- You recall DiFi’s insane and impossible encryption bill? Well, the second draft is out and it’s gotten even worse. These loons actually believe if you simply order someone to do the impossible, it must be done.
- Being so right and so wrong at the same time. Yes, it’s getting scary out there. Yes, it’s amazing how fast it’s happening. But no, it’s not caused by the mysterious collapse of Francis Fukuyama-style “liberalism” nor is it because the ordinary processes of civilization are too commonplace and boring.
- Legalization is back on the ballot in Maine.
- Two interesting takes on the transgender bathroom wars: why the wars matter by Heather Wilhelm and why maybe not so much by Nicki Kenyon.
- In news of the weird: The CIA’s venture capital outfit is funding a skin-care product. (H/T MJR)
- In news of the perhaps even weirder: Oblivious couple takes condition white to a ridiculous extreme.
- And speaking of ridiculous extremes: Your houseplants can now have tiny treehouses of their very own.
Archive for the ‘Gardening heaven forbid’ Category
It started raining again Sunday evening. Just a soft, unserious, springlike shower, followed by a few more days of the same. But knowing it was coming, I put in several hours of outdoor work, then prepped for an indoor project.
Since there was not a lot I could do inside until The Wandering Monk arrived to help me drywall a ceiling, I wandered across the little one-lane road and tried to make more progress cleaning the empty lot that will someday, if all my plans and dreams come to fruition, contain a gravel path with steps down to a homemade pergola, a small picnic area, a few fruit trees, a firepit, and maybe some chickens or even a goat or two.
It’s a long way from most of that and I’m beginning to despair.
Sorrys in advance for being unable to remember now where I got some of these links. I’ve been saving them up for a while. So thanks to The Usual Suspects. :-)
- Wanna set up a pot business? Become a nun.
- Chase Bank holds funds and reports customer to the feds for paying his dog walker.
- Joel got to this one first, but it’s too pure-and-simply wonderful not to re-blog: the mystery of the squatter in the woods who came and left with no trace. Ghostery to the max!
- But this … once again takes “small-space living” to crazy extremes. Only in San Francisco. Or New York City. Or London. Or other places that have become hellholes for normal people.
- Kevin Wilmeth comments on my TZP “constitutional carry” piece and gets it exactly right: “The only downside I can see, honestly, is that celebrating a good thing for what it is, isn’t going to help the sort of prag mindset that still can’t distinguish between long-term strategy and true pre-emptive surrender.”
- “Sorry, but the real unemployment rate is 9.8%” Srsly? you think it’s that low?
- Oh brother, someday this crass little millennial will regret his stupid, arrogant words about old people and guns.
- OTOH … ouch. Stupid, angry people and guns are another matter.
- Finally, an accurate scale model of the U.S. government. Only not dangerous enough. Or complicated enough. And more purposeful, even if nobody has any idea what the purpose is.
Yesterday evening I wrote this dazzling blog for you. Truly dazzling. Deep. Witty. Insightful. Filled with soaring messages of freedom. Just freakin’ brilliant.
I pondered rushing straight to the library to post it, but it was late and I was weary. So I just saved the text file for later. Then first thing this morning … I managed to overwrite it.
I hit the yes button when I should’ve hit the no button … and it was gone. One of those complicated things that happen at 3:00 a.m. when one attempts to think before the caffeine sinks in.
But it was phenomenal. Really.
Okay. Not really. It was about planting apple trees, which I finally did yesterday after three years of delays and two and a half weeks (since I bought the trees) of excuses. It was about me and the Curse of the Black Thumb and all the things I did to those little trees to try to save them from me.
So it wasn’t profound, but it was at least mildly amusing.
Then I got to the library this morning intending to come up with something new for you. And their Internet was down.
One of those days. Just one of those days. And it’s been a fairly busy (though pleasant) work week, so I don’t have too much else for you. I’ll post a few more inconsequential little bits today. And I trust you’ll be willing to await for “profound” to strike some other day.
