Today’s Blogtour Stop

With our very own Cyn Bagley at her Scrambled Sage blog.  (Which might make a better read than my own post today, since I seem to be having issues ordering my thoughts.)

Oh, yeah, and Ganymede is free on the kindle till the 2nd.

And sort of blogtourish… I SWEAR I’m NOT drunk. (I was just utterly exhausted.)

69 responses to “Today’s Blogtour Stop

  1. I’d like an order of thoughts myself today.

  2. TY for the blog visit– ;-) Sarah

    • Tried to comment at your blog but your platform apparently don’t much like me.

      I has a complaint: You said “pressing questions” would be answered. I read the whole thing and saw nothing about preferred type of iron, optimum padding for boards and the whole controversy about starch went unaddressed. I feels cheated!

      • Oh well – I really don’t like starch– btw I have comment moderation on because I get tons (10-20) of spam a day on my blogs. It’s enough to drive me crazy–

        • So leave a comment RES– and I’ll put it up when I see it– btw I found that blogger has some problems with certain people– ;-)

          • I quite understand about moderated comments; that was not a problem.

            The first attempted comment the identifier jumped me to Livejournal, which doesn’t know me. The second effort I insisted it use my WordPress identity … and WP denied me. Too much effort for a feeble joke that deteriorated with each iteration. Sigh. The initial effort would have had people spewing beverages through their noses across the world (and nobody can prove it wouldn’t.)

      • This iron, hands down. I love this thing: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000B76MEA/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00 as for ironing board padding, I haven’t yet found one good enough. Maybe my family will hunt down something for my xmas gift. (Yes, I REALLY am that lame. I’d be overjoyed.)

        • We used to use brown paper bags for some of our ironing (over the top of clothes) and a steam iron–

          • BTW have you ever used an old iron that you put in the coals ;-) We used to have one and used it sometimes–

            • No. But I remember mom and grandma using the upper version of that — the coal-filled iron — I told my mom the other day the idea is mindboggling to me. Fill iron with coals, wipe it down…

              This was while dad wore white shirts to work everyday, so forget to wipe a little smudge, and the ironing is ruined and the shirt to wash — by hand — again.

              People wonder why women used to be full-time homemakers… Well…

              • It was a lot of work. I remember stories from my great-grandmother about wash day, etc. Just getting your field harvested took the community– I think they used to go from farm to farm, the housewife made a large lunch in the middle of the day, and the farmers, sons, and families did this until all the crops were harvested. It was before diesel farm equipment.

              • There was a reason white shirts for work were an emblem of status.

                People these days have soooooo little concept of what life for a homemaker as recently as 100 years ago was like. Electrification and widespread use of electric motors gave us clothes washers, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, sewing machines, crock pots and much much more. Add in television and radio and record/tape/CD/MP3 players to provide some little alleviation of the tedium, and subtract the effort to keep the stove and oven firebox full and burning. IIRC, a primary cause of death for housewives in the 19th Century was immolation — catching their aprons and/or skirts afire …

                • Wayne Blackburn

                  That reminds me – watching American Pickers, I learned that years ago, a family would have one motor, usually gas powered and sitting on a wheeled cart, that they would attach by a belt to whatever machine might need it, whether it was a water pump or a washing machine. Then, when it was needed elsewhere, they would wheel it off to the next thing.

                  • That sounds familiar– maybe something my grandfather used to talk about–

                  • I reckon the nobs were the households that owned two motors: Oooh, look at them! One motor won’t do for them, they’s too high and mighty to wait, has to have a second motor they does.

                • I remember one of my aunts telling me how she, during the winter, had to pull the already soaped laundry on a sled, in a couple of big wooden tubs, to the lake next to their house, and then rinse it in the hole hacked into the ice. And that was during the early 50’s. Well, at that time her family was dirt poor, partly because that one of my uncles had come from the war with problems he tried to deal with by drinking, a lot, and they were unfortunate enough to have a bad enough well that getting enough water out of it for the laundry of a family with three young boys and the parents was at times hard. But her family was not the only one who had to make do with stuff like that during those times. Yes, looking after the home really was a full time job not that long ago.

