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Red Flags for a Looming Crisis - PART 5

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At the local gas stations, I used to go inside and tell the clerk we were paying cash, then wait inside while DH or DS pumped. (Or, where we were well-known, I'd just wave through the glass and someone would turn on my pump.) Now I have to actually hand over my money before the pump gets turned on. At one station, I was told the drive-offs were bad enough, but people were saying "fill up" and then going ballistic over the price--one station had to call the sheriff four times in one day because the clerks were scared by ranting, raving customers.

 

I've taken to only stopping for gas when there are very few other cars at the pumps.

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I live within an hours drive if the Darien Lake amusement park. Because we are not going anywhere this summer, I bought season passes - they paid for themselves if we went twice, and it gave me free parking.

 

Anyway, we've gone twice, once on a Saturday and then yesterday. We get there when the parks open and stay until the 2yo can't handle it.

 

My point - yes there is one - is that neither time has it been at all crowded. My kids might wait 5 minutes for a major ride, and there is no waiting at the food places. It seems like its so bad out there that even locals aren't going to the park! It has me spooked enough that I'm going to go for the late hours next week to see if it does fill up. I'm actually hoping it does!

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The scams have started.....

 

I was at my nearest gas station and a man approached me as I was finished pumping fuel and getting my receipt. He acted very meek and told me he was embarrased to ask, but he is asking for money for gas and his wife and child were waiting for him; they had no way home. He asked for anything, but I told him that I was scraping up my pennies too for gas and couldn't give him anything. Also, I didn't see a car with a wife and child anywhere. I offered to call someone for him, but he said he tried that but couldn't get ahold of anyone.

 

My husband reassured me that night that he could have called non-emergency police and they would bring him a couple gallons of gas and would have helped him get home. I assured my husband that I didn't give him anything, and he was relieved. He said "it's the oldest scam in the book."

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Wow Debbie. You know, I traditionally avoid the downtown area because it's NUTS as soon as the ponies start running for the season. Maybe I'll have to drive through town next week and see if it is crowded or not...

 

So today, the little 4 year old next door knocked on our door and asked if she could play with my 7 year old. He's a good sport and said yes, so they went in the back yard. Her mom came over and asked if she could just sit on my deck to watch them (I was doing dishes) and I said okay. When I got out to join her, I realized my Emergency Essentials catalog was sitting on the table on my deck, and she was looking at it. I started to try to minimize it a little "Oh Bruce is really worried about food prices and suggested I look into this sort of thing -- but my gosh, the prices are so high!"

 

She responded that "my parents are saying the same thing, my mom would be really interested in this catalog." My jaw about hit the floor. I told her she could take the catalog to them and we talked about world food issues for a while.

 

I was gobsmacked. I thought they were totally normal. So I told her I've been buying several of everything every time I go to the store. I just happened to have three Whole Foods pancake mixes sealed up in a gallon foodsaver bag sitting on the counter (hadn't taken it downstairs yet) and showed her that.

 

wow.

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We have always been a dump town for strays. People can exit, and it's a few miles before you actually get into town, but there are houses around, so they must thing SOMEONE will feed their poor animal.

 

A few years ago the town had to start shooting the strays. When there were just a few a year, they were tolerated, and usually adopted. We had a few "town dogs" that were literally that, they were good natured and be fed whenever. But the numbers were steadily increasing so the town had to do what they had to do, as the dogs were turning feral and resorting to pack mentality. Normal behavior for stray dogs, but certainly dangerous in a town setting.

