Mind How You Go. We Can Do This!

I spent the day cleaning, and just realized I hadn’t posted. So sorry.

I try to spend the first and last day of the year doing what I hope the year will bring, but this year I needed to clean the depression of 2020 which had a lot of things piled everywhere because no spoons.

Depression is self perpetuating. So, give yourself a good shake, and enter 2021 as well as you can because we’re going to survive this. We’re going to turn this b*tch around.

My house is clean, I’m going to make dinner for my husband and resident son, including a bunch of gnoshing stuff. And then I’m going to work on the almost-done novel while we watch a few movies (I multi-task.)

You guys take care, give the black dog a kick. We will figure this out, we will save or revive our country. And we will not take any guff from anybody.

It’s going to be tough, but we can handle tough. Chin up. Shoulders square. Singing “We shall overcome” is optional, but we shall anyway.

As the man said “Come on sons of rock and starvation, how long will you let the warden–“

Move it. Go in with your best game face. Mort the Wart won’t know what hit him.

Go into 2021 with your best foot, and may G-d have mercy on our souls.

(And you know oxen are kind of our spirit animal. Give them the horns, my friends, give them the horns.)

293 thoughts on “Mind How You Go. We Can Do This!

            1. The ox represents diligence, honesty, and (in Japan) the “Buddha Nature” where you work hard and try to move yourself onto the path of enlightenment. But in the Chinese zodiac system where the whole day and night are matched to figures of the zodiac, 1-3 AM is the “hour of the ox” when evil spirits roam. The ox is also assigned to the northeast, the direction where demons come from. In Japan, the wronged prime minister Michizane no Sugawara is associated with supposedly having ridden into exile on an ox. Since he supposedly became a vengeful god of storms and sickness that had to be appeased by naming him the god of calligraphy and scholarship, and calling him Tenjin, oxen are pictured in his temples.

              The “metal ox” is basically a blunter, more strong-willed version of the normal Chinese zodiac ox archetype. A metal ox year is not a year receptive of change, because a metal ox is even more stubbornly traditional than normal. His standards are high and inflexible. He is quiet and organized, and does not hurt anyone who doesn’t hurt him; but anybody who goes against him (or his beloved family) is going to get it, ruthlessly. He is dependable, strong, and loves his homeland.

              The good news is that anyone traditionalish in China would not see this as a good year for war, because although it’s a year when hard work is rewarded, people supposedly will have to work twice as hard to get anything done. It’s not supposed to be a year of catastrophes but of retrenching after last year. It’s traditionally lucky for marriages and money, so hopefully some of those Chinese single guys focus on their love life.

              Shrug. It’s silly, but it seems somewhat predictive for Red China’s government. Nothing like a little occult crud to brighten the day of the Commie elite.

    1. Just remember we aren’t done with the Rat until February (12th according to google).

      For years my mother thought she was a dragon until she found out that the Chinese new year that year was after her birthday so she’s a rabbit instead.

        1. By the Chinese zodiac, I would register as ‘Ram’.
          $SISTAUR as ‘rat’ – and this has not been a very good year for her, either.
          By the Western zodiac, yes, Taurus is Taurus.

          1. Ram? Taurus? I wonder whether Biden is a Prius (okay – maybe Harris: it pretends to be practical but really has a worse environmental footprint than the usual.)
            ~

              1. Fwiw, I have never owned a Ford. I plan to maintain this good fortune.


                What you don’t want to drive the “Driver Returning on Foot” (Ford) vehicle?

                ๐Ÿ™‚

              1. Trabbie? No way those actually often started and ran albeit with lots of smoke (badly made 2 cycle engine). No she’s a Yugo, Italian Fiat (Fix It Again Tony) engineering with Communist manufacture.

            1. I think Biden is more of a Ford Pinto. No get up and go, kick him in the ass and he might just explode.

          2. I am a water rat, or a capricorn.
            Either way, astrology is, IMO, all wet.

            Many, if not most, guys will notice during their married life that they tend to spend significantly more time outside during the same phase of the moon.
            And it’s amusing to make up stories explaining the correlation.
            But correlation does not equal causation. Much less tell you which direction the causation is coming from!

            1. Astrology, like the “Full Moon Madness” thing, is utter bilge. Treat it as an amusement, not as a life-guide. (BEFORE artificial lighting, some full moon correlation makes sense – more light, more activity of ANY kind.)

                1. Didn’t mean it as a correction. Just a statement for us west of the Cascades, even RCPete, for all that some in Eastern Oregon want to join Utah in Mountain Time. Heck. I’m not 100% sure where one crosses over into Central Time. (8:38 (ish) PM PST as I post this).

                  1. Looks like Central starts in the middle of Nebraska. North Platte is in Central, while Julesburg (Colorado?) is in Mountain.

                    A bit of Oregon is in Mountain, around Burns and Ontario by the Idaho border. Makes some sense.