                  • BTW, I got a letter from someone from Scandinavia about DSR telling me I was wrong about you know, command economies, because the welfare state had been wonderful in Scandinavia for 50 years.

                    I know this is a reflection of what’s printed/said there, and failures being swept under the rug. (Failures? Well, the plunging birth rate and the increasingly unassimilated immigrants, for one, but for other, the fact that most tech innovation seems to have stopped cold in Scandinavian countries, at least compared to pre-welfare-state days. I.e. it’s the failures you can’t show. What some economist calls the “lack of squid farms on Mars.”) But the other part of this I found when arguing for free market with Scandinavians is that they don’t seem to understand free market and the drastic cutting back of a safety net to JUST a safety net IS NOT a return to a feudal state. I had a friend from Sweden come back at me with “Yes, it’s pretty bad here, but not as bad as when we had famines under the feudal state.” This puzzles heck out of me, since socialism IS feudalism by bureaucrats. The freeing of the markets is opposed to both.

                    Anyway, I wondered if you’ve run into that.

                    (The other thing ignored is that socialism works RELATIVELY better in Scandinavia than anywhere else, because it is — sorry for lumping Swedes and Norwegians and all together and I know Finns are really markedly different, but not as different as the rest of the world, if that makes sense — to an extent a mono-culture and relatively small nations. Portugal is also a small nation but not a mono culture, plus it has a tradition of invader-rulers, and therefore socialism there is… uh… different. There was some study too saying socialism worked relatively well in genetically limited populations — which would totally exclude Finland, I think — but proportionally worse the more diverse the population. Not sure about that, and I just realized that is a post, I mean, the whole thing, isn’t it?)

                    • Yes, that’s the general attitude. And the fact is things seem fairly good right now. If you work for somebody else you get paid well, and probably get that firm’s health care even though we do have that state provided one everybody gets, and if you get fired you can be sure you won’t starve, and your medicines will be paid, as well as your rent, provided you know what to ask for, where to ask it from and have the patience and the know how to deal with all the necessary paperwork. Getting back to work from that can be a bit more complicated, unless you manage to find a full time job right away. Part time can mean you will be getting less money than you would if you stayed on the unemployment or other benefits.

                      Not so good if you’d want to start a business, the red tape can strangle even the most eager. Or if you want to expand your business from a one man firm into one with employees since then it gets exponentially worse. One of the recurring complaints you see now is that young Finns just don’t want to start their own businesses anymore, and when it comes to transferring even a successful family businesses to the next generation, well, one recent news story I read worried that the country will lose, I think it was something like possibly about 30 000 jobs in the next few years because those firms just can’t find anybody to continue them. And then there is the fact that having a business doesn’t necessarily pay very well, unless you are truly successful with it from the very beginning. Lots of costs. Lots of taxes. You’ll probably get better money if you work for somebody else. And get to sleep more on top of that, and can even have long vacations.

                      Workers are well protected. Businessmen, not so well.

                      So one problem here now is that pretty much everybody would want to work for somebody else. And those who dare to start a business can be very wary about trying to expand. I doubt that means anything good for our long term future.

                      And we, very much, have the same problem most other western countries have, the big firms we do have are busy transferring their manufacturing jobs to someplace cheaper. And sometimes the whole firm.

                      So, where will the money come from, after a while, if we end up in a situation where we don’t have much of anything else left than small one man businesses and the government jobs? Which seems to be the direction where we are going now. The government thinks up patches, but they seem to, at most, slow things down for a while, not stop the process, much less reverse it. I hope I’m wrong, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

                      Welfare states can work, but I doubt they can work for long, not when they become as extensive as the ones we have here are. And yes, my guess would be that even when they work for a while they require something like what we started with here, a relatively small and homogenous population with good work ethics. And we seem to be in the process of losing both of those latter, that homogenous part with the immigration, especially since a lot of that has been humanitarian which means we have been getting people whose values are about as different from ours as you can get. And possibly also the good work ethics. So, yeah, I’m doubtful.

