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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Archive for December, 2012

Claire Wolfe

Seven strategies for highly effective New Years resolutions

Monday, December 31st, 2012

From Margie Warrell at Forbes:

1. Know Your Why. For a resolution to stick, it has to be aligned with your core values. We all want to look better or get richer, but your resolutions have to go beyond superficial desires and connect with what truly matters most to you. …

2. Be Specific. Resolutions to ‘eat better, get fitter, be happier, relax more or have better life balance’ are doomed for failure because they lack specificity. The more specific you are, the more likely you will be able to succeed. Describe your goals and resolutions in ways that allow you to track your progress and measure your success. …

3. Don’t Just Think It, Ink it! A Stanford University study found that when people wrote down their goal, it increased the probability of them achieving it by over 70%. But don’t just write down the specific goal …

Thanks for contributing your goals and resolutions the other day. So much to like. Salutes for furrydoc’s desire to help someone else meet an important goal and Water Lily’s “wag more, bark less.” Good luck to Kent on perfecting time travel and even better luck to Nevermind with that chemo.

But the one line out of all the comments that really, really resonated was EN’s “take the road to where I want to go.”

Yeah. That.

Happy New Year!

And thanks for helping to make my year a good one.

If the funny cat video I posted has disappeared (as usual lately), try here.

Claire Wolfe

Monday links and musings

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Thanks for continuing to put up with the “lite” posting. Posting will probably be on-and-off all this week but should be back to normal by next Monday.


Mark/Greylocke, the guy who brought us the Knoppix Thumb Drive preparedness document project, is now putting together a YouTube channel for survival/preparedness info. He’s inviting your contributions.

If you have a knowledge or skill you want to share but don’t have the ability to edit your own video, he’ll even do that for you from your raw footage.


I received my own KTD the other day via Scott’s ready-made drive business. Scott takes the tedious and technical work out of getting those 600+ preparedness documents into usable form. He’s currently selling KTDs for $35, which includes the price of the drive and shipping.

It’s a treasure trove of info. The only equivalent I can think of is Backwoods Home’s “Whole Sheebang” — which is probably better organized and more fun to read but also costs a bunch more.

The drive can be used as a bootable, complete with very simple Knoppix (Linux) operating system. Or the files can be accessed from whatever operating system you’re already using. The useful files are in two folders (KTD_extra_files and the original CD3WD_40). While some are academic papers or commercial advisories and a few aren’t wildly useful, there’s a ton of info on everything from water purification to raising rabbits.


Though I pledged nothing but good (or at least productive) news for two weeks, I’m having trouble shaking the black mood engendered by the vultures over Newtown. I can’t even crack a smile observing the irony that the same people who long to do this to us, have no problem whatsoever with this.

I don’t want to live in a country that approves of (let alone does, or submits to) either. Some days I think the only thing keeping me in this Land of Dying Freedom is my passel of animals.

I’ll consider this to be at least productive, if not exactly good news. Something to think about: my ex-pat friends are happy.


At least it’s good that more of the media is finally recognizing the perverse incentives of the snitching-for-profit racket.

Here’s Bruce Schneier on the subject. (Several people sent me that one.)

And here’s a handy interactive from USA Today, of all places. (With H/T to the Infamous Oregon Law Hobbit.)

Be sure to keep spreading the anti-snitch word.


And although this is rather melancholy, it’s also a gentle meditation on Truth and Beauty. And on thinking rather than screaming meaningless political slogans at one another. “Chiaroscuro Musings and Rantings” by novelist S.J. Griffo.


Although it appears as I write this that the U.S. probably won’t go off the “dairy cliff” after all, it’s insane such a possibility even exists. Oh my. The persistence of bad policy.


To close on a more cheery subject: puppies. Puppies and hunky guys. Together for a good cause.

Sorry, heterosexual guy readers. I don’t have any equivalent for you today. Surely there must still be tool companies producing calendars for you, even now that it’s become politically incorrect.