                    I’d rather be in the state of Jefferson, actually. Idaho is a bit nuts lately. I prefer home-grown nuts.

                    FWIW, the major of Sandy Oregon (near Mount Hood) is trying to raise an uprising against Despicable Kate Brown’s lockdowns. He talked to her about the vast difference between big box store policy and those for the small guys, and she claimed she had the evidence that supported it. She said she was going to send the evidence to him. Crickets. Thus, another area getting pissed.

        1. Looks like Japan has the Metal Ox:
          https://livejapan.com/en/article-a0000815/

          Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar (or Pig).

          They’ve also got a chart for a few years:

          What is this Chinese New Year’s Animal?
          2020
          January 25 (Metal Rat)
          2021
          February 12 (Metal Ox)
          2022
          February 1 (Water Tiger)
          2023
          January 22 (Water Rabbit)
          2024
          February 10 (Wood Dragon)
          2025
          January 29 (Wood Snake)

          The elements are wood, fire, earth, metal, water and a quick search (because I’ve been meaning to look this stuff up, I know it’s nonsense but it’s POETIC nonsense) says there are ten, because one is ying and the other is yang…..

          jhpan dot com gives this chart:

          Jia ็”ฒ (Yang Wood-Tree)
          Yi ไน™ (Yin Wood-Flower)
          Bing ไธ™ (Yang Fire-Sun)
          Ding ไธ (Yin Fire-Candle Flame)
          Wu ๆˆŠ (Yang Earth-Mountain)
          Ji ๅทฑ (Yin Earth-Soil)
          Geng ๅบš (Yang Metal-Iron)
          Xin ่พ›(Yin Metal-Gold)
          Ren ๅฃฌ(Yang Water-Sea)
          Gui ็™ธ(Yin Water-Rain)

          1. Very interesting reads some of these. Things like “Your fortune is to be comfortable and successful in affairs but your family and friends may prove unreliable”

            1. I have a long running love with astrology. Somewhere I have official descriptions of Capricorn which when I read them, I can see both as describing me– but when you compare them, they’re nearly diametrically opposite.

              I still want to be able to write that way….

            2. Far-Eastern pop astrology has, I’ve noticed, much more negativity in its predictions than Western. As in, any.

              1. Yes. I like the poetry of it that Mrs Foxfire pointed out. I’m late to appreciating Eastern folklore, so all this is news to me. I avoid the western stuff (and all magick, fortune-telling, etc.) as a potential path to temptation. My childhood best friend got sucked in with numerology and later Tarot and spent nearly a decade under a dark cloud.

                I do not know why the fairytale stuff is generally safe.

    2. Wiki advises:

      According to some old mythological traditions there was race held by a great deity to determine which creatures, in which order, would be the namesakes of the twelve-year cycle. The race was run, and swum, the finishing line being across a great river. The Rat and the Ox crossed easily enough, the Ox due to being large, powerful, and adept both on land and in water: the Rat asked the good-natured Ox for a ride on its back, but then ungratefully jumped off at the last minute to cross the finish line first.

      So, that seems appropriate.
      ~

  1. While the Ox is certainly a worthy animal, I though our spirit animal was the rattlesnake.

      1. (puts on Politically correct hat) Hey None of the culturally appropriating stuff. You can’t Reference Spirit Animals unless you are an authentic Native American Like the Senior Senator for Massachusetts!!! (Removes hat). Although it is my opinion that the spirit animal for all politicians is the Zabriskan Fontema, and I certainly have as much Native American Ancestry as Senator Warren if not more.

        1. You are insulting Zabriskan Fontemas. The may be stupid, but they are focused on a single goal which does no one else any harm.

          1. And when they reproduce the four resultant fontema head on orthogonal paths to avoid inbreeding unlike our ruling elite who seem to be trying to rival the Heads of Europe at the start of the last century.

        2. Can you imagine how maleducated you have to be to believe that animal totems existed only in the Americas?

          1. I have seen a person insisting that whites must not wear barbarian get-ups. Apparently we were always civilized.

                1. They only practiced it – they did not base their civilization upon it.

                  Besides, they only enslaved White folk, s that’s just a balancing of karmic scales.
                  ~

  2. I’m working, and writing. Which is not a bad way to end the year… especially not as I spent lunch break chatting with another pilot. I can do more of that in the year to come!

    (As my Calmer Half once said, after he got me away from the airport, “And I thought gunnies were bad for gossip!”)

    …ahem. Not that any of our conversation was on ammo availability or anything, but there is an overlap there…

      1. You missed the tachyon based version, Tell A Church Lady… Later used to develop the ansible.

    1. I see that a thousand rounds of cheap military grade 5.56 is going for about $600 these days.
      Coincidence?
      I think not.

