You Ain’t Seen Nothing Like Us Yet A Blast From the Past, October 2013

*It is important in times of trouble to remember who we are and what it means. To remember that the world ain’t seen nothing like us yet, and though this might destroy many nations, it won’t destroy us. At least not if we — the few, the Odd, the USAians — work like hell at it.
On another note, sorry the post is so late. Allergies have been playing havoc with me, not improved by the fact that I’m spending a lot of time outside and around plants. So I took benadryl, which knocks me out cold.  Also, whoever sent me a post and I never answered, please send again. I’ve now lost TWO of them I know I received.My email does something that hides them, I swear. So, have pity on the ditsy writer and send again? -SAH*

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Like Us Yet A Blast From the Past, October 2013

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Like Us Yet A Blast From the Past, October 2013

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It is a truism from psychology classes that you can’t stand at the window and watch yourself go by.  You also can’t grow up in a country and see it as outsiders see it.  And outsiders can’t see it as insiders see it.

If you ever see me standing somewhere and shaking my head and saying “Americans!” it’s not that I suddenly see myself as separate from you.  Or rather, it is, but it’s more that I see myself separate from and part of, which means I don’t fit anywhere.  The part of me that feels separate from the rest of you, though, is the girl who grew up overseas with an idea of America that you don’t see and probably can’t share.  The part that then came here, and adapted her notions, and figured out how you guys see yourselves.

In metaphorical terms, I’m the American that stands at the window and watches America go by. The caveat is that I grew up in a very particular time and place, and though I did see a lot of Europe and had a lot of European and anglosphere friends, I know next to nothing about Asia (though I had Japanese friends too.)  Still as far as I know though we share one or two traits with other nations, we’re the only ones who have all of them.

And I don’t mean some individuals in other nations don’t have these traits, or that some here don’t lack them (boy, I could tell you!) but that in general our culture has these traits and theirs doesn’t.  And that makes all the difference.

So I thought I’d hold the mirror up to you, because you guys keep trying to fit yourselves into roles that just aren’t there. “We’re Rome!”  or “We’re Carthage” or even “We’re the British Empire!”  (Which – Francis is right – is the closest and yet not a perfect fit.  In nation terms, the British take their laws as seriously as we do, but they’re more flexible.  In schoolroom terms, the British might be “in the spectrum” but they’re not full on Aspergers.)

No, we’re none of those.  By the Grace of G-d or the amazing concatenation of chance and self-selection, we’re something quite new in the history of the world.  And if there was something like us before – pre-history perhaps? – it is long since vanished from memory.

I’m going to list in no particular order the things that still strike the me-that-grew-up-elsewhere as amazing and wonderful about our country.  And yet I’m sure I’ll forget a dozen or so of them.  Maybe perhaps just enough of this will explain my view that while I think collapse is inevitable, I don’t think we can predict how it will turn out or what comes next.  The future is unwritten and being the special nation we are, it’s up to us to write it.

[BTW, I’m too lazy to look for it right now, but there’s a Facebook meme that encapsulates what I am: I’m an Apocaliptimist.  I believe everything is going to sh*t but I still think we’ll be all right through it all and it might turn out for the best. (The difference between me and the Libertarians who, like communists, expect their system to emerge spontaneously from the chaos, is that I think we’ll need to work like heck through the dark times to make sure we’re all right at the end.)]

So, here it is what I see when I stand at the window and watch America go by:

-We’re playful.  No, I don’t mean just that we have a sense of humor.  That too – and I was fully appreciative of the British humor before I came here, but the British humor has a back bite and a bit of the dour irony that American humor might have or not – but that’s not all.  We’re playful even when not making an outright joke.  For instance, the first thing that hit me about the High School I attended in the States for 12th grade was that someone had labeled the corridors in hand lettered signs.  For instance, the math/computer area was labeled Nerd Alley.  And the teachers let it stay up.  And no one thought this hurt the dignity of the school/education.  In fact, I’m almost sure they had the school’s unofficial approval.

Then there’s the senior prank I took part in, where we kidnapped the secretary’s stuffed bulldog collection, and asked for $5 in unmarked pennies.  My counselor called me and very seriously counseled me to give up my accomplices and talked about my making this an international incident.

Right now you’re going “Standard kid stuff.”  And shaking your head and going “and?” – And nothing.  Those are perfectly normal pranks.

Yeah, they are, in the states.  Don’t even try to do it anywhere else.

-We spontaneously organize in clubs and associations.  I think we’re losing this now, because everyone is so infernally busy.  (But the structure is still there.  It would take more than a generation to erase.) It’s impossible to have a club in America – even our writers’ group – without rules that everyone takes very seriously indeed.  In other countries – maybe excepting England – this is reserved for associations that are “official” and “important.”  Here, if you form a club to give crumbs to ducklings in the park, within three months it will be run according  to Robert’s rules of order, (Which I’ve told the older kid should be the name of his blog) with motions and chairs and who knows what.

This is absolutely needed because

-We don’t take orders well.  Any of us, really.  When I came to the US I kept seeing this sign in every work place “The problem in this place is all chiefs no Indians.”  I suppose it is politically incorrect now, so you no longer see it.  BUT it baffled me.  It wasn’t just that these people were saying that their workplace was unorganized, or that they had issues taking orders, but that they were BRAGGING about it in posters and cross stitch pictures. … and that they were right.

Portugal is famously unorganized.  My kids have various colorful expressions for the way things are done in Portugal.  Let’s just say they’re convinced that most people drive with a part of their anatomy no one should use. But it’s different.  The average Portuguese recognizes his “betters” and assumes that someone else has the right to lead them.  They just exhibit a sullen “make me” attitude.  In the States, we just don’t see why anyone else should be in charge.  We don’t recognize social superiors, and we barely recognize technical superiors.  The forlorn cries for us to respect “the office” of this and that when we can’t respect the current *sshat are a measure of how little inclined we are to do that.  In other countries the President or the Premier or whatever is “Important” and you DO respect the office and it rubs off on the person, no matter how much you hate the current clown.

The flip side of this is that we’re all of us forever looking at what we can do.  (There are exceptions, of course.  I’m not talking individuals, I’m talking the American character as opposed to other nations.)  If you face a mess, you don’t sit around waiting for orders to fix it.  You don’t even wait for other people to “buy in.”  You roll up your sleeves and start fixing what you can reach.

