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.
Why “everybody” is moving to Texas. The reasons given are as facile as the assumption in the title, so apply grains of salt. But other state governments could learn some lessons from Texas — not that they would.
So, John Tamny, how do you propose to make that last paragraph of yours a reality? In falling empires, and overripe civilizations everything becomes political.
Who (or what) killed adulthood? This article is mostly by and for young women, but the phenomenon it describes is too real for too many.
I’m less competent when men are around. It’s kind of annoying, and it’s definitely one reason I prefer living solo. But there it is.
This usually shows around cars (where I’m genuinely befuddled) and construction work (where I have some practical knowledge). It’s not a matter of playing dumb. Not my style, that. Nor is it a matter of actually being dumb. It’s more as if an old “I’m no good” switch flips and I become fumble-fingered at things I can do perfectly well when I’m on my own.
It was one o’ them days today. But it was sunny. It was Stress, Incorporated. But Sol was beaming down on blazing green grass. And you know, that springtime green, it does blaze. So I drove the dogs out to a place in the woods where a landowner has set a picnic table in a grassy clearing beside a beaver pond. And I enjoyed a sandwich made to order at the grocery store down the road, which has a fine little deli.
Ah. That helped.
Driving home, two teenagers with shovels scooted out of my way. They were on the road with a very unofficial looking truck, and as I slowed down I saw that they were filling potholes. Looking farther, I saw they were with a man who co-owns a local school.
The school is way back in the woods, and although it’s a religious, family-run operation, they also have a contract to take in kids who would otherwise flunk out or drop out of local high schools. Really remarkable place. Wish there’d have been something like that when I was a kid. Life would have been so different.
One thing they do is put all the kids to work in the afternoon, usually some type of charitable physical labor. Today it was filling potholes. In the county road.
This benefits them, too, because their school is way back out there off that road, beyond the rest of civilization. But it’s also for the many people who drive up there.
Dana commented about people putting up their own road signs. That’s an interesting development in the long and honorable history of people turning their backs on government, but of course could be negative or positive, depending on signage.
Pothole-filling? A plus for all. I wonder if they got the county’s permission first or just went out and did it?
I came home, followed up on some (late) email, then sat in the backyard with a Bloody Mary. More stress therapy.
I was preoccupied when I made the thing, though, and put in waaaay too much Worchestershire sauce. It was puckering me up something awful to take a sip of it. But I was in this way-comfortable chair and couldn’t bring myself to get up and go inside to dilute the thing with more V8 juice. Not as long as the sun was shining.
I kept wincing with each sip and waiting for a cloud to cross the sun so I could go inside and remove some of the fire.
Lately, I’ve worked with some very nice people. Some very difficult ones, too. Sort of a package deal. I wonder if anyone has ever calculated the ratio: how many nice people does it take to overcome the impact of one nasty?
I’m choosing to emphasize the good. And the good is prevailing. But my little body and brain can only take so much restorative vodka.
Today’s good news. Cop tries to shoot harmless dog. Shoots self instead. (As you can imagine several people sent links to this.)
Anybody seen a Leveraxe? Now, that looks like one cool tool, if it works as advertised. Funny how even a tool nearly as old as civilization can get a major makeover when the moment’s right. Unfortunately the Leveraxe isn’t on Amazon yet. But keep your eyes peeled.
The dumbization and wimpization of American government schooling goes on unhindered. Don’t even think of taking your Leveraxe — or even a wrench! — to school. (H/T H.)
Attempting to use one of the devices in a uninsulated 8 x 10 room with big windows produced zero results. In fact, the temperature dropped half a degree while the “heater” was running despite outside temperatures not appreciably changing.
So today I tried again, moving the heater into a 7 x 7 windowless room with decent insulation. The room was 58 degrees when I started. And …
So that’s that. I’m not going to try Bear’s suggested experiment of candle-heater vs plain candle (in comments on the earlier post) because there’s nothing to compare. The engineers were right.
Also. During the first experiment I discovered that the roof was leaking. During the second a frozen pipe thawed and began spraying water all over the place. So I think Someone (Coyote, Loki, and Murphy are all suspects here) is trying to tell me Something. Like STOP doing this.
