The climb in metals prices are being driven by two factors: first, the world economy is in the shitter. Second, we're not producing as much metal as in the past due to environmental regulations.
I don't think I need to defend either prospect to most readers of the Fungus. Besides, I haven't had breakfast yet.
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Unlike "many", I don't believe the economy is in a permanent decline. The same way it was not in a permanent boom during the 1980s and 1990s, it's not in permanent decline now.
The things causing our economy to be poor are pretty simply enumerated: taxation, government debt, government regulation, and uncertainty about all three. In other words, it's all government.
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With China restricting its exports of rare-earth metals the price is going high enough that it'll be profitable for US mines to reopen, in spite of the environmental regulations.
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LA county begins enforcing building codes. How wonderful for those people that there's all kinds of support in the community for this! They have to leave their homes and dismantle them but hey! The general response in the community has been positive!
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"No, this is tobacco! It's the best thing for you!" One of the things I liked best about Sleeper was the satirical look at what is regarded as healthy. I don't think much of Woody Allen, but he got right something Kerry Livgren (the guy who wrote most of Kansas' songs) summed up in two lines:
Knowledge and reasonExample: bleeding. Doctors once thought that the only way to cure an illness was to bleed the patient and get rid of "the bad humours". George Washington was bled repeatedly on his deathbed for a throat infection. Of course, draining a few pints of blood from an ill patient only further weakens him; we know better now. But just try going back in time and convincing those doctors of this.
Change like the season
At this point I've pretty much given up trying to figure out what the hell I should eat that's "healthy" and I just eat what I like.
You know, one telling moment for me was back when my Dad was facing his triple bypass in 1989. One of his doctors dismissed some test (cholesterol, I think) as "just a number".
The thing is, we take a lot of things which are risk factors and call them "causes". "Smoking causes cancer! Obesity causes heart disease and diabetes!" No they don't. What they do is add risk.
And it's just as likely that we don't know WTF we're talking about, that there is some underlying cause that we haven't discovered yet.
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I closed up the house before I went to bed, expecting it to be hot today. It's under 70 and raining.
...but the forecast says it's going to get hot this afternoon once the rain goes away.
The weather has been following an interesting pattern: thunderstorms have been forming and moving straight south. Most of them run over Indiana, but a few stray over Illinois. It's been like this since around 8-ish last night.
I was sitting here trying to play WoW when the tornado sirens went off, so I plugged in the router, grabbed the laptop, and hit the basement. By the time WoW finished updating, the storm had passed. *sigh*
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Still feeling kind of beat now that the Suzuki is usable again. Today when I brought the garbage cans up I saw a little puddle of oil underneath it; it's gear oil. Well, the thing is 39 years old; doubtless it needs new seals and gaskets everywhere.
I was thinking, in fact, that I might overhaul the thing this winter: tear down the engine entirely and clean and check everything, and replace all the gaskets and seals. The clutch slips in top gear, and I had to turn the clutch release adjuster nearly all the way in to get the thing to work; the adjuster is pretty much at its limit. So the clutch has to be rebuilt, too.
Yesterday, the new points I ordered arrived. I'm going to wait a while before I install them, though. I'm too tired.
...in fact, I'm beat enough that I feel like telling Sailor V, "To hell with it. Let's just light the fuses over here for once."
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The garage looks so good without all the junk that I got rid of. It's still a horrible, horrible mess, but when I took the garbage out last night I just had to stop and admire how much less horrible it was now than it was when I started. Heh.