Running on Empty

This year has been a long sustained series of shocks.  Nothing serious, meaning no one has died.  People — two of our parents — have been seriously ill, but the people hasn’t been me.  It’s mostly delays/countertemps, confusion, and now extreme uncertainty.

The latest one is that the house we’re trying to buy and have been trying to buy since Jan. 1, might not come through.  Considering how long it’s taken, we were more or less mentally moving into it and all our packing, all our what to sell and what to keep has been aimed at it.  Also it took us six months to find — six months in which “looking for house” consumed most of our time.  (No, we’re not THAT picky, but it’s the time of life we’re at.  We need some rather specific things, including offices and — d*mn it — a place for my art, that most houses aren’t built for.)  We were also looking for that undefinable “good writing place” which really is undefinable, and you have to see it to know.  I mean, even some of the hotel rooms, when we go away on a writing weekend, are far more conducive to productivity than others.  And we’re looking new-ish because of my health.

Unfortunately we’re set to move out of the house we’ve been renting at the end of March.  Not our decision, we were month by month and the landlord wishes to sell.

This leaves us homeless with four cats until we find a place we can buy/move into which, if this house doesn’t come through, means we have to find something in two weeks or less, since the bureaucrats have decided what was REALLY wrong with the real estate market was that loans could happen in a month.  (Rolls eyes.)  So banks are still being forced to take bad credit risks, but now they can take longer to do it.  Yeah. That will solve it.  It’s our government’s normal way of “fixing” situations, the equivalent of seeing a house on fire and promptly dousing it with gasoline.

For the next two months — thank you to everyone who was going to offer, but we’re intensely private people, and wouldn’t be comfortable staying with strangers in close proximity.  You have to to understand, I AM actually an introvert, I’ve just learned to pretend I’m not, but that’s exhausting and I can’t live like that — we’re going to be staying at a friend’s place, kind of like you’d stay at a hotel.  Which means we’re putting everything into storage, and each of us is taking a large plastic bin of clothes and a large plastic bin of work stuff (in my case research books, notebooks and flash drives. Maybe a sketch book and charcoal, if I can find that, which I doubt, as I haven’t been able to in a year, so I might just buy a new pack.

But I don’t want to stay homeless a long time; I need — rather than just want — my office unpacked, not filled with boxes and collapsed shelves and in the dark basement, as it’s been for a year; and I don’t do well with insecurity.  We’d just go ahead and rent again, but we have four cats.  Finding someone who takes four cats takes A LONG time  (and a huge deposit.)  Also it’s about fifty percent again more than the mortgage on a similar house.

So.

So, I faced writing this post and realized I have nothing to give.  There are no emotions.  they have shut down.  (Which is an issue in finishing novel, too.)

And yes, I DO feel like a total wuss because no one died.  I’m just emotionally drained.

And then I realized that’s where we are as a country, and why this election is such a freak show.

No, we haven’t gone through a war on our territory, but we got hit on our territory, which had never really happened before.  The shock of our own vulnerabilty sent well over half of the polity insane, which accounts for the disaster that was 06 and 08.  The democrats didn’t put up credible candidates, but the incredible got elected anyway, because everyone wanted a change (this is the equivalent of buying the house you know sucks, just because it’s there and you can afford it.)  And then as the crisis deepened, each shock just sends more people into the side of “I just want it all to go away.”

And that’s where we are.  Yes a lot of the anger is justified.  Just like I’m angry at the crazy bank who seems to WANT a foreclosure instead of selling us the house a little cheaper.  BUT a lot of it is “things you’ve done to yourself” like handing the legislature over to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reed because… I don’t know?  The entire country was on magic mushrooms, maybe?

But that’s the thing.  Polities (communities is too small for something the size of this country) get shocked the same as people.  When a number of its constituent parts get shocked and distressed enough, countries behave like scared children.  They just want what they want, and never mind it it makes no sense.

No, this doesn’t help.  Except for knowing both in my present circumstances and in the country’s, this too shall pass.

And hey, we survived sixteen years of FDR.  Yeah, yeah, the world is much more dangerous, or at least smaller, and the country itself is at greater physical danger.  But this too shall pass.  And we will survive it.

Be not afraid.  (As I tell myself.)  We will just have to get through the rough spot.  And the light at the end of the tunnel is not always an oncoming train.

Work, build, be constructive.  The rest will come.

 

 

364 responses to “Running on Empty

  1. We’ve been looking for a new apartment for months. There are days when I really do have to remind myself that despair is a sin. And it’s just because I’m exhausted, frustrated and broke. I’ve threatened to sell everything and live in a yurt, if I can find one with wifi.

    • I’ve threatened to sell everything and move to a studio apartment
      but there’s the cats.

      • And studios are shockingly hard to find, I’m finding.

      • It’s getting similar on this end. there is nothing on line for that area (two rental listings per city? Really?) and after recovering from near bankruptcy (thanks to Jason actually) my bad credit is now gone. Of course that now means I have no credit rating at this time.
        Anyway. recovering from some bug, not doing overtime this week, and will sort through some of the stuff in the spare bedroom in prep for the still unscheduled move to north of the frozen tundra. The land lady is also asking about time-lines as she has folks interested in renting this place. Meanwhile, I finally got to see some pictures of my work space and I seriously doubt it will work. Now, I think my pilot batch trip come next week is in doubt.
        I have a headache, and I don’t think it is because of the flu/cold/whatever I am recovering from.

      • but there’s the cats.

        I’ve decided that I’m sick of the East Coast (I’ve served my term), and want to move back West, which will put me closer to home. However, I’ve got three cats, which seem to be one over the standard pet policy.

        I really do understand why they limit people to two pets (heck, last time I lived in an apt, I didn’t have any pets), but this may shift me into renting a house (not what I’d prefer) while I adjust to the new surroundings and decide where I want to buy a house.

        Of course, given the difference in housing prices btw where I am and where I’m planning to go, I have to keep reminding myself that low rent doesn’t mean crack house.

        • even houses are hard with more than two pets. Most people LIE.

          • Honestly, I was thinking about going that route (oh that tabby cat is the same one you saw earlier — she just lost 3 pounds moving from one room to another) because I really don’t want to rent a house.

          • Yeah, there’s the infamous Shirley Jackson strategem. She had lots and lots of cats, many times more than allowed, and they were all solid gray.

        • SheSellsSeashells

          If they don’t physically come in to check…well, cat heads are remarkably similar in silhouette, and as long as they don’t all sit in the same windowsill…

          • Two of them would never be found. They think if anyone is in the house and is not one of us they think it’s an agent for Torquemada and sons, Furriers.
            Also we have two identical ones. (two sets of two if older son’s cat is in the house.)

            • SheSellsSeashells

              We had a lovely, gentle rescue who was basically a barn cat due to having been neglected the first year of his life; he took to us *eventually* but would flee at a strange footstep. (Due to the pre-bedtime videos I watched with my daughter, he would also come running for a cuddle at the sound of the “My Little Pony” theme.)

              • That’s our cat Greebo, who thinks I’m mommy and G-d. We’d half tamed him and let him be outside. I THOUGHT he was only interested in the house, since he never left. But when we moved, he started lamenting in the yard, so we had to bring him with us. He’s now my dog, at my heels all day. Today he’s hiding, because moving estimators are terrifying and want to eat cats.

                • SheSellsSeashells

                  Well, that puts you in the Nanny Ogg spot, which is a pretty good place to be IMO.

                  We once had a cat who believed I was Mommy, and climbed back in through the heating ducts three times after I put him outside for the night.

                  • “This time, maybe Fred will win the fight,
                    And that cat will stay out all the night!”

                    ‘Tis an ancient problem…. 😎

        • Go in, talk to them, be sane (or at least “not an obvious hazard”), and when you find one you like– tell them “but I have three cats.”

          They’ll often either say “no, you don’t, the paper says you have two” or “well… we can’t do this for everyone, but you are such a good match…..”

      • We had a cat in our second apartment- that didn’t allow pets of any kind in the adult only section. Our neighbor though it was a statue sitting in the window for over a month before they saw it move one day, causing them to jump in alarm. They didn’t turn us in for violating the policy because the cat was, well, quiet.

        • Ofttimes the restriction is only enforced if a problem occurs. So long as there are no problems that require the landlord take notice there is no issue.

          Or sometimes … “Too many cats? Us? Oh! You must mean that one which wandered in on us! That isn’t really our cat — I’m sure his family is looking for him and will reclaim him in short order. We’re just putting him up until then.

          “Would it help if we increased our security deposit?”

          • there’s also “it’s our son’s cat and will be moving out with him.” True, if Miranda lasts that long.

          • Technically, we don’t have cats.

            They’re my mom’s cats.

            This isn’t for the landlord– which is us– this is for some very foolish laws about ownership of pet animals with which we do not wish to mess… so my parents very kindly let us borrow them as long as we take them to the vet’s.

            • Technically, no human has cats — it’s cats as has humans.

              • Well, no adult human.

                The cats let our babies chew on them. That suggests THEY know who is in charge.

                • Or, they understand that the babies eventually turn into bigger humans that can give them treats.

                • I don’t think they (the cats) understand that the babies/toddlers turn into official food slaves ™. However, if you’ve ever seen a larger group of barn or semi-feral cats the elder ones (particularly old females, and some older males) tolerate this stuff from the kittens. It seems maybe they equate them with kittens. They can be VERY tolerant. I had a big old orange tom called Spike (because he really was that tough) who would let my then toddler daughter hug him and sleep on him like he was a stuffed animal. Any other creature trying that was going to get a massive helping of claws and teeth.