This is why that sign in the seventies was a brag.  It was was “We’re all trying to do the best we can, and we’re so good at that we can barely coordinate with which other.”  There is no other country where I can visualize “An army of one” making sense.

-This “We fix it” thing is why Americans open their purses and their hearts to help the less fortunate, whether it’s the person with too many kittens to feed down the block, or the victims of the tsunami across the world, in numbers the rest of the world doesn’t even come close to matching.

It’s not just that we’re well off or generous.  Yeah, we’re that, but we also feel that it’s our duty, dang it.  We don’t wait for the organization or the go-varmint or someone else to do.  We’re an army of one, moving in our own uncoordinated way, and moving mountains without even noticing.

And that’s also because most of us at some time were in need and got help, and know better than to wait for officialdom.

I was never more proud than when science fiction forgot its petty inanities and closed ranks to help Dave Wolverton’s kid.  Because that’s what we do.  We’re Americans.  We fix, we help, we move on, and we don’t keep score of who helped whom, and who didn’t.  You need help we’re there, a mob with a purpose.

– We are flexible.  No, this is important.  We change, and the society allows us to change.  The sense of humor, the organization, the initiative, all of it adds up to us saying “just because I’ve always been like that, doesn’t mean I’ll be like that tomorrow.  And society doesn’t try to keep us in our appointed pigeon hole.

And this is probably why you can become an American.  Most other nationalities, while you can naturalize, you’ll never “really” be whatever they are.

Here?  Despite the idiots running around hyphenating themselves, you can be an American no matter how funny you look or how strange you sound.  (Trust me.  I know whence I speak.)

And people will be offended at the idea that you wouldn’t be able to become a real American.

Part of the unappreciated thing by all – PARTICULARLY progressives – is that for all its flaws America is the least racist, homophobic, sexist and any other discriminatory thing you can think of.  If you’re an American you are an American, no questions asked.  (And all the Americans who think otherwise only think so because they’ve only seen the rest of the world on their best behavior.  Listen to them in unguarded moments, in their native language, and the picture is quite different.  I wish we could get our oikophobic co-citizens to understand that they really shouldn’t take what people say of their own country at face value.  This is why they think we are the worst in the world – because we engage in self-critique, even more than the Europeans.)

-And this is why we have a positive craze for self-improvement.  This can get outright silly with New Age stuff and cleansing your aura, but it also means that most of us aspire to being life long learners, even those who aren’t.

Yes, in other countries people go for adult education or learning this or that, but it’s usually very focused, very serious.  Here, it’s not unusual to find that someone is taking some very serious subject on the side, in their spare time, just for fun.

For years I belonged to the History Book Club, where my royalty checks should just be made over every month.  (My husband said.)  I don’t now, because I can poke around Amazon till I find things.  But that sort of thing, the History Book Club and the Science Book Club, and the Mathematics Book Club, and heaven knows what flourishes in America more than anywhere else in the world.

I remember when my brother rather condescendingly told me about a book on Chinese History he’d just discovered and offered to send it to me “since you won’t have that in America.”  Ah.  I’d read it five years before, through the History Book Club.

This is why despite the fact that our secondary education (and primary too, for that matter) suck rotten eggs, we continue to have an educated populace.  It’s also why finding out someone “only” has a high school education means nothing.  My plumber is an expert on the civil war and its weapons.

In the same way that there are second acts in American lives, there are second and third and fourth careers, and a continuing education, and structures to support that, and the fact that no one finds it weird that a computer programmer is “really” a medieval sword expert and a weekend blacksmith.

This makes us uniquely adapted to this world of fast-changing technology, because none of us (okay, again, I’m talking the culture not individuals.  We won’t discuss Wisconsin teachers) regards a job as a sinecure or education as the hoops to jump through for the sinecure.  No, we regard jobs as things you do for a while, and learning as the way to get another/different job.

Which is good, because

– The future comes from America.  Yes, yes, I know Verne, Wells and all that “invented” science fiction, but the only nation in which it was popularized as a genre, and not an entertainment of intellectuals bent on social critique – the only place it could be so – is America.

Some countries – most countries – are shackled to the past, either in embrace or in denial, and sometimes in both.

Portugal is a tiny country trying to swim through time against the pull of the huge cement sack of history tied to its middle.  They can’t do this and that because it’s never been done, or they have to do this because they did that before.  I get the same sense about all the other countries I know well enough.

But not America.  Oh, no.  Not us.

Americans seem to have come here to make things better, and therefore, the future is always better than the past (Yes I realize this makes the glitterati not really American.  What you thought they were?)

Americans are mad in love with the future.  We’re adult enough to know sometimes there are (d*mnably) rough patches, but by and large “every day, in every way, we’re getting better and better.”  And just wait till we finish tinkering and cajoling and inventing tomorrow.

Come and give me a hand.  We’ll come out of this collapse thing better than ever, stronger than ever.  The future?  Man, is it going to be snazzy, and new, and completely unexpected.

Boy, are you going to love it!

You ain’t seen nothing like us yet!

167 thoughts on “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Like Us Yet A Blast From the Past, October 2013

  1. That mirror has added too many pounds; the reflection looks nothing like me.

    Besides, no way my hair is that gray.

      1. I have been informed (mostly by others with a similar lack of hair to mine) that the Author only made a limited number of perfect heads the rest He covered with hair. Apparently it took about 40 years to perfect my head 🙂 .

      2. The hair on my head does what it damned well pleases. Some of it has run away. The rest just sticks around to irritate me. It’s on strike.

      3. I have clippers and a mirror and intend to fix that situation as soon as practical. (My scalp itches very quickly unless the hair is short.)

  2. Then there’s the senior prank I took part in, where we kidnapped the secretary’s stuffed bulldog collection, and asked for $5 in unmarked pennies. My counselor called me and very seriously counseled me to give up my accomplices and talked about my making this an international incident.

    That’s delightful.

      1. Er … as pennies come fifty to a roll, the five dollar ransom would mean they’d be on ten rolls.

    1. two comments. first is when kidnapping stuffed animals it’s fun, but it is also a test. will they go along with the joke (like paying the ransom in pennies but carefully painting a number (1 – 500) on each one. and plotting revenge prank.
      second is my favorite. (this is a college prank. kidnap a neighbors yard animal (gnomes usually) send it to a friend in another state. take poliroids of the gnome having fun (surfing in Hawaii, visiting Yellowstone, etc.). send on to next friend and repeat for as many friends involved. return to first member who returns gnome (with pitchers) to the neighbor.

