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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.

I think this may be cheating, but …

Monday, May 18th, 2015 by Claire | 12 Comments »

When it comes to Dumpster diving, for sure New York City must be prime territory for doing it well.

Everybody has a different idea for what makes really fine simple living. And how to get there.

Going stir crazy

Sunday, May 17th, 2015 by Claire | 22 Comments »

Six days and 6-1/2 hours since breaking my &^%$#@! hecky-darned ankle, I’m going stir crazy.

I’m trying to be such a good girl. Aside from an itty-bitty pretty much token walk each morning and afternoon for Robbie (three or four doors down and back, wearing the fracture boot, of course), I’ve been sitting around with my foot elevated, applying heat, gentle massage, and just today a lovely cayenne-pepper cream MamaLiberty told me how to whip up.

Every book I have around the house is a deadly bore. I’ve developed computer vision syndrome (better known in the real world as eye strain). And I’m now on my second-in-a-row viewing of the entire Harry Potter movie series, which is the only thing keeping me from going bonkers.

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling half-human for the first time. I ventured a slightly longer walk in the afternoon — and paid for it today. (That pepper cream really helped, though!)

Tomorrow I need to fetch Ava from Furrydoc’s boarding kennel and that’s going to be interesting. She’s an energy hound who expects to walk/run at least two miles a day in addition to sessions of tennis-ball fetching and tug-o-war. Haven’t found anybody else to do that for her. Sorry, Ava.

But I’m not complaining. Really I’m not. And not feeling sorry for myself (though I’m unaccustomed to fussing over my health and dislike being babied, even if I’m the one doing the babying).

I’m feeling lucky it wasn’t worse. And lucky I have a job I can do while sitting around with my feet up. And lucky to have a little (or a lot) of help from my friends.

Besides, as a person who appreciates aesthetics, I find the colorfulness of this experience quite entrancing.

Don’t click on the “more” link unless you appreciate rich colors where bland color ususally prevails. This is what things look like six days (and 6-1/2 hours) after the event. The swelling’s gone down considerably but the colors keep “improving” all the time.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Weekend links

Saturday, May 16th, 2015 by Claire | 24 Comments »
  • The Boy Scouts: doing their best to close the gender gap. (Yeah, don’t ask me how that became their mission.) By Eagle Scout Jim Bovard.
  • And don’t even get my friendly local Scout leaders started on the Michelle Obama-inspired (recently) new requirements for the cooking badge. Where’d the fun go? Any kid who had to learn cooking that way would probably avoid the kitchen for the rest of his life.
  • You want to be treated with dignity? Behave with dignity. (Via ML who, like me, doesn’t agree with all Ringer’s points but thinks the overall piece is spot on.)
  • Six months later, they still haven’t been able even to question the cop who slaughtered Tamir Rice.
  • Religion of peace. C’mon, moderate Muslims. Step up, please.
  • The loathsome Section 215 of the USA-UnPatriot Act is set to expire next month. (I love sunset provisions.) Congress actually seems to be in a reform mode — well, a reform-ish mode — about the surveillance state. Courts, too. But I’m picturing the heads of the Uber-Government (in the No Such Agency and other places) cackling wickedly and rubbing their bony hands together over their Black Mamba capes. Laws? Regulations? Courts? Constitutions? Bwaaahahaha! The little fools! Don’t they know they can’t stop us?
  • How to take over a small country. (The kind of humor that really isn’t funny.)

Want a job at the DEA? Oh, the perks!

Friday, May 15th, 2015 by Claire | 8 Comments »

The Drug Policy Alliance has decided to “help” the DEA find a new leader. :-)

Current drug-war boss Michele Leonhart is leaving because of the little matter of her agents hanging out* at sex parties funded by drug cartels. This could be an opportunity for you! (No, not the sex parties, though perhaps those, too. The boss job, silly.)


* No pun intended.

Well, hecky-darn. It was broken after all.

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 by Claire | 31 Comments »

I was so sure my ankle wasn’t broken.

It’s broken.

Not a terrible break. Hairline. Now instead of hobbling around in a pressure bandage I’m hobbling around in a fracture boot. Which helps — as long as I don’t trip over the stiff old thing and break something else.

As always, I get by with a little help from my friends. Friends who pushed me to take this more seriously and friends who know much more than I do about dealing with such things. Friends who gave generously of their time and expertise.