                    • IOW, as I saw it, in A Few Good Men the choice is between a “Stability” that ends up having a high human price (people who can’t find jobs and feel marginalized; people who could have their lives improved by new tech, who of course aren’t; various population/health care cost control measures) and risking freedom. Eh. I choose freedom. I realize other people might prefer security.

                    • Just don’t trouble your minds with the realization that that security is ever diminishing.

                    • Oh, PJ O’Rourke’s summation of his chapter on Sweden (if you haven’t read Eat The Rich, you should) was “There are no mad people because everyone is a little insane.” Or something like that…

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      “I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell…”

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      If we could just figure out a way to make people understand that that’s what we’re looking at happening here, if we keep down the path we’re going.

                    • socialism worked relatively well in genetically limited populations

                      Purt much ANY system works relatively well where all are related.

                      One major psychological benefit of socialism is that, as Churchill noted, it spreads the poverty evenly; thus individuals are relatively equally poor. In free market economies the productive, the innovative, the successful risk-takers do incredibly well; others, while enjoying a higher standard of living than their counterparts in socialist economies, do relatively far less well that the entrepreneurial successes, and thus feel their poverty more deeply. The wonderful thing about “fairness” as an economic agenda is it justifies the envy the indolent have for the successful; few acknowledge the hard road traveled to climb to the pinnacle of success, nor the risks undertaken. Back in the ’80s Bill Gates offered to give Microsoft to IBM, but those eminences disdained PCs as “toy computers” — so Gates and Company had to slog it out and accept the benefits of being unwanted.

                      Oddly, this discussion corresponds to this observation (emphasis added) this morning by William Katz at his URGENT AGENDA blog:

                      Free enterprise isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot more perfect than the socialist systems of Europe. They do provide some additional services, and I will admit that they iron out some of the more reprehensible disparities in compensation that exist in our own country. However, in the end, socialism leads to atrophy. It destroys incentive, which in turn destroys innovation and creativity, the building blocks of a strong economy.

                      I was amused recently watching a program by CNN’s resident third-world leftist, Fareed Zakaria. He was mightily impressed by the fact that Sweden has a cabinet minister for innovation. It’s typical of leftists to be impressed by government officials who are devoted to noble ends. But, where’s the innovation? Sweden is a dying nation, strangled by the burdens of the welfare state while welcoming immigrants from the Mideast who have no use for the culture of that state. Sweden doesn’t even own Volvo any longer, and Saab is dead. But they do have a cabinet minister for innovation. Next they should have a cabinet minister specializing in how to fade into history gracefully.

                      I’ll take free enterprise. I’ll try to improve it, but I’ll take it over socialism.
                      http://www.urgentagenda.com/PERMALINKS%20VII/NOVEMBER%202012/30.SOCIALISM.HTML

                    • As to “famines under feudalism” — ye gods. Socialists don’t have famines? There are a few hundred million Kulaks, Ukrainians and Chinese (just to start the roll call) who would beg to disagree, except they all be starved dead.

                      The absence of famines is the result of free market economies, like the United States (used to be) which developed advanced agricultural methods and technologies and sold them to the world (getting rich in the process, while making the rest of the world much wealthier as well.)

                      Socialism only seems to work better because you don’t see the lightbulbs that don’t come on.

                    • BTW, one part of the equation may be our literature, especially what we get offered in schools. At least a lot of the now well respected authors from the birth years of Finnish language literature wrote about the poor – tenant farmers were a popular subject. So when we think about the past the image will more likely be that of the miserable story of a poor family living in a hovel with a multitude of kids who have no shoes and are full of lice and other creepy crawlies while the parents work their fingers to the bone for the benefit of the rich landowner/factory owner who demands 12 hour workdays, pays them pittance and fires them the second they are no longer useful. But you don’t get that many stories, from those times, of the poor smart boy who worked 14 hour days and managed to create a successful business, or buy a farm and expand it to the point where it benefited lots of poor people by giving them jobs… So the past, before the creation of the welfare state, can seem like a world of unrelieved suffering for those who weren’t lucky enough to be born in a rich family, while the fact that it also had lots of opportunities for those able to take them gets overlooked. As is the fact that even that suffering, while it existed, was not quite as widespread and as unrelieved as some of those stories might make it seem, and things like actual starving for larger parts of the population happened, most times, due to acts of god, bad crop years and such, not because of those evil rich people (apart from something like hoarding seed grain instead of giving it to the starving…).