  3. A happy and free New Year to all, and to our hostess, Thank-you for all that you do here. It makes a difference.

    1. We have it on good authority (The Who) that 21 is going to be a good year. At present I am dubious :-).

      While I’m here, Happy New Year!

  4. Happy New Year to all! Off to read a fluffy book and drink something fruity with akcohol. Maybe I’ll pick up my organizer and make lists. I swore off New Years resolutions years ago, but lists are pretty unobjectionable…

  5. I’m getting an early start on my New Year’s resolution to organize my mind, and stuff, and life. I started a couple of days ago and I’m making progress, so I’m reasonably pleased.

  6. A happy New Year to all of you and another wish that you have many more.

    Never forget that we are Americans. The difficult we do immediately. The impossible just takes a little longer.

    So say we all.

        1. Small world, right? When she first mentioned that, I was all “darn my habit of training in the morning before Rip comes in, because I so want to cast a hairy eyeball at him and go ‘How do you know Sarah?'”

          1. And you were mentioned. Under people writing steadily in indie. ๐Ÿ˜‰
            Also “Look, may I come back in March, so I can promote my reissues when they’re out? I don’t want to ask, but I don’t Dot will kick me.” ๐Ÿ˜€

            1. So… the next time I’m there late (for me) because I’m dawdling on my rests between work sets (okay, reading the latest interesting book to hit the tables by the door, playing with dogs, and conversing on the state of the world and the lack of available ammo)… I may have to watch out for Rip actually putting two and two together and noting I’m more than just a persistent, if not terribly good, lifter?

              Uh-oh. Ok, prepared for teasing. I can hear it now “tactical romance. tactical. romance. You know, those aren’t two words I’d ever think would go together. What on earth possessed you to write that?”

      1. I agree it will be expensive. There is a lot of trash that needs to be taken out. My fondest hope right now is that the Left has an attack of sanity and backs off for a generation. Failing that, I can only hope the fight will be short enough that we don’t lose too many of the people we will need to recover.

        I think I want a drink. In bourbon veritas est.

        1. It won’t. It can’t. The ones behind it, that don’t really believe, perhaps could, but the ones at the point, the believers, can’t. They will either have to be taken down, or terrified by what happens to others enough to go hide under the covers and hope that the bogey men do not get them.

        2. I can’t hope for the Left to have an attack of sanity, but I have been hoping for them to have an attack of black-pill despair and backing down. Unfortunately, they see themselves as being on death ground (as in “On death ground, fight!”) and I can’t say they’re wrong to do so. TWANLOC cuts both ways, and one side or the other WILL be defenestrated from the Overton Window before it ends.

          1. ahem

            *strikes a chord*
            moo mooo
            MOoomoomooo
            moomoomoomoomoomoomoo
            moomoomooooooooo

            ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. “My house is clean” — Buckee

    give the black dog a kick

    CNN headline: Noted White Supremacist Mormon Patriarch advocates kicking puppies.

  8. 1961– was also an Ox year. We will make it. I cleaned, did laundry, and soaked my feet. I haven’t soaked my feet in a couple of months. I need to do that more often. I feel cleaner and more hopeful. See you next year. !!!!

      1. Oh yea– I’m still surviving a disease that has a five year death sentence. I’m now 18 years into it. ๐Ÿ™‚ But on dialysis. I still keep one foot in front of the other foot. August Metal Ox here

  9. Hope springs eternal.

    But this year, the snows of corruption and despair seem particularly deep and cold.

    I sincerely hope we are not seeing the founding of the USAin cult.

    Or if we are, may it be reborn in somewhat LESS time than the Dark Ship tales.

      1. They have them a few miles outside Salt Lake City in the ski resorts to clear the roads in.

        1. Sarah, that should not be outside your driving radius. They have propane mortars also, although I don’t know where they are stored. They may also have retained the recoil-less rifles even though they can no longer get ammunition and I don’t think that they have proper sights..

        2. We’re on the shadow of what causes the need for those on this part of the U.P.
          We’ve had a few inches, in a few dustings and two 2 to 4 inch falls depending on where in the area. In town here, maybe 6 inches total since the first in October.
          Keweenah had had 61 inches so far this season.

  10. We have a gift bottle of bubbly with a backstory- we were in Albuquerque visiting a winery. The owner was extremely knowledgeable and extremely generous and he gave us the bottle with his endorsement…and it was from another winery. (His winery is Casa Abril, and they’re online. They make darn good Riesling, I think).
    So despite our concerns for the future, we’re going to salute the departure of 2020 with the bubbly. (Actually, I know it’s a sparkling wine, it may or may not be actual champagne).
    And meanwhile, the last weather forecast I heard called for a chance of strong thunderstorms tomorrow morning, so we just may start off 2021 with a bang.

  11. Year of the Ox? Year of the white metal ox!
    Bright. Non- corrosive (if platinum). and if I remember right this ox year doesn’t start until around 12 February (lunar calendar) so we’ve plenty of time to get our act together.

