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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 the ‘Mind and Spirit’ Category

Claire Wolfe

Life’s losers and making our own beds, part II

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Continued from yesterday …


As I was saying, we all have ways in which other people can look at our lives and say, “Why can’t she see how obviously she’s messing up?” I have mine.

One of them is doing things to keep myself from making much money. Although I deeply admire people who’ve accumulated a pragmatic amount of wealth and can be happy, prudent, and generous with it, I have a top beyond which I’m not comfortable going. It’s my ceiling. And it’s low.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Life’s losers and the eternal question of whether the beds we lie in are really those we make for ourselves

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Part I. Part II runs tomorrow. Really. It’s already written and in the post queue.


I ran into T. the other day. I was arranging to buy two heavy bookcases at an estate sale and he was there helping the lady who held the sale move gigantic sofas and king-sized beds.

For many years T. has been the area’s go-to guy for yardwork and miscellaneous donkey hauling.

Thing is, T. is a fragile little guy, well into middle age now. To see him, you’d think he belonged in the third desk from the right in some bureaucracy, but he’s … just not there.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Friday links & random thoughts

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Nicki says, “Hey, Snowflake!” you don’t have a government-enforced “right” to a wider airplane seat for your super-sized butt.

Well, we’ll see about that. When I had the recent infamous medical procedure, they stuck me into a wheelchair wide enough that I could have invited several friends to share the ride. The tech who wheeled my groggy self down the hallway said they have only one “normal” sized chair now. And yes, the reason is what you probably think.


“My Dog, the Paradox.” An oldie but goodie from The Oatmeal.


“Scientists” (that is, social scientists again) survey youth gun carrying and jump to conclusions that have no basis outside of their own prejudices. (H/T LarryA)

If the idea that Wyoming is likely to be more rife with “youth gun violence” than New Jersey or New York makes you laugh, howl away.

This “science” reminds me of that survey I received long ago from the Bradys asking, with much implied alarm, if I’d heard gunfire in my neighborhood recently. Given that I lived directly between a small pistol range and a plinking quarry at the time, the Bradys would no doubt have thought I spent my life hiding under the bed in terror of all the “violence.”


Carl Sagan’s baloney-detection kit is very good and well worth a revisit.

But when I got this link from MJR it reminded me that, for all that eminent man’s good work in popularizing science, he (being human) didn’t always practice what he preached.

Sagan was anti-gun, and in the most irrational way. He didn’t examine the facts. He didn’t study the data. He didn’t ask questions. He just “knew” guns were shivery-icky-baddy-bad-bad. It’s been a while, but I believe I discovered those gooey opinions of his while reading his otherwise fascinating paean to rational thought, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.

The very book that produced the fine baloney detector.


Okay, to finish up, here’s a video of the world’s kindest junkyard dog. Awwwwwww.

Claire Wolfe

Midweek links

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

(Big H/T to jb)

Claire Wolfe

You ever get those prickly feelings?

Monday, September 21st, 2015

There’s a crew out today, dealing with brush and noxious weeds on my property across the street. Two of the people, a man and his daughter-in-law, have done work for me before and I like them very much, especially her. And I trust them.

But he’s in the process of handing their business off to her and she’s brought in third relative, a man in his 50s.

The new guy’s been here twice and every time he’s around, I’ve got this prickly feeling. First time, he was here only 20 minutes and by the time he left I had the beginnings of a tension headache.

There are objective reasons I don’t take to him. He’s a know-it-all and very patronizing. But this feeling goes beyond that. It’s like somebody’s pressed a ringing alarm clock against the back of my skull. It’s to the point where I’ll probably tell her I won’t be using their services if he’s a regular (which she’s already told me he will be) — and I’d hate that because she’s good and super reliable.

You ever have reactions like this about people (other than ones you meet in dark alleys, I mean)? And have those reactions ever told you anything important?