 

This year, they literally can't keep up with the numbers. Before this year, we'd see strays seasonally. A glut in spring and then another in fall, as whelping occured and new pups either couldn't be found a home or found a home and then the new owners decided they couldn't/wouldn't take care of them. This year, we see new dogs ALL THE TIME. We're seeing mostly larger breeds, which makes me wonder if smaller ones either aren't getting dumped, or if they are being eaten before they make it to town. Not only do we have roving packs of dogs, but we have bears and mountain lions. They are discussing arming town employees with some type of animal trank, any sheriff's deputies patrolling here are advised to shoot to kill any dog seen wandering, and several town residents have been quietly "encouraged" to do the same (including DH). This in a state where they just made it illegal for someone (anyone other than a vet or a law enforcement officer) to shoot any animal for any reason other than threat. In other words, the rancher can't shoot his cow/horse/goat other livestock that just broke it's leg, he has to wait however long (sometimes hours or overnight) for the vet to get there to "humanely" put it down. You can shoot an animal that threatens you or your property, but you have to let your own livestock suffer for hours if it's injured and can't be transported to the vet. The roving packs of dogs do qualify as a threat, but arming town employees with animal trank is an expensive thing to do-but very necessary in our times.

 

Our sheriff's department just seized 28 horses and six dogs from a guy who was boarding most of the horses and couldn't feed them (despite the fact that people were paying for their care). He was charged with several cases of animal cruelty. The sad thing is, so many people have horses here, that within a few phone calls he could have had people who would have taken them had he just offered them for free "Look, I can't take care of these anymore, can you come get one or two." He could have called the owners of the ones that he was boarding and explained the situation. The ones that the owner couldn't be reached (sheriff still hasn't gotten ahold of 2 or 3) could have been turned over to the sheriff, where they would have been boarded with Search and Rescue mounts or registered Foster Families. People JUST DON'T THINK.

 

So if anyone out there is boarding their horses with someone who isn't really local, you need to make the drive out there to check on your animals.

 

Mo7

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My dh almost always fills up the gas tank on my van. At our small town gas station they have started making you pay before you pump (or use the credit card thing on the pump). Also, this station has a $100 limit on credit cards. It takes $100 to fill up my van. In my whole life, the only time I have had to deal with prepaying for gas is when we are traveling and get gas near the interstate. I am befuddled and dh is a little upset about the whole thing.

Makes me stop and think.

Blessings,

Carie

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Mo7, I bet you have more than one neighbor whose broke-leg herbivore "suddenly turned vicious and threatened to attack."

 

We live near a lake. Lots of catch-and-release. For the first time since we've lived here, old people and middle-aged women are standing around the lake hollering, "Don't throw it back! I can feed my family with that!"

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Mommyofseven,

 

Regarding Social Security Disability, Both my wife and I are on disability as well as a couple of friends. We all had the exact same scenario.

 

The initial application is automatically denied in 99% of the cases. The 1st appeal is denied about 90% of the time. The 2nd appeal (this is the one where you go into court before a judge) is approved about 95% of the time. I received mine the day before I was scheduled to appear in court. My wife received hers about 3 days before the court appearance and my friends that are on disability either received theirs at court or within a week before their court date.

 

What I was told by a SS employee is the first 2 denials is to help "weed out" those that want a "free ride" from those that really do need it. I was also told that "clerks" determine the initial application AND the 1st appeal.

 

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I worked as a paralegal for social security disability cases. I would disagree that the win rate at 2nd appeal is 95% -- at least it wasn't in Seattle. I'd say more like 75%. They denied people who were truly disabled, then they had to make another appeal in federal court. It was really sad. I felt so bad for our clients.

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Originally Posted By: Campy
Mommyofseven,


The initial application is automatically denied in 99% of the cases. The 1st appeal is denied about 90% of the time.


*unless...*
we just went through this with my husband who has diabetes, heart issues and cancer. he was 'downsized' after 9 years because of missing too much work (ya THINK?)We fully expected to have the same experience ya'll did BUT
there's a whole different set of criteria if you are over age 53 when you become disabled- dh is 56 and he was approved and received his first check in under 6 weeks.
I guess they figure that if you are 53, theoretically you've been in the workforce for at least 30years, so they make it just a little easier to get the money YOU'VE put into it. smile
so depending on the age of the applicant, it's not necessarily a long, drawn out ordeal.

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I got my SS disability on the first go. Start to finish it was a little less than 3 months.

 

So far (knock wood) I haven't had a review.

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that can happen too. I've seen people approved on their initial application.

