Some Good Things

There are weird benefits to being on the right side of politics, a blogger and a writer.

I mean, okay, I giggle hysterically when someone accuses me of selling out to the right, because…. dude. No, seriously! This would be like the famous spy who sold out his country for a twinkie and a pack of pre-chewed gum.

Mostly the benefits of expressing a political opinion loudly are all on the left. Weirdly, they get far less of what I’d call “Grass roots” support. I have a friend who did a deep dive into the patreon of noted lefties in my field and emerged with the information that it was a massive circle jerk, and not just intellectually. I.e. on paper they might get 40k, but they were donating close to that, so if you visualize it, the same 40k was going round and round and round.

We on the right do get the grassroots support, and by the way, because I haven’t and I should, I appreciate everyone who supports this blog more than I can say, particularly because you guys KNOW I’d do it anyway, but you choose to send me money to show your appreciation. And knowing how tight many of you are, that is a compliment indeed. The money is appreciated (well, not this last year, but the year before I’d have made almost nothing without it) but so is your support and KNOWING you’re there as a failsafe mechanism, if — say — my computer dies (Thank you guys!) or my cat needs extremely expensive treatments (Okay, it only bought us six months, but it was Greebo and I’m SO GLAD we had the six months. I still miss my Fuzzy Buzzy editor more than I can say.) Because I’m doing this without a net, and there’s nothing below if we fall and…. well, we all feel the cold in the air and, to coin a phrase, winter is coming.

The left otoh get ….. money and position and power. If I turned my coat today, I’d start winning awards tomorrow, and being invited to talk shows to talk about the future, and having all kinds of accolades, and probably get a college teaching post and not for languages.

So in that sense, not being on the left, if you’re doing it for mercenary motives would be a sign of stupidity. Of course, I’m not doing it — only — for mercenary motives. Oh, I like being paid for my writing. But my politics are a part of being on the side of what I believe is right, what will enhance humanity’s chances of survival, what ultimately will create a world in which my descendants (hopefully) biological and “adopted” can thrive and pursue happiness. And that means I can’t sell out — which would ALWAYS be to the left, for any rational person — because there are things more important than money. One of them being my soul.

Mind you, we’re in a position of inferiority to the extent of commanding the heights of cultural power and money, because we are stupid. We’ve been playing by Marquis de Queensberry rules, while the other side is having a brawl. We insisted for a century we couldn’t take politics in account when hiring, when buying, when promoting.

The end result of this is exactly where we are, and Hollywood puts the five minutes of hate at straw conservatives even in stupid romantic comedies.

Some of us are waking up though. As you guys know I came up with the “Not One Red Cent” policy, in which I’m not promoting/helping/buying from the left, unless I can’t help it. And even then, I’m trying to work on alternatives. (Slowly, that’s how.)

The reverse of that is “encourage people on our side. Help them. Promote them.” We can’t give a lot of monetary advantage (yet) but we can give knowledge, help, a leg up. And to be fair, there’s a ton of unappreciated talent on our side, partly because we were forcibly held out of creative fields for so long.

Later this month, I’ll have a promo for people’s creative non-writing stuff. If you do that, send me a link to your shop, your restaurant, your whatever. Winter is coming, and it’s time to help the neighbors get their crops in, before it snows. Send it to the book promo email.

But weirdly, we all seem to have hit it more or less at the same time. There are deals, and money-making ventures in the offing, which came at me unexpectedly and through sideways channels. I will blog about them when contracts are inked.

But more interestingly, this last year, I got a lot of semi-weird gifts, which I’m very bad at blogging about. And btw semi-weird is not a criticism, and they’re all things I USE. I just didn’t expect them, but they were very welcome when I got them. And I keep meaning to blog about them, and will in more detail later.

However, for now, I want to talk about two of them. One was a set of murder needles. I’d post a pick of me wearing them, but I don’t know where I put the pics. (Look, computer died….) However, there’s no way I could do a review as complete as this one:

Hair Stabbies.

And I’m copying pics from their latest FB promo so you see how pretty they are:

Some of you will recognize my friend Cedar Sanderson (at least I think so.) she can yell at me later.

The other unexpected, but much appreciated gift I got was King Harv Coffee.

I knew about them, because they’d sent Professor Jacobson of Legal Insurrection a gift when he was on the receiving end of some professional unpleasantness due to his opinions. Back then, I sent an email asking if they had a subscription program, as I intended to get some as a gift for son (I still need to do that. This has been…. a year. I mean last year, though I expect the same again.) They said no, but they were working on it.

