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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.

On foundations, bitcoin, and whether or not my color sense melts your eyeballs :-)

Friday, July 22nd, 2016 by Claire | 34 Comments »

Well, dear people, the blog-foundation fundraiser swooped past two milestones yesterday: we passed that halfway point and we made it to the one-year mark.

Thanks to you, Living Freedom blog will move to its own dedicated site. And barring unfortunate incidents with my Lamborghini, it will live for at the very least another year on what you have already donated.

Now, if we can make it all the way to goal, we’ll not only have two assured years of bloglife, but He Who Fakes It Well and I will add interesting new features that take advantage of the very best thing this blog has ever had to offer: you guys.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Thank you!

Friday, July 22nd, 2016 by Claire | Comments Off on Thank you!

Thank you to Joel and to Wendy & Brad. They promoted the blog-foundation fundraiser in the last couple of days and sent a spate of new donations my way.

Thanks also to those who became that spate — no matter where you arrived from or what inspired you. I’ve sent thanks to nearly everybody now — though I’m still missing a couple. So if you haven’t heard from me yet, keep on being patient. No way will I forget you. :-)

Binoc talk

Thursday, July 21st, 2016 by Claire | 2 Comments »

When I first posted about TZP’s newest store item last month, I said the new binoculars offered by The Zelman Partisans were “compact.”

At that point, I’d only seen a photo of them that had nothing in it to indicate scale. I was going by what the bossman, Brad Alpert, told me.

Between then and now I got my own pair. And now I know what “compact” means. When the package arrived, I thought something had to be wrong. The box was no bigger than a double pack of playing cards. A slightly thick pack of cigarettes. How could that be?

But look at this:

« Read the rest of this entry »

Midweek links

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 by Claire | 23 Comments »

I’m online more than expected this week — coordinating on the website-to-be, thanking wonderful donors, chasing rainbows, keeping ahead of runaway trucks. You know, the usual. So I figure you guys might as well benefit from some extra posting while I’m at it.

  • Three years — or more — for possession of an eeeeevil BB gun? Only in New Jersey. I hope this poor schmuck’s fight goes well. (H/T DB)
  • I’ve always admired Peter Theil. So libertarian. So out-of-the-box. So creatively cheeky. But I didn’t realize he was the founder and chief investor in the ghastly, government-sucking, privacy-raping, Tolkein-savaging Palantir. Ugh. Why would a supposed “libertarian” do such a thing to the rest of us???
  • Even these mainstreamish political semi-libertarians are better than that!
  • Speaking of doing it to us: the latest nooz on iris scans.
  • Oh yeah. That’s some “hate group” you got there. How long is it going to be before the dumbstream media wises up to the SPLC’s phony tactics?
  • I’ll believe it when I see it. But this is one of the more interesting predictions about rising gold prices.
  • So even if you’re a hermit in the woods, you now know that a game called Pokemon Go is The Most Important Thing Ever To Happen In America, Seriously EVAHHHH. What fewer people are talking about is how it makes money off players while savaging their privacy. (Yes, even after its token well-publicized privacy corrections.)
  • Sit down, Science. We need to talk.
  • NSFW, but an absolute must for the too-bad-to-be-true category: Has this ever happened to you? (Note: For those who didn’t catch too-bad-to-be-true, this is a parody)
  • No, darnit. I cannot find the iPhone. Where the heck is it? (H/t Jim B. in comments)
  • Per jed in comments: Too funny. If dogs had 911.

Robbie came home yesterday

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016 by Claire | 9 Comments »


… not in his old familiar bully-boy form, of course. But he’s home.

The only other time I had a private cremation (for Jasmine), my dog came home in a plain cardboard box. This time, Robbie arrived in this sweet little tin.

An envelope claimed his certificate of cremation was within. Skeptical me figured the pet cemetery was offering confirmation that this little box really did contain the mortal remains of my bully boy. After all, the potential trust issues with cremation are enormous. How do I know this is really Robbie? Not somebody’s cat? Or a mixed-up batch of assorted burned animals? Or sweepings from somebody’s fireplace? I opened the envelope eager to see what assurances the crematorium might offer.

But what was inside was no certification of anything. Just a poem so glurgy it could induce a diabetic coma. Especially those last two lines. (I do not think Robbie would want to spend eternity sleeping on a soft cloud in heaven, dreaming pretty dreams. And he certainly wouldn’t do it sweetly; trust me, sweetness was never Robbie’s thing.) Still, as I rolled my eyes at the sodden sentimentality, my eyes teared up.

