09 April 20XX+1
My Dear Lucilius:
It appears that I have a “line” (as they say) on some quail.
Well, technically I do not, but Xerxes does – or rather Stateira, Xerxes’ girlfriend. A friend of a friend, as it turns out – or really, what we would call a quail lover and hobbyist. I have no idea if they are my “sort” of quail, and frankly do not care. The ongoing survival of the colony has been a worry of mine since last year (quail’s life spans are rather short – two years or so – so this was definitely going to become an issue soon).
Quail – like many things once upon a time – used to be something that (literally) could be done online and far away. One ordered the fertilized eggs and they shipped them overnight. Into the incubator they went until a few weeks later, one was in the quail business. There was always an effort on my part to find a way to make a sustaining colony, but it was never a huge concern because – after all – one could always get more.
Supply Chain, my dear Luculius. We had almost godlike supply chains that made anything possible.
I remember seeing lamb from New Zealand that was cheaper than lamb grown locally – thanks to supply chains. I bought strawberries and tomatoes out of season – again, supply chains. And who could forget the ubiquitous large online retailer that made everything available anywhere with 7 days?
My personal supply chains shrunk over time, of course. Part of the matter was simply the realization that needed less unnecessary things – and certainly, simplifying one’s life will simplify one’s supply chains. Part of it was some kind of attempt – feeble on my own part, I suppose – to attempt to source things more “locally” (if by local we can include the continent instead of overseas). And part of it was simply that at time went on, some things became quite unavailable and thus, there was no need for those supply chains.
That was probably a sign, looking back – not the event itself per se (although hindsight is always so clear) as it was an indicator of risk. Our supply chains were at risk because we had built an economy on the concept that a supply chain would always function, and would always function perfectly. After all, why would that not be true? Supply chains were based on economic wellness, and everyone wanted economic wellness, did they not?
My supply chain, now, is at best a five mile radius.
I have no idea I am going to need to exchange for the quail – my standard offer of “honey” was not of interest this time. Interestingly enough, Xerxes had asked if I had seed so I will go through the packets, looking to see what I can spare.
Those, too, are in short supply – the packets more than the seeds. Some supply chains failed long ago.
Your Obedient Servant, Seneca