I am so grateful today.
I’m grateful to have a solid roof over my head (and Ava, Robbie, and Kitsu the cat would say the same if they could speak) as the rain pours down all week and the season’s first high-wind warnings go up.
This sense of security I owe to you.
I owe C-B, S.H., M.K., L.P., and especially Anonymous and the Mysterious Rockefeller for the latest round of help, which repaired the section of roof that collapsed while the rest of the roof was being refurbished. I also owe many of you, especially Paul Bonneau, for construction advice.
In case you’re wondering, I ended up not having the “Full Joe” repair.
Today I told my local friend L. that I was going to take “hermit time” from November 1 through the end of the year and that for those two months I was making no commitments of any sort except those required to earn a living. That includes not making commitments for holiday plans with friends, though I might be up for something spontaneous.
“You’re being so selfish!” she said. “Your friends love you and want to be with you.”
“You’re punishing me!” she said.
Considering that I was, at that moment, taking six hours of my day to drive her to a doctor appointment, I thought the bit about being selfish was a particularly low blow. But I was perhaps more shocked that she took my retreat to be all about her.
I’d just been telling her what a stressful year it’s been, how the JPFO debacle had taken the spirit out of me, and how desperately I need mental and spiritual renewal.
She’d just been telling me how proud she was of having said no to a long-term volunteer commitment even after being told how much she was needed.
But me saying no to holiday plans (that we hadn’t even discussed in detail) is punishing her.
Because she’s not normally a narcissistic person I’m going to assume it was pain or pain meds talking. (She recently had surgery and is ingesting a daily pharmacopeia.)
Or perhaps something about hermitting during the holidays is so heretical that she literally does perceive it as an attack on friends and friendship. “Have you told [furrydoc] yet?” she asked in a tone that implied I was about to lose all my friends if I did this horrible thing.
(Dear furrydoc blessedly won’t give a damn. Hi, furrydoc.)
L’s angry words stung. But they also helped cement my resolve.
If spiritual retreat is selfishness, then it’s time to be selfish. If friendship is nothing but fulfilling obligations and observing conventions, then it’s not time for friendship.
Funny, L’s words — though shocking from L. — were familiar. That’s similar to the way my Protestant mother and sister used to talk about Catholic nuns, especially of the cloistered variety. Just a bunch of selfish women “doing nothing” when they could be out getting married, raising families, and actually helping people.
Many people in many places have said the same of spiritual pilgrims of all kinds: Why don’t they just be normal like everybody else? Why don’t they do something useful?
Well, I’m no nun and have so far made a pretty lousy spiritual pilgrim. But all my life I’ve understood, even if only from afar, the value of lives devoted to “divine nothingness.”
My only regret is that I haven’t been more of that kind of “selfish.”
Now that I have copies of RebelFire: Out of the Gray Zone to go with my boxes of Hardyville Tales, I thought I could offer a little better thank you to some of the people who donated so generously to my Raise-the-Roof fund drive.
I apologize for not having any new books to give; I realize a lot of you already have one or both of these. But … well, maybe you still need an autographed copy or perhaps you might like to give a book to a friend this ChrismaKwanzaaHannukaYule.
If you donated $25 to $49, take your choice of either RebelFire or Hardyville Tales.
If you donated $50 to $99, take ‘em both or take two copies of either one.
If you donated $100 to $299, take three, all one kind or mix and match.
If you donated $300 or more, heck, you can have whatever you want. :-)
(Note to Anonymous and Rockefeller: You, too, should you choose to uncloak.)
The Roof Raiser PayPal donation form didn’t require addresses, so I’ll need to get them from you. If you want books, please just leave a comment on this post using a real email address where it asks for your addy. I’ll see it; no one else will. Then I’ll email to ask which book(s) you want, what name(s) you want me to sign to, and where to send. You don’t have to put any personal info in your comment!
Or if you already have an email address for me, just write and tell me your details.
Please just make your request by Thursday, October 30. I’d like to have all the books in the mail by the end of the month (before I go into deep hermitting).
I’m sorry I don’t have any new books to offer. This feel like an inadequate gesture. But really anything would be inadequate; I can’t tell you what a huge, huge thing you did. Huge.
It’s turning into a busy blog over there, with posts from unique pro-gun perspectives.
Some of the latest:
“The Ghetto Mentality” by newest blogger Y.B. ben Avraham, on how so many Jews ended up being anti-gun.
Vladka Peltel’s slightly tongue-twisting “I Don’t Want to Hear ‘Never Again!’ Ever Again.”
“Faith and Firearms Revisited” by Nicki Kenyon, who also examines Jews, anti-gun attitudes, and the duty to protect life.
And one that’s near and dear to my heart, Sheila Stokes-Begley’s “Dreidels and Hedgerows,” which draws some similarities between Irish history and the history of the ancient Jews.
Or so the envelope said. The return address (I looked it up) was the HQ of the Council on Foreign Relations.