Then last month out of the blue they sent me a gift of their Mars coffee, as appreciation for my insty work and the work here as well.

I was grateful and happy with the coffee, of course but you know, the REAL coffee connoisseur around here is not me, but my son. So I waited till the holidays, when he could try it.

Well, he did try it, and so did I. And now, when I can afford it, I’m getting a subscription for myself.

Son made all sorts of noise about chocolate undertones, and a front loaded nutty flavor. He’s all classy that way. I’m not. What I can tell you, though, is that in recent years I’ve been going off coffee. Something about menopause plus thyroid adjustments made me taste the bitter undertone of coffee more than usual. Look, I like bitter. I love roasted hazelnuts, dark chocolate and beer. But I have limits, and in coffee, early morning, I realized I was adding more and more sweetener and cream, and it wasn’t even healthy.

Well, King Harv? I understand now why Glenn Reynolds says it’s not hard to drink your coffee black with no sweetener. No, seriously. It’s flavorful, and nice, and mellow, and almost no bitterness. I actually downed the first cup with nothing in it, just the coffee before my brain realized I was drinking it plain. Then I had the second cup the same way.

So, that’s a life goal this year: Make enough money not only to get a subscription for son, but to get myself a subscription as well.

Thank you, King Harv’s Imperial Coffees for a much appreciated gift.

Oh, and they’re our kind of nerds, too. My husband opened the package before I got to it, and it was weird to hear him laugh out loud….

Because, well, apparently Mars produces GOOD coffee.

Who knew?????

Anyway, this is my attempt at thanking some of the people who’ve been very very good to me.

And I will get back to Witch’s Daughter. I AM actually working again. I am however in the middle of a space opera, which means getting my head back into fantasy is a little hard. But I’ll have a new chapter by next week. I’ve written a little of it.

Okay. That’s it for now. Book promo and vignettes tomorrow.

371 thoughts on “Some Good Things

  1. I hope you get back to “Witch’s Daughter”. You haven’t given us any of it since Last Year! [Very Very Big Crazy Grin While Flying Away Very Very Fast]

      1. Ah Sarah, if you had given us a chapter last Thursday, I could still say “You haven’t given us one since Last Year”.

        IE I was attempting a Joke. 😉

              1. Ah, the old “Funny Once, Less Funny the Second Time, etc” situation. (As Manny taught Mike). 😀

                  1. Perhaps Ian, but until it “gets to be funny again” the rammer might get Rammed Back with Killing Force. 😈

                  2. I really, really want to figure out how Terry Prachett could do that so reliably… without annoying the reader in the swampy middle of over-repetition!

                  1. I’m nae sure “good” nor “bad” apply to puns, absent the sort of virtuoso performances which used to conclude “My Word!”


                1. Some of those sins will never wash out, I know.

                  Okay, swiped from Tom Paxton:

                  All over this great big city
                  Can’t find a woman who’s nice and pretty
                  They all look like a page in a magazine
                  Legs are long and they eat like a sparrow
                  Figures stick to the straight and narrow
                  Top and bottom are the same as in between

                  Show me a pretty little number
                  When she walks, she rolls like thunder
                  Eyes as deep and dark as the deep blue sea
                  Round right here and round right there
                  Pretty red lips and her very own hair
                  Wrap her up, she’s the natural girl for me

                  Way up at a Broadway party
                  I met a little lady who was very arty
                  She took me home to see her studio
                  She took out her paints and she whispered to me
                  She said that she wanted to do me
                  And some of that paint will never come off, I know

        1. I told my co-workers I would see them next year before Christmas. It was a lot funnier when I told them I would see them next millenium.

    1. >> “I hope you get back to “Witch’s Daughter”. ”

      I’ll second this. I still want to see if Michael accidentally ends up creating SHODAN or something.

      …Okay, I know Sarah won’t go anywhere near THAT dark with this. But I can still dream, damn it!

        1. i took the weekend off after new years, and went out of town and stayed there. Came back and things are… worrisome.

    1. It should come up when you click on the image, but don’t worry: We’re trying to resolve a problem with the site and 2020 made it so it didn’t go out at all for six months.

      1. Nope, nothing to click, just the image. (And I’ve never seen the mythical newsletter.)

        Thanks for the Martian Coffee recommend… was looking for a friend who needs to give up drinking a little coffee with her sugar… Only do tea myself, but many moons back suddenly gave up all sweetening when someone intro’d me to “gunpowder”.

