whats going on in stores by me

First up:

Took that screenshot off the HD website this morning. Hope you weren’t planning on building anything this year.

We’re selling lawn mowers faster than we can get them in, again. Walk behind or rider, doesn’t matter, chances are good we don’t have it in stock.

Powered and unpowered outdoor tools are in short supply, there’s holes in all the bays where we can’t get things, despite corporate throwing as many trucks as they could at us for the holiday weekend.

Patio furniture is D.O.N.E. We can get in TWO sets, and some odds and ends, and that’s it. And when I check online to look at other sets everything is out of stock.

Already seeing shortages in garden hoses and hose supplies.

Pool chemicals are almost non-existent. We got in a pallet of liquid chlorine on Friday, and by 4pm Saturday it was half gone.

SO FAR outdoor patio and wall block seems to be ok, but that season has barely started too, so we’ll see.

I will say, I saw my first case of 409 Multi-surface cleaner this week, haven’t seen that in over a year. Looking closer at the packaging I realized 409 is owned by Clorox, which explains why it wasn’t been a high priority thing this past year.

We still can’t get in toilet bowl cleaners on any sort of regular basis, and neither can either of the grocery stores I regularly shop at.

Paper products appear to have mostly recovered. There’s still random stuff missing, but you’ll only notice if you’re looking for that specialty thing.

Cat food is still quite short, as is some lines of kitty litter all the sudden.

The grocery store had whole wheat flour for the first time, I don’t know, months?, a year? this week. It was store brand, but they had it.

Sugar prices are through the roof, and its suddenly cheaper to buy some random brand of sugar I’ve never heard of instead of the store brand.

Bread yeast is in stock, but only in either packets, or as jars of “bread machine” yeast.

There’ve been no overt holes on the shelves, but if you’re looking for an odd list of specialty products, or specific products in specific sizes they’re often still not there.


Hey look

locking everyone in their houses and not allowing them their normal activity levels very likely made it MORE likely they’d get sicker and die from the plague than if they’d been allowed to stay active!

Physical inactivity is associated with a higher risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes: a study in 48 440 adult patients

and

This study found the SARS-CoV-2 virus was three times more sensitive to the UV in sunlight than influenza A, with 90 percent of the coronavirus’s particles being inactivated after just half an hour of exposure to midday sunlight in summer.


Fancy Feast Canned Cat Food Shortage

I mentioned it before, that it was becoming hard to find on the shelves. I still can’t find any sort of official press release, or even news article on it. However after finding the Purina Fancy Feast FB page I found the following posts (screenshots so that folks without FB can see them).

And many many more comments like this.

I was able to order in a selection of mixed cases via Chewy, but the selection even of those was limited. If you have a cat who only eats these products you’re going to want to be prepared to order in bulk cases, or even have to find something else they’ll eat.


Its all connected

The COVID-19 vaccine will require billions of glass vials—but lockdowns are cratering the supply of recycled glass

When the coronavirus began to spread in the U.S., recycling rates started to drop. Some cities suspended curbside recycling; in other areas, the recycling centers that sort through waste had to close because workers couldn’t safely stay 6 feet apart. Several states suspended the bottle bills that pay consumers to bring containers back to stores. Some haulers started taking recyclables to landfills.

……

“We’ve designed our manufacturing process to use significant quantities of recycled glass, and so have all their other glass manufacturers in the country,” says Randy Burns, vice president of governmental affairs at O-I Glass, a major producer. “It takes less energy and heat to use recycled glass. So if you’ve designed your equipment to run on a high percentage of that, you have a choice to make if there’s no recycled content available. You can use more virgin raw materials, yes. But the equipment may not produce the same quantity of those products because it has to run at higher temperatures. And the configuration isn’t optimized for that input.”

Turns out that “non-essential” just means “some politician has decided we don’t need it”. But I knew that back in March 2020.


Unpopular opinion time

Over the last year I have slowly come to the realization that the phrase “if it saves just one life” might just be one of the most selfish sayings ever.

We’ll likely never know if the forced shutdowns and closures actually saved people’s lives (from dying of covid19) or not. They may well have.

The problem is that at the same time that the closures may have prevented deaths from covid19, they caused deaths from other things.

Suicide rates are up across the country, especially in the child populations. And the mental health of the remainder has taken a hell of a hit.