  3. They can’t do this and that because it’s never been done

    “It’s never been done before? Great! We’ll be the first. Let’s get started.”

    1. There are two types of countries in the world: Those that worry about whether or not something’s been done before and those that put men on the Moon.

      1. Six times. And then sat on their dead asses watching ‘Reality TV’. We can’t even send people to low orbit any more; we have to pay the Russians to do it for us!

        We got BORED with OUTER SPACE!

        1. We’re fixing that. This time we’re doing it with less government, on the way to doing it without the government.

          We’re past the WWI stage and in the Air Mail stage.

          1. If the seats are not six feet apart, they won’t be allowed to get in the capsule.

            1. They’ll be fully isolated from each other via space suits and helmets the six feet won’t apply. Or, oh hell, Space X will apply the middle fingers. S P A C E !!!!

        2. In fairness, there wasn’t anything to do there. When we return we should take some tools and do what Americans do better than anybody else: develop desolate real estate.

          After all, look what we did with Los Vegas. Or Manhattan, or even the Florida Everglades around Orlando!

            1. I apologise for the misinformation. Everything I know about Florida geography was learned from Travis McGee novels.

              I do know the land Disney bought was dirt cheap because nobody had figured a way to make a living off it.

              1. And because he made DAMN sure nobody found out he was buying it. When word did leak out, land prices in the area shot up 10X overnight.

    2. “We the unwilling,
      led by the unqualified
      have been doing so much with so little
      that we now attempt* the impossible with nothing.”

      (*) Some versions have “accomplish”.

      1. A different version, from long ago:

        We the unwilling
        Led by the incompetent
        Have been doing so much for so long with so little
        We are now qualified to do everything, with nothing, forever.

        1. Damn lack of an edit button — remembered this seconds after hitting POST

          We the unwilling
          Led by the incompetent
          Are doing the impossible for the ungrateful.
          Have been doing so much for so long with so little
          We are now qualified to do everything, with nothing, forever.

      2. The version I learned long ago was:

        “We the unwilling, led by the unknowing
        Are doing the impossible for the ungrateful
        We have done so much, with so little, for so long
        That we are now qualified
        To do anything with nothing”

        1. Same one I learned (with slight variation: We have done so much for so long with so little”)

          Truest words ever… When someone gave me an old travel trailer (which proved lifesavingly useful) I was gratified to find it has this wise saw on a bumper sticker.

  4. Whenever I work on one of your creations I always preserve the original and edit a copy which I rename and send back to you. I then tuck both files somewhere safe just in case.
    This practice has, more than once, made it relatively simple to respond quickly to your request to resend the edited file you somehow managed to misplace.
    I have the soul of an engineer and 25 years of government service to blame for my ridiculous paranoia and anal retentiveness.

    1. “Blessed are the pessimists, for they have made backups.” (I now have redundant backups; one twice daily, another monthly on a second drive.)

    2. I do the same. Further, when I upgrade a client’s hard drive, I always set the old drive aside for a while before wiping it, just in case… which has saved more than one major disaster with work that would otherwise have been lost.

  5. Yup, we’re the people that when asked “Why?” answer “Why not?”.
    Of course that sometimes leads to the kind of behavior that prompted the famous Churchill quote:

    You can always count on Americans to do the right thing — after they’ve tried everything else.

    NTTAWWT

    1. How do you know what is the right thing until you’ve tried everything else?

      1. Better than declaring the problem insoluble and giving up…

        I was talking with a Brit about one of the internal problems of the Home Islands, and he said, “But you just don’t understand the complexity of the problem!”

        My reply was, “What I understand is that there are several possible solutions, and HM Government would rather do nothing than do what it will take to fix it.”

        Because $PROBLEM was now internalized as part of their national character, I guess. If they dealt with it, then they’d be less than they were. Or something like that.

  6. Got a government notice yesterday, did some checking, and found that the California Senate and Assembly BOTH have ‘Public Safety Committees’.

    The San Diego County Administration building is closed to the public. The city courthouse requires masks, but the marshals were wearing useless cloth masks. I wanted to check out a few details for Chapter 12 of the story I’m writing, but didn’t get much except a hard time.

    Vons requires masks, but I got through checkout before they yelled at me.

    The ‘crisis’, such as it ever was, is long since over, but the government is going more and more insane! At least half our politicians were closet Stalins, and now they’re out of the closet. We really need to do better.

      1. Orvan said “Dimensionally unstable wardrobes” :
        Pray tell why are you wishing our politicians on Narnia? Although they’d probably be very happy as Calormenes or Black dwarfs.

          1. The vast majority of our politicians are Orcs, the worst of them are Uruks out of Mordor. Actually that is unfair. Shagrat was far more honest and honorable than out political class.

            1. Shagrat was also more appealing in person than most long time politicians…

        1. The aardvark assures you that none of the wardrobes around here go to Narnia. They were all made from oak, anyway.

          1. Ok, I’ll take the aardvark’s word for it. How does the aardvark speak is it from Narnia?

            In a separate issue our master bedroom has built in drawers in the eves of the room (its a cape without dormers) that would otherwise be wasted space. One of our earliest cats (Spike the Bold) would often pull a drawer out and then climb into it to sleep in our underwear or night clothes. On occasion he would climb OUT of the drawer and into the space behind around the drawers. We would then have to remove one or more drawers and coax him out. This became referred to as “Going to Narnia” by my daughters who loved the Narnia books. As in “Where’s Spike?” with a reply of “I haven’t seem him lately perhaps he’s gone to Narnia”. Twenty years and 3 generations of cats later we’ve had to place child locks on the drawers to prevent this. It’s particularly troublesome as a cat’s natural response to getting stuck somewhere seems to be taking a nap so they can disappear for long periods.

            To Narnia and the North!

              1. And what I imagine for the Aardvark’s voice is Sterling Holloway (Winnie the Poohs original voice) with a VERY nasal overtone.

    1. The Committee of Public Safety were the ones who set up mass executions in France, to the point where they adopted the guillotine to take some of the workload off the executioners.

      Whenever hear someone mention their area has a group with that name, I always wonder if it was chosen deliberately…

    2. And the “experts” who are cranking out models that have never related to reality are going to continue to push out ever exaggerated numbers in order to try to stifle any efforts to end the lockdowns because they believe that dong so will help Democrats in November with the added bonus of giving themselves money and power The climate model hysteria didn’t work so now they are pushing CCP Virus model hysteria.