                    • To add an example to my literature comment:

                      The Red Line

                      That links to a Wikipedia article about the opera based on a novel we all, at least my generation, had to read in school, by Ilmari Kianto who is one of the big names from the turn of the last century. As far as I can remember the plot of the opera told in that article corresponds pretty well with the plot of the novel. And that is rather representative of the literature I remember having to read in school – lots of stories about miserable poor people. We got told about some of the successful historical businessmen in history classes, but those were short mentions, no details about how they got to be successful. And in history we also got a lot of how the early socialist reformers had worked tirelessly in order to make everything so much better for those miserable poor people… I don’t know what kind of literature and history gets taught in Sweden or Norway etc, but if it’s anything similar to ours I can well understand why any suggestions that it might not be a bad idea to dismantle at least some parts of the current welfare state may be met with a rather automatic refusal to even think about that.

                    • Should have led, looks like. Well, if you follow the links from that Wikipedia page my link actually leads to you can find that page. Or google ‘the red line opera wikipedia’. Grr. I didn’t, by the way, actually find an English language page which would have told the plot for the novel, just that one which explains the plot of the opera, but as said they are pretty much one on one.

            • We have two of those, I think… I’ve never tried using them, though. Right now they act as “decoration” and are set on top of our stove. Like, the fireplace kind of stove.

        • Wow – that looks like a beast of an iron! Do you need a DMV permit to drive it?

          The house we now inhabit had been appointed with an ironing board built into the wall, just outside of the laundry room. Designed so it fell across the hall, so even at half-length it fully obstructs passage. They neglected to put an electric outlet in the hall. We’ve lived here over fifteen years and still haven’t decided what thought processes were in operation.

  3. Stupid Question for Cyn Bagley:

    Is that a B-25/PBJ engine nacelle behind you in your avatar pic on here?

    • It is a B-25– I think it was Heavenly Body– It came up to Carson City for an airshow in 2005 or 6– ;-)

      • Actually– this one was blue I think so it is not Heavenly Body– but it had some beautiful nose art– and was a B-25

        • That’s why I said “B-25/PBJ” — that shade of blue, and combo of blue and white, was only ever used by the US Navy’s air arm; and in USN service, that unit’s designator was “PBJ”. (For the non-warbird types: “PB”: Patrol Bomber; “J”: built by North American Aviation. Technically, it should be “PB1J”, as there is supposed to be a number indicating how many of that class of aircraft had been bought from that company — thus, “F4F” is the fourth fighter design bought from Grumman Aviation — but in practice “1” was not used.)

          • I am sure you are right. I was on some really high meds at the time. The hubby said to stand there and then he took the picture. ;-) It was pretty and they were giving rides — As you can tell I like noseart, but I am not really an aircraft person. You should see me on take offs and landings.

  4. > I SWEAR I’m NOT drunk.

    It’s always weird meeting (or seeing on video) authors who you’ve become familiar with through their writing or their blogs.

    Sometimes (rarely) they’re exactly like you pictured them. When I was a kid I met Isaac Asimov once, and the only thing that surprised me was that he actually inhabited the same universe I did.

    The most recent author I met was Larry Correia. I knew he was big – but I hadn’t realized quite how tall!

    In your case, somehow despite knowing that you were raised in Portugal, I never expected the Latin flavor to you speech. In retrospect, of course – duh!

