circus; or maybe even a gladiatorial arena.  You fight, and fight, and fight, and are encouraged to fight more with the promise of eventual freedom; but the Emperor does not actually plan on letting you go.  You are too valuable as a slave, to be allowed to be let go and be free.  So you sally forth into the ring every day, and face off against African lions and rabid dogs and Nubians and vicious Goths and the occasional moray eels that the Emperor has brought in for those extra-special exhibitions when he has the Colosseum filled with water from the Tiber, and you give the crowd an inspiring show.

Meanwhile, dark forces are moving, forces largely beyond my comprehension, forces which seem terribly distant and yet threaten at any moment to sweep me and mine out into the Deep Primordial.  Markets go up, and my lot stays the same.  Markets go down, and my lot gets a little worse.  Western industrial civilization is a raging dragon whose fires have withered and nearly gone out, and is levelling mountains and little villages of Men in its death-throes.  Forests go up like tinder, lakes and rivers and whole seas turn to steam as the Worm writhes.  And all I can do is try to stay out of its way, because I do not have a sword of Dragon-slaying, and the Dwarves who knew how to make them are scattered, and there are no longer any real warriors left who know how to wield such blades, anyway; they were not wanted.

Some days are better than others.  Some days are almost impossibly quiet, and I find myself stopping and listening at odd moments; for what, I do not know.  Someone else in the house, maybe?  Was that wind in the trees?  What are the cats looking at?

Things are getting dicey out there again, and it's only mid-August.  Usually, summers are uneventful in the affairs of Men, or so I hear.  It has been anything but uneventful, though, and September is still a couple of weeks away. 

Hold on tight.  It could be a wild ride.  Hell, what am I saying?  It already is.

Wassail, friends.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

So Much for Our Credit Score...

Seems to me, yesterday's downgrading of US debt from "AAA" to "AA+" by the Standard & Poor rating agency is a bit akin to my own credit rating being downgraded by Transunion, or Experian.  At any rate, it's gonna make it a bit tougher for the US to borrow now, maybe; and funds mandating "AAA" status only will have to be moved into something less... junky, perhaps.  I don't know.  The whole thing eludes true understanding on my part. 

Next week should be interesting, to say the least.  Either The Powers That Be (TPTB) have already orchestrated a pleasant regimen of market smoke-and-mirrors, or it will be a complete clusterfuck; or, maybe somewhere Inbetween.  I suspect the latter.  We'll see.  I'll be watching Asian markets when they open tomorrow evening... as will much of the rest of our tottering civilization.

Welcome to the future, boys.  Wassail.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hi-Yo Silver! Away!!!

While the unraveling of the central planners' Ponzi scheme intensifies,* and gold hits new highs every day, silver has today gone past $42.  Target:  $50, and new all-time records beyond.  To those of you who, like myself, bought in at the $15-$20-$25 marks, congratulations!  Your wealth is keeping its value, as the purchasing power of the fiat FRN's correspondingly declines. 

Does this mean that silver is becoming more and more valuable, as greater numbers of individuals see through the global fiat house of cards, and position themselves accordingly?  Maybe.  I'm not sure.  All I know is, I'm priced out, but happily so!  It's been one of the few good decisions I've made lately.

I suspect there will be interruptions in the rise, as there have been; for example, margins can get hiked at any time, as they were yesterday.  However, interestingly, yesterday's margin increase did not seem to have a noticeable effect on the price of silver.  This is important, as such activity by the banksters and their government puppets usually put a damper on silver's rise, at least temporarily.  These temporary declines have been important points at which to buy physical silver.  Such pauses in silver's rise may become increasingly rare over time; as yesterday's attempt to cool silver off show, they may disappear altogether, at least until a full-on collapse of paper currencies and a return to traditional (read:  real) money.  Of course, dips in silver's price can also be caused by investor profit-taking.

For myself, I am not in this game for profits.  I am in it for wealth preservation.  In other words, I am "long Silver."  I advise you to do the same, if you can.  Then again, for most of those I know, it may already be too late for that.  If the latter is true, there is an alternative.  Simply go to JWR's website SurvivalBlog, at the link provided in the right-hand column, and look up "nickels."  You might be surprised how easy it can be to preserve your purchasing power with the "lowly" Nickel.  Time may be running out on that option too, though, as the costs to make a nickel far exceed its face value, forcing the government to consider cheaper alternatives.  But all that info. can be found at the site.

The markets have been declining for the better part of two weeks now.  There are many parallels to 2008.  Ruppert may have been right after all.  Keep your eyes and ears open.  Change is happening hard and fast these days; but it need not be unlooked-for.

Wassail, friends.

*I borrowed that line from a writer at the ZeroHedge site.  My new favorite site; very little BS.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Guns of August

Those who know me even a little bit know that summer is probably my least favorite time of year.  Or summertime in Mississippi, to be precise.  Typically it's blistering hot and oppressively humid:  basically, weather such as one might experience in, oh, the Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), or maybe the Deccan plateau.  And it has indeed been typical.

Now I have my first month among the Unemployed behind me.  It has not been an unproductive month.  Finally, after several rather bleak writing seasons, I have been able to crack my writer's block, and am well into the next chapter of The Woodreeve's Tale, "The Battle of Brimness Ford," which, as it indicates, is all about a battle.  No, really:  from beginning-to-end fighting.  I've never done that before, not even in my only finished novel, which had action enough, but little of that kind.  It is not too hard.  It helps to have appropriate music at hand to listen to.  Rather odd, I must admit, writing medieval-style (or, more appropriately, Dark Ages-style) combat involving monsters, to music by Moby and the Crystal Method.  Works for me, though.

That's really what everything boils down to for me nowadays:  Whatever Works.  The Woody Allen film of the same name sucked majorly, but the message was wonderfully precise and succinct -- more than I can say for much of my writing.  Without a full-time job, I am (as I predicted in an earlier post) looking to cobble together an income from disparate sources.  This is not too hard, in the literal sense.  What is difficult is telling people -- mainly family, and the occasional friend (usually of the second degree or lower) -- what I'm doing to make a living.  I really am not making a living right now; it's all the wife's income, with only my little unemployment check every week.  But I'm getting there.

Towards that end -- "getting there" -- I am going to be self-publishing some of my work through Amazon soon, hopefully this month.  First will be a short collection of short fiction, which I hope to make available through either Kindle or Amazon's print-on-demand service.  I am not sure how it will all go down, but I hope to get my name out there, anyway.  Following that will be my finished novel, the chapters  and images of which must all be put together into one document -- no easy task.  Well, easy, maybe, but very time-consuming.  I hope to have it ready sometime in September.

All this is with the hope that I can turn my new-found time at home into the career I've always wanted:  published author.  I don't believe I will make the "big time," as my Uncle Mike says, but I hope to have my work put out there.  The fact that someone, somewhere could read my words, will be incredibly satisfying in and of itself.  Whatever money may come in will be a welcome aside.  I am under no illusions about the latter; most novelists I know of cannot make a living at their trade.  And yet... and yet... they go on doing it, anyway.  You are who you are, whether or not you get paid well for being so.

Of course, the world may end before I can get my work into print.  "What the hell," though, you know?  I never was one to sit around and wait for something good (or bad) to happen.  Try and fail?  Sure, all the time.  I've failed so many times, and at so many things, it'd be funny, if it... well, wasn't.  But I keep at it, anyway, just shy of the point of what could be called the definition of "madness."

August promises to be its usual wretched self.  But September, and autumn, is closer with each passing day.  Who knows what tidings the North Wind will bring then?

I hope it proves a welcome guest.  Wassail, friends. 
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"