    Swamp foxes & plural ox get along fine.

        1. And here I was thinking gold. As in, the gold mines where if you land on the wrong scratch strip, the most polite greeting you’ll get is the business end of a shotgun. I can see that being a good metaphor for the American public and 2021…

          1. Titanium Ox. Incredibly tough both to manipulate and work with very high tensile strength, and heat resistance.Oddly if not painted it gets a wierd purplish cast.

      1. Y’know, that’s a common term, but since you can melt zinc on a common cookstove, I’m confused as to how it came about… unless it was somehow a synonym for “counterfeit.” Zinc is similar in weight to iron, and if cast and covered in preservative, would look similar. A buyer might get an unpleasant surprise later. Or… heck, I don’t know. Etymology can be mysterious.

        1. Oooh. It’s metal that you can melt at a low temperature. Apparently they used to do this at auto factories; anything that was a scrap of metal that was non-ferrous with a low melting temperature went into the same pot for use later. But it might go back to smithies.

  12. & I talked with my friends in Japan, where it’s already 2021, and the sun’s already rose at 07:13, 1 January 2021 and they tell me today there, tomorrow here, is a great day!

      1. Um… ’76 was Dragon. ’75 was Rabbit, and ’77 (my year) was Snake.

        Unless you’re talking about something else entirely, which is fine.

          1. Mark Steyn recorded that song, along with other cat songs. It’s a fun album, but don’t expect him to reveal that he’s secretly a great singer. He’s okay, and that’s okay.

      2. Obviously, someone hasn’t been deep enough into anime, else would have noticed that, IIRC, Cat is the thirteenth animal in some reckonings. ๐Ÿ˜›

        1. Yup, but it doesn’t get much love from any of the systems that use it as the 13th animal.

          HOWEVER! In the Vietnamese zodiac, there’s no rabbit; there’s a cat instead! And the same thing in Nepal, in the zodiac system used by the Gurung people. (Although they use all the Rabbit characteristics for Cats.)

          So anybody sad about being a Hare, you can tell them that they’re a Cat instead. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. The aardvark is also a perennial. And observes that owing to certain temporal effects, Fluffy and the sea serpent in the minion pool seem to be detached from the annual effect.

      1. Well, I’m probably going to have two nearly identical replies here, because I thought I just screwed up the first one, but both of them disappeared, so either WP hiccupped and they will show up later, or they went to purgatory for some dumb reason.

        1. I’m running about 50% with WP accepting my comments here, whether I’ve already logged in, or if I log in to post the comment.

          Forget it, Jake. It’s WordPress.

  13. I went to the range, ran errands, and wrote. The WIP is now up to 20K words, and I know how the Boss Fight is going to work (maybe. This is the Familiars world we’re talking about.) Tomorrow is sleep in, write, and we’ll see what happens after that.

      1. We got 3/4″ of somewhat snow. Even by Eastern Oregon standards, that sucks. I think it’s the Canadian Conspiracy who are hogging the precip.

          1. As usual the Willamette can’t be wet and cold at the same time. Yesterday it was 25 F, today it was foggy, misty, kind of rainy, and 51 F. I can skip moist and icy just fine. I welcome snow … I’m not driving in it.

        1. Actually, today’s rain is 34 degrees and clearly mixed rain and snow what’s melting on the way down, with rain and sleet for variety. The kind of day to make me utterly cheerful and proclaim I love my job.

          When the coworkers looked at me like I’m crazy (one does not often spontaneously break out in paeans to their job), I merely pointed out the window, and went “I’m not out in that, kneeling in the puddle because they always park the plane in a puddle, with rain trickling down the back of my neck, going “I can’t tell if this is leaking hydraulic fluid from the strut or blood, because I can’t feel my hands!”

          1. We finished the year with over 46″ of precip, which isn’t bad for the Dallas area.

            I was looking at my weather station and cheering on the rain, much to the disgust of the dog. My spouse then made me wade through the small lake in the front yard to help her load the van. She made me move the van, then used the sidewalk since I had the waterproof footgear.

          2. Fun of FBO work at MSY/NOLA Intl/Louis Armstrong. Heavy rains and a flat ramp means it doesn’t have puddles, just several inches of water everywhere. During hurricanes we got fish and snakes swimming across the ramp and I did not see it but gators as well.

            1. Between your comment here and Old NFO’s comments on having to paddle out to the P-3 for preflight when a typhoon dumped rain… More things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in my philosophy!

          3. Many aircraft I worked on, you could tell leaking hydraulic fluid right away – Skydrol (shudder).

  14. I have more than a few projects in mind in the shop, but Sara the Lab-Aussie needs a lot more attention with the loss of her best buddy. Sooner or later, I’ll get the time.