      1. They’ll let up the minute, and not a minute before, when they have mail in voting in every state. They’ll take this into November if they have to.

        I firmly believe it will bite them in the behind, hard, with a hard kick follow up. Please, Please, give US President Trump’s reelection, a super majority in both the House & the Senate. At this point it can’t be any worse than the house majority now.

        President Trump hasn’t said this. I think it shows his restraint. But pretty sure he is thinking “Here is your rope. Go tie the voting knot that the voters are going to kick you out of office with.” At this point I think he may win California, Oregon, and Washington. People are pissed.

        1. Unless you are seeing something I amn’t, I doubt Trump will take these states. There’s just too much progressive indoctrination.

          1. Overwhelming optimism?

            You are correct. Just because 3/4 of each state is pissed enough to bounce heads doesn’t mean they get to overpower the 1/4 of each state that makes the call for the state. Who knows? One can hope.

          2. Depends on the spin. California is hurting, but they’re rolling on inertia and debt. It’s a huge state with a huge economy, bigger than many whole countries; it takes a while for the train wreck to happen.

            Very soon, they’re going to be out of momentum and credit. “Put everyone on public assistance” won’t work when there is no tax base and nobody to loan the state money or buy their bonds. The state will tax everything they can to make up the shortfall, but many of the businesses they shut down aren’t coming back, and the ones that do will be facing an enormous debt load as they try to resume. And credit is going to be tight or unavailable; no sane creditor is going to loan many of those businesses any money based on their 1Q an 2Q 2020 earings reports. Assuming the state doesn’t just dip their hands into private credit and scoop it all out beforehand; “loan it to us now at an extremely favorable rate or lose your license” would be just the thing the vermin in Sacramento would do.

            There probably millions of Californians who will be wondering when they’ll be evicted, or how they’re going to support their families, or just feeling generally screwed over. Yeah, they always voted yellow dog Democrat before… but they were *rich* before, and they could tolerate the socialists who took over their government.

            “Money” consists of credit and debt. The State of California as a polity, is just about out of credit. So are too many of its individual and corporate citizens. And the Fed isn’t going to swoop in and bail them out; too many other polities are going to be screaming for their cut… and the Fed doesn’t have that kind of money either. It already voted itself a crippling increase in the national debt that’s going to bite the whole country hard.

            All you have to do is point out, “these idiots are why you hurt, vote for our guys and get a chicken with every sparklepony!”

            Of course, the Republican Party’s general incompetence could still screw that up…

            1. What would shift the balance is discovering that the CALPERS pension funds, largely invested in China… are now imaginary money, since the Chinese assets they’re invested in mostly don’t actually exist. What happens when China’s economy contracts to where it can no longer support the illusion?

              Agreed the GOP is really bad at taking advantage of Democrat screw-ups.

            2. It’s all going to come down to which side can blame the other the loudest — and the Democrats have the advantages of long experience and no shame at all.

    3. My shipyard has been requiring masks for a couple of weeks now. Today they announced that they’ll start temperature checks when coming in in the morning. I’m tempted to take my mask off once they’ve read my temperature.

      “You need to wear a mask.”

      “Why? I did my self-assessment and I don’t have a fever.”

      “But you might be asymptomatic and spreading it.”

      “Then why are we doing self-assessments and taking temperatures?”

      As I told the Commander when he made the mistake of calling me a smartass during a one-way conversation, “Sir, I’ve always been a smartass and I’ve never denied it.”

      1. the Commander … made the mistake of calling me a smartass …

        He prefers dumbasses?

        1. Apparently there’s a happy medium between the two. I’ve never been there myself.

      2. If I am asymptomatic, how am I supposed to be spreading it, wishful thinking? Am I breathing on them when they get too close? What is the mechanism?

        For that matter, how did I get it when I have been shut up in my house for nearly six weeks?

        Questions. Questions that need answering.

        1. “What is the mechanism?”

          Well, my dad’s favorite “one size fits all” explanation was “osmosis”…… except he wasn’t serious, or trying to run other people’s lives. Their explanation seems to involve it though.

          No, they’re relying on “Typhoid Mary” style asymptomatic carriers as the mechanism: even without symptoms, you’re like a mushroom ready to pop on contact and shower virus on everyone around you. If you stay home, that allows the limited number of serfs ….

          (who are supposed to have all been tested and come up negative, in their masks and gloves which you are wasting on “non-essential” activity) ….

          to make their “essential” rounds and keep them fed, watered, supplied with sex toys, etc.

          “For that matter, how did I get it when I have been shut up in my house for nearly six weeks?”

          And that’s where the osmosis comes in. The Wuhan Flu, bioengineered for the job by the e-vile military industrial complex, will seek out the sinless and get into your house via those same deliveries of food, water, and sex toys, and infect you. It’s all very confusing and you should trust the pronouncements of the Scientists. While avoiding the demonic Capitalists, who may look like angelic Scientists by donning the garb and aping the manner. However, the wokened may always tell them apart by careful examination of their pronouncements, and anything that suggests that someone has to actually work to provide their “essentials” will reveal them in their iniquity.

          After all, the Holy State has endless supplies of manna to shower upon its’ followers. It’s Twue! It’s twue!

        2. It might be supposed to be fecal virus shedding and inadequate handwashing. Or small amounts of mucus/spit?

          –Except the other thing is that in the case of nobody-wanted-to-read-this-novel coronavirus, I think part of the issue is a lack of clarity on the term “asymptomatic,” which sounds like “I feel fine!” but sometimes just means “not feverish and hacking up a lung” or whatever symptoms they opted to define as relevant in a particular study. So “asymptomatic transmission” may mean catching it from somebody who feels like crud but didn’t measure as feverish/is sneezing constantly but thought it was allergies. That study with all the asymptomatic homeless people found that most of them didn’t have fever/coughing/shortness of breath, not that everybody felt just grand, and some symptoms were self-reported so you’ve got the issue of what people are used to….

          …That said I know somebody who’s got something and regardless of whether it’s the Wuhan import or not, how he managed to catch it is a minor mystery. But heck, I’m pretty sure I caught a cold one year off a gas pump, since I had literally not been near anyone who was sick for weeks.

      1. *pauses in editing it into a ring tone*
        Oh, yes, most likely, on both counts. Kind of like the twits who think calling one of us a “cowboy” is going to upset us.