                  Foxfier what benighted part of the world do you live in that they would hassle you about a couple cats? I don’t think even the loonier parts of the US (e.g Cambridge Ma, San Francisco Ca) have gone quite that far yet. They’ll get my cats when they take them from my cold dead hands
                  (and for one of them I don’t recommend that if he isn’t also cold and dead too …).

                  Perhaps we can get this added to the constitution:

                  A well regulated Pride, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Cats, shall not be infringed.

                  • We’re in Seattle.

                    Double-check the pet license requirements– some require chipping, some require at-will inspections by pet welfare people and anyone they designate of anyplace the pets could possibly access.

                    As best I can tell, it’s not usually enforced…but like **** I’m going to sign anything that gives someone that kind of authority, much less PAY them for it!

                  • We aren’t in Seattle proper– thank goodness– but here’s a link to their animal license “regulations.”
                    https://www.municode.com/library/wa/seattle/codes/municipal_code?nodeId=TIT9AN_CH9.25ANCO_9.25.080OFRELI

                  • Two sections above that link is this section:

                    9.25.060 – Right of entry and inspection.
                    A.
                    Pursuant to consent of the owner or occupant of any premises the Director or any police officer may enter and inspect said premises to determine compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
                    B.
                    The Director or any police officer may enter the private property of another, with or without a warrant, when in hot pursuit to take possession of any animal observed at large.
                    C.
                    The Director or any police officer may enter the private property of another to enforce this chapter with a search warrant or when otherwise authorized by law.
                    D.
                    The Director or any police officer may enter the private property of another in the absence of the owner or occupant when in his/her judgment an animal on such premises needs immediate assistance or to prevent its death or serious injury.
                    (Ord. 112335 § 1(part), 1985.)

                    • Wow, Just wow. Took a quick lookvia google, Several places in California seem to have cat licenses too. Even here in Northshore Taxachusetts (which is a seriously stupidly liberal place) the only requirement is that you be able to show a cat has been vaccinated for rabies. This is mostly because rabies can be nearly asymptomatic in cats sometimes, And the weird thing is the license fees I see are like $10, Heck I doubt that any government can record and track any license for that little. Is there a lot of feline criminality? Contraband felines? Perhaps the cats should apply for asylum over in Vancouver? What power mad maniac cares if someone has a cat or two? They’d have hated my mom. At one point we had over 20 semi feral barn cats we cared for. This was in Connecticut (although the town was still vaguely rural at that point). It really feels like liberals have taken the place of puritans in the old definition: A Puritan is some that’s afraid someone is having fun somewhere. That’s a real mess.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Puritans were more reasonable about “having fun” (ie proper time & place) than Liberals. 😉

                  • lots of places with lots of nice apartments will throw you out for unauthorized pets.

  2. ((Hugs)) Zen variety, so I don’t invade your personal space.

    Finding the right house is amazing. The last time we were house hunting, I was out-to-there pregnant with a toddler in tow. Alex was being very well behaved, as we trooped through house after house. Interested, a bit shy. Then we walked into a house that had the realtor’s nose in the air. “Well, this one a step down, but it does have acreage.” Alex toddled in, look around and sat down on the couch like he’d just come home. Thirty years later it still has that “You’re home and safe” feel to it. So don’t give up, no matter how frustrating this disappointment is.

    • SheSellsSeashells

      So much this. Our house is a weird asymmetrical repeatedly-added-to thing, and during the moderately stressful purchase my husband tried to make sure I was really, really sure. “I WANT that house and it wants me!”

      We intend to leave feet-first if at all. 🙂

  3. They make it very hard on sellers, too. I have a house for sale, and most of the people interested can get VA loans. But the house has 4.6 acres that come with it, and the VA will not consider the value of the land, only the house, when appraising it. I had a buyer who agreed to my asking price and was approved for a VA loan, but we had to partition the land from the house, and I was going to have to loan the rest of the money. I asked for, and he agreed to above market interest on the private loan. Then the VA inspectors decided the roof was old and there had once been termites on the deck, though there were none now — and lo and behold the sale fell through. I am not sure if the inspectors need to be given a kick-back or what is the deal, because they didn’t actually say anything was wrong with the house, just these vague concerns that would not allow them to approve the sale.

    I wish there were no VA loans and no Federal loans at all, and people just dealt directly among themselves.

    • When we bought our current house the FHA inspector insisted the eaves on the garage be painted before closing. In February. In central New York. You can imagine how long that paint job lasted.

    • Probably the inspector being an activist about not taking a house apart from property.

  4. I’m still suggesting an RV.

  5. I’m sending virtual chocolate truffles over the internets. The nice thing about virtual chocolates is that they contain no sugars or carbs and thus are perfectly safe even for those of us with health problems. So feel free to eat as many as you want. I’ll make a virtual French silk pie and send that later.

    It’s an interesting observation about the body politic running on empty. Voting for Obama did seem to be the political equivalent of taking a mental health day; we just wanted a 4-8 year break from all that crazy war stuff the Republicans kept talking about. Unfortunately, while we wanted a break from dealing with them, they didn’t seem interested in a break from attacking us…

  6. Yeah, I was in that boat too. Denver housing market is just ridiculous. We’re putting our house in CO Springs on the market on Monday, but we had to move to Denver over Christmas, and the three places we looked at for renting all went out from under us after we had movers scheduled. On top of that, the market in CO Springs is so topsy turvy we can’t find two real estate agents who can agree on a price within $50k for our house.

    Luckily, a guy I work with had a house for rent, otherwise I’d still be commuting.

  7. Trump and Bernie do seem to be wooing the troubled brats in the electorate. They promise that they will make the badness go away. Each caters to different fears but they are catering to the fearful. It is no help that the established parties are run by corrupt elitists who are out of touch with reality.

    • It the established parties had been doing their damned job instead of promising (four or five admittedly different) the moon we wouldn’t be here.

      Instead they did whatever lined their pockets and got them the right invites to parties at Versailles on the Potomac. Now they’re scared s******s because the Arkham Asylum has been broken into the and inmates put up for election.

      And there are even reasonable people who have had enough of the established parties that should a reasonable person who really wants to fix things not get on the ballot they’ll chose the inmate as well.

      One wonders if Obama is predicting a flood next year.

      • I can’t help but remember that the last time one of the major candidates was a shady real estate wheeler-dealer with a chancy temper who probably should have been in jail for fraud, that was Andrew Jackson.

        Pity that Trump resemples Jackson like Kerry resembled Kennedy: a third rate blurry xerox with not enough tone(er).

    • Last night Trump showed there was no there there

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        But will the Trumpkins see that?

        • Trump’s been showing there’s no there there pretty much from the start. He’s always been all bluster and no substance. Unfortunately the culture has made us used to this state of things (c.f. the current resident of the Whitehouse).

          When did people start calling his followers trumpkins? As soon as I heard of that I thought of a particular Narnian dwarf. Him I’d vote for. The Donald only because his opponents are worse.

          • Yeah, Trumpkin’s (the real Trumpkin’s) line about knowing the difference between advice and orders, your Majesty — “… and you’ve had my advice, now it’s time for orders” — is one I quote all the time. Lewis really understood what a good, healthy relationship to legitimate authority looks like.

          • I’ve been going with Trumpkinheads.

  8. Pikes Peak area, yes? I left there ten years ago, but I always thought, given my druthers and enjoyment of both country and city, I would like to have a house along Hwy 105 north of Palmer Lake.

    Unlike being in the mountains and cut off from everything, here you would have access to shopping and entertainment in Monument and Castle Rock and not so far away that you can’t get to either the Springs or the southern part of the Denver Metro. You would have neighbors, but not right on top of you, The views are mostly awesome, whether looking up or looking down, so finding that little writing nest should be that much easier. Hwy 105 is nearly always a pleasant drive and you have multiple access points to I-25. Health care not too far away, I think, both north and south.

    You would be a little cut off, but only a little, and you would have easy access to the Renaissance Festival. Only real downside is having to keep your fire evacuation well-rehearsed.

    Just my two-cents and worth every penny.

    • Except everything we’ve seen there was either in horrible state or… well… well above our price range.

      • My sister and her family bought in the one housing division in Monument that kept its trees (everyone knows which one that is, who’s familiar with the area) and the one drawback was the ‘Monument Hill’ every time it snowed! Which is most of the winter up there…and you had to get into the Springs or Denver…

  9. Without going into a long rant…Banking and finance are not rational right now. Don’t expect them to make sense. Even the markets flip flop up and down hourly depending on what some central banker or politician said…When it’s like that you will go crazy trying to make sense of it.

    • I don’t think they’ve been rational for a long time. I remember the “savings & loan” implosion of the 1980s and 1990s. And there was some nasty tweakery at the Federal level under the FDR and Jackson administrations.

    • Okay, for once I’m posting from home so I feel safe in typing this.

      Everyone here knows I’m a quant. I work in interest rate scenario project to support a desk hedging a mortgage servicing rights portfolio. Lately hedging has been weird because the asset’s value has been behaving weirdly.

      To the point our head trader said on day in February, “I have no idea what’s going on with the asset.” His entire job is to understand that and hedge it. The market is so weird he’s just doing the best he can everyday and really has no clue what’s going on. It has stabilized some since then but that scared the sh!t out of me.

      • I retired from managing OPM around 2003, and I’m glad I did. The people looking for value have been sandbagged by the Fed, and there’s almost no point in looking at fundamentals of investments when the game is so rigged and government influence-peddling determines who lives or dies. Having destroyed a generation of knowledgeable investors, when the supports give way and the artificiality is apparent to everyone, there will be few who can step in to pick up the pieces.