    1. I lost shop access in March due to Winnie the Flu with about eight projects in the works. Hopefully I regain access in the next few months.

    1. That one was religious. This one . . . sometimes does invoking a deity, although usually in a different tone of voice. [Bilious, the Oh-Ghawd of Hangovers] h/t Sir Pterry

  15. They tell me this is a new year but, to be honest, it looks second-hand. I suspect we’re being re-gifted a year for which the original recipient had no use.

    Still and all, a pre-owned year is better than no year at all, so Happy Newish Year to everybody.

    1. My bet is still that the first words out of the mouth of the 2021 baby are “here, hold my beer!”

  16. Watched glimpses of the New Year’s Eve shows and got disturbed: there is something very wrong in the sight of Times Square empty except for lines of cops and the entertainers there to “celebrate. ”
    Meanwhile, spouse has fallen asleep on the sofa. There goes the bubbly.

      1. Haven’t watched in ages (bailed on TV some time ago). $HOUSEMATE *did* make a point of staying up to midnight/after to see 2020 *OUT* and we used the 2020 Champagne flutes (I’d hope to employ them on Election Night or the morning after, but refused to celebrate The Big Steal) since to toast the ending thereof.

        1. I can’t watch the BIG STEAL. Too much stress at this point. After the inauguration, I’ll call him the STEALER-in-chief and her the Vice Ho.

          1. Assuming it becomes the Commander-in-Thief, I suspect it’ll be a matter of time before the bumper sticker appear:

            I VOTED FOR THE CHEETO
            NOT FOR THE CHEATER!

              1. While I’ve no doubt he’s a sitzpinkler, I am not sure squatter is correct. I’d say, Depends.
                ~

                1. It’s a term for those occupying a property illegally, that refuse to leave and have to be removed by force.

        2. There wasn’t anything formally planned, but the entire FC ended up being logged in and talking when the end of the year finally hit their area.

          To the point that the gal in Seattle noticed people hanging out after midnight and informed them that they COULD go to bed, instead of staying up two and a half hours to see her off. ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. In the Japanese Zodiac (I am trying to learn Japanese), Year of the Boar, ใ„ใฎใ—ใ—ใ€‚I like the traits listed for the Japanese Boar much more than those for the Chinese Pig. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I wish a very Happy New Year to everyone! And thank you, Sarah, for your continuing encouragement. Yes, we can do this!

  18. Just turned 2021 here. Fireworks all over, a preview of what the new year may need: action to prevent oxidental release of a new virus for a new year. Meanwhile here, a celebration of the cow, whose many moos bring the dairy air. Barn cats will support โ€œThe Year of the Catโ€, a great record, produced by Alan Parsons, also a producer of โ€œThe Dark Side of the Moon.โ€ And DSOTM absolutely describes 2020. Time to use โ€˜21 to chip away at the damage from โ€˜20.

    1. “And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking,
      racing around to come up behind you again.

      The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older,
      shorter of breath, and one day closer to death

      Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time;
      plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines.

      Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way.
      The time is gone, the song is over, thought I’d something more to say…”

      Taken at face value the lyrics should be depressing, but in the context of the song I always felt they were exhorting the listener to get off his ass and DO something…

  19. Mornin’ folks. Though the clock clearly says 2021, I mistrust it. The year of the NONO (2020 rotated ninety degrees) is clearly not trustworthy. Neighborcat complained of too many loud booms during the night, and the cat clans (totally a thing) down the road clearly agreed.

    The air still smells slightly of alcohol and gunpowder. The detritus of what must have been one heck of a party still litters, well, most everywhere. Cleanup ensues for the sober. In warmer years it would not be uncommon to find semi- and un-clothed partiers cuddled up to random wossnames. Cats. Garbage cans. Fire hydrants. Too cold this year.

    Notably lack of police/rescue sirens during the night, there’s a wonder. Ammo too dear for much party range action, sadly, as well. Time was, you could touch off an actual civil war cannon at the outdoor range during New Years. Hearing pro *very* much necessary. Black powder doesn’t require the increasingly hard to find primers, too, for those that shoot that dirty, nasty stuff (lucky b*stards).

    Most New Years, there’s an air of hope around this time. People looking forward to brighter days, new beginnings, all that sort of thing. This year, seems most people just want to make sure the last one is good and gone. That’s fine, too. An ending is a beginning, after all. If 2020 was a man, he’d be staked through the heart, beheaded, cremated, and the ashes shot into the sun (just to make sure, ya know). At least, that’s the feeling I get.

    Maybe it’s 2021, after all. We’ll see. Lot of things could happen in the next week or so. We’ll be there to face ’em, come what may.

      1. 2/3/15 carbon/sulfur/potassium nitrate, the proper magic ratio.
        Mix dry for meal powder, sufficient for cannon.
        Mix wet into cake, dry, then grind into grains. Very, very carefully.
        FF for big bore rifle.
        FFF for small bore rifle and most pistol.
        FFFF for flintlock priming powder.