 

 

It depends, in part, on how clearly your condition fits into the "definition" of disability for your impairment. There's actually a little book, that describes different conditions, and at which point they are disabling.

 

It also matters how well your doctor documents your condition. If your doctor understands the Social Security system and how to state your impairment, it makes things much easier, because then the government drones can easily check the right box and "prove" you're disabled. I can't tell you how many people are really disabled, but their doctors worded things in a strange or unhelpful manner, which meant huge delays in getting benefits.

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Originally Posted By: Tracie
I was gobsmacked. I thought they were totally normal.



Totally normal? Oh my, that cracked me up!!!! rofl

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Yeah... I caught that, too. happy02

 

 

Depends on what your definition of "normal" is...

 

 

roflroflrofl

 

 

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LMAO you guys! I mean I thought they were total sheeple, not really thinking about what they were doing.

 

Of course for me, "normal" is a bit of an insult. ;-)

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I am back from camp for the weekend, so don't have much time, but one red flag this week. Dh's company (in business for 50 years, closed the "company" we work for & rolled us all together. (Trucking company). The work has slowed to a crawl. For the first time ever there were no loads to have and it took three days to find one. Dh started calling around (cell phone to his WIDE network of fellow truckers) and heard that many parts of the country suddenly on July 1 became hard to get a load. Truckers are reporting drops from 3000-4500 miles a week average to 3000 miles in 3 weeks. Freight is drying up.

 

Don't know if it just the guys we know or everywhere, but thought you might like a heads up.

 

Joyfully,

Cheryl

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Wow, about the freight. I think we will be in deep crud soon. Thats really scary and its a real thing happening! Thanks for the heads up.

 

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Ummm, well for us it has hit the fan. Dh buys fruit, then sells to various individuals in a sort of delivery service. He went up on his fruit $1 a bag this year from last year. However, this month, though sales have been good, we wouldn't have made it without the stimulus check that came in. Huge red flag. Gas is eating us alive. He's going to go up another 50 cents a bag in 2 weeks when he swaps to a different fruit and we are hoping between that price increase and my NOT buying any more groceries (and us living off preps) that we can make it each month.

 

 

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SDBookMom, I wonder if the freight is going by train instead?

 

Seems like every time I'm near a train track lately, there's a train going through.

 

shrug

 

 

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Wow Cat! I hadn't thought of that, but you know what, we've had soooo much train activity lately, been making us late for church and such. I just told my dh that I wondered what was up with all the trains. The kids and I counted the cars on one the other day and it was 89 cars long.

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You know what is not so funny? We have train tracks near our home, and as I was reading this a train came through. Nothing unusual about that, lately they are through about ever 20-30 minutes

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maybe it is trains being used for foodstuffs, or trying to move equipment for the military. Hoping its about food and stuff consumers need however.

 

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Huh! I've been hearing more train activity here as well. We've always had trains thru and around here, but it was the exception for traffic to be stopped by trains.

 

Now I'm hearing the whistles and the clattering from far off more often. It never occurred to me to wonder if it were more often.

 

BTW, the prices in our Walmart fell steeply. Also noticed there are more oversized packages of things at a better price (even the *same* price) as the same item packaged in smaller quantities.

 

Walmart's parking lot, as well as the other major stores' lots, have been full.

 

Traffic is picking up again. But I think people are being choosier about how they spend their money, and things are *feeling* better.

 

Front page news in our local paper the other day was a series of interviews with folks thru out the two counties about how they are dealing with rising gas prices. Some great ideas. And handled in a very upbeat manner.

 

The fact that it was front page news is a red flag.

 

Oregonians do tend to be more optimistic that most folks about hard times. It's that independent streak that most west coasters have, I think, as well as living in a place that has so many natural resources. There are very few whiners (that I've ever met, in person or via media) in Oregon, and that includes the city dwelling liberals. smile

 

So it could be that things are only looking up as opposed to actually being up.

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one question, are there amtrak cars or mostly freight? With the airlines starting to have difficulties they could be bringing business folks to other places more frequently. So try and count the amtrak cars on the increased train traffic, although it could be food and materials too.

 

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