        Banking, housing, and credit are almost entirely government-run now. With all the efficiency and forward-thinking that implies. The engine of growth has stalled because smarter people have withdrawn from risk-taking.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Other side of that. I’ve decent mathematical and analytical ability. Except for being so cheap and risk averse, I would’ve been a candidate for getting into investing. I’ve stopped really following the market since 2008 because I suspect I’m being lied to, am gaslit enough I’m not certain, and know I’m not smart enough to cover the angles on my own.

          I’m pretty sure something is wrong.

          • THIS on the market. So much this.

          • I’m pretty sure something is wrong.

            I’m DAMN sure something is wrong. The continual massaging the data to make things look better than they are is so obvious it makes a cat trying to cover a turd on a tile floor look subtle.

            • All I know is 10/31/01 I had $ 12,292.00 in my Etrade account. I’m at $127,000 or so today and that’s after withdrawing $9,500 last month. Somewhat luckily I missed the whole stock crash by moving into some very safe mutuals for a couple of years.

          • Anonymous Coward

            … that moment when you are reading ZeroHedge and thinking they are a bunch of cockeyed optimists …

  10. I’ve been having a lot days lately where I have Nothing Left In The Tank. It’s a killer. Why can’t people just do their jobs?

    • “There is no pain, you are receding.
      A distant ship, smoke on the horizon.
      You are only coming through in waves.
      Your lips move, but I can’t hear what you say.”

      I’ve quoted that stanza a lot since I’ve been working on my thousand-yard stare…

    • Why is the graphic from Dark Side of the Moon when the song is from The Wall?

      /nitpick

  11. Sorry to hear your house might escape because the bank are being gits. Keep your chin up and you will get that one or find another hopefully better place.

    All the best wishes and you continue getting more and more healthy now that you have those things under control. ::bows::

  12. Oh and I completely understand the introvert thing. I love sitting on the edge of a group and watching things swirl around with conversations occasionally forming by me then moving off but then I escape back home to hide from the world after it all.

  13. Yup, the government has done everything it could to destroy home sales.
    Because how dare we think we’re entitled to own homes!
    The fact that you can no longer pick your appraiser and that appraisers get awarded for under-appraising has really screwed up the market too. It’s really getting to the point where you’re going to have to hire people like ‘not-known-for-being-nice-Nick’ to ‘talk’ to the folks involved.

    I know during my last home purchase I had to call the vice president of Wells Fargo at his desk (that story got me noticed by all the local Realtors, because I actually got his phone number and got him on the line) and threaten him (politely) with a pretty serious lawsuit for fraud and breach of contract.
    After that, things went swimmingly.

    • The flip side is tax authorities who deliberately over-appraise in order to drive property tax revenues up. It has become a big issue in some places.

      According to the county assessor my house appreciated 500% in 2013. Fortunately they backed down when I challenged it, but I expect it will be a continuing battle. Most property owners are THRILLED when their property is assessed at a higher value. Which is fine if you’re house-flipping, not so hot if you’re not planning on moving.

      • Had an ongoing battle of words with a local newspaper pundit. He wrote a scathing article chastising all the homeowners who objected to the city’s policy of declaring special use areas with tax breaks for new business. Great for the new business, and a windfall for lawyers, bankers, and realtors as assessed values jumped significantly putting more money in the pockets of the land speculators. When I pointed out in a published letter to the editor the effect this had on a retiree on a fixed income, that it meant an average 20% increase in yearly property tax and no way to recover other than to sell the home you expected to live in for the rest of your life, he had no comeback.

      • According to the county assessor my house appreciated 500% in 2013. Fortunately they backed down when I challenged it, but I expect it will be a continuing battle.
        This is why California’s middle class rose up and revolted back in the 70’s and passed Proposition 13 as a ballot amendment to the CA constitution, which capped property tax assessments at (I think) 1975 levels and only allowed very nominal annual increases until the property is sold.

        Even with how far left CA’s electorate has shifted, and notwithstanding the ongoing regular crabbing from State and local politicians on how this cramps their style, no serious effort to repeal Prop 13 has ever made any headway whatsoever.

        • Actually they repealed prop 13 in regards to business properties just last year.
          There is talk that they think they’ll be able to repeal the rest of it in the next year or two. As more and more people rent, and less own, it gets easier to go after landowners.

          • I’m so glad that I’m an ex-Californian. It seemed like nothing I voted for ever passed but everything I voted against did.

        • I think this is a little more then nominal. The proposition decreased property taxes by assessing property values at their 1975 value and restricted annual increases of assessed value of real property to an inflation factor, not to exceed 2% per year. It also prohibited reassessment of a new base year value except for in cases of (a) change in ownership, or (b) completion of new construction. It is a lot less then the rate house prices went up.

        • Yeah, my current work assignment is as Testing lead for the modernization of the software for the LA County Assessors office.

          I’m getting a thorough reeducation on why I will never move to California,,,,

    • You do realize calling the VP of Wells Fargo isn’t that big a deal. I am a VP at a similar sized institution (another one of the TBTF banks). Your local branch manager is.

      Federal regulations pretty much require anyone who can make a bigger decision than toilet paper or coffee service be at least a VP. I got hired as an AVP and unless I make managing director I’m not even considered a senior executive.

      • Herb! Bats eyelashes — Would you call the VP of Wells Fargo for me?

      • I’m not talking the VP of a branch, I’m talking the senior VP of the entire corporation, in corporate headquarters, in charge of all real estate properties for Wells Fargo. His office phone number was unlisted even inside of Wells Fargo.
        He was very shocked when I talked to him that I’d found out his number.

        • John, funny you should mention. Guess who we’re dealing with?

          • Keep your paperwork and call a lawyer.
            The people at WF (IMEO) like to play fast and loose with the law. I had them over a barrel, and I politely reminded them of that fact, so I got my way.
            But I still had to threaten to sue them into the stone age. Having obvious proof of certain legal ‘shenanigans’ helped too.

            Good Luck!

          • Wells Fargo tends to rate fairly near Comcast as far as customer satisfaction…

      • I’ve got a high school friend who is a VP at Wells up in SF, and she says pretty much everybody who is not in the retail side of banking is a VP. Apparently title inflation hit much harder in banking due to the decision making processes and regulatory rigamarole that Herb refers to – this in contrast to the semiconductor biz where companies have maybe four to six VPs or EVPs for 10,000 employee companies.

  14. Professor Badness

    My profoundest sympathies. It’s never a good sign once we hit the “Numb Zone”. Best wishes.

  15. “I just want it to all go away.”

    Oh yes, I remember those days right after 9/11, when I kept feeling like yelling, “stop the world, I want to get off.”

    And one of our wholesalers has a t-shirt design we’re considering adding to our lineup, which shows a curled-up cat and says: “I don’t want to Adult today. I don’t even want to Human. Today I want to Cat.” According to the screenprinter, it’s doing very well for him, and I’m not surprised — I think it reflects the mood of a *lot* of people right now.

    • “Today I want to Cat.”

      Curl up in sunny spot by the window. Nap. Go munch when I get hungry. Whine when food bowl is empty.

      Yeah, I think I could go for that.

    • “Some are born cats, but some achieve catness”

      Seriously, it’s a great story by Terry Carr. Here’s enough info if you want to ILL it: http://www.worldcat.org/title/creatures-from-beyond-nine-stories-of-science-fiction-and-fantasy/oclc/1418904

      • I recall a story years ago about a Terran survey team landing on a world with giant, (comparatively) genius inhabitants who IIRC took absolutely no notice of the human visitors. It ended with the female member of the human trio acting “the cat” and being thus finding a way to become accepted by the aliens who were otherwise far above us, with the two men of the expedition grousingly following suit.

        Is that the Carr story? I’ve been looking to re-read it for forty some years.

        • Sorry. No. The Carr story involves escapees from IIRC a max security prison on Procyon IV.

          • Oh well. I am sure if I just read every short story collection I have, it will turn up eventually. Probably won’t have to read beyond the first couple pages of most stories.

    • I was laid off the Friday before 9/11. I do not recommend timing your lay-offs then.

    • SheSellsSeashells

      I prefer to Bear. Bears have no problems which cannot be solved by carbohydrates, sleep or beating the tar out of the offender.

  16. I am so sorry.

    Will continues praying that the solution will arrive soon – VERY SOON.

  17. I will burn candles for you, cutting them in half and lighting both ends. WRT apartments, in Portland OR:
    http://maxredline.typepad.com/maxredline/2016/03/wow-you-too-can-have-a-spacious-650-sq-ft-apartment.html
    http://maxredline.typepad.com/maxredline/2016/03/density.html
    I tried posting this before, and it disappeared.

  18. I hear Larry Correia has a house for sale. 🙂 (dodges the flying carp)

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Well, that would be keeping it in the family, wouldn’t it? 😉

    • Not yet – he’s building the Compound Of Doom up inside the volcano first, then selling the old place.

      • I know. I’m happy on his behalf that he’s got the option of doing it that way. It avoids the fiasco of trying to sell and buy/build at the same time. Normal mortals, alas, suffer the fiasco.

  19. Ugh, I’m so sorry! I hope it all works out soon and doesn’t drive you totally crazy along the way. We spent almost a year tied up in a short sale that fell through a few years back. We eventually ended up finding a better house for less money. Now my husband is in wage negotiations with a potential job 90 minutes south, with a requirement that he live within 30 minutes drive of work.
    It’s a fantastic opportunity for him if it works out. It’s a career killer for me, but I would get to be home with my boys while they are small. I am not, however, looking forward to finding him a room to rent there until baby #3 comes in May, then putting the house on the market and finding a rental there, then hunting for a new house to buy. Even though housing prices are lower there and the market here has improved enough that we stand to make a bit on the sale. Still gives me hives thinking about the logistics.