  2. I drink cheap coffee black. I cool brew it and it comes out smooth, not bitter. I use a French press and let the coffee steep overnight.

    It might help, once you’ve run out of the fancy Mars stuff.


      1. I used to drink cold press. It made french roast come out mellow. If Mars is mellower than that, I need to get some later this year.
        I used to keep the cold press in the same sort of bottle I kept soy sauce in. One morning my roommate poured a shot to wake up. He woke up alright when he downed a shot of undiluted soy sauce.

        1. ROFL.
          Oldest third-son (We had him by adoption as an adult, so he’s both third and oldest) has French press and makes me some when he visits. FANCY French press too. The Mars Coffee is better.
          Full disclosure: Son absconded with the leftover half the bag. So…. I need to scrounge some money and buy some. (So, last parting shot of 2020? both the vaccuum and the carpet cleaner died on new year’s eve. We don’t have much carpet left, but will probably keep what we have in the hallway and stairs (due to removing and replacing the railings being a pain the behind, and we don’t want to hire someone to do it.) So carpet cleaner will be smaller.
          I also remembered #2 son’s vaccuum died at the end of November and he’s been borrowing mine, so he’d asked for one for Christmas, and I spaced it (of course.) So I also got him one. These cleaning machines are EXPENSIVE.

          1. I’ve had better luck with the cheaper ones. Current vac is a Hoover “Windtunnel PAWS” which is the best vac I’ve had, and cost the least ($80 floor model at Costco; wasn’t much more in the box). And I just saw a miniature carpet cleaner somewhere — Costco or Sam’s Club? just right for doing small awkward spaces like stairs. Need to find that again… all I need to carpet-clean is the main path through the middle of the living room, and it would suffice.

            1. I got one of the Shark Pet vacuums from Costco when it was on sale. Got the one all the staff were saying they hoped there would be enough remaining when they officially could raid the inventory. After 42 years I still haven’t spent the cost of a “good expensive” vacuum that lasts longer (in theory anyway); and that is in ’80 dollars. This isn’t our first vacuum either.

              1. I have a Shark too, and like it pretty much. Part of the internal hose did disintegrate so I had to replace it. Not a fun task… Also have one of those portable Dyson things, which is great for light tasks.

                1. “Dyson”

                  I look at Dyson, then I see the price … eek.

                  The Shark I have breaks down so easy to do stairs. Our stairs are Oak treads so they can be swept & dusted.

                2. Friend of mine had a Dyson vacuum cleaner. It got jammed up with dog hair and THERE WAS NO WAY TO CLEAN THE DAMN THING OUT. It’s all glued together into an inseparable module, so when something goes wrong, you’re screwed. I will never get a Dyson vacuum cleaner, quite aside from the unreasonable price.

                  1. My Dyson comes completely apart, and there’s (or was) an 800 number to call to get a person to talk you through the dis- and re-assembly.

                    But the plastic bits are not terribly sturdy.

                    On the third tentacle, it really does have the proper amount of suction. I was able to use it to get a bat out of the house alive.

                    1. I RTFM.

                      Librarian + autist. That’s why the spices are in alphabetical order (+ a “ready reference” system); but I digress.

                      It’s been years since I called to get the walk through but here’s the number I used: 1.855.533.1098. They’ll ask for a serial number.

                    2. While I was in Portugal taking my exams for two months (when I got my degree) and Dan was alone in the house, he alphabetized everything. Including my underwear drawer. By color name. Don’t ask.

                  2. Er… I’ve had three. They ALL break down. It’s not even that hard. For one you’re supposed to wash the filter regularly.
                    My problem is that I burn vacuum motors on the regular. I vacuum a lot.

              2. I’ve had this one almost six years. I track in a lot of barn dirt so it really earns its keep. Whole air path comes apart and can be washed out. It’s also well balanced so not as tiring as some I’ve used.

                Friend bought a $1200 vac (back when a travelling salesman would sell you a Hoover on monthly payments… about 3 grand in today’s money) that wasn’t as good, and was a lot harder to maneuver. You could upgrade a cheap one every few years, be no worse off, and still be ahead on the price.

                1. could upgrade a cheap one every few years, be no worse off, and still be ahead on the price.