Meantime … you got any trees or berry bushes or other sorts of perennial plans for your garden this spring? Unless, of course, you live in the Antipodes, where spring arrives at altogether the wrong time of year and I feel very sorry for you right now.
- Well. Now we know why the “service economy” keeps growing even as everything else falls into the Dumpster. The whole story in one graph.
- Here’s another big story in one graph. This one’s about gold.
- Are MSM outlets Photoshopping pix of Hillary (or using Photoshopped pix provided by her campaign) to make her look as much as 30 years younger than she really is?
- This is precisely why we should be using email encryption even for sharing our chocolate chip cookie recipes. Smack that snotty, crowing NSA right in its face. (Tip o’ hat to S.)
- Will Switzerland end fractional reserve banking?
- Down with the tyranny of the Fitbit.
- I know some will object that this little “flash story” is too optimistic. Okay. Still a beautiful, hopeful piece, though. (H/T MJR)
- And this, dropped into comments by TSO, really is too optimistic. Or swimming too hopelessly against the tide. It also uses technology (provided by industrialization) to decry industrialization. Nevertheless, some truth there.
BHM has a buy-one-get-one-free offer on any Backwoods Home anthology. Offer is good through Sunday at midnight.
NFI on my part, except the usual undying gratitude to the Duffys and the wonderful staff of BHM for keeping me writing and keeping the pups in kibble.
Funny how it works with these holiday Amazon listies. I might do five or six of them in a season and only one person will buy a single listed item.
But orders do increase and quite often the purchases are similar to the listings … but a different model. Or brand. Or color. Sometimes a mention of one type of gear will spark a little flurry of orders for related items. A link to a rifle scope will bring bipods, holsters, and books on reloading.
This post may do the same. I’m going to link to specific products, but it’s not the specific product that matters; this is a list of things everybody swears by. Some I’d regard as absolute necessities for every prepared person. Others are just those things that make you go, “Oh, I wish I’d had one of those five years earlier!”
And they may get the same reaction from people on your gift list.
Sometimes it’s so nice just to be. We forget that. Well, I do, anyway.
This weekend was perhaps the nicest of the summer. We’ve been having glorious weather for the most part, but often way too hot. A few weeks ago, the southern Oregon coast sweated through several days of 100+ temperatures, and it got to at least 97 here. When it’s that hot it saps you, even when you’re huddled in the shady house with a ceiling fan spinning. I know you folks in the midwest and south have it worse; so no complaints, really.
But this weekend was everything a summer ought to be. Temperatures around 70. Cloudless afternoons after cool, maybe misty, mornings. A little breeze blowing. The kind of weather you don’t even have to think about because it’s precisely what weather ought to be.
In the mornings, I grabbed a pair of loppers, a squeeze-bottle of Off!, and a bucket and picked some lovely fat blackberries while the dogs hung out and ate their share.
At home, after ritual coffee, I trimmed the inside of the front door and started on the next 1/3 of the Infamous Ceiling. This section was originally going to be the fraternal twin of the bit I already did. When I realized how (pardon the pun) over my head I am, I figured it would be more like a half-sibling. Now I’m aiming for third cousin once removed. More drywall; less beadboard.
I do think that old beadboard would make better wainscotting than ceiling. Since finding the amazing Lost Vanity, my thoughts are turning to a nice wainscotted bathroom.
Today I started cleaning up Ye Olde Vanity. It’s coming back to life quickly and well. Some gouges I’ll never gracefully get rid of and one inlay piece is missing, which is beyond my ability to fix. But it’ll be close to its old self. That spare garage-sale sink I had out in the garden shed is going to fit it, of course. An hour of scrubbing the porcelain and scraping old caulk and that was like new.
An hour or two is all I’ve been doing. Just enough to resume steady progress while still doing other things and enjoying what’s left of summer.
No long, sweaty, achy, brain-hurting days of labor. No depression or anxiety* or self-doubt or anger. No being among the walking wounded. Just quietly getting things done, and even doing them reasonably (if far from professionally) well.