  20. sabrinachase

    Here is a wee bit of cheer to leaven the gloom 🙂 My mother was in a similar situation to yours–she’d sold a *very* nice chunk of land in Maine so had actual cash vs. a loan to buy her new house out on the West Coast. As a dutiful daughter I had been driving her to see all the potential houses and doing preliminary inspections for her. (“yes it has a great view but the bluff is eroding into the Sound and you won’t have a *house* in ten years. This house was built by a crazed amateur electrician, and I wouldn’t do anything except torch it for safety. Also the sunken shower with tile steps is No Go for someone who already has a hip replacement.” All actual houses…)

    So on the way back *after* seeing the sunken tile shower fiasco, she wants to just look at one she’d seen listed. As soon as we got out of the car I knew there was no way in hell she could afford it. It had a professionally done Japanese garden, GLORIOUS waterfront view, on a stable rock bluff, waterfall pond, etc. etc. etc.

    Turns out the bank had (unwisely) financed the garden and a bunch of other improvements, the owner was deceased, and Wiser Heads at the bank prevailed at the sight of ready cash vs. loans they were never, ever going to recoup. So my mom now has a house and garden that make her supremely happy, and I get to visit 😀 The neighbors think she is wonderful because they were terrified the bank would tear down the house and garden and something ugly would be put in, so she started with a vast reservoir of goodwill that has only increased. The owner’s girlfriend was tearfully happy everything was saved and knew all the secrets, like where the pond filter was hidden, and tells my mom.

    It can happen.

  21. Minor quibble: 9/11 has been the only major hit on our territory – so far – in our generation. WWII had the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and firebomb attacks in the Pacific NW and German U-Boats torpedoing oil tankers within sight of the shores of the East Coast. Prior to that were Pancho Villa’s raids into the SW. The burning of Washington, D.C. during the war of 1812. Not to mention the War Between the States. No, really, not to mention it.

    • Ah, but 9/11 hit the real word – you do know that nothing actually exists outside the DC beltway and Manhattan Island, right?

      The only more-real thing would have been if they hit Hollywood; If that had happened we would have had war movies and movie star bond drives, instead of the near-immediate Vietnam War protest reenactments we got instead.

      • The Other Sean

        LOL. Are you responsible for this picture?

      • The real world in another sense — it hit civilians, Mike.

        • Oh, I know, it was certainly real to me – I had about third degree of separation from people who died – and I know it was internalized as real and taken to heart as an attack on all of us by the rest of the country.

          But I’ve become convinced that the real problem the NY and DC elite had was not that an attack on the US had happened – after all, in their worldview we deserved it – but that it had happened there.

          If Osama had decided to crash planes into the Mall of America or the Sears Tower, the NY-DC media folks would have certainly covered it, but the “of course, the US did such and such, so we deserved it” would have started about two hours into the coverage.

          • Remember: Mikey Moore wailed, “They should have targeted the Red states.”

            But the lèse majesté of attacking Wall Street’s “Master of The Universe” is unignorable!!!!

          • Us too — on knowing people. HELL we were supposed to be at the hotel in the towers. Fortunately Dan got an assignment that week and we cancelled.

            • A friend has a broken alarm clock that he had encased in Lucite. It didn’t go off the morning of 9/11 and he thus missed his interview with a securities firm…

          • Oh and it started 2 hours into the coverage for my field.

          • “Oh, I know, it was certainly real to me – I had about third degree of separation from people who died – and I know it was internalized as real and taken to heart as an attack on all of us by the rest of the country.” – FlyingMike

            I had… I’m not sure what degree of separation it is when you know people online who had friends or family members in the Towers and Pentagon? Second? Third?

            *shrug* I had online friends and forum members in the forums that I moderated at the time who knew people who were in there. Whatever degree that is.

            It made it… personal for me in the way that a lot of major national tragedies and news events aren’t. We all held with bated breath until we found out that one member’s husband was alive and had made it home – he’d been on a lower floor and got out, and then had to walk most of the way home due to all of the disruption.

            If I sound a bit… extreme… at times on terrorism and Islamic invasion/violence, it’s that. It still hits me at a visceral level and takes me back to that forty-eight hour period of watching the news and aggregating all of the reports, waiting for people in NYC to check in and say they were okay, and then finally stepping out of the house and noticing the dead eerie silence that is Dallas with no planes overhead, and then hearing it shattered by a military helo or jet from Carswell.

            • I and Beloved Spouse were in an on-line group with the wife of a NYFD boat fireman and spent much of that period holding her virtual hand.

              Amazing how much of that day has been “memory-holed” when you think about it.

            • I was actually working on Gunter AFS at Standard Systems Group on 9/11. There, the initial question was how long we would be kept on the base under guard.

              • I was fueling airplanes at SWA in New Orleans. one minute ground workers were trying to quick turn a late flight, the next they all disappeared. I left the property 10 minutes before they locked down everyone in the Hilton across Airline Hwy, and my boss didn’t get to leave until 11pm.

            • A guy across the p-way at bootcamp lost everyone on his mom’s side except for his mom. Family restaurant in one of the towers.

              He refused leave for the funerals and worked his butt off to get out there and fight them. (I believe they worked it out so that he got a special leave for the funerals and didn’t get held back a week; the chaplain who cleared him mentally dang near broke down crying telling us about it.)

              The gal in the bunk below me didn’t get along with her dad… at all… but she’d gotten his letter about how he’d be in the Pentagon for a meeting that day, along with a bunch of other Chaplains, in the Army section.
              (He was fine, other than hurting his ankle helping the secretary out.)

              Roommate about three months into my school was an artist whose husband is a doctor making enough to buy her a view of the New York Skyline…with the towers front-and-center. She’d been working that morning. (She’s the one I’ve mentioned who had a copy of the New Yorker volume about Saddam’s treatment of the Kurds, who wanted to know why we weren’t doing anything about removing him. She was graduated and gone before we made a move on Iraq; I hope she’s happy.)

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Also the Indian wars. There were two generations between Villa and WII, and two generations between the ACW and Villa, neglecting range wars and die hard confederates. Prior to WWII also the 1919 Elaine, Arkansas massacre, the 1921 Tulsa race riots… Three generations between WWII and 9/11.

      • Sorry. I was defining ‘major hit’ as scores of casualties resulting from actions of folk originating and supported from outside our borders. This is not to make light of such incidents as the Ft, Hood event(s), the Boston Marathon bombings, or the San Bernardino shootings. Or even the OKC Murrah building bombing. But those are actions of ‘self-radicalized’ actors or, as in the latter event, truly domestic ones. I also don’t include the various and sundry Indian Wars as I consider them domestic as even though the various tribes are legally sovereign nations they are located within the boundaries of the nation. Also, those conflicts were often initiated, or at least instigated, by government action, or in many cases inaction.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          The folks concerned about killings by Indians responded as if they were alien rather than domestic. Tribes were outside the nation’s border at some point.

          I wasn’t critiquing your general idea. That third generation of domestic peace may be very important, or maybe it was the longterm cultural shift towards seeing the USA as invincible.

        • Bobthefool is correct. The Indian Wars count as we were not a part of the United States (or the Colonies) during the time frame that they occurred in. Almost (caveat in case my knowledge of history misses a minor detail) all of the Nations were independent indigenous entities that were outside of the political structure of the U.S., and generally either outside of it’s then territories or within territory being occupied by the U.S. and its settlers as a hostile power.

          You don’t make formal treaties with your own citizens and people within your nation. You make – and break – treaties between sovereign entities.

          “I also don’t include the various and sundry Indian Wars as I consider them domestic as even though the various tribes are legally sovereign nations they are located within the boundaries of the nation.” – tcbobg

          Gross oversimplification.

          They were not domestic at the time they were occurring. They were reactions by the Indian Nations against a hostile occupying power.

          The tribes are legally sovereign nations today, yes (although that’s a legal fiction in most cases for practical purposes). Those sovereign nations exist within the boundaries of the United States and its territories because the United States was formed out of territories that the Indian Nations formerly owned.

          “Also, those conflicts were often initiated, or at least instigated, by government action, or in many cases inaction.” – tcbobg

          Many were. A number were initiated by the various Indian Nations of one sovereignty or another. “American Indian” is not and never has been one monolithic block.

          Heya. The Aniwunyiya consider themselves citizens of the U.S. now, but a lot of us have never forgotten that that citizenship came as a result of being a conquered people. While the Aniwunyiya and the rest of the Iroquoians don’t continue to make war on the U.S., we did for many, many years and generations because the United States and the Colonies before it were invading nations in our territories.

          Saying that the whole thing was as a result of actions initiated solely by the United States is disingenuous and very nearly an insult to my nation. The Aniwunyiya and the rest of the Iroquois fought, we fought hard even though we were outclassed and outnumbered, we lost, and we’re not ashamed of that.

          • I will point out the United States technically didn’t break the treaties with the Indian Tribes; because they were almost uniformly not submitted to the Senate for ratification.

            Yes, that’s a very technical and specious argument.

            • *wry* So, they were made without authority over those whose actions would have otherwise been a violation?

              Sounds a lot like the defense on the Indian side when some of their young guys would go do the same.

              Makes you wonder if someone had a grudge, and a strong sense of irony.

      • “Also the Indian wars.” – BobtheRegisterredFool

        *nod* The Indian Wars are why I try to point out to people regarding the Islamic conflicts that no one living today has really seen the United States wage war to the knife and knife to the hilt.

        They would really rather not see us do so.

    • Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 was pretty major. The subsequent manhunt paralyzed Boston for days.

      The Ft Hood terrorist attack was pretty major. And the perpetrator, sentenced to death, is still alive.

      The art exhibition attack in Texas had the potential to be major- but it was Texas, where the people are armed and ready.

      In San Bernardino DEC 2015, it was CA, so of course there were more victims then there would have been except that the people are disarmed in CA for their own safety….