I hate going to doctors. The prospect of limping off to be potentially manhandled, misdiagnosed, over-tested, over-treated, over-medicated, financially depleted, and otherwise abused by the medical system freaks me out to the point where I cussed and cussed when I realized I had a break, not a pulled or torn something-or-another. When I told friend Y. how I swore, he laughed and said, “Oh, I can see you cussing like a Marine DI. ‘Hecky-darn!’ ‘Phooey!’ ‘H. e. double toothpicks!’.”

I assured Y. that hecky-darn is not part of my cussing vocabulary. On the contrary, I may have taught some new words to a few of the young women who were around at the moment.

It’s been very educational, though. In comments the other day, a couple of people mentioned fracturing their malleolus bones. I had no idea such a thing as malleolus bones existed, let alone that we all have them in our ankles. Actually, melleolus is only a name for the bottom parts of more familiar leg bones. You may have known that since you were in the sixth grade. I didn’t. Now I know I have a fracture of the lateral malleolus.

I could quite happily have gone the rest of my life without ever having any reason to learn that.

Thursday links

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 by Claire | 17 Comments »
  • Find a hidden treasure at auction. Give it back. You’re a better man than I.
  • It’s a bad idea, but a provocative thought experiment. “What if, just for a change of pace, it was the opponents of free speech whose ideas were deemed hateful?”
  • Though the lede is about investing in the new cannabis industry, the most fascinatingly weird part is about the work being done in laboratories to isolate (then market) product with specific properties.
  • So we know birds came from dinosaurs. Now scientists have taken chicken embryos part of the way back. Honest, I thought it was The Onion at first and not the BBC. And no, that “photo” of a sharp-toothed chicken at the top isn’t real; the scientists aren’t hatching any of their embryos at present.
  • It’s a $9 chip. It’s a computer, complete with browser and apps. (H/T MJR)
  • Worker fired for disabling an app that let her boss track employees 24 hours a day. The creepitude just gets creepier all the time. (Via Jerry the Geek.)

Wednesday links

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 by Claire | 13 Comments »

I hung out in bed most of the day yesterday, with my foot elevated and bound in the pressure bandage MamaLiberty suggested. With Ava boarding for the duration, I had only Robbie and the cat — both championship sleepers — for company. Nobody, nobody, nobody tried to guilt-trip me into walking, playing, running, riding, throwing tennis balls, playing tug-o-war or otherwise doing exhausting things.

It was a cross between unthinkable luxury and excruciating boredom. I could have gotten some writing done or caught up on my email backlog, but my whole being seemed as stiff and useless as my injured ankle. Aiming for better things today.

Oy, sucha day

Monday, May 11th, 2015 by Claire | 58 Comments »

I start to take the dogs for their morning walk, put my foot wrong, and come down on the side of my ankle with a pain I thought was going to knock me out.

After five minutes of sitting in the road seeing stars, I’m able to get up and hobble back to the house. Dogs are looking at me like I’m totally betraying them. “But … but … it’s walk time, Mommy!!!”

And that’s just for starters …

« Read the rest of this entry »

Monday links

Monday, May 11th, 2015 by Claire | 21 Comments »
  • John Silveira’s famous Backwoods Home classified ad continues to live on 18 years later. It’s already become an indie movie and helped launch a director’s burgeoning career. (H/T DD)
  • Kentucky Authoritahs grab 10 kids, apparently just because they’re unschooled and live off grid. Hearing today. Wish this family good fortune.
  • So lessee. Reading to your kids is about the best way in the world to give them a head start. Better than fancy private schools. Which means that the proper response is … quit doing it and maybe even eliminate families. Huh? “Harrison Bergeron” indeed. I’ve just added a new blog category, “Cultural insanity,” to cover this sort of thing.
  • Along the same lines, why assume poor kids must all be art deprived?
  • I usually admire Bob Owens, but when I read his L.A. Times op-ed blaming Glocks for the way cops handle them (badly), my jaw dropped. My reaction was the same as Firehand’s. Blame the gun because the shooter ignores the basic rules of firearm safely? Isn’t that straight from the playbook of Bloomberg and his Meddling Mommies?
  • There’s a new, gold-backed cryptocurrency in town: The Hayek, courtesy of Anthem Blanchard. Anthem Hayek Blanchard, in fact. Freedomista-born, you think? It’s actually been in the works a while but is just getting more mainstream notice. Hope it does better than egold.
  • Let people think that shelter mutts are pricey petstore pooches and they’ll fall in love. (H/T SC)
  • Per jed in comments: The Oatmeal on if my dogs were middle-aged men. Oooookayyyyy …