My correspondent has a sense of humor.
Based on what was in the envelope, my correspondent can call him or herself Rockefeller, Gates, Buffett, Rothschild, Medici, Windsor or anything else great heart desires. It would fit!
In their own world, they must have Rockefeller-level pull. They somehow talked their local post office into sending the priority envelope without either a postmark or the required tracking sticker. (Hilariously, this put my postmaster into a high huff. She was ready to write a nastygram to the postmaster of “New York 10065,” informing them that they’d broken the law!)
So, with no means to identify Mr. or Ms Rockefeller, or even have a clue as to where in this vast land their secret Lair of Largess might be, I can only say an inadequate wow. An inadequate doublewow. And an inadequate thank you.
Up goes that last remaining, recalcitrant section of roof. And off my heart and shoulders comes that rather heavy burden.
- Just in case you ever wanted to become a crooked psychic/fortune-teller/medium … or in case you’d like to explain to a gullible relative how not to be so easily conned, here’s how cold reading is done.
- Wow. Sometimes using stupid passwords could be a good thing. Might have saved this young woman’s life. (But ohboy, OnStar, what a fail!)
- The Centers for Anything But Disease Control. Michelle Malkin lists just a few of the “diseases” the CDC has spent its billions on.
- I don’t intend to make this the all-Ebola all-the-time blog because I do think the fear is overblown (for everyone except medical personal). But here’s some plain common sense for avoiding exposure to infectious disease. And for those who really feel the need for hardcore protection (and have the money and time to go for it), here’s that, too.
- And hey, if you’re really going to buy moonsuits and the kind of respirators (scroll down that page) needed for real Ebola protection, please don’t forget to use my Amazon links. Those could generate some very nice commissions — unfortunately for anyone who really needs such gear.
- Not confirmed yet. But if true this could be a sweet lesson for those meddling “Moms” who believe in trying to get every open carrier SWATted. Will keep an eye on this. I’ve searched a couple of times today and found no further information.
… it sounds as if Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital wasn’t prepared for any severely infectious disease, let alone Ebola.
As a health-care outsider, but one who cares about preps, I wouldn’t necessarily expect a hospital in the midlands to be ready specifically for Ebola. But with all the talk these many years of potential biowar attacks and pandemics, I’d certainly expect more and better preps at any hospital than the slapdash, make-it-up-as-you-go, and dangerously half*ssed measures the anonymous nurses describe.
Of course, they are anonymous, and on the face of it, it’s hard to know whether their statement represents a grudge-holding exaggeration or genuine outrage and terror from people whose lives have been put at risk. And people who watched others’ lives be endangered.
But now that a second Dallas nurse has been diagnosed, the bland assurances of hospital management and the accusation from federal officials that the first nurse’s infection must have been all her own fault ring even more false.
We also know that this second nurse, while self-monitoring for the disease, flew twice on commercial airlines — including one flight the day before she reported to the hospital with a fever. We can hope that the latest assurances — that she was asymptomatic at the time, that the disease can’t be spread by someone showing no symptoms, and that the planes have now been cleaned according to (I roll eyes as I say this) CDC guidelines — are all more reliable than past assurances have been.
Everything is still officially fine, of course. All that’s needed are a few billion more dollars of tax funding and the CDC, and National Institutes of Health will — really, truly this time — have Ebola well in hand. And really, truly, they won’t blow any of those billions focusing on obesity, guns, or any other politically driven (non) “epidemic.”
I still think it’s way too early to panic — and of course panic won’t be productive even if/when it is time. I would never expect Ebola to get as out-of-control here as it has in West Africa, even with a fair degree of stupid involved. Not even remotely.
But if what we’ve seen represents the general level of preparedness and precaution that health-crats and hospitals practice, then it may indeed be time to worry, and to examine our own preps with infectious disease in mind.
More later on that.
Another potential vector I’d include in my worries involves those thousands of soldiers (slowly) being sent into the “hot zone.” We’re assured that they’ll never, ever, ever have any contact with Ebola sufferers. But they’re also mostly young men and women. Many are likely inclined to be risk takers. And do you believe for one moment that those who are sending them have made any better preps than the officials at the CDC or that Dallas hospital?
These people will return to the U.S. and disburse — possibly to a military base or a neighborhood near you.
No, I am not saying it’s time to duct tape ourselves inside those airless “safe” rooms the fedgov was so (potentially fatally) advocating a few years back.
Just stating the obvious: that the people who are supposed to be in charge of infectious-disease containment appear to be as clueless as the people in charge of … well, everything else that’s run or regulated by government. And — also obvious — that concern for the welfare of individuals or so-far Ebola-free communities is simply not on the radar of “officials.” So it had better be on our own radar.
Linoge, of Walls of the City offers the contents of his get-home-from-work bag.
What’s in your get-home bag? Or do you not need one?
- The FBI’s report on mass shootings … doesn’t actually report on mass shootings. So says John Lott.