      These are some that we know about. Such as there were 8 planes supposed to be hijacked on 9/11. And there are other attacks that been thwarted, that we don’t know about and never will.

  22. Sorry to hear about the housing troubles. I hope things turn out well.

    On to the politics…

    “The shock of our own vulnerability sent well over half of the polity insane”

    Funny, I think the same thing, but I disagree about which half it is. A dozen hijackers caused us to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on a useless war, institute useless security procedures, and give the government vastly expanded powers to spy on ourselves. President Obama’s term as president was the start of the nation coming back to itself. For the remnant who can’t, we see the results in the Republican primaries.

    “we got hit on our territory, which had never really happened before”

    Pearl Harbor? And given that that attack led to the internment of American citizens in camps, it says bad things about American resilience in the face of difficulty. That America you often write about, with the hard-working, can-do, self-reliant spirit, or the one that I prefer, in which Americans live in peace and freedom and don’t forbid their neighbors to do the same, seems to be a thin veneer that cracks easily, and what’s underneath can be remarkably ugly.

    • The one thatvyou prefer only exists on the wealth and safety “our type” provides. Whenever we put your type in charge here the world suffers for it.

    • No kidding. The “your kind” i.e. progressives, are the very model of the modern totalitarian “put them in camps” folks. Mr. Delano was a Democrat and socialist-fanboy.

    • “President Obama’s term as president was the start of the nation coming back to itself. For the remnant who can’t, we see the results in the Republican primaries.”

      If your opinion of America is that it is naturally racially divided and splits that way politically while constantly wanting something for nothing, then yes, you’re right. That does seem to be the natural state of man, anyway.

      “That America you often write about, with the hard-working, can-do, self-reliant spirit, or the one that I prefer, in which Americans live in peace and freedom and don’t forbid their neighbors to do the same…”

      Apparently you don’t get that the latter can only exist with the former. Then again, you’re a Prog.

    • Pearl Harbor was not n attack on the American mainland. The internment camps were the work of FDR, Democrat.

      Your comprehension of “American resilience” apparently consists of “turning the other cheek” in order to get kicked in both buttocks.

      Funny how often that cracking of the veneer reveals the racism, sexism and oikophobia comprising the Wilson-revived KKK, the occupiers of Wall Street, the #BlackLivesMatterers and hatred of traditional America that forms the animating impetus of the Left.

      TEA Partiers and other groups of the American Right, prize public order, civil discourse and leave their rally grounds cleaner than when they arrived.

      • Sarah Hoyt referred to an attack on our territory, which Hawaii, the birthplace of President Obama, is. And of course the internment camps were the work of Democrats. So was the Korean War and the Vietnam War. That’s why I like President Obama so much; see http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-obama-doctrine/471525/ for how he deals with foreign policy. He addresses that veneer I mentioned, that in times of difficulty people retreat to tribalism.

        I prefer to think of American resilience as what happened in response to the attempt to hijack the Hugo awards – people, including those like myself who had never participated before, banded together, not in violence but to vote, and joyfully defeated the foe.

        Or as a resident of Manhattan, how we responded to 9/11 locally. Cleanup, not panic. Rebuilding. Inter-faith meetings. Staying, not fleeing. If only the national government had done the same.

        It’s also more than a little sad that you speak of turning the other cheek in mockery when it’s the words of the god in whose name you seek to turn America into a theocracy.

        • Hyrosen, the Hugo awards have already been hijacked, for about two decades. Too bad you can’t see that.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Nobody here wants a Theocracy,

          For that matter, I hear more talk about a Theocracy from people like you who imagine that Conservatives want a Theocracy.

          • Iran is the only theocracy I know about.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              I’ve established a Theocracy. Within about three paces there is no one who does not share my exact religious inclinations. I’ve established strict restrictions on the production, transportation, sale, ownership, and consumption of spirituous beverages. The arms control regulations prohibit private ownership of swords. Bizarre and nonsensical claim!

            • I am not sure N. Korea hasn’t also established one.

              For that matter, I could develop an argument that China has imposed a state religion, one which is no more based on science than Iran’s.

          • I’m trying to imagine WHAT the theocracy would be. I love my Mormon friends, but they touch my coffee and die. And if I force them to go to Mass, I imagine I die too. And the more main stream protestants have even MORE divisions, if that’s possible.
            The only theocracy possible is one that sells itself as secular “rational” order, like, say, socialism. And that never fails to sell to idiots.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Nod, the idiots don’t understand Conservatives (they include libertarians in Conservatives) and imagine that we all think the same & are all the same religion.

              It was funny a few years back when some Liberal visited Ringo’s Tavern and was so sure that John Ringo was some sort of Religious Conservative.

              Partially because Ringo’s main character in Princess of Wands was Christian and shown as a Good Person while being strongly Religious.

              IE Only a Religious Person would make a strongly Religious Person a “Good Person”. 😦

            • *eye roll* Yeah, always makes my brain hurt too.

              I’ve repeatedly asked when I’m confronted with the “(Right-Wing) Christian Theocracy” claim – it’s always Right-Wing, even though most major Churches and denominations lean heavily Left in policies and theology – if they’d tell me “Which Christians? Catholic? Orthodox? Presbyterian? Anglican? Baptist? Southern-Baptist? Evangelical? Latter Day Saints? Methodist? Episcopalian? Christian Scientists? Snake Handlers? … ?”

              I’ve never gotten a good answer. I have gotten spluttering on occasion. (I suspect that the Evangelical branches are the ones they really worry about, and they overlook that they’re not the only or even main branch of Christianity.)

              Sure as shooting, one denomination starts to set up a Theocracy, and all of the other denominations start saying, “Now hey, wait a minute there… “

        • so! You consider people fully complying with all the rules to vote for the Hugo to be “hijacking” and “foes” — on what grounds is YOUR participation licit? You merely followed the same rules we did.

          • he didn’t follow a ‘slate’

            only a ‘suggested reading list’, which is totally not the same thing.

            • Of course not.

              No doubt for future reference, he will tell us how to tell them apart.

              One wonders if he will try the number of slots line on us, unaware that we know about the rage that greeted Sad Puppies 2, which did exactly what they claim to want, and inspired publicly expressed wishes that the Puppies would die in a fire.

              • yup, and the fact that the nominations have totally followed certain ‘suggested reading lists’ , or certain usenet discussions, in the past, totally does not make them slates.

        • “It’s also more than a little sad that you speak of turning the other cheek in mockery when it’s the words of the god in whose name you seek to turn America into a theocracy.”

          Leftists understand their political opponents worse than anyone else in America. This is Science. It has been shown in the lab.

          now you are demonstrating it in real life.

        • Someone took the brown acid.

        • Oy vey! That you should presume to suggest you know squat about my religious beliefs communicates a great deal about your ignorance and arrogance, Hy. You got any evidence I wish to use state power to make people keep Kosher?

          Theocracy? Moi? Nein! I believe every person must be free to go to Hell or Heaven of their own will; the God in whom I believe gave us Free Will for a purpose, and theocratic rule rejects His gift to us.

          • Patrick Chester

            I guess since hyrosen is soooo cognizant of my true heart I guess I have no choice and must establish a theocracy. Though how does one setup an agnostic theocracy? 😉

            (Oh and hyro? I’m being sarcastic. Just in case you get confused and decide my remark is “admitting” you’re right about the icky awful people you disagree with.)

            • tis both harder and easier than setting up an atheistic one (~_^)

            • I want to establish a Dialetheist Theocracy, Patrick. Who else is in?

              • Dialetheist wtf?

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard
                • *grin*

                  “Dialetheism is the view that some statements can be both true and false simultaneously. More precisely, it is the belief that there can be a true statement whose negation is also true. Such statements are called “true contradictions”, dialetheia, or nondualisms.”

                  In other words, we have firm principles, but if you don’t care for them – don’t worry, we have others.

                  I listed myself as a Dialetheist to a Census Bureau form taker one time, and then had to spend the next fifteen minutes explaining it to him. He wrote it down, so there’s at least one ten year period where my civilian identity is quite possibly counted as the only official Dialetheist Church member in the entire United States, and possibly in North America.

                  On other censuses (censii?) I have responded to the voluntary query on the subject as, variously, Kibologist, Rosicrucian, Neopythagorean, and Neozoroastrian. In all cases, I’ve gotten a blank look followed by some variation of “Huh? And how do you spell that?”

            • Hyrosen seems to be suffering from Christophobia, a condition afflicting many liberal Jews as they seek to reconcile their ethnic history with their embrace of liberal platitudes. The existence of a deity who expects their adherence to a traditional ethical code conflicts with and justifies their socialist mission to commit tikkun olam, “world repair” by those who don’t grasp how it actually functions.

              • I’m not sure if you need to throw in “Jews” there. It seems to afflict all liberals.

                • Admittedly there is something in the idea of an authority higher than their own will which seems to offend all Liberals, but Jewish Liberals are hit hardest by the conflict between socialism and their ethnicity.

                  Heck, liberal Protestants and Catholics have long practice at accommodating their political faith and their religious one, and have long practice at subordinating the latter to the former (indeed, a frequently recurring feature of such orthodoxies has been the extended periods in which they treated faith in an actual God as a social embarrassment on a level with flatulence.)

          • In another forum I frequent, someone asked what a Dominionist is (The term keeps coming up, and I may have misspelled it). Another person said it doesn’t really mean much, and have a link to the Wikipedia page. The first person replied, “Oh, he’s a Dispensationalist, however will we survive?” 😉

        • If you’re making that the basis of your claim, Hy, then you need to include the attack on our diplomatic mission in Benghazi, our Marine barracks in Beirut, our embassy in Tehran and numerous other such.