The elderly and people living in community housing are suddenly dying of loneliness and depression as their contact with family and the outside world was cut off.

Reports of drug overdoses and deaths have also continued to rise, reports of domestic abuse and rape as well.

And we’ll likely never know what the long term medical side effects of the forced lack of “non-essential” medical care for an extended period did to the world-wide population.

Unemployment continues to climb, small businesses continue to fail at astronomical rates. The tolls of high unemployment on a population are well known, all by itself it means an increase in suicide rates, drug overdose, and domestic abuse. How many small businesses that had been around for generations have to close due to the shut downs for it to count? What do you think that has done to the mental health of those people, to watch their businesses fail?

Every business that fails, every now unemployed person, is that many fewer to pay taxes. And all those stimulus checks and payments have to come from somewhere. What happens when there’s fewer people paying taxes? I can guarantee that the various politicians won’t be taking pay cuts to make up the difference.

The food supply chain still isn’t back to normal. We’re damn close to a year out from the original forced shutdown here in the USA, but the grocery store shelves STILL aren’t back to where they were prior. Never mind the supply chains for so many other things.

And that’s all without getting into the political climate. Something close to half the country now believes that the corrupt run the country and nothing they can say or do (legally) is going to make a difference. Something close to the other half of the country is happily calling for the blood, forced unemployment and re-education, and even death, of the first half. Oh sure, it’s more involved than that, but as someone who’s had a front row seat to how both sides think, I think that pretty well sums it up.

All those people who suicided due to the shutdown. All those people who died from lack of medical care, or who will die due to lack of medical care, during the shutdown. All those people who’s lives are now in a downward spiral because of the shutdown. They all had as much a right to live as the folks the shutdown was supposed to protect. “If it saves one life” is fucking useless if it kills 2. Its selfish as hell is what it is.

All of this has been running through my brain for a while. It’s part of why I’ve stuck to memes so much. I’m not prone to depression, but god it’s depressing to look at the bigger picture.


Really??

Look, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I firmly believe that human stupidity and greed is capable of making up for any such, and that the average human couldn’t keep a secret that long anyway.

But when they do stupid shit like this:

Its enough to make even me wonder.

I’d love to see the various politicians get their asses handed to them, but I’m starting to think that the ones we really need to go after is the media…..


What I’m seeing in stores

Observations from the last few weeks, both at work and while shopping.

The grocery stores are well stocked on flour, well, untill you look closer. Lots of bread flour, all purpose flour, and bleached white. Some speciality flours (I actually found rye at my local grocery for the first time EVER), but NO whole wheat in any brand.

Is there a shortage of canned cat foods? Specifically Fancy Feast, which I’ve now seen to be short at several different stores, including one pet store, but also related sized cans in at least a couple brands (for all I know they’re all made by the same factories, I’ve been to lazy to check). Also, kitty litter seems to be short, it sold out when the original shut down happened, but recovered quickly. Now suddenly its short again.

Feminine sanitary products shortages. IE: tampons, pads etc. The grocery store I shop at the most, the one in the larger city near my work, has had less than full shelves since this all started back in March, but about Oct-ish I noticed the shelves were decidedly empty looking, and Nov-ish I noticed they cut the available shelf space in half. Now even that shelf space is looking pretty damn empty. I forgot to check at my local to home grocery last time I was in there.

Cleaning supplies are still fucked. Shelves only look full because of creative stocking and random brand availability, if you actually look close there’s ALOT of products still missing. Though I actually saw multi-surface 409 at work a couple weeks ago, it was one case, but it was the first I’ve seen since this started. In addition brands that we were able to get all summer are suddenly not available at all. Specific examples include Spray Nine and Greased Lightening. And I won’t discuss toilet bowl cleaners in any brand, lets just say that if you see it you’d better grab a bottle, cause god only knows when you’ll see it again.

Paper goods do seem to be recovering, though they’re still not back to normal levels.


Snowflake stars

A large part of what has kept me sane this year has been the discovery of chainmail.

Being able to create a whole and entire pretty little thing in the space of an hour or two makes me smile. Even though most days I can only get 2 or 3 such things done in a day before my hands throw a fit, it still makes me smile.

So I decided to spread the cheer a bit, and I mailed out a BUNCH of snowflake stars to friends and family this year.