        *goes back to work*

  7. Back in my senior year I attended a brand-new high school with all the latest pedagogical bells and whistles- “open classrooms,” choice of classes, “modular scheduling,” and so on. (For the record, it was a great school if you wanted to learn things. For other kids, not so much). I was taking Speech, and the original teacher had to take sick leave. We got an intern to replace her – a very earnest, long-haired (hey, it was 1973), well-meaning young man who had never in his life been issued a clue stick. I had to give a speech, and decided to do it on accident prevention. Then I decided to get a visual aid and got permission to borrow a mannequin from Home Ec. I wandered off just before class the day of the speech to pick it up. The one I chose was dressed in the school gym suit (short shorts, short sleeves, very fitted) and had a head of golden blond hair in approved “big hair,” style. I tucked her under my arm and headed back across school to the English module.

    On my way, I walked by the library, which was a large rectangular room open to hallways at both ends. I hadn’t thought about what I looked like until the gasps started. By sheer chance, I’d picked up a mannequin that looked like the head cheerleader.

    In any case, I got it outside the class, wrapped it in a sheet and put a tag on its toe, and then carted it in when my turn came. It was all I could do not to bust out laughing, and I know my hands and voice shook a bit.
    Then when it was over the earnest young teacher complimented me on my “passion,” since I so obviously felt strongly about my chosen issue. I just barely managed to nod and get out of class before I very quietly laughed myself sick.

    I’m so glad I got away with it.

    1. “open classrooms,” choice of classes, “modular scheduling,” and so on. (For the record, it was a great school if you wanted to learn things. For other kids, not so much).

      Same year, Anchorage, AK, 4-5-6th grade. I learned up to pre-algebra and could have kept going if they’d had volunteers to teach it. My best friend, on the other hand, never quite figured out fractions.

      Ah, the ’70s.

      1. I’m yet another of that type. I attended an english style “open” high school called the Hammonasset School https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammonasset_School in 1975-1979. Called teachers (and the headmaster) by their first names. Lots of self paced classes (I took Algebra and Geometry that way). No grades, at the end of a trimester you and the teacher wrote up you’re views on the class(called an evaluation) and spent 10-15 minutes talking about it. Bean bag chairs in the common area and library. It was fun, but lots of people couldn’t handle it, and being the ’70s drug use was rampant.

    2. I had the Presentation Sisters, then the Irish Christian Brothers, then the Society of Jesus No progressive education for me though the Jesuits went way over the line soon after.

      I went back to my old grammar school 25 years after leaving and they were still using the old Plaid readers. The teacher had rescued them from the bin and used them instead of the textbook.

      1. My HS was traditional through 1970. Don’t know about the succeeding years, but it was working damned well as is. OTOH, the teacher’s union got recognized around then. Younger classes (F&Sophmore at one campus, J&Senior at the other) were getting the full hit of the drug culture.

  8. It’s reminding ourselves, in these trying times, that Americans are astonishing self-organizers. We don’t wait for orders from the King or Church (or the State these days), we go out and do it ourselves. In less than two weeks into the whole stay-in-place, restaurants were using their supply chains to build boxes of bread and meat and veggies for people to buy. We’ve gotten a few of them over the weeks, got to use the bread quick (not made the same way as the bread you get at the supermarket), but we were getting a decent supply of everything.

    Breweries were switching over from “taprooms” to “canning” and you could pick up cases easily. Distilleries were making hand sanitizer from their discard products, sometimes even better than the “official” stuff. Farmer reports that they have to junk their crops? Food banks drive up to get what they can, to give to people that need it.

    I can find great classes on just about any subject on YouTube or Zoom or half a dozen other platforms. Stories of people in neighborhoods working out improvised schools and day care for kids. (One of my favorites is the former Marine that was doing PT classes for kids and teaching them polite jodies.)

    I know two people that are using 3D printing to make better face masks for doctors, ones that can be easily sanitized and use commercially-available filters that are easier to find and stock. One of our local corset makers is making face masks for people, and offering them at half price, full price, “pay it forward,” and buy two. With free shipping.

    Is there a lot of duplication of effort? Most likely, and good leadership could help with that. But, “good leadership” in this day and age is something that can be extremely actionable and used five, ten, fifteen years from now as an executioner’s axe when nobody cares about the context of why things were done.

    Americans, if you let them loose, will do things. Sometimes not the best things, but we’ll do them. And, our local Statists are going to be really regret trying to put the genie back in the bottle after over seven weeks and some change of this.

    1. Discord– the gaming text, voice, chat program– set up a nice crash course in how to use it to do online classes and club meetings, especially if matching up times was an issue.

      Apparently it went well enough that my husband’s games have had some voice issues from load!
      (yes, this is a good thing)

              1. However, if you wish to, you can.

                I have a Discord account and if anyone wants to get to me through it they can ask via emailing Vakkotaur. That account is at the composer of the Four Seasons and then a period and a thing used to haul in fish.

                  1. I prefer it for text– to the point of having it on my phone for chats with Dear Husband, and to make a shopping list we can both update. (You send an instant message, and pin it; that can then be edited, and if you hit the “pinned messages” button, it displays on the screen, cleanly.)

      1. Hmm. In my husband’s and daughter’s experience, Discord is *not* working for their Pathfinder Society Games, and the group is trying to find a new way to communicate. Sound was coming in and out.

        1. Yeah, that’s the heavy load. It’s not normal, only happened for us at…well, at like 7-9PM central time… AKA, peek geek.

          1. Don’t you mean Peak Geek? Peek Geek sounds kinky, if not downright perverse.

    2. There are some heart-warming videos of the Cajun Navy in operation. But the one that probably caused shrieks of outrage among the authoritarians and Karens was one where an angry Texas cop was trying to block the road with his police car and a stream of pickup trucks was going around him.

      Yeah. Non-approved help must be turned back, because better that people die than the authority of the State be questioned…

        1. After the Texas Rangers “blue-washed” their investigation of DPD killer cop Amber Guyer, any respect I might have had left for them evaporated.

          The Rangers thought there was nothing about Guyger’s actions that merited further investigation; the jury found her guilty, though the judge only gave her the minimum sentence of ten years.

          1. They did not cover themselves in glory then, I do agree. There’s probably a lot more to that story and I would like to find out what it is, the stuff that wasn’t written about.

