Unfortunately, it doesn’t describe where the political world stands (no surprise). But it does describe a cool new website and a beautifully laid-out and informative digital magazine.
Brink of Freedom is a great place. It combines a freedomista attitude, high energy, and useful self-sufficiency how-tos.
Michael W. Dean of Freedom Feens turned me on to the site and introduced me to its founder, Josiah Wallingford. (Don’t you love that name?)
Go check it out for yourself. It’s the kind of place you could spend hours. But while you’re here, here’s a little background Q&A with Josiah, as well as links to pdfs of BoF’s January and February editions:
Since we’ve been on the subject of writers lately: here’s Megan McArdle on why writers are the worst procrastinators. This isn’t really just about writers, but about fear of failure and the recent “special snowflake” self-esteem generation.
And this column about how to get a job at Google isn’t really about how to get a job at Google, either. It’s about creativity. Adaptability. And other good things.
Good news for all you who listened to (or played) too much loud rock-n-roll. A cure for noise-induced hearing loss may be on the horizon
All hope is not lost. Hungry cougar stalks teenage boy. Cougar gets shot by guess who? Pix here.
Very cool! A nifty handle wrap for a boot knife — that glows in the dark.
Boy, this working for a living stuff is hard. Stimulating, challenging, often fun, and a great way to break a long financial drought. But hard.
This afternoon for the first time in quite a while, I was able to wrap up work before meandering in the woods with the dogs. Brilliantly sunny day — and we’ve had more of those than any winter I can ever remember here. I’m sorry for you in the east suffering all those Bad Boy winter storms (Zeus or Giorgio or Henri-Claude or whatever they’re calling them, these days). I’m sorry for you Californians facing a dangerously dry summer. But here? Glorious!
Anyhow, so instead of charging out and back for the sake of doggie exercise and canine elimination needs, I actually rambled. Meandered. I might have even managed a few minutes of strolling. It was amazing. Really.
And now I’m just rambling here. Just writing down whatever comes to mind. These little verbal expeditions tend to embarrass me, but they also draw a lot of thoughtful, touching comment. Which is I guess at least part of what this blog ought to be about. It’s one of the best feature’s of Joel’s blog, that he just exposes all those warts and lets you visit him inside the Secret Lair on good days and bad.
I took the dogs for a walk downtown yesterday afternoon. Passing a vacant house, I noticed an awful lot of water on its patio. Normally, that’s not unusual, this being the NorthWET, but it hasn’t done more than sprinkle the last couple of days.
I poked around and sure enough, not only was the house sitting in a lake; I could hear ominous gushing noises inside the walls. I went up on the back porch to knock just in case. Water rushed under the door and over the dogs’ toes.
City Hall is just a few blocks away, so I hustled over and told the water lady what was up. They’re good around here. Before I could even make it back to the lake-house, two water department trucks and the head of the building department roared up the street ahead of me (though they’re not so good that they actually went to the correct address). Once we got to the right place and they verified the problem, they shut the water off at the street.
Chances are the water’s been running since last weeks’ beastly freeze unfroze. It’s a wonder none of the neighbors caught it earlier. So the poor folks who own the place (out-of-towners, the building inspector told me) will face major mess. The guys said they’d contact them right away.
Here’s the thing that made me wonder, though. Before they even shut off the meter, one of the water department guys started fishing around, obviously looking for a hidden housekey. He felt over the top of the electrical box, looked under the mat, and did all those things you do to find a key. (Which, as far as I know, he didn’t. But I didn’t stick around to find out.)
If that were your house, would you or would you not want water department employees — and possibly the local building inspector — letting themselves in to check for damage? Do you think they had a legitimate purpose for doing that? Even if they did, should they have notified you first?
And let’s say it happened to you. And they got inside, whether by key or other means. Would the interior of your house look otherwise innocuous to “officials,” beyond burst pipes, swollen drywall, and delaminated floors?
Before anybody asks why I didn’t just go home, get my meter key, and shut the water off without notifying “the authorities” — aside from the fact I didn’t think of it, the homeowners clearly needed to be notified ASAP to forestall even worse damage (e.g mold). That’s something I didn’t have the information to do.
Yesterday was … a day. It was a Monday that fell on a Tuesday and a Friday the 13th that fell on the 29th. Yeah, that kind.
Or maybe it wasn’t really so bad but my hermitty, deadlining writer self just doesn’t deal well with the particular type of chaos that involves people in and out of the house all day, asking questions, wanting to chat, making alarming saw, hammer, and cuss noises, and hauling mounds of deconstruction rubble through my living room.
All for one little ex-bathroom. But bathrooms are complicated, and therein lies where I got to look cool, calm, collected and smart without even trying.
Mid-afternoon, just when things seemed to be calming down, the guy gutting the bathroom went under the house to see if water pipes were still connected before moving the tub. Most of the pipes in that room weren’t (the room hasn’t been used in years), so I wasn’t surprised when he came to the front door a moment later and said, “There’s no pipe connected any more.”
