Inflation in trees and log splitter rental

Posted On: Wednesday - May 10th 2023 5:23PM MST
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A Peach and a Leyland Cypress tree:

I can do this because I've kept records - checkbook "registers" - of my spending for a long time. This first data pair goes back to 1990. I'd bought a bunch of the same trees at one time and logged the quantity and price. Leyland Cypress trees in the 3 Gallon buckets cost $7.50 in 1990.* While shopping around for some other trees recently at the Farmer's Market, I saw these trees in the same size bucket for $20. That works out to a 3.0% average inflation rate on 3 G Leyland Cypress trees, with compounding.

(I wish I could check the Peach tree next to it, as I saw them now, bought them way back, but could not find an entry with one by itself from back in the day.)

Well, you plant these things, and they get huge and you have to cut them back down. That wasn't the case with the Leyland Cypresses though, but that was the case with the Sycamores. (Just don't do it! You get quick shade, but you'll grow no more grass, and those balls they drop will grow into the roof shingles.)

OK, that was just an attempt at a segue into the rental of hydraulic log splitters. A few years ago, I rented one from the very same outfit that I'd rented one from in the mid 1990s. In this case, I will say that it may not be completely apples-to-apples due to quality going up! Up? Whaaaa? Yeah, well the new ones are designed to tilt 90 degrees to let the user split logs right near the ground, in a vertical position. In the '90s, we used a 2 x 12 to roll them up, but I was not so keen on doing that more recently. Perfect timing!

The first time, the rental was $55, and 24 years later it was $125. That's 3.5% average inflation on (24 hour) log splitter rental, with compounding.

These 2 show an average inflation rate slightly below the 4.5% to 5.5% I've been getting a lot. One could get into the reasons here, fewer employees and illegal aliens at that, at the plant nurseries, relatively cheaper labor at the rental centers, I don't know.

I just post these ones because I don't trust that BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) "basket of goods and services". I don't know if that much of the difference I've seen is nefarious, but there are lots of ways to get creative with this accounting. (We have a number of posts on this, discussing "hedonics" and "substitution".)

We'll get back to South Africa and get in a movie review, and some D.I.E. fun. (Yes, that one will actually be fun.)

Adam Smith
Thursday - May 11th 2023 11:40AM MST
PS: Good afternoon,

I use a splitting maul and wedges to split firewood.

But a hydraulic log splitter sure is convenient.

Thursday - May 11th 2023 11:18AM MST
PS Get a Monster Maul--you will never regret it except for the day after you use it too long.
The Alarmist
Thursday - May 11th 2023 9:43AM MST

I visualize the head of a difficult colleague or external “business partner” with each chop… keeps me relatively fit mentally and physically.

FWIW, I do use my lawnmower to shred and bag my leaves for the compost pile and make leaf-mulch with the excess.
Thursday - May 11th 2023 8:52AM MST
PS Boy, am I with you on sycamores. A lot of the parkways (including ours) in our western Cook County, IL, suburb are planted in sycamores. They are very dirty trees. The drop bark and branches, some of which are quite large. And the seedpods. They don’t fully leaf out until well into June, and they don’t finish dropping their leaves until well after the last yard waste pickup in November. And you can’t compost the leaves, as they’re tough as shoe leather. Whoever decided to plant sycamores on parkways, if living, should be tarred and feathered, or, if dead, exhumed and his corpse desecrated.
Thursday - May 11th 2023 8:10AM MST
PS: BDU, I am very close to buying one myself. They are only going to go up in price like everything, but I do have to find or arrange a good place for it first.

Alarmist, now I do HAVE a wedge and sledge hammer, but, nah.... those days are over, the few there ever were. Same with raking leaves. I quit cold turkey a few years back and went with an electric blower. (I still need the rake to help with the process a little bit.)
Thursday - May 11th 2023 8:07AM MST
PS: "near the end, Trump attacked "DeSanctimonious" out oof nowhere, and got no applause at all for it."