My neighbor J. has offered a handmade wooden box. Shortly before his sudden death, her husband made a number of pet coffins and small containers for ashes. The tin from the crematorium is cute, but Robbie will soon be partly scattered in the woods while the rest of him remains at home, in a lovingly handmade box, next to Jasmine.

The stars aligning

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016 by Claire | 5 Comments »

Um … some of you have noticed my email going haywire in the last 24 hours. Sorry ’bout that. But this bad thing is actually a good thing.

It signals that, behind the scenes, where the geeks and gremlins dwell, I (and more importantly, my expert helper, who may prefer to be known as He Who Fakes It Well) am moving toward having a dedicated website for the Living Freedom blog and eventually other features.

Do not ask me about technical details of what’s gone wrong. Not if you value your own sanity or mine. Just know that the Internet stars are in motion and once they’ve realigned we may not have the idyllic Age of Aquarius, but we should have functioning email.

We already have the beginnings of a blog. Not enough to show you yet. But enough for He Who Fakes It Well to show me, and I’m duly impressed.

I hadn’t intended to tackle the new site until my home wifi returns late next month. But there were suddenly good reasons to get going. Until now, having access a few hours a week at the library has been no problem. But trust me, you don’t want to be working on a new website without lots of Internet time.

Even if somebody else is doing most of the work. I still have to research, approve, advise, consent, and think. And you know, that last part is hard on the brain.

Anyhow, be of good cheer. The stars will eventually shine in their appointed places.

And for those who’ve asked, the blog won’t change a lot. It’ll still range from serious to silly, from political to personal, and still be called Living Freedom. It’ll be in a different location (though perhaps with dual posting here and there for some time) and have a new look. But still the same blog. Those of you who’ve been vexed by technical glitches or denial of access here should find the new site more friendly, too.


On a related subject … I was thinking the blog-foundation fundraiser might be prematurely slowing down. But nope! Three big donations came swooping in in the last 24 hours. Whoof! We’re well on our way to a year of blog time! I’m hopeful we’ll make it two.

We, the Monkeywrench

Monday, July 18th, 2016 by Claire | 18 Comments »

Today a convention begins in chaos, amid cries of law and order, that classic killer of freedom. Today, the media mourns three blue lives, as if the murder of armed agents of the state is worse than decades of police murders of the less politically protected.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Thanks will be on their way

Friday, July 15th, 2016 by Claire | Comments Off on Thanks will be on their way

I haven’t yet sent personal thanks to everyone who’s contributed to the blog-foundation fundraiser.

I’m already deep in your debt and getting deeper. I hope to say better thank yous over the weekend. But for the moment, just know that you great souls are in my thoughts.

A Friday ramble

Friday, July 15th, 2016 by Claire | 15 Comments »

Well, I don’t know which is more depressing: presidential candidates who’ve never succumbed to any vices or those who have but lie about it.

Rigidly straightlaced people rarely make empathetic “leaders.”


It’s definitely depressing that America’s blood-dancing hoplophobes will still fail to notice a) that it does happen in other countries and b) that an evil guy with an agenda can kill more people with a truck than with a firearm.


And why do so many people consider it somehow “better” if the Nazgul preserve an appearance of impartiality, even when they clearly have agendas?

This is like the dysfunctional family that thinks as long as nobody talks about the problem, there is no problem.


While clearly there’s a lot in the world to be pissed off about (and there always has been, right from the time the first finny thing ate the first one-celled squiggly thing), I had no idea until Joel mentioned it that today is supposed to be a national day of rage.

Actually, it appears we’re not supposed to get really mad until late afternoon or this evening.

Which is good. Because so far, as of early afternoon Pacific time, I haven’t yet managed to get beyond a good ennui.

Still, there’s time. Even if one can’t manage more than a state of mild vexation today, perhaps a touch of contumely toward one’s presumptive rulers, The Brunett warned recently of a dangerously mad summer to come.

Could be. I don’t share either the fear or the rage, but then I live in a peaceful, pleasant backwater, where the people around me are actually, you know, nice. And many of them reasonably self-sufficient and busy enough with their lives not to set aside public time for rage and riot.

(ETA) Thus it was almost a relief to learn from wise commentors that no one’s seriously demanding that we get all enraged after all. At least not today. Whew.

