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I am out of stock on my wings and visors for the last two months. My CNC guy has kicked me to the curb forcing me to find  another source. I did, but the price will be 50% higher. So will aluminum !  I ordered 200 more acrylic wind wings yesterday and they will be 40% higher !  I ordered 1000, SS 1/4 20X 3/4" socket head cap screws and 1000  SS 8/32 X 3/8" pan head machine screws at a new higher price of 55% more.

Now we are seeing the real cost of a Pandemic.  Out here, there is an aluminum shortage as well.   I was told at the Post office that stamps are going up soon so get more forever stamps now.  Will it ever end ?  Gas out here in my area is $4.36/gal today. .....................Bruce

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Friend has a shed company 14' x 32' wood construction was $7,000 now approaching $13k.    His steel RV - car ports that were $5,900 now $8,999 .

I just bought three 2"x 2" x 8's  for tomato stakes for $24.00 !

Gas here in  WV still at $2.78

The good news is that the Tuesday night all you can eat Spaghetti and Meatballs w/ garlic bread remains at $5.99 and a huge salad is only $1.50  !

I have a running speedster in route from Mass. to WV. I figured $700 or so  and I am a regular customer of the transporter,  it's $950 (WelI.... I still hope it is)

Last edited by Alan Merklin

Lumber prices have finally dropped ~45% up here in the last month but gas is still at Katrina-era prices, almost as high as it's EVER been. Grocery prices are way up over a year ago. Evidently we've all saved so much money being jailed in side for the last year that they can continue to gouge us for awhile further.

I'm a pipefitter from Buttscratch, Nowhere, and Jerome Powell is the chairman of the Federal Reserve. He probably didn't spend his Senior year in High School sitting on the hood of his $50 Opel Manta eating a bag of Dolly Madison Do-nettes, nor would he fondly reminisce about it 40 years later if he had

... so I'm going to have to trust that he hit the books while he was at Yale or Harvard or wherever, and that he knows what the heck he's doing. Because it looks to this pipefitter from Buttscratch, Nowhere like he's been dropping acid in the boys room down at the Federal Reserve Governors meeting with the rest of his Fed buddies.

Perhaps if one of them needed a garage door for a carriage house in the Hamptons, or to build a boat dock at the cottage in Sag Harbor, they'd worry a just a teensy bit more about inflation.

But perhaps not. I'm sure that Mr. Powell's own portfolio is very secure and hedged against all eventualities, regardless of any turbulence his policies are causing out here in flyover country.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Yup...........a group of us bought a shipment of stuff from Sierra Madre last year October. I ordered a crap load of parts with the prize item being a shine down rear light for the back of my 55. This was the last period correct part that I needed and guess what....back order......From October 2020 to about 3 weeks ago was the wait. I couldn't get a refund because the new revised prices came in and what was $259 is now $425.00. So I had to wait.

I finally have the part though. Gary

SM shows that they only have 9 of the lights left in stock.

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  • Gary

This just in:

On May 26, I drove the limo to St. Louis to pick up 3 pallets of R507 and R407a refrigerants. The per cylinder cost was in the $95/cyl neighborhood. I had a feeling...

I checked pricing this morning - R507 is $344/cyl, R407a is $367/cyl. That's a 362% increase in R507 and a 386% increase in R407a in a little over 30 days. I've had similar increases across all refrigerants.

The $12,000 worth of gas I bought last month is now over $42,000. We'll see if there's anybody left to buy it after all the dust settles.

For the Glory of the Rep

Tell me again how we're not deeply and absolutely screwed.

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  • For the Glory of the Rep

My wife and I were fortunate enough to be able to work throughout all of last year and were never at risk of being laid off.  Everything was just fine until the stimulus money started flowing.

It didn’t take us long to see prices jump on almost everything.  I’m no expert, but it seems to me people can charge anything they want because if you aren’t spending your own money who cares what you are paying.

I bought a plane ticket in April 2020 for a shade over $700.  I had cancel the flight but I got a credit with the airline.  The same exact itinerary cost me almost $950 two days ago when I was finally able to reschedule.

I'm pretty wiped from the whole "refrigeration guy in midsummer" routine, so my filter is down. Buckle up, because the entire situation makes me pretty salty.

It's not like nobody saw this coming - everybody with eyes saw it coming.

It's not just the stimulus money that's driving this (although several hundred billion washing into the economy certainly helped push it along)  - it's the Federal Reserve's absolute "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" monetary policy accelerating entire segments of the economy into legitimate hyper-inflation. I work in such a segment.

Consider building supplies. All the talking heads and article writers made all kinds of (idiotic) observations about people doing all kinds of home improvements during the lockdowns, and opined that this was why a single sheet of 3/4" OSB cost as much as a stack of them did last year.

I suppose home improvements drove some small part of the price increases, but building grade lumber is not used by Ted and Candi building a swingset for Cale. LVLs, 2x12s, and stacks of ugly OSB are used by one group of people - homebuilders. Homebuilders in this part of the world cannot begin to keep up with demand. People care not a whit that their material will cost 2-4x what it did a year ago, because the cost of the money they are borrowing to buy them is insanely cheap. They (rightly, in this economy) figure that a hard asset purchased with somebody else's money at a rate of interest almost assuredly lower than the rate of inflation is a no-brain way to build wealth, AND live in a nicer home.

So yeah, lumber mills had a hard time restarting (we can at least partially blame the enhanced unemployment benefits for that)... but once the feeding frenzy was on, it was a way for mills, wholesalers, and lumber yards to take the profit they had been denied in FY2020. The Fed seemed unconcerned, and tagged inflation as a tangential concern - an anomaly soon to be rectified by the market.