The house next door

Sunday, May 10th, 2015 by Claire | 32 Comments »

Usually when I mention the house next door, I’m talking about the place that’s set a respectable distance away on a very large lot, occupied by a young family with a herd of little boys. Good neighbors. Not close. No problem. There’s another house next door, which is more problematic.

It’s the house on the other side, which is not quite at “reach out and touch” distance. But if I threw rocks at it, I’d never miss.

When I bought this place, that house was even more derelict than this one. It had burned down. Gaping holes in the walls. Charred wood. The owners had walked away from it. Nobody believed it to be salvageable and I assumed that someday after I’d recovered from purchasing this place maybe I’d be able to buy it for spit, tear it down, and have its small lot as a buffer.

I wasn’t counting on Andy. It turns out that my neighbor Andy (now deceased) was some sort of genius at salvaging unsalvageable houses and even making them into something quite cool.

He did that. When he started turning the house back into something livable, I put up a fence between the two places. And I was relieved when he moved his 85-year-old mother-in-law into the restored house. Nice, quiet neighbor. No problem. May she live to be 110.

Then the other day, while hanging out at the bee swarm, Andy’s widow J. told me she’d just sold the place.

Here’s the bad news: She sold it to a retired cop corrections officer.*

Here’s the worse news: He’s moving up from California.

Here’s the even worse news: He paid the sort of price only a Californian could imagine paying for this house in this area.

It’s an adorable little place. But little is the operative term. It’s tiny. Its lot is so small it doesn’t even own part of its own driveway. To a local, the house would have sold for $60,000 tops. Maybe $70,000 to somebody really crazy about its artistic touches. California Cop has contracted to buy it for $120,000, and since it’s seller-financed there’s no mortgage lender to demand an appraisal and give him a reality check.

Good thing for J., who’s a lovely person and deserves a bit of good fortune in her life after being widowed so abruptly this year.

But I am freaked out. I’m not only going to have a lifelong member of the Authoritah class within rock-throwing distance, but this might do terrible things to neighborhood property taxes.

I got taxed out of Cabin Sweet Cabin in 2009 when my property taxes extortion fees went up 43% in one year. I intend to stay here for the rest of my life.

I will be really, really, really upset if some ignorant Californicator on a fat state pension makes that impossible.


*Generally, someone who wanted to be a cop but couldn’t qualify. No offense to any cops or corrections officers who respect the Bill of Rights and have spent their careers working for liberty and/or to improve the justice system from within. (Don’t laugh; it could happen.)

The swarm

Saturday, May 9th, 2015 by Claire | 31 Comments »

My neighbor had another bee swarm. Three in the space of eight days! I missed the first two, but she called me as soon as she spotted the latest and I got to watch our friendly neighborhood expert deal with it.

Here’s the swarm:

« Read the rest of this entry »

Friday links

Friday, May 8th, 2015 by Claire | 18 Comments »
  • You know those famous electronic billboards in Times Square? LOL, the feds apparently demanded NYC take them all down. “Highway beautification,” you know. Then just that quickly, they denied making the demand. But turns out the signs are in violation of fedlaw. Governing highways. To paraphrase Kipling, “… if once you have paid him the taken his Dane-geld, you never get rid of the Dane.”
  • Like Pamela Geller or loathe her, she has a point. One might wish the current crop of liberal authoritarians had as good a grasp on the meaning of free speech.
  • Sigh. Didja ever think you’d see the day when people would be moronic enough not only to v*te with their sex organs — but boast about it?
  • I saw a guy today in our little tienda Mexicana wearing this tee-shirt. Got a big laugh — though I suppose my Irish ancestors didn’t.
  • Cody Wilson is suing the State Department on First Amendment grounds for “preempting” him from posting Liberator pistol plans online. He’s got Alan Gura on his side. And SAF doing the only thing it’s actually good for.
  • Kirsten Gillibrand put a kitten in a blender. No, seriously, you need to read this.


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