        1. You can leave the sulfur out for centerfire cartridges; the primers have enough brisance to get full ignition without it.

          A friend of mine used to keep a few rounds loaded with extra sulfur, for when yahoos at the range annoyed him. Funny how rowdy yuppies with tricked-out ARs dislike the puffs of reeking smoke…

          1. Back in my horse trading days I wound up with among other things a few cans of black powder. I’m strictly a a smokeless reloader, but they were part of a big bin of miscellaneous stuff.
            Friend I play poker with was a big time trap shooter, mostly for fun any more as he’s too old for the long strings necessary in competition. Some blokes at his club were being a bit obnoxious about this and that so he bummed a can of triple F off me and loaded up about a hundred rounds of 12 gauge trap loads.
            First time he fired a string nobody could see to shoot, huge clouds of nasty smelling white smoke.
            Since he was one of the founders of that particular club their complaints never amounted to much, and he politely informed them that out of consideration he would refrain from further use unless provoked. Last I knew he still kept the remaining 75 rounds in reserve.

            1. The smoke issue was a big deal; lots of memoirs mention battles having to pause until the smoke cleared enough for the combatants to see each other again.

              Greener’s “The Gun and Its Development” mentioned it was an issue for bird shooters as well. In crowded fields, after a volley or two the smoke would get too thick to see the game.

  20. Happy New Year!

    Special K adds: “brrrreeeerrrrrtmrrrrrrr”

    Yes, she came from the other room to walk on me and say that as I was composing a comment. 2021 is going to be -so- weird.

    1. Merely weird? Good! I can deal with weird. Reality’s been weird at me for as long as I can recall. EVIL is a problem. Weird is… merely a distraction.

            1. Can’t say I blame you. It was a bit too “woke” even before it was called “woke.” The best thing about it is that it cleared the way for the (original) Animaniacs which mocked *everything*.[1]

              [1] There was ONE short that Spielberg quashed, which had Dot Warner have a thing for Newt Gingrich. The script was leaked and it would’ve been *hilarious*. *GRUMBLE*

                1. You didn’t. The surreal bits were good. The only other memorable bits were…

                  – Babs going “No relation” when Babs & Buster Bunny were introduced

                  – When an animated T-Rex skeleton was ridden, the answer to what powered it was.. “Fossil fuel.”

                  – The episode “One Beer” that was ACKNOWLEDGED as Overly Preachy Nonsense *in* *the* *show*, AND pulled for being… OVERLY PREACHY NONSENSE.

                  1. Elmira was clearly Biden’s spirit animal.

                    ‘Was’ because there is clearly no longer a human soul in that body, it is a hopping corpse wearing the Fu of Jinping Xi.

                    There was a Tiny Toons game on the Nintendo. One of the places I learned that I’m not suitable for video games.

                    1. I learned that Iโ€™m not suitable for video games.

                      Although somewhat taken with Pong (charm of the new) the only videogame which ever succeeded in entrancing me was Q-bert. I’ll never know why that and no other could hold my attention and entice me to think more strategically than pulling the trigger faster …
                      ~

  21. In another bad year that has just begun to grow even worse for me personally, I have a few thoughts for y’all.

    First item. If you’re in a lower-income class, use public transportation in an unfree blue state, and an official Karen tries to mess with you for adjusting the slave face diaper after boarding so that you can literally breathe, make it plain for the record that you cannot breathe with it fully on and that those unconstitutional orders in any case grudgingly but clearly except those individuals who cannot tolerate them. If and when the Karen refuses to shut the fuck up with its crap and listen, calmly request emergency medical assistance for breathing problems caused specifically by said slave face mask. Everything will grind to a halt until EMT personnel arrive to take you away, optimally at great expense to the leftist taxpayers who egg on their tinpot dictators. Lather, rinse, repeat. Multiply by tens of thousands of grinning monkey-wrenchers across the country.

    Second item. Make a list of anyone remotely associated with pushing or enforcing said unconstitutional orders and start incessantly suing them for personal damages such as oxygen starvation and panic attacks from suffocation. Smile politely at the judges when they dismiss for lack of standing or other bullshit grounds and appeal to higher courts. Learn enough about law to teach other monkey-wrenchers to clog up the courts and cost leftist taxpayers an arm and a leg.

    I have plenty of other thoughts, but that’s enough for now.

    1. I feel that this is like a dancing Turing test. It’s very likely that those robots dance far better than their creators.

      1. I am pretty certain the dance moves were programmed. Possibiliy using motion capture of real dancers — for the humanoid robots, anyway. That does not detract from the amazing progress in the creation of a general purpose humanoid robot.