Yesterday I ended the day taking a long walk in the woods with furrydoc and her bounding lab mix — like Ava, 10-years-old but still unstoppable. Robbie trotted right along behind us. In June and early July I thought he was at death’s door. He’s rallied remarkably. But even with him doing a little better, we don’t usually walk so long these days, nor does he keep up as well as he did yesterday evening.
But then, he had his girlfriend to impress (he’s got a polite crush on furrydoc’s dog). He did a good job of it, too.
Days of contentment. They may not make for exciting, fiery blogging, but they sure make for good life.
* Well, there was some anxiety a few days ago when I woke up at 1:00 to Ava rambling randomly about — and shortly realized whe was distressed by a bat swooping around the living room and kitchen. I was eventually able to shoo it out the backdoor and never came in contact with it, but those were some not-happy moments. I know this is the season when juvenile bats, not yet fully possessed of their bat-sense, get into houses. But all the doors and windows were closed. So clearly I still have some structural gaps to fill.
Mid 60s with a gentle breeze. A few horsetails of high cloud in a blazing sky. Going to be ice tea weather in a few hours.
This year’s wild blackberry crop is enormous and right on schedule. The dogs and I enjoy handfuls of sweet berries on our morning walks. I’ve so far done no serious gathering as I don’t have a stove to make jam or syrup (and a hotplate is too tippy). I’ll soon head out with a bucket and grab some berries for the freezer.
The dogs wait patiently for their share. They could easily gather their own from the low vines, and they do when I’m not picking. But the moment I stop to grab a handful they stop, stare, and wait for the meager share I dole out even though they could get more, faster, on their own.
No doubt there’s a message about the effects of the welfare system in there somewhere.
Though the berry harvest is exactly on schedule, the September spider crop has arrived early. I have to be careful when I step out my back door or when walking in places where vegetation presses close on the logging roads. Ick! To get a faceful of spiderweb — or worse yet, a mouthful of spider!
First sign of fall — too soon. What with the conspiracy of minor disasters that kept May and June so unproductive, it seems more as if summer should just be beginning.
I finished that one segment of ceiling Friday (pix later) and am now plunging in to delayed spring cleaning.
Pardon me; I must go tear the kitchen apart.
Yesterday morning I looked across the street and there, on the vacant lot directly in front of my house, a neighbor was on her knees next to a wheelbarrow, cleaning up the lot.
It’s a fascinating and amazing thing that the last two elections have given the U.S. (among other less desirable things) a strip of cannabis legalization that runs from southern Oregon alllllll the way out to the tip of the Aleutian islands, within spitting distance of Russia.
I can’t imagine there are going to be too many “Mr. Doobees” stores out there on the islands. But in a vast stretch where once ruled the hysteria of Harry J. Anslinger, a new legal business is taking shape. Now all we need is for British Columbia to join us and the north coast weed freedomization will be complete. (And yes, yes, yes, I know that state-controlled legalization isn’t Libertopia; can we just stipulate that and not quibble?)
I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that legal pot is affecting rural areas even more than urban ones. Makes sense, of course. Ag product. Cheap land. Small towns hungry for development. But still.
Even my little area is poised to benefit, and with that in mind our local Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council pulled together a terrific panel discussion earlier this week to answer questions from us locals.
We’re having another of those moments where the sky is blue, the sun blinding, and the air so mild that fleece sweatpants and a turtleneck under the tee-shirt are almost too much.
So the guy who helps with my yardwork turned up to do some long-discussed brush clearing, trash hauling, and felling of small trees. (Totally blowing my January “minimalist” budget, but that’s another story.) Twice this week he and a couple of grubby kids (one of whom is his daughter-in-law, a tough bundle of charm) have crawled down the slope across the road and dug in. They’ve attacked noxious giant weeds (which my beekeeping neighbors won’t let me poison if I want to keep peace in the valley). They’ve taken down and heaped up small, malformed trees. They’ve hauled out every sort of trash, from microwaves and broken toilets to dozens of bags of cat poop.