          The distinction between Pearl Harbor and the WTC is that the WTC was a purely civilian target.

          As for how Manhattan responded … I suppose spying on Jersey mosques constitutes a form of “inter-faith meeting.” it seems a bit odd to claim credit for not engaging in military action when NY City has no military of its own. Kind of on a par with an impotent man demanding honor for not committing adultery.

        • … the god in whose name you seek to turn America into a theocracy.

          Do you have any evidence for that claim, or are you making accusations for which there is no evidence? Because if it’s the latter, that’s called lying.

          Produce your evidence, sir, or be known henceforth as a liar.

          • You know, I missed that part of his comment.

            I’d like to see responses about the theocracy that ‘liberals’ want to turn the U.S. into, where everyone must worship at the holy temple of Socialism.

            Its got to be that way, because they ‘believe’ it will work and they ‘believe’ it can be done right, and they think that belief and positive thought (along with a healthy dose of oppressing others) can make it happen!

            Sounds like a religion, and a theocracy, to me…

          • Why do you insist on ruining a perfectly good strawman by asking for evidence?

        • Patrick Chester

          I prefer to think of American resilience as what happened in response to the attempt to hijack the Hugo awards – people, including those like myself who had never participated before, banded together, not in violence but to vote, and joyfully defeated the foe.

          My, what an… interesting euphemism for mob action.

          But then you’re living in your own special little world where you’re the hero and those who disagree with you are evil monsters so it’s not really that surprising.

        • We actually had an extended discussion about the phobia of some sort of Christian theocracy a few days ago.

          If you are actually interested, it’s here:
          https://accordingtohoyt.com/2016/03/06/role-playing-a-blast-from-the-past-from-jan-2013/#comment-351985

    • President Obama’s term as president was the start of the nation coming back to itself.

      Do you care to explain what “self” you believe we were coming back to in that?

      Because about the only way I can see it working is that he’s basically Clinton, but with less political skill and less accountability. Better morals with women, if course, though that’s not intended to be damning with faint praise.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        If he is a white supremacist, he may be happy that Democrats can again burn down minority neighborhoods with impunity.

    • “institute useless security procedures”

      Here’s a free clue: “To professionalize you must federalize” wasn’t said by a Republican.

      Instead, the Disloyal Opposition you approve of started systematic blackmail to make approval of their crap the price of defending the country. The mistake GWB made was he didn’t act like your Messiah and ram everything through via executive order.

    • That America you often write about, with the hard-working, can-do, self-reliant spirit, or the one that I prefer, in which Americans live in peace and freedom and don’t forbid their neighbors to do the same, seems to be a thin veneer that cracks easily, and what’s underneath can be remarkably ugly.

      Remember Hurricane Katrina? It didn’t just hit Louisiana. It did major damage to the southern coast of Mississippi as well. But the people of southern Mississippi had that “hard-working, can-do, self-reliant spirit”, and immediately started rebuilding, helping out neighbors, and so on.

      But all you heard about in the news was Louisiana, where instead of immediately trying to help their neighbors and themselves by their own efforts, people tended to sit and wait for the government to help them — and the government help that arrived was incompetent.

      You heard about New Orleans ALL the time in the media. But you NEVER heard anyone in the media talking about the much better news in Mississippi, where people were managing just fine. For values of “just fine” appropriate to a post-hurricane situtation, of course. The disaster hurt them, but they had the self-reliant spirit and were rebuilding on their own, without waiting for Uncle Sam to rescue them.

      Yet the news media never talked about Mississippi. Why is that? Why would they not want people to get the idea that maybe, just maybe, we don’t need a large government to step in and take care of our every need?

      Remember what Gerald Ford (NOT Thomas Jefferson, though it’s often misattributed to him) said: “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

      • Oh, and I forgot to mention that the self-reliant spirit didn’t seem to be a “thin veneer” in Mississippi.

        • From folks I know in the area, (I lived in N.O. and the surrounding area for 20 years and left in early ’04) the highly Vietnamese population of New Orleans East pretty much did the same as the MS/AL coast and dug out and rebuilt before most of the rest of the N.O. area even left their shelters. They were the exception that proves.

          • That population had already had direct experience of a BFG (Big Friendly Government … and now I perceive I needs must revisit Mr. Dahl’s tale to peep under the surface and discern whether it’s a metaphor) and had not fallen to the idylls of learned dependence.

            • Out here the big fires in ’06 pretty much terminated trust in FEMA et al. Ranchers’ livestock losses were not counted as such because the feds “don’t reimburse people for the loss of pets,” you see.

              Which makes me want to get someone to go to DC with a Longhorn steer or Brahma, in a harness, and claim it as a seeing-eye or therapy animal and demand accommodation when they visit their Congresscritter.

                • Seriously. We ended up having Michael Martin Murphy and a few other people organizing fund raisers (concerts, the like) to help people at least get their fences up and put food on the table until they could find ways to restock or lease any unburned pasture to neighbors and others to get some income. If FEMA ever shows up again after a wildfire, either they’d better have been schooled on what ranching is, or they will have less business than the proverbial Maytag Repair Man.

              • Next time you’re in Bandera, see if they’ll loan you “Ol’ Lonesome.” Though I’m not sure his horns will fit through the doors.

              • PETS?

                (Yes, I’m yelling.)

                That would get me looking up the number of a good lawyer to sue FEMA for the money they owe me, and encouraging others to do the same. See if any jury believes for one second that I was raising those cows as pets.

                Harrumph.

      • Heck, the media didn’t talk about Louisiana outside of New Orleans that I remember. And outside of NO was pretty much like Mississippi.

        • There was plenty of self reliance even within the City of New Orleans, but it had to deal with somewhat odd behavior by NOPD and city officials, and then FEMA which could never quite make up its mind about much. My son was exec of a Navy experimental ship that doesn’t draw much water and can get through lots of places, but that’s the Navy; they could do what they were told to do, but it wasn’t always obvious to me that what they were ordered to do was optimum.

          The Mississippi National Guard in Gulf Port did pretty well, but the troops there got put under an Indiana General officer who operated out of Jackson, which slowed things down a lot. In the old days of the Civil Defense system, there were local commanders with some familiarity with local conditions, but setting up a civilian operation commanded from Washington seemed so much more efficient. I mean, real professionals in Washington, not rubes and rednecks in places like Mississippi and Alabama. That’s the way to deal with emergencies. Surely that’s obvious?

          • the biggest issue ignored by a lot of people was Blanco the gov, and Nagin as mayor hated each other. The election that got Blanco in office, Nagin endorsed Jindal and Blanco refused to talk to Nagin afterwards. all during the lead up GWB was actually often acting as go-between, and then once things went pear-shaped, whatever one needed done, the other just ignored doing and both often blamed GWB/Fema/Feds for the delay.

            Glad I had left that area in ’04.

          • oh. and for self reliance, my favorite story was one of the first buses of evacuees to get to Houston was a bus “borrowed” by a kid in the Convention Center that he drove from the yard to the Center, loaded up and then headed out, because they were tired of being ignored as all attention seemed to be on those in the Dome.

          • I still vividly recall a news video that came out in the aftermath of Katrina. Cops were at the home of an old black woman demanding that she evacuate. House was not in the flood zone and she took them back to show them a pantry stocked with canned goods and bottled water. It was when she pulled out a pistol to prove that she could defend herself that they knocked her to the floor, beat her, then arrested her.
            Several NOPD have had to answer for their actions during that time, but sadly many more never will.
            Mississippi, Alabama, and rural Louisiana hunkered down, rode out the blow, then gathered together to rebuild. Same to a lesser extent for the Florida panhandle. But of course these were rubes and rednecks who lacked the ability to represent as helpless victims, so were roundly ignored by the media.

    • Look up “the thin veneer of civilization” sometime, and realize that what you see beneath it when it is stripped away isn’t Burrough’s noble Ape Man, it’s the bared teeth of the Americans who spread out and took a continent away from proud and savage people who enjoyed fighting, and away from predators and nature.

      The face of the barbarian is can be remarkably ugly. The face of the civilized man who has decided to lay down the veneer of civilization for a moment and teach the barbarian to stand clear of the gates is terrifying – and it’s the only thing that preserves civilization so that we can have that veneer the majority of the time.

      You are able to see the place “in which Americans live in peace and freedom and don’t forbid their neighbors to do the same” because semi-tamed wolves stand ready to defend.

      When we decide that you’re no longer worth defending, that’s when you should worry.

      • The Barbarian hopes — and that is the mark of him, that he can have his cake and eat it too.He will consume what civilization has slowly produced after generations of selection and effort, but he will not be at pains to replace such goods, nor indeed has he a comprehension of the virtue that has brought them into being. Discipline seems to him irrational, on which account he is ever marvelling that civilization, should have offended him with priests and soldiers…. In a word, the Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this, that he cannot make: that he can befog and destroy but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilization exactly that has been true.

        We sit by and watch the barbarian. We tolerate him in the long stretches of peace, we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creed refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond, and on these faces there are no smiles.

        ― Hilaire Belloc

        • “Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.” – Thomas Sowell … and for the last few invasions we have neglected our duty to civilize them. Of late we have taken to flattering them, calling their ignorance wisdom and our wisdom tyranny.

          And the Gods of the Copybook Headings are beginning to reappear.

    • “Obama’s term as president was the start of the nation coming back to itself.”

      Obama took the Bush policies in place when he assumed office and ran with them, in many cases doubling down on them. Drone strikes? Check. Warrantless wiretapping? Check. Gitmo? Check. ‘Rendition’? Check. Indefinite detention? Check. And these are just from a Salon article. You’d think Salon would be falling all over themselves to whitewash (sorry) his policies. Meddling in Middle Eastern third-world hellholes (sorry, ‘developing nations’)? Check. Wall Street bailouts? Check. (Anybody remember ‘cash for clunkers’?) Dismantling of education? Check. Destroying health care? Check. Increasing the nation’s debt? Check and double-check.