The only observable result — other than weather-and-house-related chaos — is that in the smaller, tighter room, I definitely felt the warmth of the heater while standing within 18 inches of it. If I were, say, tinkering at a work bench with the candle contraption next to me, I might say it worked. I might appreciate the extra warmth. But three feet away, where the thermometer sat — nada.
I’ve been using the three-pot version with the metal inside. I may still fiddle with the two-pot tea-light version. Later. Not until I’m sure that the house won’t fall down around my shoulders if I try.
As mentioned earlier, I’m not holding a fundraiser or hoping for Christmas gifts this year.
I do hope you’ll my Amazon links for all your online Christmas shopping.
Beyond that, I hope you’ll consider sending holiday bounty to EDITEDJoel’s Eyeball Fund. Use the bolded link, scroll down, then click the donation button on the right. Our entertaining hermit buddy is managing his glaucoma, but he’s going to need expensive cataract surgery. And right now he can’t even afford his winter’s oatmeal.
I’ve removed two other donation recommendations, one because its campaign is over, the other because it has met, and more than met, its fundraising goal.
If you’re still inclined to send something my way, I won’t turn it down and I’ll be grateful. But please think of me only if you have extra.
Here’s the PayPal button. It gives options for both one-time and recurring contributions:
If you want to snail something, you’ll need my new snailing address; last year’s won’t do.
I’ve been using the U.S.-based company Cotse.net for email and proxy services for many years, ever since I learned about it from S. Cotse gives good service at a good price. I’ve been a happy customer. There’s nothing at all wrong with Cotse.
Except that it’s based in this increasingly thuggish surveillance state.
I’m seeking a back-up service. I’ll keep Cotse, but I want to be using a Plan B if the feds drive them out of business, too. So I’ve been reading articles like this one. But online reviews are no substitute for personal knowledge.
What can you tell me — from personal experience and/or knowledge of a company’s location, management, and services — about other reliable services?
Here are the requirements
* MUST BE BASED OUTSIDE THE U.S. — MUST!
* Will preferably be based in a jurisdiction where its owners feel no need to kowtow to every illegal demand of some UberGovernment.
* Provides services including email and VPN
* Has reasonable rates
* And shows no sign whatsoever of just being some phony front for the surveillance state.
Ever since Pamela Jones shut down Groklaw and announced she was not only abandoning the site but quitting the Internet entirely in light of the Edward Snowden revelations, I’ve been thinking about this.
At the time, though I found her reasons poignant and pertinent, I thought she was overreacting. Now, I don’t know.
Personally, I’m not on the verge of quitting. A big part of my life is here. And all of my career (such as it is) is here. That’s been true since 1986 when a client bought me my first 300-baud modem and set it up so I could electronically submit stories to him. It was certainly true in 1993 when I met my Significant Sweetie (now ex, but still friend) on a FIDOnet gun-rights bulletin board. It’s definitely true now when I’d likely starve to death and blow away without the ‘Net.
Still, I think most of us (and most notably a lot of tech types hereabouts) feel the temptation.
We’ve always been independent sorts around here. We avoid being messed with by power trippers. If we can’t avoid, we “mess back.” But right now, there’s nothing we can do to counter the electronic offenses being committed against us and against freedom by the UberGoverment whose all-probing eye peers out from Mordor on the Potomac.
Oh, sure, we can play the old “keyword” game with our emails. (There’s even a new Firefox/Chrome browser add-on to let us do the same thing with URLs and HTTP headers now.) That’s fun. And it’s always true that irritating and misdirecting the bastards is worthwile, even (or perhaps especially) as tyranny grows. We can also use GPG, dump Windows for Linux, use TOR, etc. etc. etc. And eventually heroic tech wizards may save us — and the Internet — from NSAuron.
But now …? Now …? Now we seem to be faced with using dodges that may or may not help or simply shrugging and going on because, realistically, there’s not much else to do. So …
Would you quit the Internet? If so, what would you do instead? If not, how do you adapt to knowing that everything you do online (or on the phone) is probably recorded and analyzed, even if it then disappears into the maw of a datacenter’s godzillabyte storage capacity, never to be seen again?
Now, that said, I’m “quitting the Internet” for the next three days. I may pop in to post some cute dog pictures tomorrow, and I’ll check in to moderate comments at least once a day. Otherwise, I’m away for a bit from the Bad News Net.