    2. Anybody else find that a little – disturbing? Cool, but disturbing. (Robot) Boys and their (mechanical) Dogs.

      Could we be looking at the first Martian colonists?

        1. It’s art, though. Not art by the robots, but art by their programmers.

          It was hilarious, because just at the point I thought, “This robot is nice, but they should really have someone for him to dance with. But with the safety issues, it would have to be another robot….”

          And there he was. ๐Ÿ™‚ And so on, throughout the video. Very nicely paced and choreographed.

    3. It would have been even better if the yellow one had opened and closed its “mouth” in time with the vocals so it looked like it was singing. There was a moment that I thought it was and was disappointed to realize I was wrong.

  22. Happy New Year everyone.

    Thank you, Sarah, for what you do here. It’s become essential. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Essential? That’s because we’re all insane.

      “He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.” โ€• Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouch
      ~

  23. This is taken from an essay on another site, I removed it because I thought it would have distracted part of the audience there.

    Essay was on interpersonal observation, and it was originally expanding on how it can be applied to ‘charm is a verb’.

    Billy Jeff Clinton, and Donald Trump. It can be seen that the dominant drive in Bill’s life is womanizing, and that is why he had the charm skills for political success. Donald’s drive appears to be the act of the sale. If he thought the left would deal, the charm would have remained turned on for left targets. Obama is someone who uses a mix of charm skills that does not lean on observation. He used observation to tell how to appear sincere, what behavior people find convincing, but once he got that down, he didn’t continue to use observation to pay attention to people at the edges of effect, or to people outside of the effect. Bill is a predator, and deeply interested in how carefully he has surrounded himself with enablers, and how well he is keeping actionable information from the hands of those willing and able to put a stop to things. (You can see such an approach as an onion layer in the fact patterns around Walt Breen and MZB.)

    Expanding, Bara Hussein is clearly worse than Billy Jeff at charm. Why didn’t Hussein continue polishing his deception technique? It might be that he is less intelligent, or it may be that his understanding of society, or of American society, is much more flawed. Or Narcissist.

    Anyway. my position on Trump has for some time been that I’m in the category he is researching to sell to, and I have to assume that his skill levels for manipulating me are better than my skills for resisting manipulation. a) He hasn’t thrown in the towel where selling to me is concerned. b) I’m not certain I know what his goals are. c) This doesn’t matter, because Winnie the Pooh really wants his viceroys over America, and even Buckman isn’t worse than that. d) Trump could still have better consequences than a Buckman.

    1. Somebody who is really good at sales is not just about manipulation, or even primarily about it. He wants to find something to sell that the client will want, and that will actually help the client do the client’s stuff. The manipulation is just how you get the client to pay attention, and to be willing to close. The real enjoyment is seeing the client do better, and want to buy more. It’s building a mutually useful relationship.

      Trump has every reason to want every American to amass more wealth and be able to do more stuff, because a lot of his businesses cater to people with enough money to afford them. But I think he also just likes to make those relationships work.

      1. Yeah, if closing the deal is the important psychological reward, you spend time thinking about what people want, and about what you can deliver, because delivering on the first deal means that you can make more deals later.

        1. Read his books. I’d read “The Art of the Comeback,” then “The Art of the Deal.” In that order.

        2. There is also a distinction to be made between what the customer wants and what that customer thinks he wants. I suspect fewer middle-aged me were buying sports cars once Viagra hit the market.
          ๐Ÿ˜‰
          ~

          1. I have made a good living for 30+ years telling customers

            1. I don’t care what Sales McWeasel convinced you that you need; here’s what’s possible with your budget,
            2. Yes, I’m sure McWeasel told you that this system will effortlessly organize your business, make you coffee, etc. Here’s what it can really do, and here’s what you will have to do to get there.

            1. I have made a good living for 30+ years telling customers


              My career over 34 years should have forced me to do the “you can’t afford that” (#1) and “that is impossible” (#2), but I didn’t. Or I had to figure out how to get it done regardless of cost, because:

              a) for 32 years either my clients were internal or the product was in support of a hardware platform. If the hardware platform could do something, there had to be a way for my tool to work on it doing that something, through Windows. So either it was me managing the clients expectation or figure it out regardless of how long it took. Doesn’t mean marketing wasn’t squalling because it didn’t happen during their timeline … um IDK means IDK until I figure out how it can be done and what else has to change!

              b) The last 12 years there was rarely a time limit on getting anything done, if it was doable. If it wasn’t doable the response was “It is on the list.” The other reasonable response was “IDK how long to fix/change, until I find out why-it-is-doing-whatever/where-to-change” Okay changes were more along the line of “Okay, on my list … unless you are willing to pay extra to jump you to the top of the list.” No. I didn’t get the money. They got sent a bid, if they signed it, they got it sooner.

