First thing: Thank you for all the good words and scary stories after Friday’s out-of-the-blue tree fall. MamaLiberty’s tale of random mystery destruction definitely takes the prize, though Karen’s lightning-from-nowhere story also reminds me of Mother Nature’s notorious temper.
One reader, C, even made an extra little contribution to the roof fund. Its timing was lovely (“Take that, damned tree!”), and the fact that it came from somebody I know has very little to spare made it even more appreciated.
I’m now looking at November 1 as the most likely date to commence a serious year of hermitude.
I’ve linked recently to Ryochiji’s posts about his Serenity Valley cabin’s very, very — VERY — close call with a wildfire.
Lots of other worthwhile stuff at his site, Laptop and a Rifle. Back in the winter of 2011, when his property was less developed than it is now, he vowed to spend 31 days there under a strict set of rules. He called his experiment Project 31 & despite the rigor of his terms, it was a success. Here are all his posts about it
Sorry about the loooooong BHM-wide downage yesterday, guys. Oliver the webmaster tells me it was the result of a security update gone awry at the hosting company. But all should be well now.
Today is the day The Great Roof Project begins! Two stages. The first involves returning part of the roof to its original form (after a long-ago “improvement” done by a committee of chimpanzees on a no-bid government contract). After that, the actual roofing crew comes in.
Crews must coordinate with each other on timing. Weather holding so far. Might have a few nervous-making days. But winter should be dry inside — thanks to you.
Now for some links. I’m shifting away from “news” as I mentioned the other day so it takes a little longer collecting good stuff. Fortunately, I get by with a little help from my friends.
Although this item is kind of “news” (it being about how people hate Eric Holder), I’m linking it as “anti-news.” Note the percentage of those polled who simply don’t know who the guy is. I used to think such ignorance was shocking and dangerous. Now? I rather envy it.
How the power of no saved my life. (James Altucher’s off-kilter notion of no. H/T Randall in comments.)
For those who are rilly, rilly, rilly serious about their guns, old acquaintance Ian of Forgotten Weapons, is now producing episodes of InRange.tv. It’s pay-per-episode, but with Ian you always know you’ll get something you can’t find elsewhere. (Via Joel)
I was going to save this for Halloween. But what the heck; weird dog videos are always in season. (Tip o’ hat and a smile to Jim B. in comments.)
This morning I was offered the “opportunity” to sell out. I was asked to do something that (if it worked out as my correspondent hoped) would make Alan Gottlieb and his “JPFO Lite” look better than they are.
It would not change anything in any material way. It would not restore principle to JPFO or protect Aaron Zelman’s legacy.
It was merely the opportunity to create an illusion — to have people say, “Hey, maybe Gottlieb’s not going to wreck JPFO after all!”
And what would I get for doing Mr. Manchin-Toomey (and not coincidentally, the correspondent proposing the idea) such a favor?
Why, I’d get influence. No, let’s capitalize that. I’d get Influence — that much-craved prize of wheeler-dealers everywhere. If I just sold my integrity (which, after all, isn’t worth anything on the market), I might gain the privilege of suggesting to the new powers at JPFO Lite that (pardon my French) it might be better if, for now, they just chopped off one of JPFO’s b***s and not both.
Got the last of the absolute-must outdoor house projects done today. There are probably 10 more small things it would be gratifying to finish outside before the rains come. But if winter struck tomorrow, I’d be satisfied.
Well, not quite. The roof isn’t done yet. Still trying to get on the roofer’s schedule. But thanks to you, the roof won’t be a worry for much longer — and won’t have to be my sweat-n-blood project. Oh, glory!
I am soooooooo tired. This most recent burst of work was therapeutic, post-JPFO. Now it’s just … work. It’s been hot, too, which is great and unusual hereabouts. But not so great when you’re up and down a ladder under the noonday sun.
I’m also working up to something … some change. Not for the first time, of course. You’ve heard me go on about “change” as much as Obama used to (not hope, though; never was very big on hope). You’ve also heard me whinecomplainbitch about dispassionately discuss how mysteriously busy-busy-busy I’ve been for the last 16 months.
Today is fall. Tomorrow, summer comes creeping back and by Friday it’s expected to be mid-July again. But today is fall — mild, gray, and showery — and I feel ready for it.
We’ve had a glorious summer. A rare treat for this part of the world. And I’ve been dreading the end of long, warm days and the inevitable closing-in of winter.
But no more. After the JPFO debacle and months of hard work (both work-work and house projects), I’m ready to hibernate. Ready to draw within, be idle, read books, eat soups and stews, do little, and be beholden to nobody.
Fall is history’s time for preparedness. And just in time, the fedgov (without which we could, of course, do nothing) decrees preparedness upon us. Yes, we now have National Preparedness Month.
The irony is strong with this one. Do we prepare and be good, responsible citizens as Our Glorious Leader urges? Or do we prepare and become terrorist suspects as the FBI sees us? Decisions, decisions …
But prepare we do.
Part of my preparedness this fall (thanks to you!) is preparing a solid roof overhead. Another part is adding alternative, non-electric heat — nothing fancy, just useful. Another is laying in extra food for the critters.
Yet another involves stocking a couple of treats. Because in the darkest, coldest of winter, treats make the difference between mere Stygian gloom and Stygian gloom to the point of wanting to put your head in an oven.
Some friends and I went to a presentation on the Thrive brand of freeze-dried foods early last week and while we all agreed that multi-level marketing (the main way Thrive foods are sold) is a tool of the devil, we also agreed that was some of the finest storage food we’d ever tasted. So my friends set up a Thrive “Q” for monthly orders. In August, blackberries, pineapple chunks, and real sausage bits were all on sale. So using their “Q” and without getting on anybody’s damnable List, I indulged.