    • I don’t have an accent in my writing, I know. I don’t hear it, either, until I hear it recorded and then it annoys me, because it’s not me… ;)

      The worst for me was Terry Pratchett, whose accent is at least as obtrusive as mine, and whom I HEARD for two years while reading his work…

      • > I don’t hear it, either, until I hear it recorded

        I grew up in NJ but had no accent at all (probably because I was a nerdy kid and got most of my language from books, not from other kids!).

        I’ve been in New England for almost exactly 20 years since college… and I every so often find that I’m adding or removing an ‘r’ as the natives do.

        I want to slap a hand over my mouth when I hear something like “I’ve got an idear!” comes out. ;-)

        • The REALLY funny thing is that I’ve acquired bits and pieces of the “accent” of everywhere I’ve lived. At one time, when we lived in NC, I called out to Dan, as he was getting in the car “Are you coming home early? We need to do the wash.” (We didn’t have a washer, so it was a laundromat trip) And the across-the-street the neighbor shouts “Are ya’ll from Ohio?” Apparently the way I say “Wash” was acquired in the one year I lived in Ohio. Go figure.

        • I’m an automimic. I can pick up the accent of whoever I’m talking to, usually without noticing it. My normal speech is neutral BUT full of Southern and Texan colloquialisms, and some English slant to boot. I speak German with an Austrian accent and sing with an English accent. People go crazy trying to decide where I’m from.

          • I do the same, I have a natural accent that is mainly like my mother and her family that causes people to think I am from the south (interestingly my mother and all her brothers grew up on the Washington coast, same as me, and her parents grew up in Montana), mine tends to be stronger however from spending a lot of time around people from West Virginia, and a few tarheels from North Carolina. If I spend an hour or two on the phone with a friend from North Carolina however, I get off it talking like I was born and raised in Hyde County. Same thing goes if I spend a couple hours talking to someone from Texas. Canadian or Maine accents I pick up to a degree, and colloquialisms, but I don’t sound like a native of them, or rather I sound like a native who has moved away quite a few years previously.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        Ugh, I hate the sound of my recorded voice. I always sound like I’m holding my nose shut. But when I get emphatic about something, the hillbilly really starts coming out, which is weird when you hear an accent like that talking about something like the curvature of spacetime around black hole, or describing quantum tunneling, or whatever.

        • Picture me, walking into a college classroom “I’ll be your English Comp instructor.” Usually people thought it was a joke…

          • Wayne Blackburn

            Wouldn’t have shocked me after having had an incomprehensible Pakistani Physics instructor. I realize it’s not quite the same, but still…

        • Travis Taylor?

        • I started talking when we lived in Canada (around 18 mos old) so I have always been teased about my accent when I as growing up. Each time I have moved. I came back from South Africa sounding English. But, being in the military for six years, I acquired that neutral accent. The only word that drives my hubby crazy is when I say wash. I say “warsh” instead. ;-)

          But I am like others (some others here) who if I am talking to someone with an accent different than mine, I will start to sound like them. I think it is a defense mechanism.

          • oops– didn’t finish a sentence. Each time I moved, I would pick up something from that area or country. Please excuse me. I was really sick yesterday and I am not quite back to normal.

      • I’m originally from Louisiana. I have NEVER had a “Southern” accent, and I don’t usually talk with a lot of southern mannerisms. I find they creep out occasionally in my writing, but it’s not common.

    • What I found interesting was when I went to that video, the videos supposedly similar that came up with it included, ‘Batman vs. Sherlock Holmes’ (rap music video), On My Trapline Pt. 4 (a trapline video from northern Canada) and an interview with Kloe Kardashan. HOW do they link these?!!

  5. *gulp* Really like your blog, Sara. Your writing is magnificent. I’d say you’d inspired me, but… I don’t want you to feel responsible. :) As for definitions of sanity… right on, exactly! What’s worse is that the modern definitions don’t even make a good story. They can make even a good author suck!
    (shameless plug http://wp.me/p2B5fM-U)

    I feel like I can post here now because I won NaNo twice. I won’t say the first was actually a NOVEL, but at least I can say that I’m a writer. :)