            1. There were rumors that she and the victim had been in a relationship. No idea if true.

    3. Most of the barriers to distribution by farmers, restaurants, etc., in such situations are created by government itself, such as the requirement that livestock only be sent to processors on the USDA list and barring sale locally, etc.
      The one thing the CCP Virus has proven is that Ronaldus Magnus was absolutely correct when he said that “the scariest words in the English language are I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

        1. Only if Trump wins in November and Republicans keep the Senate so they can keep confirming his nominees.

    4. America is self-similar. From the federal government all the way down to the local sewing circle you have the same basic principles and organization. Take out the federal government and the states will have a new Congress and President appointed within a month. Take out the federal and state governments and the locals will have the state governments running again in a month and the federal government starting up in two. That’s why I say the US is probably the only country that could survive a nuclear war.

      It’s also why the US military does so well, eventually. They have no problem falling into scratch units to accomplish the immediate goal. They don’t need orders from higher up, they can operate just fine on “They don’t look like us, shoot them.” Those scratch units were the key to success on Omaha Beach, the LGOP on D-Day, and the flanks of the Bulge.

  9. It’s my day off! Went shopping, didn’t wear a mask, nyah nyah. Allegedly we will have to wear masks on the 12th, but I will bloody well make them wait until then. And then I will wear my homemade baby bib masks.

    These things are the true definition of a kludge. I took baby bibs with velcro tie straps, used wire to attach hair ties to the straps, and then tie the hair ties together behind my head. And then I can use coffee filters as replaceable breath filters.

    Yup, really stupid, but I couldn’t find any bandanas. And the baby bibs have dinosaurs on them.

    1. Anyway, a lot of people smile when they see the baby dinosaurs. And it seems to make the wheels turn in people’s heads, because the kludge is so obvious that they can’t help thinking of something better.

      1. I’ve got an allergy mask that I bought – lo these many years ago! – in Japan, that I’m using for a pattern.

        … of course, at this rate, everything will be over and wearing masks will be forbidden by the time I get around to sewing them up.

        1. Me with a mask (I usually wear one in the grocery store) is something like this:

  10. Americans seem to have come here to make things better, and therefore, the future is always better than the past

    “I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.”
    – John Adams

    For G-d’s sake, John, sit down!

    1. I suspect John would have considered those things cumulative. I don’t think he would have been unaware that a generation which studies only “painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain” will inevitably lead to a generation required to study nothing but politics and war.

      PS: We’re there.

  11. > My plumber is an expert on the civil war and its weapons.

    “I was there, to match my intellect, on national TV,
    Against a plumber, and an architect, both with a Ph.D.
    I was tense, I was nervous,
    I guess it just wasn’t my night.
    Art Fleming gave the answers,
    Oh, but I couldn’t get the questions right-ight-ight
    I lost on Jeopardy,
    Baby…”

    – Weird Al Yankovic

  12. Random thoughts:

    Self-organizing shows up in little things, like when a traffic light breaks, as well as in big ones.

    We don’t seem to hold grudges very well. May be related to “Two hundred years is a long time.”

    The assimilation bargain. Short version: “Act like an American and we will accept you as an American.” The few times this bargain has failed, it’s produced some huge headaches for us.

    We really don’t have much of a class system at all. We have tribes, instead.

    The old joke about the Englishman asking the ranch hand where his “master” was: “That bastard ain’t never been born.”

    The American way of war. We’ve had our full share of military screw-ups and disasters, but when we get it right we’re an unholy freaking horror show for the enemy.

    21st Century example: https://taskandpurpose.com/military-tech/m-107-firefight-customer-service And note that the rifle in question wouldn’t even exist without the American attachment to the RKBA. Anywhere else it would be “Allow the peasants to buy surplus .50 machine-gun rounds and build rifles to shoot them? Madness!”

    There have to be people here for whom the answer to “Are you an Asian Indian or a North American Indian?” is “Yes.”

    1. > We really don’t have much of a class system at all.

      We do now. The academic certification Ponzi scheme has made it de facto, and in many areas de jure.

    2. Or the true answer: I AM an American. My ancestors came from a bunch of different places. They became American. Hybrid vigor.

      1. There isn’t an American whose ancestors didn’t look around, say “#$#$ this” and move on. The only difference is how many generations back you need to go.

  13. > third and fourth careers, and a continuing education,

    I read an account by a visitor to the US in the 1800s. He was floored by the number of self-help and instructional books that he found everywhere that sold printed matter. You wanted to learn how to rewind electric motors? Install a toilet? Run a lathe? Install your own electric lights? Shoe a horse? Plant a farm? It wasn’t just that the information was there in print for anyone to buy, but the buyer could choose between a dozen versions of each, and there were probably monthly periodicals on the subject as well. Things that were guild secrets or regulated by the government back home, Americans expected to pick up with a book and a few evenings of study.

    1. See, when I hear “self-help” I think Salesman or Psychology books. The idea of basic how to manuals as “self-help”, or that they wouldn’t be commonplace is unthinkable.

  14. Thought this might be of interest for all the aspects of it.

    https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/mobile/alberta-stormtrooper-bloodied-during-blaster-related-police-response-on-may-the-fourth-1.4925260

    Long story short, a Star Wars themed restaurant in Alberta, Canada, dressed up a young female employee in stormtrooper armor for May 4th, and sent her out to dance in the parking lot. Then someone (I’m guessing an anti-gun nazi) called the cops about someone carrying a weapon. The cops left her with a bloody nose before they were done.

    The article reports that no charges were filed. Phew! I guess it’s all okay then!

    1. A pity. Charges ought to have been filed against every officer present.

      And then charges against every single person who called.

      1. Charges won’t do much good. The cops are probably covered by inmunity laws.

        No, as I saw mentioned elsewhere, the way to deal with this is to stage protests outside the homes of the cops who did this. And do it again the next time something stupid like this happens. Eventually, when confronted with a situation like this, each cop will ask himself, “Do I really want a bunch of screaming maniacs to turn up outside my home after I do this?”

        1. His thug-buddies will make examples of anyone who dares protest the police. They’re protected to the point many of them don’t even bother turning off their cop-cams any more.

          The day of Officer Friendly is long past.

          1. The purpose of “protesting” out side of someone’s house is to show that you can call up a large group, in front of their home, who are willing to violate the social norms.

