Sometimes I’m not sure which is harder: writer’s block or that rare and supposedly wondrous state of flow, where words fly from the end of your fingers without conscious input from your mind, where things like eating, getting dressed, and taking the dogs for a walk either get forgotten or force themselves upon your attention like the unforgivable person from Porlock.
I used to live for the flow state. Now it exhausts me. Definitely more exhilarating and productive than writer’s block, though.
This is going to sound very silly to some of you smart guys, but I’ve never been up in the attic crawl space of this house. Reasons are complicated and I’ll probably go into them in some future BHM article. I knew generally what was up there, but until today I’d never even climbed a ladder, stuck my head through the cobwebby little hatch, and flashlighted around.
I didn’t go walkabout up there; just stayed on the ladder. But where I thought I’d find only unappealing but potentially useful storage space, I found this:
That peak is about nine feet up there, guys! And that’s the original main span of the house, so it’s a looooong room. Vertical sidewalls, too, albeit only about three-feet high (that’s the beginnings of cabinets and countertops). My brain dazzled, then got to work on ideas.
The only great big tricky thing: The stairway would have to come up right out of the living room. And that’s tough. A pull-down ladder won’t do because I’m thinking accessible living space, not seldom-visited storage.
Got some stairway ideas, but who knows yet if they’re good ones? Again I’ll keep the details for another time. Mainly I’m writing to say that I am stoked!
Laughing at myself for taking such an absurd long time to make this discovery. But stoked.
“Ayn Rand Made Me a Communist.” Um … you’d probably have to be a regular New Republic reader and already know how Jacob Bacharach is one; he doesn’t actually explain, except in a vague-ish indirect way. It’s still an interesting essay, though.
Question not asked: If this homeless guy can do all this, then why is he homeless?
Not a bad analysis of how the R-Party is coming apart at the seams. Leaves out factors you and I know well, but seems right in its basics.
Yeah, it’s a Communist hellhole. So we’ll open and close today’s news with Commies. But Cuba is beautiful, as these aerial photos show. And ohhhh, those empty white-sand beaches! This link was sent to me by a Panamanian taxista who helped make my couple of days in Panama City six years ago a pleasure. I’m pretty sure he’s been to Cuba.
And a bonus: Canada for President, courtesy of MJR, who knows a thing or two about all that. NB: Brief NSFW language.
Several major car makers are partnering up with Linux. While this is a lot better than the recent features about those partnering with Microsoft, I generally wish they’d all stay the heck out of any automobile I ever own, except for entirely optional, turn-offable devices. (H/T MJR)
Who says a porno-graphic can’t be your legitimate signature? NSFW and sorry about that, but it’s another interesting tale of whether the state or the individual controls identity. (H/T jb)
Speaking of porn, you’ve probably seen the latest TSA child-molestation video. What fascinates and depresses me is the father’s “I love the security state, BUT …” attitude. Not to worry, of course. Procedures were followed. Not to mention guidelines. No mistakes were made.
No. This is just plain wrong. And the “only ones” are going to commit even more bloody mayhem than they already do with this in their hands.
This, on the other hand, is bizaarrish. And their rationale for it (in the video) is laughable. But the innovation is intriguing. According to Wikipedia, it’s been around since 1999 in Russia, but looks as if there might be a serious push for it in the U.S. this year. (H/T MJR)
This morning, Obama’s fedgov took its the first step toward its long-dreaded executive action on guns. “Laughable fizzle” is my first response to the White Paper. But other phrases like “camel’s nose” and “slippery slope” most assuredly apply. (More to come from the White House today, but I’m prepping this post before the final news is out.)
Unintentionally funny: the best ways to spot a liar. Not through secret training in body language or eye movements (aka expensive guesswork). Just the old-fashioned way. Not real handy for the “instant security” folks, though.
Ross Douthat on cracks in the liberal order. Not meaning “liberal” as in that thing that “progressives” don’t want to be called these days, but “liberal” as in some fundamental values of western civ and western gov.
Forget mere Pastafarianism. In some parts of the world it’s better to be a Zuist.
Cool photos of small, futuristic houses. Gotta laugh at the assertion that these are all “cheap,” though. The first one pictured starts at more than $300k, and that probably doesn’t include the land. But they’re all fascinating and some of them actually are budget-minded.
