Note from JWR:

An unusually dry summer has created a hay shortage in much of the western US that is bordering on “severe.” In our area, just plain grass hay is fetching $250 per ton in the field. I’ve noticed that the local classified ad paper is chock full of ads for inexpensive horses. We are blessed to have some good pastures here at the Rawles Ranch, but we still need to supplement for winter feed–for when we have snow on the ground. With hay prices like these, our beloved saddle horse Money Pit is starting to live up to his name.

Two Letters Re: Lantern Battery Disassembly

Jim: On Saturday 22 September 2007, you posted a web link from T.A. in Indiana for a video on how to take apart a lantern battery and get 32 AA batteries out of it. I tried that with a heavy duty Ray-O-Vac and it had four cells approximately the diameter of C cell batteries but longer. Before people stock up on 6-volt lantern batteries thinking they will break down for AA batteries, they need to disassemble the brand they intend to buy to see how it is put together. The battery in the video appeared to be a bargain brand …

Letter Re: Information Security Considerations When Selling a House with “Special Features”

James, Thank you for the web site. I check the listings regularly, hoping for my own retreat purchase in the future. The Bunker Home Retreat caught my eye since I’ve been to Pueblo Colorado many times. The bunker sounds very well designed and built. But the aerial views show exactly where the home is located, including street names. I don’t see how anyone can consider the bunker as secret, or “stealth” any more. Also, the seller includes a picture of the hidden entrance plainly open in broad daylight right in the middle of his front yard. I can only …

Letter Re: Advice on Short Term Shelter from Inflation

Mr. Rawles: After reading your recent comments regarding the possibility of extreme inflation in the US, I began asking myself how well prepared I am to handle such a situation. The answer was not pretty. You see I am only 24 years old and my wife and I are saving for a house, so most of our funds are tied up in some sort of bank. I fear that if inflation hits, all that cash in the bank will be worthless, and all my saving will be for naught. Do you have any suggestions on how a person like me …

Odds ‘n Sods:

 Hawaiian K. forwarded us this piece from Mineweb: $3,400 Gold – pipe dream or possibility?   o o o Treasury Secretary Paulson tells U.S. Congress current debt ceiling will be hit on Oct. 1    o o o From MSN Money: What the big banks aren’t telling you — yet    o o o An editorial from The Financial Times: The Bank loses a game of chicken. From the same publication, we also read: Ease of FOREX swaps vanishes in rush for cash