            I’d identify thugs in that situation, but it wouldn’t be the ones showing up to remove the not at all subtle threat of a mob saying “we know where you live.”

        2. Golly, protesting outside the homes of people is sooooo persuasive when Leftoids do it. And having their families harassed by screaming lunatics is going to do so very well at making police sympathetic to our concerns.

          Far better to protest outside the offices and, if you absolutely must, homes of the public officials charged with oversight and make sure they know they need to hold their forces accountable.

          But what do I know? Rumors are I am not even qualified to judge a dog catcher.

          1. They’re proven themselves out enemies. It’s doubtful they could be any less sympathetic.

            I’m tired of being on the receiving end of their harassment. They started flinging poo, they have no beef when some gets flung back.

            1. “It’s doubtful they could be any less sympathetic.”

              Don’t tempt the bubbas into a “here, hold my beer” moment.

          2. If things have gotten as bad as they did here, then it’s likely that the people doing the oversight don’t care what the proles think. Thus the focus on making the rank and file think twice about pulling the jack-booted thug nonsense. It’s actually based off an idea by Solzhenitsyn, though adapted for the freer society that we live in.

            1. Plenty easy to simply leave an anonymous package on their doorstep. Empty, or with contents along the lines of dog food.

              Loud public demonstrations are the behaviour of mods, not of a responsible but fed-up citizenry.

              I know which I consider more frightening.

                1. Golly, Sven, that’s a difference between you and me: when you join a large unthinking mob you gain IQ points.

                  I prefer winning the argument over beating opponents into submission.

  15. Love your story Sarah. Unmarked pennies, what a hoot! Americans invented Kilroy. I wrote a column for my university newspaper called The Dorm Chronicles just to relate the various weirdnesses that had gone on over the years. One I particularly remember was an anonymous graffiti artist who had written “Blue Light” in obscure places with his marker. Unlike serial defacers, he went for the mostly unnoticed. I thought I had seen them all, but one day I wanted to hide in the common kitchenette–don’t ask, I have no idea why anymore. The kitchenette had a sink that could be hidden behind folding doors. When I closed the doors on myself, I found myself staring at the marker script “Blue Light”. Who would have ever seen that?

    ‘Merica! Gotta love it.

  16. I noticed something when I read and then watched the movie about the miracle on the Hudson, when the airliner ditched in the river. The ferries immediately changed course to render assistance, and the passengers helped. Who authorized this? Only in America would such actions be essentially automatic. The other thing that is weird to me, those of you outside the DC area probably are unaware of. The National Security Agency is just off the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, and has its own exit. The CIA Hdqtrs is just off the George Washington Parkway, and it too has its own exit. The weird thing? BOTH exits are clearly marked! What country has thewir spy agency headquarters located in plain language by highway signs? Only crazy Americans.

    1. That new Smithsonian air and space museum storage area annex whatever has(/d) a section on 9/11, and a lot of the interviews are from guys who just…saw there was a need for a rescue, and ran out to their private boats, called up the boys, and got moving with the evacuations.

    2. “Only in America …”

      Oh, don’t write off the Brits. Remember the guy who dealt with an outbreak of Sudden Jihadi Syndrome on one of London’s bridges by grabbing a five-foot narwhal tusk off the wall of a bar and then doing his best to impale said jihadi with said tusk. Recall the sergeant-at-arms for the Canadian parliament, who dealt with a similar case by using quick, decisive action and admirable shot placement. You’d probably find similarly prompt and appropriate action from Australians, South Africans, and New Zealanders. Maybe it’s an Anglosphere thing.

  17. And then there’s the 9/11 boatlift (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18lsxFcDrjo). As much as we might like to dump on NYCers out here in the West, they’re Americans too and will show it when the chips are down. “Well, there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to invade” and all that.

  18. Interesting air sighting in the People’s republic of San Jose. Saw 4 large air force cargo planes flying very low,(below 1,000 feet) headed southeast around Valley Fair(280 & 880) within the hour. Wonder where they were going? We never get planes on that track. At that heading they would cross the path of planes landing at San Jose “International” airport at almost the same elevation above the SAP arena.

  19. [BTW, I’m too lazy to look for it right now, but there’s a Facebook meme that encapsulates what I am: I’m an Apocaliptimist. I believe everything is going to sh*t but I still think we’ll be all right through it all and it might turn out for the best.

    That sounds quite familiar, though not exactly right.

    I expect everyone to do everything humanly possible to ruin everything (whether through malice or stupidity doesn’t even matter: they join at the peak), but for it all to cash out as “things get better”.

  20. Regarding this “stuffed bulldog collection,” I can’t help but wonder which profession was responsible for creating these stuffed bulldogs. The two that immediately spring to mind are toymakers and taxidermists. I sincerely hope it was the former….

        1. Eric Raymond has one: http://esr.ibiblio.org/
          So does Passive Voice: http://www.thepassivevoice.com/

          At least PV did, before he went to a new theme and required commenters “register” to be able to say anything. Automattic’s privacy policy and officially acknowledged trackers aren’t bad – by internet standards – but it’s a unilateral policy, and I object to being tracked like a cow with an RFID tag. And if/when they get bought out or merge with some other company, they’ll do as they please with the information Automattic has collected.

          Granted they can still track “TRX” and any other handles from this IP address without a WordPress account, but I don’t have to hand them everything on a platter, either.

        2. Sarah, I don’t remember if I’ve said this before, Bill Quick over at Daily Pundit uses WP, and his site has an edit button in comments.

            1. Oh, I know he or one of his co-bloggers did. Should I ask him how it was done, and see if he’ll send you (and Dan) the details, or work out something to add it?

              1. No. I SIMPLY don’t have time. Before that is even on the docket, there’s finishing designing my author’s website, getting a newsletter going. Publishing the novels that have been done for two months, etc. etc.
                This new hobby of farming I’ve added to my schedule might prove lifesaving (Who knows? Maybe something will grow. Miracles DO happen) but it’s crowding out an already crowded schedule.
                I’m sorry. I’ll try to get to it when I can.

                1. I figured having him work it out would be a timesaver, but that’s understandable. No worries.

      1. That could get nasty in a hurry; I’m short 25% of my pancreas because a gallstone blocked the duct in 2008. And if she’s missing some already from the cancer… yeah.

