Well, dear people, the blog-foundation fundraiser swooped past two milestones yesterday: we passed that halfway point and we made it to the one-year mark.
Thanks to you, Living Freedom blog will move to its own dedicated site. And barring unfortunate incidents with my Lamborghini, it will live for at the very least another year on what you have already donated.
Now, if we can make it all the way to goal, we’ll not only have two assured years of bloglife, but He Who Fakes It Well and I will add interesting new features that take advantage of the very best thing this blog has ever had to offer: you guys.
Um … some of you have noticed my email going haywire in the last 24 hours. Sorry ’bout that. But this bad thing is actually a good thing.
It signals that, behind the scenes, where the geeks and gremlins dwell, I (and more importantly, my expert helper, who may prefer to be known as He Who Fakes It Well) am moving toward having a dedicated website for the Living Freedom blog and eventually other features.
Do not ask me about technical details of what’s gone wrong. Not if you value your own sanity or mine. Just know that the Internet stars are in motion and once they’ve realigned we may not have the idyllic Age of Aquarius, but we should have functioning email.
We already have the beginnings of a blog. Not enough to show you yet. But enough for He Who Fakes It Well to show me, and I’m duly impressed.
I hadn’t intended to tackle the new site until my home wifi returns late next month. But there were suddenly good reasons to get going. Until now, having access a few hours a week at the library has been no problem. But trust me, you don’t want to be working on a new website without lots of Internet time.
Even if somebody else is doing most of the work. I still have to research, approve, advise, consent, and think. And you know, that last part is hard on the brain.
Anyhow, be of good cheer. The stars will eventually shine in their appointed places.
And for those who’ve asked, the blog won’t change a lot. It’ll still range from serious to silly, from political to personal, and still be called Living Freedom. It’ll be in a different location (though perhaps with dual posting here and there for some time) and have a new look. But still the same blog. Those of you who’ve been vexed by technical glitches or denial of access here should find the new site more friendly, too.
On a related subject … I was thinking the blog-foundation fundraiser might be prematurely slowing down. But nope! Three big donations came swooping in in the last 24 hours. Whoof! We’re well on our way to a year of blog time! I’m hopeful we’ll make it two.
I’d hoped to avoid a fundraiser until the end of the year or early next, but the last couple of months have made me regret for the first time not keeping that post office job my mother thought was so wonderful when I was 19. (“It pays well for a woman,” Mom said. “Secure, too,” she said. “You can retire when you’re 50.”)
So here, simply, is the deal:
$3,000 keeps the blog going for another year* and not incidentally lets me tackle the earth-moving and wall-building part of the foundation work on my house.
$5,500 keeps the blog going for two years** and not incidentally lets me begin the foundation work, proper.
Every $300 raised below that keeps the blog going for one month.
A couple of years ago, you guys came through like champs for my “roof raiser.” This time I’m asking you not to think so much about the needs of Ye Olde Wreck (because, really, why should they even be your concern?), but about this blog — which until May 1 had a financial “foundation” provided by BHM, but now has only Amazon links to support it. Think about whatever you get from this blog — information, community, encouragement, laughs, healthy rage, whatever it might be — and “v*te” with your dollars for it to continue.
Late next month, I’ll be back to more regular blogging. If you “v*te” with your dollars to keep the blog going beyond a year, the blog will also move to a dedicated site with interesting new features to be added (still in the thinking stages so far, but they’ll take advantage of the wonderful community spirit that’s grown around this blog).
How you can donate
Either use the PayPal button below to give any amount you choose, or send a check or money order via snail mail. (If you have the PO Box 12– addy, that one’s still good. If you need the snailing addy, contact me at donate-at-hermit-dot-cotse-dot-net.)
:So the big question is: what do I do about the blog now that BHM is no longer paying me to do it? You had some good thoughts on that.
Actually, the big questions are both that and how do I plan for/budget for the final enormous project(s) on Ye Olde Wreck, which I hope to tackle next spring and summer?
These big questions dovetail. Bear with me a moment.
The back half of Ye Olde Wreck needs a new foundation: replacement of three beams 24 to 38 feet long, all new posts, jacking the floor up four inches, and replacing or sistering some as-yet-unknown number of rotted floor joists. Oh yeah, a little earthquake engineering and bug treatment, too.
It’s also time to address part of the reason the foundation is shot. To wit: drainage. On three sides, the surrounding ground is higher than the foundation and slopes sharply so that runoff goes — guess where? — under the house.
This is the worst slope. But elsewhere, where the slope isn’t as drastic, the area affected is wider. We’re talking earth moving, retaining walls, gravel, and possibly French drains.
Foundation and drainage: two beastly, tricky projects that need to be tackled as one.
After that, the house will be fully sound — at last. Years of work remain, but it’s work like siding, deck building, painting, drywalling, minor electrical and plumbing, flooring, and landscaping that can be done in bits and pieces.
Ye Olde Wreck will be a wreck no more. Just an everlasting hobby.
I’d started to save for the twin monster projects and was paying down house debt from the last couple years of improvements when I got the word about the blog.
Now, I have to stress again that Dave and Annie are talking with me about other work that, if it comes to fruition, will more than make up for the lost blog income. They’ve been great. And of course you guys click those Amazon links and keep me going.
But in the short run, I no longer have a source of income I was counting on. And frankly, even if I still had it, I’m not sure I’d have been able to swing that foundation work.