That's good to hear, Mr. Hail. I don't know what trashing DeSantis in this way does for anybody. I'd be glad if, instead of calling him - pretty lame-ass, IMO - insulting names, he'd argue and trash DeSantis over actual important issues like the immigration invasion, wokeness, etc. That'd be very productive, getting one of those actual "conversations" going.
Thursday - May 11th 2023 8:04AM MST
PS: That sounds like an entertaining and cheering thing for me to watch, Mr. Hail. Donald Trump lets it all fly. I like that he'll go there, where even Ron DeSantis will not. However, he goes there with his mouth. Nothing much happens after that. With Ron DeSantis, some stuff does happen.

It's still good to have someone out there telling the truth on these things - Ashlii Babbitt even! Still, nobody much will call out the murderer by name, Michael Leroy Byrd, of the Capitol Police.
The Alarmist
Thursday - May 11th 2023 6:31AM MST

A real man would use an axe ;)
Wednesday - May 10th 2023 9:04PM MST
PS Pineland buddy owns one of those hydraulic splitters and it is must have for wood burning stove to get the ricks down to sizes that will fit.
The CPUSA is working on banning them I'm sure.
You can place shelled peanuts on top of the stove in a suitable container with a tiny amount of seasoning and it is nom, nom, nom.

Jeb DeSantis and Kayfabe Emmanuel Trumpstein?
Not possible without Peak Stupidity.
2020 was the last (s)election.
Wednesday - May 10th 2023 8:31PM MST

- CNN Trump town hall, update 2 -

--- Trump says he favors NEITHER Russia nor Ukraine to "win the war"; unsurprisingly, I immediately see Regime-adjacent media singling out that line for attack.

--- near the end, Trump attacked "DeSanctimonious" out oof nowhere, and got no applause at all for it. There seemed maybe to be one lone guy chuckling, but no clapping or similar sounds of agreement. Most of his other 'zinger' lines got moderate to heavy applause from the back areas of the audience, but the anti-DeSantis line landed flat.

--- In 1h20m of material in the town hall, nothing related to the Wuhan Apocalypse Virus, lockdowns, vaccines, or related matters was raised at all.
Wednesday - May 10th 2023 8:14PM MST

- CNN Trump town hall, update -

The moderate-liberal CNN hostess/moderatoress at one point begins apparently criticizing Trump for failing to build more of the wall. Interesting... (that faint echo of a loud chortle is Ann Coulter's booming across the "space--time--politics--civilization-destruction" continuum.)

Trump says he did build the wall. The moderator says it was not enough.


MODERATOR: (What about your family-separation policy for Migrants?)

TRUMP: (direct quote) "When you have that policy, people don't come. If a family hears that they're going to be separated, they don't come. So, I know it sounds harsh, but... -- Remember how they said I was building 'prisons' for children? It turned out that it was Obama that was building prisons for children...

MODERATOR: (But would you "re-implement" that policy?)

TRUMP: (direct quote) "We have to save our country, alright?

When you say to a family that if you come, we're going to break you up, they don't come. We can't afford to have any more. Look at New York City. Look what's happening. They're living in Central Park! The city is being swamped. Los Angeles is being swamped. Iowa is being swamped! Our whole country is being destroyed!

Millions of people are coming into our country. And do you know what the number is going to be, in my opinion, by the end of it? Not the "three or four million" that you hear...I think it's going to be 15 million people. And these people, they have no idea where t hey come from. They come from 129 different countries so far..." (end quote)
Wednesday - May 10th 2023 7:42PM MST

- CNN town hall with Trump -

Holy mackerel, the Trump town hall on CNN tonight. Some copies circulating on Youtube if you can find them...

They had a relatively moderate moderator who lightly chastises him as he continues saying things like "the 2020 election was rigged," "I will pardon the January Six protestors," "a lowlife thug in a police-uniform killed Ashley Babbitt for no reason and bragged about it on TV," these people prosecuted none of the BLM rioters but have put two thousands ordinary patriots in jail for nothing," and like comments. (not exact quotes, but close).

They had pre-approved questioners from the audience (supposedly all Republicans and R-leaners) that were all milquetoast and worded in ways that suggest CNN vetting, but he just shreds them apart. Then he gets applause from the back of the room.

As usual with the Orange-Man, it's all very surreal. It's the great tragedy of our time that this man is, ultimately, morally unserious.
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