  21. A report from Maine, demonstrating an appropriate response to tyrannical governance (emphasis added):

    As Lockdown Grows Political, Resistance Stirs in Rural Maine
    [SNIP]
    Tourism is the mainstay of our economy here, and local businesses depend on the summer season to get through the rest of the year, so Ms. Mills is going to kill off many local businesses permanently. The question now is: will they roll over and die or will they fight? Rick Savage, owner of Sunday River Brewing Company in Oxford County, was the first openly to defy Governor Mills. Two days after her order, he went on national TV with Tucker Carlson, who owns a place in nearby Andover, Maine, and announced he would open on Friday.

    Governor Mills pulled Savage’s health license and liquor license immediately, and the Boston Globe reported that he shut down again. During a protest at the state house in Augusta Saturday, Mr. Savage was interviewed by Newscenter 6 saying he would stay open, pay the daily fines, and fight the order in court. He said other businesses planned to join him. Has Governor Mills’ intimidated them into compliance or will they fight too? It should be an interesting week here in Oxford County.

    On Monday Republican leaders declared that Governor Mills didn’t consult them about her shutdown plan. They’re asking majority Democrats to call legislators into special session and end her emergency powers, but Democrats refused. Tuesday, Ms. Mills’ press secretary said she did communicate with Republicans through a computer portal. Although America’s initial virus response was bipartisan, it no longer is. Efforts to restart the economy have broken down along party lines in Maine and everywhere else.

  22. And all this sums up why the Intelligentsia LOATHE America and Americans. We won’t stay where we’re put, we won’t do as we’re told, we won’t just passively suck on a sewage pipe labeled ‘education’, and we won’t WAIT for a bureaucracy to decide to move. Which makes it awfully hard and frequently embarrassing to treat us as peasants.

    1. How can you tell an American?

      … it’s just that he hates and eternally despises
      The policeman on his beat and the judge at his assizes,
      The sheriff with his warrants
      And the bureaucratic crew
      For the sole and simple reason
      That they tell him what to do,
      And he insists on eating,
      He insists on drinking,
      He insists on reading,
      He insists on thinking
      Free of governmental snooping
      Or a governmental plan,
      And that’s an American!

      Music by Kurt Weill, newly arrived from Europe where Germany had made clear he wasn’t welcome but was wanted. Words by Maxwell Anderson, about whom Wikipedia observes “[He] believed that government was necessary in society, but that it must always be watched because it is swayed by the self-interests of those in power. He saw FDR’s New Deal as an American version of the corporatism and concentration of political power which had given rise to Nazism and Stalinism.”

  23. Yes, we’re fond of harmless pranks.
    “The Nickel Trophy, awarded annually to the winner in the series starting in 1938, will not make the trek south to Fargo since UND has retired its Fighting Sioux nickname. Instead, it will remain hidden away under maximum security just as it has since UND won its rights following a 28-21 victory in the rivalry’s last meeting in 2003.

    The Nickel has been highly guarded since that UND victory in 2003, but unlike many keepsakes, this one isn’t stored for all the world to see.

    The 75-pound trophy – an exact replica of a 5-cent coin with an Indian head on one side and a bison on the other – has been hidden away for the last 12 years.

    Why? In the past, thievery has been just as much a part of the Nickel’s lore as the game itself.

    In 1996, NDSU students stole the trophy from the UND Student Union trophy case.

    The following year, Bison students attacked again, this time wearing UND plant services uniforms to steal it from the football players’ lounge. Then, they paraded the trophy around the country, taking photos of it at the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and other sights.

    But while those swipes were more straightforward, the 1998 heist by UND students was something out of a spy movie.

    The students posed as NDSU engineering students to get the blueprints of the NDSU Memorial Union, bluffing their way through the offices of the president, vice president and the physical plant, which shared a building with the campus police. The blueprints told them everything they needed to know – the location of the ventilation ducts, the infrared beams, motion detectors and video cameras.

    They took three reconnaissance missions to the NDSU Memorial Union to learn escape routes and talk with janitors about their work habits.

    The plan was set for the weekend Garth Brooks was in town for a concert so they could blend in with a large crowd and because police would be busy with crowd control.

    So on the night of the heist, one student hid in the air ducts as four other lookouts took their spots outside with $10,000 worth of radio equipment. When “The Director” made his call, they opened a side door for his buddy holding the hacksaws that cut the trophy free of a brace.

    The trophy was then lifted, placed in a duffel bag and taken 75 miles north.

    Note, there aren’t any infared beams or motion detectors in the building expect in the art gallery, and the Nickel Trophy was just out in the commons area. Somewhere out there is a blog about how one of the groups left their equipment sticking out of the case as one of the police officers walked through. And there are photos of the trophy from all over the US as it made it’s rounds on the lam that one year.

  24. as far as 2nd careers or odd hobbies, yeah we’re full of them. One of the things my wife and I like to do is attend ‘living history’ museums and talk to the actors. Sometimes they’re just kids doing a summer job. Sometimes they’re people who work in that trade/craft or some related field. But sometimes it’s straight out of left field. The blacksmith at one was a high school math teacher. The guy tanning hides was a retired plumber at another one. The apothecary at another was an accountant.

  25. We spontaneously organize in clubs and associations. I think we’re losing this now, because everyone is so infernally busy.

    We are losing it because insufferable busybodies show up as soon as you start demanding codes of conduct and such.

    There is a free document being promoted for “consent negotiations” in D&D games and it’ll probably be required at cons soon. It’s based on the checklists used in the S&M world which, IMHO, barely work there and experienced players tend to avoid. They give people out to violate consent cover as often as they work for all but the rawest newbies.

    Yet, all groups gotta have them, and pronoun policies, and codes of conducts as soon as the Woke Karens show up.

  26. OT, but because I can’t leave a comment at “Unlocked” – anyone else getting crashes trying to just access the post page itself? I have no idea why, but it’s crashing my tab. I’m able to load other posts pages just fine on ATH.

    1. Curiously, I am having no issue with that page. THough of a late every once in a while some comment (no idea whose or what in it trips things) the +/- magnification of Vivaldi acts weird: It not only fails to work, it claims to be some non-multiple-of-10 such as 29 or 37%. Reloading will give a flash of the set magnification I have (usually 150%) and then drops to 100% displayed, but 37% or such indicated.

    2. Bugger! Not sure what happened between than and now, now the next post (Unlocking) does the very thing I mentioned. Can’t change magnification and it claims 89%. And I see no new comments with obvious troublesome things in it. The silly lock picking stuff was no issue earlier, for example.

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