Claire Wolfe

Five things to accomplish in the new year

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Sorry about the “lite” posting. I’m deadlining this week and next, so “lite” may continue for a while.

Tomorrow I’ll be going on an expedition with a friend as part of the research for the BHM hide-a-gun article. Packing up the rubber boots, shovels, and camera now.

So I thought I’d leave you with something worth pondering for a few days:

What are the five major things you’d like to accomplish in 2013?

Realistic things, I mean. (“I’d like to personally restore the Bill of Rights” doesn’t count.)

I’m a bit stumped on this myself. I’ve come up with three, two of which aren’t things I’d care to tell the world. The other (3. Cut by half the time I spend on the computer) isn’t so much an accomplishment but a laying of groundwork for accomplishment.

So here you go. Hope this helps inspire you toward your own goals in the new year. Maybe you can give me some ideas, too.

Claire Wolfe

A final (?) round of Christmas thank yous

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

One more round of thank yous for the wonderful holiday gifts that have arrived in the last couple of weeks.

  • To H&K for the beautiful, big pressure canner. I’ve never had one before and this will greatly expand my canning range.
  • To JM for The Solid Gold Cadillac; I watched that great old Judy Holliday film the other day and it’s as delightful as ever.
  • To JB for the “chutney-colored” alpaca yarn, which quickly became a pair of chutney-colored fingerless gloves.
  • To K for wine with an afterglow of … apricots!
  • To SR for seeing that all the dogs got their flossies.
  • To Wizard & J for fabulous cookies and funny dog towels.
  • To B&F for the big box o’ treats from their store — including some that are as healthy as they are tasty.
  • To RL for the giant basket o’ treats, which may have nothing healthy, but which I will surely enjoy.
  • And last but never, ever, ever least — my admiration and gratitude to the Amazing A. Family, who still manage generous “tithes” to benefit their fellow freedomistas despite all they’ve personally endured in the last few years.

If I’ve missed anyone, please kick my backside in the comment section. I assure you it’s not intentional; it’s merely being overwhelmed.

I put the question mark in the title because two wish list items still remain among the missing — and all Amazon will tell me is that those two (the Bainbridge stove and the Energizer auto-emergency thing-a-ma-jig) were shipped to someone or someones other than me. Amazon says this is usually done because someone wants to wrap or personally deliver a gift.

So either I’ll be getting a giant New Year’s surprise when those gifts arrive or … somebody liked my wish list items so much they bought them for themselves. In that case … well, enjoy.

Claire Wolfe

Animism, atavism, and the paradox of self-sufficiency

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Today, I’ll step aside and let Joel speak:

The first rule of living on the edge is this: You’re in charge. You’re responsible. If something goes wrong, nobody’s going to come and fix it for you. There’s no point grumbling and waiting for the guy with the wrench, because the guy with the wrench is you.

That brings things to a very basic and vital level. I used to be consumed with worry over things like who was undermining me at the office, or how badly a customer was going to screw me on draft revisions, or how to deal with the next-door neighbor who played his piano at 3 AM and drove my wife crazy. Seriously, I used to brood over things like that. Now I wonder if the chickens will lay enough eggs tomorrow. I worry about the state of my stovepipe. Will the water freeze? Will coyotes take my kitten? Will I have enough firewood?

There are two major differences between the old worries and the new ones. First, the new set of worries are worth worrying about. Those are things that can actually do harm to me and mine. Second, they’re all things I can do something about. I can get more chickens, or kill or separate the one that’s upsetting the others. I can clean the damn stovepipe more often, insulate the pipes more heavily, go out and cut more firewood. Zoe’s pretty much on her own – though she’s napping happily right next to me as I write this.

Those old quotidian worries used to make me very unhappy, because I was always dependent on other people for their solution and I felt helpless against them. Now I’ve got worries about things that can actually hurt me, but they don’t make my unhappy because I can get off my ass and do something about them any time I need to.