              Did get a laugh at my boss though. There was two features that had been “on the list” for at least 20 years, 10 years before I started. Then a big existing client insisted they had to have something that affected that part of the code. A huge dollar amount was set based on huge guesstimated number of hours, then he quadrupled the bid (the usual way to politely discourage the client). The client signed off. It was time to bite the bullet and carve out the time, for two programmers, to implement the changes needed. They got their change. Clients already paid an annual maintenance fee for upgrades and X many hours of support (for my entire 12 years I never knew what X was, and actual support provided was never tracked in any form). In general extra bids didn’t/don’t go out unless they “want it right now”, or not benefiting another client. The bid this time benefited *every client eventually. But the particular client needed it now warranted some type of extra charge. Their extra charge was more than their annual maintenance agreement charge.

              * When other clients found out it was available? The requests flooded in.

      2. If you want to understand Trump read his books. His ghost writer makes it sound just like him, and they are all fun reads.

      3. Communication.

        Can be lying, can be finding a way to hurt folks– or can be finding out about them adn telling them stuff for good reasons.

    2. Why didnโ€™t Hussein continue polishing his deception technique?

      First, Barry is fundamentally lazy (a trait in common with Billy Jeff.) He tends to let others do the work/take the risks, then step up to claim credit where it can be taken. Obamacare iis a clear example of this: he let others do the work of developing the scheme, set others to pushing it through into law, then stepped up and took credit when about all he did was sign it. Of course, he also left implementation to others with obvious results.

      Barry loves the sound of his own voice and places very little importance upon consequences. This is a trait he shares with the MSM, Professoriate and the Intellectual/Artistic class.

      Second, Barry being Black meant he received very little push-back on his nonsense because anybody pointing out he was pushing vaporware was quickly denounced as racist. He was “victimized” by the soft bigotry of low expectations and the burning need in some quarters for a Black Man they could worship/demonstrate their virtue by worshipping.

      Third, and related, Barry benefitted by an outrageously biased media — in opposite measure to Trump’s being harmed by it. Leftists in America can get away with weak arguments, impractical policy proposals and crass behaviour because the MSM functions as shield against criticism of them.
      ~

  24. As a born metal ox, I’m going into 2021 horns a blazing. Writing writing publishing publishing. We did some clearing out over the last couple of days preparatory to our anticipated move. Don’t know where that move is going to be yet, but we’ve modified last year’s plans, expanded our horizons and are moving forward. In addition to clearing things out, we’ve been having some in-depth conversations about what and where we need to go. We are moving ahead with determination.

    In a more general, political way, I am continuing my Swamp Fox actions and keeping my blog current. We got this.

        1. ah. Well, we intended to stay here another 10 years or so. Or at least 6. But Colorado….
          With vote by fraud, we can’t kick the crazy out. And I’m tired of living in a prison camp.

              1. At least now you know about the altitude issue. Still a shame you can’t settle on the far side of Yard Moose Mountain and have the International Lord Of Hate for a neighbor.

                “Hi, can I borrow a cup of .45 ACP? I’ll pay you back in .40 S&W or .357 Mag.”

              2. With a little proper planning you can still have your bones interred in Colorado soil. Just be sure to pack a little with you when you move and make sure you leave proper instructions for Renfield Dan & the boys.
                ~

              3. Same with Western Washington. It’s gone full Marxist, with the willing help of its residents. So, as soon as I can navigate a way out, I’m gone.

                  1. Well, Eastern WA is mostly right thinking except for the Microsoft millionaires who are systematically destroying every town in the east.

                    And Dino Rossi had his governorship stolen. He let it happen, but it was stolen. So, theft is probably rampant.

  25. >> “(And you know oxen are kind of our spirit animal. Give them the horns, my friends, give them the horns.)”

    I TOLD you that you were probably someone’s spirit animal, Orvan. I didn’t realize you were one for the blog as a whole, though.

    And to think you were horrified at the thought THEN… ๐Ÿ˜›

      1. Oh, don’t mope just because your ox got gored there. ๐Ÿ˜›

        Come to think of it, I also said our resident Kitsune was probably someone’s spirit animal too. And we’ve got dragons, wallabies and so on. I swear, this place is like a version of Cheers that caters to brainy, oddball supernaturals.

        1. And it only just occurred to me that I lumped wallabies in with supernaturals and mythical beings, there. RES, quit messing with my head.

            1. Well, according to RES he’s normal and anything that deviates from him is not. So by that logic I guess it’s the non-communicative wallabies that qualify as mythical beings? Does that mean we should kick RES out on the grounds that this place is for Odds and he defines himself as not one?

              …Yeah, I’m just going back to “quit messing with my head, wallaby.”

          1. I pity the fool who has a wallaby as spirit animal. You’re better off with a pookah.

            Okay – this is too whimsical not to share: I went looking for an illustration of America’s best known pookah at IMDb, only to learn he has his very own listing and a single screen credit!

            ~

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