Claire Wolfe

Our funny little brains and why primal/paleo is a good place to start but not always the greatest place to end up

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Today I’m fasting — doctor’s orders (vision quest, vision quest, vision quest) — So naturally, by 9:00 a.m. I was ravenous.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Post holiday ramble

Monday, September 7th, 2015

One of the little towns nearby held its annual “grand parade” this weekend. You understand that “grand” is strictly in the eye of the Chamber of Commerce.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Monday links

Monday, August 31st, 2015
  • “No Cupcake, there is no right not to be offended.” Nicki does it again.
  • They ripped up their kitchen floor and found a secret code + $50,000. Is that cool or what? Commentariat member Stryder informs me this story is a hoax.
  • Wait. Why would they bust a TSA agent for doing this? Isn’t molesting us their job?
  • Annalee Newitz does a follow-up to her expose on the lack of women at Ashley Madison and concludes that, yes, it was outright fraud by the company.
  • Despite hints of sentencing reform and lightening up of the drug war, prison vendors see continued signs of (groan) a captive market.
  • The Obama administration’s fiat war on contracting is not only a foolish attempt to turn the clock back 40 years; it’s a dangerous business. (H/T MJR)
  • Boy lost in the wilderness uses a survival trick he learned from his dad. Good on you, kid and family.
  • Loooove them lobbyists. A cop lobby has gotten North Dakota to legalize weaponized drones. Will other states soon follow? (But of course, we’re not to worry; only “less than lethal” weapons are allowed and in the hands of those heroes in blue, if we’ve done nothing wrong, we have nothing to worry about, right?) (H/T MJR)

And just for laughs … Mama said there’d be days like this.


Claire Wolfe

Massive Friday links dump

Friday, August 28th, 2015

This oughta keep you busy for a while. Major hat tip to faithful contributor MJR, who went on a link-hunting tear this week.

  • Um … Yes, Wired, you can do something about Spotify’s weird new anti-privacy policy: don’t use Spotify. And y’know, Spotify’s “clarification” doesn’t help one little bit. It amounts to, “Oh, we’ll never, ever abuse all those bits of your life we’re requiring users to give up to us. Trust us …”
  • Now this is funny. How North Korea is handling shooting range budget cuts.
  • Over at TZP, Nicki and Y.B. write about a pair of killers and their enablers. Y.B.’s “A Traditional Young Man” and Nicki’s “A Shooting in Virginia.” (Please support TZP with your memberships and store purchases!)
  • Taxpayers sue the IRS for allowing hackers to grab their info.
  • Charming. How to age gracefully.
  • The agony of introvert writers in a world where writing has become a social occupation. (H/T JB)
  • And along those same lines: “If you don’t share this immediately the entire world will explode.”
  • Another confirmation that being neurotic leads to being creative.
  • The National Cancer Institute (a .gov operation), finally admits that cannabis can kill cancer cells.
  • It’s not surprising, but so pathetic. Data analysis proves what the hackers claimed and everyone should have suspected: There were almost no women using Ashley Madison.
  • I have an email out to Stewart Rhodes to learn more about this Oath Keepers controversy. Frankly, stopping this march by black gun owners in Ferguson doesn’t sound like something Oath Keepers would do.
  • Forgotten history: In 1863 there was an effort to organize sleeper cells against the tyrant Lincoln for his destruction of the Constitution and operation of a giant (for the times) surveillance network.
  • Cash itself is now a barbarous relic — says the Financial Times, speaking on behalf of governments everywhere.
  • The long, slow death of the rule of law.
  • How the eruption of Mt. Tambora darkened the world but colored the arts.
  • Hysterical. When people were asked to come up with a single word to describe each of three prominent political candidates, the result was singularly unflattering.
  • You may know or have guessed some of this already, but it’s fascinating in any case: How did early explorers, with their primitive means, find small islands amid very big oceans?
  • Awwwwww. Puppy does pushups.
  • Finally, here’s a free ebook download for you from Sparks31 on modern survivalism and communications for III-percenters. I haven’t read this yet, but looks interesting. Donations or other useful actions suggested in exchange.
Claire Wolfe

“Black lives matter” is a great slogan

Monday, August 24th, 2015

I explain over at The Zelman Partisans.

And other writers ask if Jewish lives matter, too.

Claire Wolfe

Just life

Monday, August 17th, 2015

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.

Claire Wolfe

Weekend links

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

And for your amusement:

Klintonerdämmerung, aka behind the scenes at Chapaqua. (Tip o’ hat to BW)

And watch a pair of pups grow up. That one on the left really needs a carpet to run on.



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