      So how is this ‘the nation coming back to itself’?

  23. adventuresfantastic

    Gak! You have my prayers.

  24. I know it’s not very likely; but we’d love to have your family consider Texas. Housing is not too bad down here; and we even have a few decent medical schools…

    Best Places to live in Texas: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/mortgages/best-places-to-live-in-texas-2015/

    Baylor Medical School: https://www.bcm.edu/

    • The problem is that you don’t go to the medschool you choose, you go to the medschool that chooses you. Plus Dan has a job in CO.

      • Oh, come on, come to Texas! You can get your MD and DVM in the same class at Texas A&M!

        • The Other Sean

          I bet that comes in handy if one ever ends up on the island of Doctor Moreau!

          • Or in pediatrics. Small patients who don’t communicate, with sometimes less-than-helpful handlers. 🙂 Or so claims the pediatrician in my chorus, who says pediatricians and small-animal vets are pretty much interchangeable.

          • It’s even handier when castrating politicians….

        • Texas would be honored to have you and your family in residence Milady Hoyt. Many places for Robert to do a residency and for Marshall to either get a graduate degree or get a job. We have one of the strongest economies in the country. We don’t have any mountains but we are a short drive states with mountains. We have the E TX piney woods, Houston and Galveston on the Gulf, Austin in the Hill country, and bustling financial center and tech corridor of Dallas in N. Central TX.

          • The Other Sean

            Are the Texas mountains lame? I was considering visiting Big Bend and Guadelupe Mountains National Parks at some point, but if the mountains there are so lame you don’t consider them mountains they may not be worth my time.

            • They are not lame. I didn’t know about them. I only knew about the “Hill Country”. I’ve only been living in Dallas for 10 years. I am geography deficient. Mea culpa. You can tell Milady Hoyt about Texas mountains. Maybe she’ll move here. She likes mts. Doubt it though I think she said once that Denver was where she always wanted to live.

              • The Other Sean

                The Guadalupe Mountains are in the far west by the New Mexico border, and contain the highest point in Texas. Big Bend National Park is also out in western Texas, down along the Rio Grande. It contains part of a mountain range. They’re miles from anywhere.

                That about exhausts my knowledge of them, and that’s why I was curious if you’d encountered them and thought them unimpressive. They’re a bit off the beaten path and if not worth it I wouldn’t want to go out of my way to visit them.

                • I think that TX Red lives in W TX near NM. Ask her about them.

                  • Google is my friend tallest mountain in Texas is Guadalupe Peak. Guadalupe Peak, also known as Signal Peak, is the highest natural point in Texas, with an elevation of 8,751 feet (2,667 m) above sea level. While Colorado has numerous mountains over 14,000.

                • The Guadalupes are . . . different. The Chisos, in the Big Bend are really different. Both are desert mountain ranges, with a lot of great scenery and hiking. This time of year is probably the best to see them, especially during the wildflower bloom. But they are rugged and dry, and if you are thinking nice post-card mountains, they’re not for you.

                • Just to add, if you want to hike McKitrick Canyon, the fall is best, October or so, for fall color. October and November are great for both cool weather and star gazing, and the snakes are starting to sleep in later. 🙂 If you want southern mountains that are like the CO Rockies, Ruidoso, NM is about as far south as you want to go. Lots of history (Lincoln County Wars) and Carlsbad Caverns is/are a day’s drive (each way, going at a reasonable pace, and allowing for the second AM hiking in the main caverns. New Cave requires more time and is “primitive.”)

                  • Tucson is further south than Ruidoso; and in the Catalinas, Rincons and Santa Ritas we have Coloradoesque mountains (i.e. our Sky Islands); the Tucson and Tortolita ranges not so much.

              • I actually like the sea side better. I never fully got the Denver thing, but I still love the city. eh.

                • There is Houston. It’s a very nice city. The only downside are the seasonal storms.

                  • Patrick Chester

                    Sometimes. Depends on how active hurricane season is. I think we’ve had 5-6 in the last 15 years. Though only two were major hurricanes.

                    (Though I must admit Tropical Storm Allison did a number on us since it sort of… hovered over the area for a few days. Massive flooding.)

                  • Dear, it was a very nice city. Then it got invaded by Democrats.

  25. Seems like one of the links I offered got stck in moderation. Sorry. May God grant you and your family peace of mind and a quick escrow.

  26. I don’t sketch in charcoal anymore so if you want I can send you up to 5 each of General’s Charcoal pencil HB General’s Charcoal pencil 2B (these fit into a pencil sharpener)

    I also have one set of Holbein sketching pencils (2B, 4B & 6B) – you need to use a pocket knife + sandpaper to sharpen these as well as a set of Blaisdaile charcoals (the kind with the string) soft (632), med (633) and hard (634)

    And once box of those grumacher artists charcoal sticks – the ones that turn your hands black.

    They’re too good to toss, and I haven’t run into another artist who’d want them.

  27. Maybe you should call the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They’re there to help consumers, Right?(I almost typed that with a straight face.)

  28. Anyone else see this?
    https://theartsmechanical.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/cloud-people-and-ground-people/
    Two Kipling poems quoted at the end there.

  29. William O. B'Livion

    We’re considering buying a small piece of land up in Idaho Springs and having a modular home dropped on it.

    A bit cheaper than a custom stick built home, and you can get them customized a *little*.

    Hasn’t gotten past the dream state yet, but we should have CC bills gone soonish.

  30. *sends good wishes northwest* I shudder for what will happen if my parents ever decide to sell Redquarters. I’m 99% certain I won’t own a house, because of size (finding one small enough that’s not in a really, really, “interesting’ neighborhood). But the rental market down here is very, very tight, in part because there’s a huge, like around a hundred units, complex that is empty and nothing moving in or around it. Someone started to fix it up and stopped. I suspect they have *whispers* asbestos or lead paint and no one has the $$ needed to do all the [redacted redacted redacted] abatement and remediation necessary to fix them or even to tear them down and build new.

    • I should clarify: I shudder not because of having to pack and move (although that’s never fun) but because of the nightmare that selling a 60+ year old house with 90% of the original wiring and the current HVAC system will entail, and how much Mom and Dad will have to drop what they want for the house in order to find a buyer.

  31. I’m angry at the crazy bank who seems to WANT a foreclosure instead of selling us the house a little cheaper.

    I’m purely speculating, but if a body cain’t speculate in an SF blog, where can a body do it?

    You have to consider this from the banker’s point of view. Mortgages get foreclosed all the time, it is a cost of doing business and (as with bankrupt Broadway musicals) nobody tends to look very closely at how it reached that point. It simply gets folded in to all the rest of the foreclosed houses and lost in the shuffle.

    Approving a mortgage, however, means taking a risk. especially when issued at an amount below (however slightly) the appraised value. Bosses … activists … REGULATORS raise eyebrows and wonder whether the banker was doing something “inappropriate”, such as sliding a deal to a bud or privileging a honky white person. Doesn’t matter whether the applicant’s credit rating was Quadruple-A Plus Plus Good, never missing a loan payment since that quarter borrowed from the church collection plate when you was 4. What matters is people might ask questions and the kind of people asking those questions aren’t the kind of people to accept any answer but the one they “know” is true.

    Facts are an exercise of White Privilege, after all … and probably a tool of the Patriarchy, too! (Does the day you put in your loan application end in “Y”? Then probably a tool because we live in toolish times.)

    So the bank simply is willing to lose a little on a foreclosure rather than leave its heinie uncovered.

  32. When I was in a similar situation, I found a cheap travel trailer and a cheap place to park it. Then again, if it weren’t for low standards of living, I’d have no standards at all; your standards may vary.

    • um… I wonder if one could rent one of those and how much they cost.

      • The Other Sean

        I’m not sure about affordable long-term rentals, but you can often find used travel trailers for purchase pretty cheap on ebay, craigslist, etc. but they may not be in the best condition. (Listings on such sites were easier to sort through before dealers started posting new items on them – sigh.)
        If you’re seriously looking, pay special attention to look for signs of past leaks which may have led to rotting and mold.

        Whatever you end up doing, good luck and best wishes to you and your kin.

        • For a while we lived in a mobile home park that had a section that catered to people who did just that. Frequently they’d park there all summer then drive to a similar park in parts southerly in the winter.
          If you decide to look into that option, first find a trustworthy local police officer/sheriff deputy and find out which mobile home parks are good and which are bad.

  33. The latest one is that the house we’re trying to buy and have been trying to buy since Jan. 1, might not come through.

    Gads, I’m sorry.

    Our realtor has been telling us that they just put in a “fix” that makes it take longer, and I’d hoped that’s what was up with you.

    • no. that fix is what stretched the contract period of selling our house to two months. This is… worse.

    • How is anyone supposed to buy and sell a house to move directly from one to the other if it takes two months on both sides?

      • note they tend towards laws that make moving around harder.

        • Any reader of Louis L’Amour knows that “movers” have always been trouble. It’s for your own good, it helps to prevent people from moving out when HUD Affirmatively Furthers Fair Housing by moving a bunch of inner-city thugs into your neighborhood, and besides – when the government wants you to move they’ll Kelo your house out from under you.

        • The Other Sean

          Our would-be masters don’t want their would-be serfs getting uppity, don’t you know.

      • It doesn’t always take that long. Mar 4 2009 signed title transfer for Pacific Grove CA. house. Drove to Colorado Springs. Started house search Mar. 9 found house Mar. 12 put in bid Mar. 13th I think. Moved in Mar. 25. During the 5 days of house searching I looked at 30+ homes. Of course I paid cash which made the purchase go faster.