And so it goes across entire industries. In the case of the refrigerant that costs 3.8x what it did a month ago - there was one single plant making one specific gas that had a hard time getting workers to show up (if you've ever worked in a chemical plant, it's not hard to figure out why). Anyhow, they announced they weren't taking new orders until October, and jacked up their wholesale price. Again - this is one manufacturer of one specific gas.

Other manufacturers followed suit. We kept buying the gas because we need it to make your homes cool, and it's summertime. You kept paying it because well... it's summertime. And the contagion spread. Mr. Biden announced we were back in the Paris Accords, which sent all the 400-series gases (410a, 404a, 407a, 407c) through the roof. 134a and 507 were hard on their heels, and then it became a jail-break. Chemical plants aren't even pretending to have slowed production, they're just raising prices because there are no market forces stopping them. I bought a jug of R410a in May for $92. It costs nearly $500 today (I checked).

Wall Street hits new highs every day because the Fed is still buying securities and working very, very hard to keep interest rates near zero. There's nowhere else to go with money, and people are buying the market on margin (because, "why not? it's free money").  Up and up it goes with new highs every day. PE ratios don't matter any more, apparently.

Corn is trading at $6/bushel, and is being used to feed cattle trading at $150. Once the cattle on the hoof makes it to market, no sane rancher is going to replace his herd - he'll go get a job at Farm King until this blows over. Cue 2022 when your T-bone will be running about $30/lb because nobody is left in the game.

And so it goes. Over and over and over. Bitcoin and other crypto-currency increase in value by 10x, then slip back to only 5x their value a year ago. Pan-based speedster replicas sell on BaT for 2-3x what they cost to build. The bread aisle is oddly cleared out at WalMart.

We cannot keep pumping (fake) money into the economy and expecting prices and the supply-chain to remain stable.

As I said the other day, I think Jerome Powell has been sniffing glue with all his Fed buddies in the boy's room down at the Fed Board of Governors meeting - as they signal that maybe, if Cancer is in alignment with Capricorn, and the muse is upon them, sometime in 2023, they might (maybe) start to tighten monetary policy

... hopefully before we are a Banana Republic.

Last edited by Stan Galat

In keeping with my lifelong strategy of "buy high, sell low," lumber prices are down more than 40% in June alone.

I think this might be why I have a bit of skepticism about all of the geniuses telling us exactly what the future holds for us.

CNBC: Lumber prices dive more than 40% in June, biggest monthly drop on record.
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/3...-drop-on-record.html

Lumber futures are down quite a bit. Lumber prices at retail, also down quite a bit - leaving them 2-4x what they were pre-runup.

Screenshot 2021-06-30 1.09.50 PM

^ lumber futures. Happy days are here again - only 2-3x the historical (pre-COVID) moving average.

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Last edited by Stan Galat

In one of my previous careers, I ran multi-million dollar research projects.

For some reason, the funders demanded accountability in regards to whether the outcomes we measured were from pure random statistical variation or whether we were measuring something real.

Some thoughts: Skepticism is a virtue in science. Signal vs noise measurement is tough to do well. Humans have to make a lot of hard decisions with imperfect and partial data. We do the best we can, but we shouldn't get too cocky about the certainty with which we do it.

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All reporting is biased.

Mr. Heisenberg taught us you can't measure something without changing it a little, and reporting is something like that.

The sky may be blue, but just how blue depends on who's doing the reporting, when they looked at the sky, and what color sunglasses they like to wear.

They might show you photographs of the blue that support their report, but they probably won't show you the outtakes that don't. That's called 'editing'.

If you keep hearing that the sky is blue but you're more comfortable under a pink sky, you can probably find a reporter who will tell you that the sky is pink - if you look hard enough.

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@Sacto Mitch posted:

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All reporting is biased.

Mr. Heisenberg taught us you can't measure something without changing it a little, and reporting is something like that.

The sky may be blue, but just how blue depends on who's doing the reporting, when they looked at the sky, and what color sunglasses they like to wear.

They might show you photographs of the blue that support their report, but they probably won't show you the outtakes that don't. That's called 'editing'.

If you keep hearing that the sky is blue but you're more comfortable under a pink sky, you can probably find a reporter who will tell you that the sky is pink - if you look hard enough.

.

Absolutely right! What's funny is that science is almost exactly the same. Not to offend anyone, but there are "scientists" who are happy to report findings that support the agenda of their funders, who have deep personal beliefs about the dangers of 5G cell towers, who know that measles vaccine will give you autism, etc.

At least the scientific method has a process to address bias even though it takes a while to work. Peer review is the first filter: imagine if every reporter had to submit their stories to other reporters who were specialists on the topic before the story was published. Methods, sources and replication are another filter: imagine if reporters had to share enough information for other reporters to redo the interviews and research to see if they came to the same conclusions.

Scientists' reputations among their peers help determine if they get that next grant, are invited to that next conference, get tenure or promotion and get their work published. That doesn't mean that bad science doesn't happen every day, it just means that there's a generally agreed upon way to figure out what theories have the best chance of explaining things.

As one of my old teachers liked to say "Never argue from a non-rejected null hypothesis." Just because you can't prove something isn't false doesn't mean it is true.

Last edited by Michael Pickett

I experienced another purely random statistical variation again today: 400 series gases all increased in price for the 4th time this week. I only had to buy 2 cylinders of R407A, which was (alas) over $700.

But I can't say with certainty that it's gone up every day this week - it's only been every day so far, and tomorrow is another day. Perhaps somebody will hold the line

... or not.

Last edited by Stan Galat

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