Report from Louisiana: Bare Shelves

By: Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — What in the world is going on in the grocery stores? I’ve never seen such shortages in my life!

The first time I noticed this was when the pandemic broke out and shelves were literally stripped of bread, toilet paper, dried beans, rice, and canned goods like a plague of locusts had flown through. Things got better after a while but have never really recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

Every time we go to the grocery store together, my husband’s blood pressure jumps up…” This is that ‘Ridin’ with Biden’ working for you!” He rants and rails all up and down the aisles, raging about elevated prices and shortages.

I can’t blame him. It is difficult.

There is no doubt that prices are higher. And the shelves are noticeably bare. When I found blue Powerade on the shelf last week I bought all four six packs because it’s been unavailable for weeks.

There are a number of factors at work here. Rising fuel costs, rising production costs, and a shortage of workers all along the supply line play a factor:

The maker of Cheerios cereal and Betty Crocker cake mix is facing hundreds of disruptions across its operations, ranging from pricier raw ingredients to a shortage of truck drivers, which executives said will push up prices for supermarket customers over the months ahead.

Higher costs and logistical problems are squeezing General Mills and other U.S. food companies, prompting them to cut their own costs and swelling consumers’ shopping bills. Big food makers including Campbell Soup Co. and Conagra Brands Inc. are charging more for their products as the food industry faces the steepest inflation in a decade, while shrinking some grocery-store packages and dialing back discounts.

So, not only is this problem not getting better anytime soon, it’s going to get worse.

In Louisiana, SNAP participants will see an increase in their benefit starting next week. This isn’t necessarily in response to the shortages; apparently the thinking is that families are trying to stretch their food dollars by purchasing unhealthy, but filling, options, and if the government gives them more money, they will magically decide to buy fresh vegetables rather than Hot Pockets.

Benefits had been increased for inflation over the years. But flaws in the Thrifty Food Plan formula meant many families just couldn’t keep up with the costs. Consequently, families bought fewer fresh fruits and vegetables and relied on more convenient and less expensive processed foods to stretch their benefits for an entire month.

I’m not sure I agree with that logic, but…..

As the holidays approach, industry insiders are predicting more shortages. Grocery store chains are ordering earlier, hoping to be able to have what their customers need for the holidays, but many are having trouble getting fresh meat, like turkeys for example, because many production plants are not working at full capacity.

Obviously becoming alarmed and hoarding is the wrong approach here, but planning ahead is going to be a necessity it seems.

Meanwhile, I’m going to start leaving my husband at home when I go shopping. I don’t think his blood pressure can handle it!

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and at Medium; she is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

Five sports thoughts under the fedora, Brady at 47?, FG or not, Jones vs Newton, Sox playoff yawn and the Waivers list for my 1969 league

Yesterday Tom Brady and the Bucs beat the Patriots 19-17 in what is almost certainly Tom Brady’s final game in Foxborough, unless some other team hires him when the Bucs contract runs out.

How much do you think a team one QB away might offer him when he’s 47?


I really question the Pat’s decision not to go for it on 4th an 3 at the end & going for the FG that just missed. I mean with a full minute on the clock does anyone actually think Brady would have failed to drive his team to FG range?


While no sane person thought that Pat would have this game I’m seeing an awful lot of praise for young Mack Jones who apparently did well (I was working so saw none of it). The various talk radio shows are full of praise for him.

I wonder what Boston talk radio would have been saying about Cam Newton if had led the Pats to a 1-3 start? Actually I don’t wonder at all.


The Boston Redsox scored in the 9th inning to dramatically seal not only the wild card but a home game against the hated New York Yankees to start the playoffs.

Despite a home game winner take all wild card game vs the Yanks apparently tickets aren’t flying off the shelves. Just a few years ago such seats, particularly vs the yanks would have been gone the moment they were available, today not so much.

I suspect wokeball has something to do with it, but in fairness a price tag of over $200 for the worst bleacher seats likely has much more to do with it.


Finally after 9 Days and 500 picks the draft for my new 1969 Draft league is over.

Officially Mr Irrelevant, the last pick in the draft in round 34 was the NYY taking Mets outfielder Rod Gasper, but because the San Francisco giants deferred their last two picks as they were unavailable at draft time the final actual pick was Giants infielder Don Mason. If anyone is interested the full draft list is here.

Players who were not suggested go on the waiver wire which starts after week 5 but earlier for some teams who deferred draft picks for early waivers, which can be handy if an injury or suspension comes up.

This is the list of players available on waivers in the 1969 league as of this moment. Rather curious who is picked first.