Claire Wolfe

Merry Christmas: the aftermath

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012


… or maybe the problem was that funny-tasting egg nog.

Claire Wolfe

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 24th, 2012

From tiny superdog Uggie, who became famous for starring in The Artist after making this humble greeting card:

Unfortunately, most of our dogs are more like this:

But we love ’em anyhow. And sometimes even some pretty unlucky dogs become lucky ones.

Merry Christmas — to all the two-legs and all the four-legs in your life (even the C-A-T-S).

Claire Wolfe

J.D. Tuccille buys an illegal gun

Monday, December 24th, 2012

And examines the worldwide defiance of anti-gun laws.

The spirit of resistance is alive and well at this spirited time.

(Don’t worry; Tooch also eventually moved away from the dumb-law state.)

Claire Wolfe

Holiday weekend good news roundup, part II, with dogs

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

My Ava would do this:


Border collies are supposed to be geniuses of the dog world. But they can be so OCD about toss-and-fetch that they lose all touch with reality. In fact, I’d say that “out of touch with reality” is Ava’s permanent state. The pooch above must be one of Ava’s close relatives on her BC side.

Claire Wolfe

“A Gun for Everyone” — except the government

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Oh, yeah, this’ll really send the gun grabbers through the roof. “A Gun for Everyone.” Neema Vedadi’s Christmas gift to the world. (Rap music, some language NSFW.)

Claire Wolfe

Holiday weekend good news roundup, part I

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

This video (assuming it hasn’t disappeared as a couple others did recently) takes about two minutes to get really interesting. But once it does … shazam.

Claire Wolfe

Project: How to hide a gun

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Yes, it’s that time of year life politics again — time to consider that we might need to hide our Eeeevil Black Rifles, just like we did back in the Bad Old Clinton days.

Yes, I know some of us are going to say, “Hide? I ain’t hidin’ nothin’! They can come and take my gun from my cold, dead hands — or better yet, they’re the ones who’ll end up cold and dead.”

But we’re taking insurance here. Not the whole arsenal. Just an “ace in the hole” rifle. Or some high-cap magazines. Or an Eeeevil Black Pistol. Or whatever …

And yes, I know it’s premature. Let’s hope it remains so. But I’ve been assigned an article on this topic for Backwoods Home. And — for insurance — we need to bring the best to this project.

That means bring in the Commentariat. Your personal experiences. Your creative ideas.

BHM has already published two articles on burying a rifle:

This very thorough Charles Wood piece from Issue #115

And my “lighter” Hardyville “SKScapades,” based on the real experiences of friends of mine.

Both were ultimately successful; people retrieved their rifles in shootable condition. But both involved the buried firearm getting lost when the woods around it changed.

One might think smart phone GPS would solve that problem. But that involves a host of perils (not least of which is all the people who can track you via phone these days).

So … how ’bout some ideas and experiences from you guys? Voice of experience is good. But even pie-in-sky creativity is fine as long as I’ve got some time to investigate. (BHM is really, really big on articles being accurate in the real world. No pie-in-sky will end up in the article.)

Dave himself suggested the possibility of placing a rifle in a waterproof container, painting the container camo, and hoisting it into a tree to foil anybody who might be scanning the ground with metal detectors. But again, woods have a habit of changing. I had some stuff “hidden in plain sight” in the woods once. Then along came a killer storm, and although I knew exactly where I’d stashed my stash, the mere act of getting to it became an exercise in woodcraft that required outside help.

So let’s hear it:

What type of firearm/equipment would you hide?

How would you hide it?

Where would you hide it?

How would you make sure you could find it again?

How would you make sure you could find it again in a big, screaming hurry?

How would you make sure other people couldn’t find it?

Have you done this before or have close experience with someone else who’s done it?

Also, if you have any photos (must be high-res for print) that help show any useable gun-hiding technique, that could be a plus.

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