Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Reading - Road Trip

The snow is all gone around here now. Yesterday I was once again road tripping it around the Eastern Central part of the state. It rained early then warmed up and pretty much took all the snow that remained. Even the big piles more or less.

I really needed to be checking and feeding bees but a promise is a promise so instead I did another round of ammo checking the regional stores and getting a feel for things out beyond my general rural area. Locally ammo stores are bad now. Still no small rifle primers or 5.56 ammo period, none, all the other size primers are available though just not in the old brands we are used to. 7.62x39 has joined the 5.56 lately without even the cheap steel stuff being around. No brass in any popular calibers except 9mm. The local wal-mart's are even out of the 100 round 12 ga. target load packs believe it or not.

I found a little .45ACP and 7.62x54 ammo still in St. Louis. Cabella's up there had bins of plastic AR-15 30 round magazines at 25 bucks each on the low end up to $30.00 for the higher end. I almost picked up a couple then didn't. I have a good number of them already and I am not paying $25.00 for something that was selling for $10.00 or less only a year ago. Just not doing it. If they pass a ban I will be kicking myself for passing these up but at these prices and availability it is buy what ammo I can find or buy magazines. I can no longer do both at the same time and my guess is I will feel an ammo shortage more painfully than a magazine one.

There were a lot of people out and about Saturday. The parking lots were full and there seemed to be shoppers out in force which has not been my normal observations lately. It did turn into a really nice day as I mentioned so maybe they were just out to be out but the traffic was more like 2001 levels than the 1990's I have been noticing.

Still there are other signs. For one I have found myself pulling old music radio tricks lately that I haven't done in decades. Back when I was a teen or in my 20's after returning from the army the radio station selection around here was pretty pitiful. There were only a few stations that played anything even remotely "new" and they were not really dedicated but would constantly switch to sports programing. It was a constant hunt and switch for which stations were playing music and which were running the college games. Frequently all the local stations would be running the same MU basketball game at the same time.

By the 90's this scenario had pretty much come to a stop. The local selections had finally reached a point to where everyone had a station to fit their tastes. I also was able to stop buying super tuners to pick up St. Louis stations as Columbia had a choice I liked. Well radio station selection appears to be once again back to the 80's and I am pulling the same old tricks, even lamenting the point that I traveled beyond the St. Louis stations operating range. A couple of stations have stopped broadcasting and a couple others are taking up the old sports feed trick again. One station even switched programing to nothing but sports feed.

There maybe other factors at play here. Many are blaming the internet and satellite but I am just not buying that. Those things have been active for years longer than this decline and it appears to me to be more of a cash flow problem than declining listeners. The advertisers are just not there to support such a wide selection. My guess is this is just another early indicator as services and amenities shrink back into consolidated areas. Mrs. PP was pissy a few months back when one station that had run the same syndicated morning show for decades suddenly dropped it. She was very fond of that show and finally found another station over the internet so she can listen to it in the morning at home as she gets ready.

Amenities, services and road infra-structure are the first signs of decline. Less gravel being spread, fewer roads paved and more potholes allowed to remain. Eventually those become the norm and you hardly notice them anymore and the roads around here are bad. Then small stores begin to close forcing you to travel just a bit further for things or rearranging your pattern to buying more during less frequent trips. The power of choice is slowly eroded away as well especially at the outter edges making trips to the "big city" once again a treat. Oh yes I remember those days and I can see them coming back once again.

The one thing that makes me different is that I don't see these changes as bad or unwelcome. The increased entertainment choices brought with it increased regulation and a decrease in other freedoms as well. Personally I prefer going about my business without tripping over joy riders from the cities and coming across speed traps every 5 miles.

Maybe I am just weird though.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


  1. Ammo of all types, even the obscure types are very hard to find. People are buying ammo in calibers they don't even own just to have them for possible barter. I did happen to score a full case of 5000 small pistol primers at a local gun shop. You stopped by my blog today and commented on the American Beech Tree. I downloaded a PDF on tree identification from the UT Extension Service. One of the identifying characteristics of this tree is holding on to it's leaves throughout the winter, so you were spot on!

    1. SD - I was thinking beech from the start but your particular description of "white" leaves kinda threw me. The little beeches we get around here the leaves turn a coffee with cream color. I suspect that since beech trees were not usually logged years ago you are seeing a large stand of very old trees.

      It reminded me that beech is a tree I haven't done a write up on. I need to rectify that.

  2. I agree, the niche radia stations worked fine when there were audiences spending money and worth targeting. But there isn't as much incentive to grab audiences if they aren't spending.

    I actually think the MP3 has finally eaten into the radio audience enough to make a difference. I listen to to radio, but younger people listen to internet with artist channels/or docked MP3s.

    1. Russ - You may have something there as it is the stations geared more to the younger folk that seem to be changing their programing. I tend to listen to newer music myself believe it or not rather then the "classic" stuff most people my age listen to so I notice it first.

      Well by new I mean a specific new of course. None of that teeny stuff like Bieber and all those slutty girl singers. I am more a Papa Roach grit type I guess. But anyway ya it is the younger geared stations that seem to be falling first.

  3. The gun store we visit only allows a purchase of one box at a time. When Papa Bear has errands he always stops to see if they have anything in he needs. He ended up buying bird-shot 22's for grandsons little Crickett as no one had any regular when we have been in town. The fellow at China Mart says it is sold out with-in an hour of it coming in.

    Papa Bear keeps the radio stations on Talk Radio. When I do get to change a channel I notice that most advertise being a part of Magic Broadcasting. I guess this company is cornering the market in stations.

    We have had stores closing but more being built. On my rare trips to town I have seen several new construction jobs of businesses going up. I don't get that. The craziest thing in the nearest large town is banks. There is one on every corner and sometimes several in a one block area. The town is not big. We don't have any big industries here. Who has the money for these banks?

    1. MB - I haven't even glanced at .22 stuff. I hear over and over it is completely dry and has been for months but I had enough of it before that I don't really care. I actually rarely shoot .22 anyway as the ones I have were sighted in long ago and supplied up. Now I am more worried about other calibers.

      As for stores I just do not see any new construction around here but I imagine it has to do with location. All we see are bank closings. There are many empty banks around now.


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