Batters:

  • Aaron Tommie Taken Montreal Early Waivers Round 2 Pick 2
  • Adair Jerry Taken Chicago White Sox Early Waivers Round 2 pick 1
  • Alvis Max
  • Amaro Ruben
  • Baker Frank
  • Barry Rich
  • Barton Bob
  • Bateman John
  • Beauchamp Jim
  • Billings Dick
  • Blefray Curt Taken NY Mets Early waivers round 1
  • Bobb Randy
  • Boehmer Len
  • Bosch Don
  • Bowens Sam
  • Boyer Ken
  • Breeden Danny
  • Brinkman Chuck
  • Brooks Bobby
  • Brown Gates
  • Brown Larry
  • Browne Byron
  • Bryant Don
  • Burda Bob
  • Campanis Jim
  • Campbell Dave
  • Cannizzaro Chris Taken by Washington Early waivers round 1
  • Chaney Darrel
  • Charles Ed
  • Christian Bob
  • Clark Ron
  • Collins Kevin
  • Corrales Pat
  • coulter Chip
  • DaVanon Jerry
  • Davis Bill
  • Davis Ron
  • Dean Thomas Taken Early waivers 2nd round Washington
  • Donaldson John
  • Duncan Dave
  • Ellis John
  • Etheridge Bobby
  • Fairey Jim
  • Floyd Bobby
  • Gabrielson Len Taken Early Waivers 2nd Round Pittsburgh
  • Gamble Oscar
  • Geiger Gary
  • Gil Bus
  • Gosger Jim
  • Gutierrez Cesar
  • Hague Joe
  • Hall Jimmie
  • Haney Larry
  • Harrell John
  • Harrison Chuck
  • Healy Fran
  • Heath Bill
  • Hermoso Remy
  • Hershberger Mike
  • Hicks Jim
  • Hinton Chuck
  • Holman Gary
  • Hriniak Walt
  • Hutton Tom
  • Jackson Sonny
  • Jeter Johnny
  • Johnson Lou
  • Jones Dalton
  • Kelly Van
  • Kendall Fred
  • Keough Joe
  • Kolb Gary
  • Krug Chris
  • Lahoud Joe
  • Lee Leron
  • Llenas Winston
  • Lock Don
  • Lyttle Jim
  • Manuel Charlie
  • Martin JC
  • Matchick Tommy
  • May Dave
  • McGraw Tommy
  • McDonald Dave
  • McFadden Leon
  • McNulty Bill
  • Miller John
  • Morales Jerry
  • Nagelson Russ
  • Nelson Dave
  • Northey Scott
  • Oliver Gene
  • Oliver Nate
  • Oyler Ray
  • Paepke Dennis
  • Pagliaroni
  • Peterson Cap
  • Phillips Adolfo
  • Qualls Jim
  • Quilici Frank
  • Ranew Merritt
  • Reid Scott
  • Renick Rick
  • Repoz Roger
  • Ricketts Dave
  • Rico Fred
  • Rios Juan
  • Robinson Bill
  • Robles Rafael
  • Rogers Buck
  • Rollins Rich
  • Roznovsky Rick
  • Ruberto Sonny
  • Rudolph Ken
  • Satriano Tom
  • Scheinblum Richie
  • Shannon Mike
  • Shopay Tom
  • Simpson Dick
  • Sipin John
  • Slocum Ron
  • Smith Dick
  • Snyder Russ
  • Spangler Al
  • Spence Bob
  • Spriggs George
  • Stahl Larry
  • Stanley Fred
  • Stephenson John
  • Stewart Jimmy
  • Stinson Bob
  • Stone Gene
  • Stone Ron
  • Stuart Dick
  • Tartabull Jose
  • Tatum Javis
  • Tepedino Frank
  • Tischinski Tom
  • Torres Hector
  • Valdespino Sandy
  • Velazquez Freddie
  • Vidal Jose
  • Ward Pete
  • Watkins Dave
  • Webster Ramon
  • White Bill
  • Whitfield Fred
  • Wicker Floyd
  • Williams Jim
  • Woods Ron

Pitchers

  • Allen Lloyd
  • Arlin Steve
  • Baldschun Jack
  • Baney Dick
  • Barber Steve (Taken Chicago W Sox early waivers wk 1 1st pick)
  • Belinsky Bo
  • Bell Gary
  • Bertaina Frank
  • Boozer John
  • Boyd Gary
  • Brandon Bucky
  • Buchart Larry
  • Carlos Cisco
  • Champion Bill
  • Clark Rickey
  • Corkins Mike
  • Crider Jerry
  • Culver George
  • Dukes Tom
  • Ellis Sammy
  • Everitt Leon
  • Farrell Turk
  • Fisher Jack
  • Fitzmorris Al
  • Foster Alan
  • Fuentes Miguel
  • Garman Mike
  • Geishert Vern
  • Guinn Skip
  • Hamilton Jack
  • Jackson Al
  • James Jeff
  • Jaster Larry
  • Jones Steve
  • Kealey Steve
  • Kline Ron
  • Koonce Cal
  • Kroll Gary
  • Lamb Ray
  • Law Ron
  • Lazar Danny
  • Lersch Barry
  • McBean Al
  • Miles Jim
  • Morehead Dave
  • Morris John
  • Nottebart Don
  • Nye Rich
  • O’Riley Don
  • Palmer Lowell
  • Pascual Camilo
  • Pina Horacio
  • Priddy Bob
  • Purdin John
  • Raffo Al
  • Ramos Pedro
  • Rath Fred
  • Raymond Claude
  • Ribant Dennis
  • Robertson Rich
  • Roggenburk Garry
  • Ross Gary
  • Sembera Carroll
  • Severinsen Al
  • Shaw Don
  • Shea Steve
  • Short Chris
  • Sisk Tommie
  • Spama Joe
  • Sprague Ed
  • Talbot Fred
  • Taylor Gary
  • Wagner Gary
  • Washburn Greg
  • Wsahbum Greg
  • Watkins Bob
  • Wynne Billy Taken 2nd round Early Waivers Mets
  • Zachary Chris