After the glorious comment thread on the original Name that Cottage post, here are the 11 happiest names:
“My Freedom” in Irish; pronounced mo seer-sha; Suggested by Pat
Inspired by Kent McManigal’s suggestion, Dripping Leaves
Casa Solana (or just Solana)
“Sunny spot” or “sun room” in Spanish; From Seibert
Suggested by Vince
Beth’s modification of Chris’ suggestion
Inspired by Lady Locust’s suggestions
Chrysalis (or Chrysalis Cottage)
Suggested by capn
A late entry from TJ Madison
Both from my original list. Adnamira means “flowing water” in an Australian aboriginal tongue (so the Internet tells me) and in Ireland a carraig is a giant, unyielding boulder.
Now the big question is how to choose. Names in a hat? List under my pillow until I dream the right one? Poll the neighbors? See which one tastes best to Ava? I’ll gladly take your input; it’s already been both invaluable and fun to receive. But the right name will ultimately come from within. Or be suggested by the house itself at some odd moment.
Some names there I find beautiful, but am not sure they’d trip naturally off my tongue. The one I can most hear myself speaking is “Dripping Cedars” because it’s a little wry, unpretentious, and so very true. The place is flanked by cedars. They drip. But I like the poetry of other names.
Ohhh, this is going to be tough!
BTW, though, it’s interesting how many suggestions had something to do with sunshine. Because aside from the yellowness of the house (it’s actually khaki, but let’s not get technical), you didn’t know about this:
Although my house has a boring number and that gets packages and plumbers to the door, I want it to have a name.
It’s a great old rural custom, even for dwellings that don’t rank up there with Pemberley. You know … “Take the lane past Rose Cottage” “Oh, Miss Smythington? She lives out at Bide-a-Wee.”
I’ve been calling it Ye Olde Wreck in my BHM articles, but hopefully that name won’t apply a few years down the road. Something a little more evocative would be nice.
I toyed with names last summer but couldn’t settle on anything. So maybe you can help.
What’s a name suitable for a modest house on a narrow lane, tucked against a wooded hillside, enjoying a pocket view of wetland and forest?
Here’s a sample of what I’ve been noodling, but the name is probably still out there.
Cedar Cottage Selkie House (Celtic) Carraig Cottage (Celtic)
Waterfall House (because it has a tiny seasonal waterfall)
Adnamira (“Flowing Water”; Australian)
Aalican (“Great Calm”; Celtic)
Dromore Cottage (Irish)
You see where I’m going? But I’ll bet the collective wisdom of the Living Freedom Commentariat can come up with something better that I haven’t thought of yet.
P.S. The first person to suggest any variation on “Wolfe’s Den” or “The Dog House” will be summarily shot. Don’t. Do it. I warn you.
P.P.S. Have you ever lived in a house that had a name? Or do you now?
If you’ve got friends or family who don’t think there’s anything wrong with being on a government list, or who believe the gov’s pledges of privacy or promises that missions will never creep … have them read Carl-Bear’s latest over at TZP. Real world example, right there.
Kaiser Permanente opens its own medical school with a focus on teamwork. I can see some positives and some big negatives there. (H/T PT)
The chief publicist for Bloomberg and Watts has apparently been sexually harassing every female he could get his hands on, including his own employees and clients’ employees. (H/T David Codrea) This is not the first time Trevor FitzGibbon has been caught, either. Perfect guy to represent people who don’t believe women should be able to defend themselves.
We’re expecting five storms in rapid sequence over the next week. Some of them hard and windy. So should I go offline at any time, don’t worry. It’s not the ATF, FBI, CIA, or NSA. Just Ma Nature.
This will be a good test of how well my tape job did on fixing Old Blue’s leaks. So far so good after a week of normal wet conditions. Few drops of water in the trunk, but no lakes, rivers, or waterfalls in the passenger compartment.
The library held a mosaics class one morning last month. While everybody else worked on wooden planks the teacher provided, I decided to do another table. Specifically this one:
Half of me hopes he takes those officious overreacting officials for every dime — and thinks it’s too bad any judgment won’t come out of their own pockets. The other half of me is beginning to feel a whole lot less sympathy for “clock boy.” (Nicki goes even farther.)