        • It changed in the last three months. It’s now minimum 45 days by law. With cash you can MAYBE buy in 30 days. MAYBE.

          • Wow. In ’03, we listed our house in SillyCon Valley just before Sept 1. On the 3rd or so, we made an offer, two days later we got a usable offer for the old place. The buyer had a good loan and was in a hurry. We were out of the old place on the 18th, and were in the new house on the 22nd with a cash deal.

            Doing non-structural renovations, (it’s manufactured, quite common out here in Deepest Oregon), but we’re farming out more. I still have way too much to do. Amazing how much chaos you get when you redo the flooring in the kitchen/laundry and baths. I have a border collie 5 barks past nuts, and the Lab/Aussie Shepherd is wondering just what we got into.

            Prayers for you. I have my own opinions about Wells Fargo, a few of them printable.

        • Anonymous Coward

          “It doesn’t always take that long.” Well, you sold the CA house the week the S&P 500 bottomed out, following a 20% drop in US house prices (according to the Case-Schiller index). I would say you timed that just about perfectly ! Now if you had only bought lottery tickets that week …

  34. Too high a price, wrong location, and wrong arrangement, but what a place for an ‘…evil space Princess’ to own/control:
    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2016/03/11/price-hell-michigan/81634638/

    • Hell is in a sucky position in the state. too close to all that is bad about the place. But I’m a biased yooper and not that fond of apple knocker trolls (~_^)

      • But think of the cachet of being able to blurb “A New Novel From The Beautiful But Evil Space Princess From HELL!”

        Worth buying a PO Box there for business purpose.

        • spend the time there right and you can be there when Hell freezes over.

          • Hey, if she wants to move to Hell, we’ve got Hell’s Canyon and Hell’s Half-Acre right here in Idaho, and that’s a lot closer to med school son than Michigan.

            I suspect the come back to “Go to hell” would be the best part of living there, myself.

            • I did once visit the place. And I made a point of buying one of the t-shirts. Not just for the shirt itself, though there is that, but if (when) someone tells me to “Go to Hell!” I can truthfully reply, “Been there. Done that. And yes, I do have the t-shirt.”

    • My husband and I went up to Hell on June 6th, 2006. I have a 666 t-shirt from that day. There were tons of gorgeous motorcycles, and several preachers in various spots carrying on about the date. 06/06/06 was a very nice early summer day.

    • Texas has a Hell Canyon AND a Purgatory, so we cxan always hope to trade up…

    • I see Hell is for sale: marked down $99,666 to $900,000. Personally, I much preferred Paradise, at least the one NW of Sault St. Marie. On the gripping hand, I haven’t been to either since LBJ was president.

      • “I see Hell is for sale: marked down $99,666 to $900,000. ” – RCPete

        I was born and razed in Texas. Texans have always lived in Texas and rented out Hell. So who decided to put it up for sale and forego all that lovely rent money?

    • The place looks like it needs someone to come in with a bulldozer and raze hell.

  35. BobtheRegisterredFool

    I dunno what exactly happened at the Trump event/s today. May not be reliable information out for a few days.

    Probably won’t impact DC/Guam tomorrow, but perhaps by Tuesday. No time for polling, but polling has apparently been lousy this cycle.

    • Apparently there is video and she has filed charges. Sadly, for many of his supporters it will make them cling to him more tightly — the same way a failed End-Of-The-World prediction often makes the prophet’s followers more devoted.

      • Different thing. It looks like a bunch of Sanderistas stormed a Trump rally in Chicago.
        No word on what exactly happened.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          I heard St. Louis.

          It looks like Trump may end up testing which sentence best describes Republican voters opposed to the violent side of #BLM.
          1) That sort of political violence is unsightly.
          2) It is fine as long as it is for the correct side.

          • I probably got them confused.

            But yeah, it’ll be interesting.

            • News reports were “developing” when I called it a night, but apparently it was both Chicago and St. Louis — each end of Illinois.

              At least one of the disruptions appears to have been a Black Lives Matter Production.

              I want to draw an analogy to the tactics of the various socialist front groups in Weimar Germany but I was able to sleep in and am not yet minimally caffeinated. Soooooo … vague murmurings of checking the calendar for “Night of the Long Knives.”

              • I’ve managed to avoid all the news, but I’m in the middle of teaching the 1920s-30s in history class and I’m getting tired of sighing and thinking, “Dang it, why don’t bad ideas ever die?”

                I wonder how much worse the world would be if the Left had ever managed to work together even for a short period of time? (And they think individualists have trouble organizing?)

                • “Dang it, why don’t bad ideas ever die?”


                  There are always those who think they can snatch the golden idol and get away ahead of the boulder.

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    Of course, there are the idiots who after the vampire is “staked”, pull out the stake. [Frown]

                    • The classic one for that was in Marvel’s Dracula during the 90s where the activities surrounding Drac’s demise got the ME who was looking the other way canned. His replacement comes in and gets shown the autopsy room where Drac is laid out with the stake through his heart. She immediately marches over full of outrage, turns to the staff who are saying “Noooooo!” and says: “I don’t know what kind of circus Dr SoandSo was running, but as long as I’m running this office there will be proper respect for the dead!!!”

                      *YANK*

                      The next two pages are just blood red panels, followed by the autopsy room full of bodies and a fog cloud headed out the door……

                • Working together would change them enough that it wouldn’t be worse.

              • If you want to go tinfoil, Trump may be pulling a play from the old Nixon Dirty Tricks book. Nasty, rude protesters are a benefit, and Nixon liked to have a few around to make him look good.
                Or the Bernistas/BLM people are just that dumb. I’m inclined to that explanation.

              • BobtheRegisiterredFool

                https://twitter.com/esotericcd
                was at the Chicago event.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        If it peels off the likes of Jerry and Diplomad, who’ve been turned off by NR, Romney, and #NeverTrump, I’d consider it effective.

        I’ve a sense that the incident was precipitated by a general tension in the Trump, which might have been exacerbated by internals, or the effects of the debates on Trump personally.

        For those that don’t follow the nitty gritty of all the twitter argy bargies, one of Trump’s staffers, apparently very senior, laid rough hands on the female journalist whose employer is very sympathetic to Trump. This happened on the eighth. a) So sympathetic, that there are rumors they will fire her. b) So senior, that apparently this isn’t enough to fire him. c) It is alleged that the staffer also threatened a female debate moderator associated with Fox.

        I dunno.

        • Unofrtunately, this will be overshadowed by the idiot Sanderistas. It seems like everything’s setting up for a fall-apart.

          • I remember the Sixties … we aren’t anytwhere near that.

            Although if this administration continues piling up fuel for the fires it could go there rapidly. We’re one major incident short of Worst. President. Ever. … and I can count at least three likely flash-points showing sparks.

            Yes, I notice the apparent contradiction between my two assertions. In this age of Twitter-mobs it is far easier to take things from six all the way up to eleven.

            • True enough. As you know, I’m young, which means that this is as bad as it’s gotten in my lifetime.
              And unfortunately the Internet has knocked out one of the props fom under Madisonian pluralism–due to the sheer size of the American republic, extremists would be less able to find like-minded individuals, and thus to organize.

  36. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Decisions Decisions.

    Do I warn people to “spring forward tonight” or just sit back to watch the fun Sunday morning when people are late?

    Nah, I think I’ll watch the fun. 👿 👿 👿 👿

    • The senior minister at the place I sing had the choir record a daylight saving song (to a Welsh hymn tune) that will be sent out to everyone on the e-mail and Twitter lists. I suspect it was by the composer of “Resting: An Anthem for the Tired Choir.” 😉

    • I read somewhere they cancelled it and are about to shout “SUCKERS”.
      Oh. I read it from me. Disregard. Carry on. Smoke ’em if ya gottem.

  37. The Other Sean

    I didn’t notice on my first read, but a minor nit: We only had FDR in office for a hair over 12 years, not 16. Inaugurated March 1933, died in office April 1945.

    • I was wondering about that. I thought he was only elected 3 times and after that the US made it so you could only be elected twice.

    • Um… seems longer when you read history? 😉

      • The Other Sean

        Having lived with Obama as president for 7 years, I’m sure 12 years under FDR would have seemed like at least 16 years, if not an eternity. 🙂

        • FDR was only elected four times, but LBJ, Carter, and Bill Clinton extended his administration and time in office by an additional four and a half terms and fifty-five years. Which really does seem like an eternity at this point, even leaving President Urkel out of the mix.

  38. I’ll just leave this here.

  39. We have a two-way tie. Please vote. I’m sure we can get it up to at least three. . .

    https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/131601-which-space-opera-should-we-read-for-our-april-book

  40. I see, and apologize for, the fact that I was remiss in failing to extend my condolences and wishes for good luck to you in resolving your residency situation. I, too, have been caught on the domicile search carousel, including a (thankfully brief) period when I was functionally homeless, and it is not fun. At least in my situation it was only I who was in distress and not family or furry friends. I can only try to imagine the stresses you are facing now..

  41. I’ve had a minor rant building these last couple weeks and I’m going to let it out here where it won’t get into serious mischief:

    In her defense against charges of mishandling classified material Madame Hillary has asserted that “The government over-classifies too much material!”

    This is certainly an interesting and useful defense. Since the government classifies too much she is free to ignore those classifications she deems unimportant? I see wonderful potential for use of that defense in a variety of venues. The government over-taxes, so we can pay only those taxes we individually deem appropriate! The government over-regulates, so businesses and individuals are free to ignore those regulations they think excessive?

    Hillary’s proposed basis for abiding by rules sure does seem an opportunity for us all.