I said, “No problem,” and he said, “No, you don’t understand. There is no pipe. There was a pipe and there was water running through it, but it just … disintegrated. It came apart in my hands! And now there’s water going all over the place!”
This guy is good at what he does, but tends to be defensive. He had already run a Sawz-All through a live electric wire about an hour earlier and not told me about it, so I think he was expecting to be in Big Trouble. The look on his face was TEOTWAWKI.
But stuff happens on construction sites and a plumber had previously Pronounced Dire Warnings about the ancient galvanized pipes under the house. So I just said, “Oh. Well, then. Here’s the meter key” (an uncommon tool I got to pull oh-so-coolly from behind a convenient door, as if every woman naturally keeps such things on hand). “You shut the water off while I call a plumber.” (Typical of older houses, this place has no master shut-off valve, in case you’re wondering why nobody just went and turned a handle.)
Once that was done, knowing that none of the local plumbers were likely to show up in the next few days, he asked, “Will you be okay without your water?”
Will I be okay. Ha. Will I be okay. “Of course. I’ve got at least a week’s supply on hand, and if I need running water, I’ll just go out and turn the meter back on for a few minutes then shut it off again.”
Now you and I know that this is just what people like us do. I’m not trying to sound like I’m hot stuff or anything. I know I’m not hot stuff.
But apparently I made an impression on him. Before he left he told me that I reminded him of some woman he knew in Alaska who split her own firewood and slaughtered her own hogs or whatever. (Baloney; if I were like that I’d be sawing through my own wiring and breaking my own plumbing pipes.) Then he thanked me for “understanding what happens on construction sites instead of going, ‘Eeeeeek! Eeeeek! Oh-no-panic!’”
The latter is a compliment I’ll accept, even though I know full well it has more to do with being of silver-haired age, having seen more than a few construction oopsies, and stocking a small number of supplies.
Still, having that meter key right behind the door did make me feel pretty damn slick. :-)
“Dogs are people, too.” At least in their abilities to feel and anticipate — something that will come as no surprise to anybody who’s lived with them, but is apparently news in neuroscience. (Tip o’ hat to MLS)
Federal theater of the absurd. (I also agree with Carl that the Crazy Horse monument is so superior to Mt. Rushmore in every way that even after the silly feddies remove the barriers I’d still just drive on past and watch free enterprise at work a few miles down the road.)
Erm … I don’t usually read Glamour. But I found this heartfelt smackdown of a money-hungry bride on a forum I frequent. Even as a young girl, I hated the notion of weddings; these days when they’ve become big excuses to put families into debt while the couple collects big cash gifts, this response from a guest is a touch of sanity.
Here’s another “non-journalist who wouldn’t be entitled to First Amendment freedom-of-press protections if TPTB have their way.
You may have heard that the dollar ain’t worth sh*t these days. Well ….
In addition to all the other “joys” you’ve been reading about Obamacare and its Three Stooges rollout, here’s this from a local guy. His family business has always provided great benefits despite employing just six people (and some of them part time).
1. I have always provided employee healthcare. Always.
2. Currently, we have a high deductible, health savings plan that in addition to paying 75% of the premiums, we fund a good chunk of money into their savings account each month. It works. Our employees like it. They have saved up money over the years. They don’t have health care stress.
3. Passing of Obamacare. Rates climb much higher. Fed support small business with “tax credits”, which almost offset the higher premiums so we can continue offering what we always have.
4. 2014. Obamacare comes “alive”. But not really. They have removed the tax credits unless you buy your business plans through the “SHOP” health care exchange (setup for businesses). Problem is that no product exists for [our county] or any other county in WA except Clark and Cowlitz. Only one insurer would play in their exchange so of course it’s those big bad private insurance companies that are screwing it up. Forget that we wanted to keep what we had!!!
5. What to do… 1. Keep current plan, pay the higher premiums caused by a system we never wanted and forego the “make it taste good” koolaid called tax credits, or 2. buy an imaginary product with koolaid attached, or last option – drop everyone and we are now wards of the state to get our plans from those fine exchanges setup for individuals who didn’t have healthcare. Love it.
Blog away. If you need clarification let me know. I suspect some IRS rule will come through to avoid the obvious you can’t give one tax payer a credit and deny me because I live in x county lawsuits, but eventually, this is where we are heading….We just have to be patient for them to make it work. LOL f-ing joke
IMHO, the promised tax credits and personal subsidies are among the worst aspects of Obamacare. They’re designed to make everybody who receives them dependent on government (as in, “We can’t go back to completely private health care! How would we afford it without government help?”). So when the Frankenstein monster of Obamacare doesn’t “work” we’ll be primed for single-payer.
But the Catch-22 this poor family company is caught in is … typical. For now.