- Attorney wants to overturn the “machine-gun ban” and then take on the NFA. In four days, he’s more than half funded. (Via David Codrea)
- Blogs are 20 years old now. That’s older than dinosaurs in ‘Net time. (H/T JB)
- Robinson Jeffers handcrafted stone cottage. Just because. (This strikes me as a very apt sort of thing for a poet to do. H/T A.G.)
- They were Irish and they were slaves. Where are our reparations???
Tiny, portable box adds TOR to every Ethernet connection. And everything you do online.
Claim: cold fusion may have been verified by third-party researchers. I’ll believe it when I see it. Just posting as an item of interest for now. But oh my, if this ever turns out to be for real, it changes everything — and not just in tech or power generation.
(H/Ts: MJR and MtK)
ADDED: Sigh. It’s possible both of these might turn out to be scams. Per Sam in Oregon, here’s the latest on the Anonabox.
Already got a reality check on the cold-fusion device below.
ADDED: A comment by a friend who works in the power-generation field:
I downloaded and read the paper on the cold fusion device, called E-Cat.
Disclosure: I would like for this to be true. It would improve the health and wellbeing of mankind at least as much as the mastery of fire.
Rossi has been making these claims for years. One of the common elements in all of his experiments is that he uses complex means to measure the energy.
This paper is no different. They have to estimate the energy losses for no fewer than 3 different physical effects. One of those, radiation, accounts for more than 100% of the observed “excess” heat.
That’s a red flag right there. A competent analysis would have predicted how the heat would manifest itself: so much to radiation, so much to convection, so much to conduction. Then they could have checked their results against this prediction.
But they didn’t do that. They didn’t even test their “control” at the same power and temperature levels. Another red flag.
Radiation is a very difficult way to measure energy production. The power goes as the temperature to the 4th power, so a 5% error in temperature gives a 22% error in power. Then the alumina they used has a big change in emissivity as a function of temperature, and the temperature of the tube is far from uniform.
Bottom line; the most likely explanation for the “excess heat” is a sum of small errors in the measurements.
There are also claims of isotopic shifts, but those are tough to measure with the equipment they used. The absence of any radiation means we would have to throw out most of what we know about nuclear physics.
I’m not at all against throwing out theories that don’t work. The problem is that nuclear physics works pretty darned well. Nuclear reactors, nuclear weapons, nuclear medicine, solar physics, cosmography, all of these things require detailed calculations of nuclear reactions and rates, and all of them get answers that are pretty much exactly right. There are always questions at the edges, such as solar neutrinos, but there isn’t any suggestion that the physics is wrong.
The process of throwing out older theories for better ones always follows the same path. The old theories work well enough for a while. Eventually we push the edges enough that the calculations start producing answers that don’t match what we see. A fair amount of data is collected showing that we have a problem. Then some smart person proposes a new theory that explains all of the old stuff AND all of the new stuff.
That isn’t happening here. There isn’t a collection of hints that we have a problem in nuclear physics. Quite the opposite. The further we push, the more confirmations we get.
So I don’t buy the claims of isotopic shifts.
Then there is the question of the complex experimental setup.
The excess power they claim is equivalent to nearly 2,000 watts of excess heat being produced. That’s a lot. If there really was that much heat, it would be easy to measure directly, without the trouble and errors of trying to calculate power from radiation.
Just one idea, to show how straightforward this could be.
Immerse the thing in wax, or lead, or salt. Make the container big enough that it is clearly impossible to melt the contents from the electrical input power alone. Then run it until the container is full of melted whatever. That’s proof. No fancy measurements required. A bit of engineering math in advance, build 2 or 3 to run controls before and after, and you have a bullet-proof demo.
This isn’t a bullet-proof demo. It’s not even a demo. I don’t know if Rossi is running an elaborate con game or if he believes this stuff. It doesn’t matter; I’m pretty sure there is nothing here. I’d be more than happy to be proved wrong.
From MJR comes today’s biggest grin:
An elderly woman got the last word after locking a police officer in her basement, and later suing the police.
Venus Green, who was 87 when she was handcuffed, roughed up and injured by police, will receive $95,000 as part of a settlement with Baltimore City. The city chose to settle the case instead of taking a chance in front of a jury.
“We thought we would have a difficult time in front of a city jury, or any jury,” Baltimore City solicitor George Nilson said.
Green was so put out by what police officers did, the city said she locked one of them in her basement.
Read more at the link. It just gets better. Yes, cops treated Venus Green like cr*p. But she never bent an inch, and clearly she won this case because city officials were not about to go to court and say their armed agents brutalized an 87-year-old retired schoolteacher because they “felt threatened” by her. Even though she is obviously one tough — and well-informed — lady.
Somebody should send this lady one of those “Come Back with a Warrant” doormats.
I’ve always said that being an old lady is one of the best disguises an Outlaw can “wear.”