Still, does anybody doubt that we’re only seeing the beginning of dangerous times?


As for me, since Robbie died, I’ve been taking extra walks with Ava. Sometimes our walks are just the usual thing, a mile or two in the morning or afternoon. But we’ve done more than our share of hilly trecks that (speaking only for me; I don’t know about Ava) get the heart rate going and produce a happy soreness in thighs and calves. I think both Ava and I have lost a little weight this last week on this routine.

But to heck with getting overly healthy. We’ve also earned our indulgences. Yesterday after one such hike, we stopped at the little tienda in town and bought a fat slice of tres leches cake (swimming in thick cream!) and a Jarritos tamarind soda. Took them both over to the waterfront and enjoyed them there. Ava got to lick the cake carton.

I don’t like carbonated beverages and rarely ever have soft drinks of any sort. But I love how these fruity Mexican sodas boast of their gloriously high, and pure, sugar content. In this age of low-cal/no-cal everything, when even the worst sort of junk food masquerades as healthy (often because it’s filled with distinctly unhealthy manmade ingredients), it’s refreshing to see sugar proclaiming itself so cheekily from the side of a bottle. A bottle that, BTW, still requires a churchkey opener that’s hung from the side of an old-fashioned refrigerator case.

The tienda also has incredible tacos — handmade soft corn tortillas, folded over seasoned meat, avocado slices, crema, and fresh cilantro, among other goodies. But I’ll go back for those another day.


In the meantime, don’t feel you absolutely have to go out tonight and, on command, work yourself into such a righteous rage that you forget to enjoy your Friday and your weekend. :-)

Okay there?

Thursday links

Thursday, July 14th, 2016 by Claire | 10 Comments »

* Speaking of Amazon, thanks for the excellent Prime Day!

And thank you for donating to help put the foundation back under this blog.

Put the foundation back under this blog

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 by Claire | 10 Comments »

It’s time to put the foundation back under the blog.

I’d hoped to avoid a fundraiser until the end of the year or early next, but the last couple of months have made me regret for the first time not keeping that post office job my mother thought was so wonderful when I was 19. (“It pays well for a woman,” Mom said. “Secure, too,” she said. “You can retire when you’re 50.”)

So here, simply, is the deal:

$3,000 keeps the blog going for another year* and not incidentally lets me tackle the earth-moving and wall-building part of the foundation work on my house.

$5,500 keeps the blog going for two years** and not incidentally lets me begin the foundation work, proper.

Every $300 raised below that keeps the blog going for one month.

A couple of years ago, you guys came through like champs for my “roof raiser.” This time I’m asking you not to think so much about the needs of Ye Olde Wreck (because, really, why should they even be your concern?), but about this blog — which until May 1 had a financial “foundation” provided by BHM, but now has only Amazon links to support it. Think about whatever you get from this blog — information, community, encouragement, laughs, healthy rage, whatever it might be — and “v*te” with your dollars for it to continue.

Late next month, I’ll be back to more regular blogging. If you “v*te” with your dollars to keep the blog going beyond a year, the blog will also move to a dedicated site with interesting new features to be added (still in the thinking stages so far, but they’ll take advantage of the wonderful community spirit that’s grown around this blog).

How you can donate

Either use the PayPal button below to give any amount you choose, or send a check or money order via snail mail. (If you have the PO Box 12– addy, that one’s still good. If you need the snailing addy, contact me at donate-at-hermit-dot-cotse-dot-net.)


* Provided my Tesla’s autopilot doesn’t fail to notice large trucks and kill me.

** Provided my Learjet doesn’t lose cabin pressure and kill me.


I’m starting this off by crediting the generous “ghost” who already sent me an unsolicited donation last month:

This graphic will be manually updated at least once a day to reflect new totals. Thank you!

Amazon Prime Day

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 by Claire | 6 Comments »

Today is Amazon Prime Day, BTW.

Some huge deals today, including up to 60% off on athletic shoes, 25-40% off on some smartphones and smartwatches, up to 40% off on SanDisk products, and other deals on Roombas, toys, and Doom, and an XBox console.

Try Prime absolutely free today and get gigantic amounts whacked off the Prime Day specials. Today only, my regular Amazon link will take you directly to a Prime Deals page where you can see what they’re offering. Gigantic. Seriously. It’s like Black Friday, but in the middle of Summer.

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