A couple of years ago when the roof was leaking and part of it eventually collapsed I held a “roof raiser” and you bowled me over with generosity. I’ll never forget the flood of help you poured over me. Maybe that was once in a lifetime. Maybe it’s too much to think it could, or should, happen again.
And right now … I’m not asking. I’m not even close to asking. You can keep your wallets in your pockets and your PayPal accounts untapped.
Here’s what I am going to do about the blog, though: For now, nothing.
I’m just going to go on blogging as if nothing’s changed. For the next three months, that’ll still mean fairly “lite” blogging because I’m offline at home. But come mid-August, expect almost-daily posts again. With no donation button. No bleg. No whining. Also no moving away from BHM unless Dave kicks me out. Basically … no changes. (Well, not quite true; following the advice of Commentariat members who suggested possible ways to monetize the blog without tapping into BHM’s scarce funds, I’ll definitely be talking with Dave.)
Then, sometime late this year or early next, when I’ve gotten a better idea how much I can earn and save toward the foundation work on my own, I may need to hold a “foundation raising” and turn to you again.
If so, at that point I hope that everybody who benefits from this blog will kick in a little something. Or a big something.
If not, then not. Who knows what the state of the world or the state of anyone’s personal finances will be then, in this crazy time? I remain humbled and grateful for the way you all put a better roof over my head. Always will.
But however life and finances work out, sometime between now and this time next year, I need to put my best efforts into ensuring that this crazy old house gets a solid foundation — one that will stay there until the day I die.
As of now, BHM is no longer paying me to write this blog. Just got word on Saturday.
They’re not closing the blog down. I can continue to write it on my own, if I wish. And Dave Duffy has offered me “behind the scenes” types of work and possibly print work to make up for the loss. (BHM is like a good family that way.)
Jackie Clay has also been offered similar terms. Only Mas Ayoob’s blog is unaffected, far as I know.
Of course, because the Duffys have always allowed me those wonderful Amazon links and occasional use of the PayPal donation button, I still have some income from the blog — just considerably reduced and not as predictable or steady. The weekend’s blow is compounded by the fact that my other online work, The Zelman Partisans, is strictly volunteer. Now I have to wonder about the best allocation of my time and effort.
Yet, I love what I do and would do it all for nothing if I could afford to. And you guys are a great, smart “social circle” I don’t want to abandon or do without.
So I’m contemplating what to do from here on and wonder if You the Commentariat have some suggestions.
I’ll be back tomorrow late morning with a regular blog post (and to catch up on overdue emails). Will check in with you then to see what you have to say about this.
And the thing I think Elias would most like you to know about (and contribute to): a a new movie he’s hoping to complete with a little help from friends.
Currently the site is a mix of the new and old, with navigation not always smooth between its component parts. But then, it’s a work in progress. Just like Elias himself. Just like me. Just like most everything.
I’ll ask Elias to keep me posted as he adds new features.
Full moons are a mundane experience, but seeing a fat red moon rising over the hills is as close to true magic as ordinary life comes.
A few years ago, it occurred to me that each number of full moons alloted to a person is finite. An obvious observation, I know. But still one of those things that hits you hard at the moment you observe it.
If life goes along in it’s merry way, I may have 200, even 300, full moons left. That sounds like a lot of full moons. Surely I can afford to squander dozens of those in busy oblivion. But what about the day when you’re finally down to one full moon — and you can’t even be sure of that?
Appreciate those full moons, dear readers. Or those puppy kisses or orgasms or moments of cuddling your spouse or pushing your child on a swing. Or those bites of rare steak or chocolate cake. Or those pink and gold dawns. While you’ve got them.
Mike Vanderboegh, good man that he is, has considered what will happen to us and his causes after his last full moon has gone down: His son has taken on the blogging at Sipsey Street. Big shoes to fill there, son. But thanks for stepping into them.
The Big Scary Project drags on. I’ve been Handyman Mike’s Official Minion the last two days and will probably be so until the end of the project. Exhausting!
Mike worked all weekend and tells me he’s been working weekends for a month or so. It shows. He’s never been exactly a fast-moving kinda guy, but between that and his Perpetual Life Crisis, hours have been short, productivity hasn’t been good and “mistakes have been made.”
A day off would be a blessing for him, but the only realistic way to achieve it is to hustle harder for the next three days so he won’t have to work this Sunday.
We did have good news from the plumber, who stopped by for a quick look and gave us a super-favorable reality check on our work (such an appearance is, as Mike puts it, “like getting an audience with God). Now … all we need is to work hard, work smart, and not uncover too many surprises.
The fixed star is the long-arranged plumbing appointment on Tuesday. Three really good days and Monday as a failsafe day will do it.
Now I’m off to start the prep for tearing down the interior wall that contains the sink and shower plumbing. With that, the bathroom will begin to take on its new shape and location. Wish us luck!
Meanwhile, long-time Commentariat member MJR has started his own blog, Situation — Hopeless but Not Serious, which you might enjoy perusing. He says Joel and I are his inspirations. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad one.
Then Y.B. ben Avraham writes about the rabid “boycott, divest, and sanction” movement that’s the latest respectable facade for hatred of Jews. Yes, you can have issues with Israel and a state without animosity toward Jews; but as Y.B. reveals, that’s not what BDS is about.