One man’s floating life on the waterways of England.
Archive for the ‘Practical Freedom’ Category
I’m way behind the curve on this! But there are a couple of fundraisers underway to help Nicki rescue her house from child-molesting squatters who (with the help of a judge) have taken it over.
Fundraiser one: Dennis at Dragon Leatherworks is auctioning two holsters (one righty, one lefty).
Fundraiser two: Another Friend of Nicki has raised $5,500 toward a goal of $10,000 to help Nicki fight for her house and her rights in court on July 9.
The story is outrageous. It’s the story not only of lying, child-diddling squatters in her rental house, but of a “justice” system that has no respect for property rights. Nicki’s job requires a security clearance, which she could lose if she falls into financial disaster. Losing her house seems inevitable if she can’t reverse this mess soon.
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.
Thoreau famously went to Walden Pond to “live deliberately.” We know what that meant to him.
What would living deliberately mean to you?
- Security Theater of the Absurd: petitioners want to have CopBlock declared a terrorist group.
- 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.
- How happiness leads to success, not vice versa.
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.
- Alas, one (normally) educated community didn’t get its Eastertime passion play this year. Because some gov-o-crat thought a passion play was a sex show.
- But keeping everything equal, religious folks apparently dished out some maltreatment of their own.
- 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.)
When last we spoke (or at least when last we spoke about flowerpot-n-candle space heaters) I reported dismal failure.
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 …
12:00 noon — 58 degrees
1:00 p.m. — 58 degrees
2:00 p.m. — 58 degrees
3:00 p.m. — 58 degrees
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.
I’m going to try these. This week.
The simple one. With tea lights.
The slightly more complicated one. With one candle and metal.
Anybody hereabouts done anything like these?
Will report further after I hit the hardware store — assuming they still have flower pots hiding in the back room after having stuck all those Christmas ornaments in the flowerpots’ usual place.
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 EDITED Joel’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.