I’ve never had actual meat in my long-term storage larder before. If it’s good, I expect the small can of sausage I bought won’t turn out to be so long term. :-)
My friends, lucky them, have a super-dooper packaging machine (a chamber sealer) that can not only do regular vacuum packs of food, but also easily make last-not-quite-forever retort pouches. Since they fish, hunt, garden, gather, and scout, that machine gets a lot of use. I have a standing invitation to try it. Haven’t yet, but it’s a good answer to the question, “What’s a single woman with a small appetite supposed to do with an opened #10 can o’ stuff?”
So … you’re already prepared. I know it. But are you upping your preps this fall? And if so, are you doing it just because it’s fall and that’s a good time? Or are you doing it because this year seems more ominous, more dangerous, than most?
What are your best prep ideas for this year and this season?
Here, BTW, is Survival Mom’s list of lists for preppers. Some useful, some less so. Decent read in any case.
Now I’m going to go don my furry slippers and have a nice, hot cup of tea.
I laboured all weekend — drywalling until I got worn out, then going outside and painting the house to relax. I got covered in powdery gypsum, then in latex paint, then in that gooey white joint compound that always seems to drop in fat, heavy, gelatinous glops no matter how careful you are with it. I cussed a lot and enjoyed every minute of it.
Well, despite the chaos, life — and work — goes on. I have an article deadline this week, so I may be quiet for a few days.
Rest assured the battle to save JPFO from sellout goes on. Although I’ve been standing here in public waving my arms and yelling, I’m really only a small part of the rescue effort. Smart people are on it!
While I’m off being a hermit writer, here’s a good read about a hermit who makes me (and even desert-buddy Joel) look like a real wimp. ‘Course, Joel and I didn’t resort to thievery. But this follow-up story from GQ on Christopher Knight, Maine’s infamous North Pond Hermit, is fascinating.
Yeah, GQ does seem like an odd place for a tale of a grubby hermit. Oh well.
Sign the petition to keep JPFO out of SAF’s hands. Over halfway to signature goal now! The board doesn’t want to listen? Make them hear the voices of JPFO members and donors.
I think a few people were laughing about me feeling intimidated and being submissive to cranky county fair volunteers yesterday. Found it pretty funny, myself.
In real life, I’m mostly just a person who’d rather get along or talk things out than make a scene — until you really offend my sense of right and wrong. Once you get my righteousness up, you’d best get out of my way.
I’m dealing with an IRL situation like that this very minute.
On Sunday I mentioned a Bad Thing I’d been told (not asked) to keep confidential. It already felt wrong to keep shut about it since it potentially affected a lot of people.
Then late yesterday I learned that the few of us who thought we were in the know had been lied to. In one very, very, very important, not to say absolutely crucial, aspect, we’d been shined on. We’d been led to believe that the Bad Thing had one very good aspect.
It does not. Someone apparently decided to invent that one allegedly good point for reasons unknown. To keep the natives from getting restless, perhaps? I don’t know. But we were lied to.
Now … no more Ms Nice Guy.
Either these people back down from their nefarious plans — and put that in writing. Or it’s warpath time.
I’m trying to be constructive. I’ve been working on possible solutions with some of the others involved. People (other than those responsible) are diligently and intelligently trying to route around the damage. There are excellent colleagues ready not only to fight back but to build for the future. We’re taking practical steps, discussing alternatives. There’s hope in sight.
But now that we know we’ve been lied to, I’ve gone from “OMG, how can this be happening? What can we do about it?” to “If the people responsible for the Bad Thing don’t back off and get the hell out of the way ASAP, there’s going to be blood.”
Well, blood on the blogs, at least. Figuratively speaking.
With no firm ground to stand on, I demand that plans undone. I want resignations. I call for public disclosure.
Of course, that’s useless. I’m impotent. Powerless. I have absolutely zero ability to fix this mess by demanding, wanting, and calling. But I’m mad as bloody damned hell and certainly not going to take this Bad Thing or stand by quietly as it’s imposed on others.
Of all the things I angrily demand, public disclosure is the only one I have any control over. And I will use it.
Also, it’s just a plain fact that making this wretched business public is the right thing to do. It gives a greater chance of having new people come up with new solutions.
So far, all I’ve managed to do is make myself look like a pushy b*itch. Which I hate. But you know, there are signs it might actually work. We’ll see.
I’m holding to confidentiality — well, the threads of confidentiality — still today because a lot of innocent people are involved and because solutions still seem possible at this point without public ruckus raising. I do apologize for talking to you about the mess twice now without actually saying anything. It’s eating my guts out and it’s hard to find the right line to walk.
But if certain perfidious, secretive, lying authoritarians have not taken their plans and agreed to creep away in the next day or two …
It’s not spam. Jacquie Lawson cards will be going out today to roof-raiser donors. If you open yours, I can promise you won’t pick up any virii or have your mailbox hacked.
You might get an OD of cuteness, though.
ADDED: Whew! All cards have now been sent. If you donated and didn’t receive a card, please let me know. It could be because I don’t have a good email address for you or it could be I’m an idiot I got overwhelmed and missed you. Smack me upside the head and I’ll make up for it.
While composing cards, I also did some counting, even though the job severely taxed my supply of fingers and toes:
Sixty wonderful people have donated (with a couple more gifts perhaps still to come). Twenty donors sent $100 — or more! Eleven sent between $50 and $100. Everybody donated generously. You made my days and you made the roof-raiser a roaring success. This fundraiser exceeded its goal in an extravagant manner and in just a hair over two weeks.
As a little Hungarian lady I used to know would say (when she was very moved and surprised): “I’m ‘STOUND!”