                  I’ve had some “good vacuums” for the time (I do miss the Kenmore vacuum I had in the 80’s, it gave up after 12 years). But never a $3k equivalent version.

                  Agree. Better off getting relatively inexpensive version that last 2 to 5 years, and still be ahead. Those expensive ones last maybe 2 times as long, but they generally cost 8x’s as much or more.

              3. We went through the gamut. Cheap Hoover (OK until it broke after mumble years), Expensive Hoover (ate a paper clip and getting the damned thing out triggered my fuckitol reflexes). The Shark Pet vacuum we have has a tiny dust cup that was woefully inadequate for a Border Collie whose super power was weaponized shedding.

                Eurekas are cheap, no matter how much they cost. Plastic motor housing, really? That and hoses seem to be fragile.

                For shop use, I have a large (late ’70s vintage) Craftsman vacuum driving an Oneida Dust Deputy. The cart to get both around makes it only for big spaces, but the DD does a great job at keeping the vacuum from overflowing. For small spaces, I snagged the house-Eureka bagless when we replaced it. (It’s a pain in the ass to clean to meet house standards, but OK for the shop). The hose hasn’t failed yet.

                For home, for a few years now, we’ve been on a Bissell Bagless with a pet wand–airflow-powered roller, and super easy to switch from floor to tools. The fine-dust chambers got jammed, but the restaurant supply sells a skinny brush that’s good for turkey basters. Does the job. Sara doesn’t shed as much as Angie (shorter hair, too), so it might last a while.

                We have a vacuum-sized Bissell carpet cleaner (bought by mistake; we’ll use it eventually), but little carpet. IIRC, they sell a tiny spot cleaner that should be good for minor pet issues and stairs. We plan to change the master bedroom carpet to stuff that’s marketed as pet “proof”. It is water-tight and coated so that pee might not be a problem. (Not sure of the vendor; Shaw or Mohawk.) Sara hasn’t had problems, but we’ll eventually be puppy-parents again. (After Sara goes over the rainbow bridge. At 16 years old and wobbly when walking, she’s better off without a pup around.)

                1. stuff that’s marketed as pet “proof”

                  We have this in the hallway and family room. It is “pet proof”. Won’t hold orders. Prevents accidents from soaking into pads. Visual stains come out. However, take a black light to it … not so much. Doesn’t hold up as well to claws either. Good top end pads are key too.

                  The pet carpet went in, in 2016. We have carpet in bedrooms and the above garage family room that isn’t Pet Carpet, called 7-year-rental type, that went in 2001 that has held up because of the good pads. The only reason the same carpet only white flecked (not blue flecked) didn’t hold up as well was because of, well, high traffic areas, and cream white. Part of that was replaced with flooring.

                  Pet hair (and mine) is my biggest issue. I don’t vacuum often enough. I know that.

            2. Our current vacuum cleaner is a Singer. Yeah, that Singer. Has lasted us close to twenty years. Would love to find something reliable for cleaning the steps, though. The Singer is pretty heavy.

              1. I got a 20 dollar long-handled mini-vac for that express purpose, and for upstairs where I’m not about to haul the main vac. Works well enough for the purpose, tho what’s with the 18 foot cord? Just long enough that you gotta have an extension!

                  1. The European Union bureaucrats mandated a maximum power for consumer vacuum cleaners of “900 watts” to “save energy.” They work about as well as water-saving toilets. Unfortunately with “world market” design, most new vacuums sold in the US are now compliant to the Euro spec, and therefore sadly underpowered.

                    1. We’ve had a shop vac, lower case, for many years now – I didn’t replace the “normal” house one after the third time the roller brush motor burned out (hair, lots and lots of hair, I don’t know why everybody here doesn’t look like me…).

                      Harbor Freight, IIRC $45. Undoubtedly China, but it has lasted and lasted. Works fine on carpet, but then we don’t have plush, more of a medium pile.

                    2. the third time the roller brush motor burned out (hair, lots and lots of hair,

                      I’ve had a few burn out due to hair in the rollers. This last time not only did I go bagless, but picked one where explicitly was “easy” to clean the roller of pet hair (and people hair). Easy? Definitely doable. Easier anyway. I make sure to check it regularly.

                    3. We tried one of those vacuums which advertised it would “suck up a bowling ball” but found our needs ran more toward cat litter and shed fur, at which it wasn’t so good.

                    4. The Eureka Pet-Paw turbo-wand clogs with hair (see Border Collie and weaponized shedding). It’s repairable, but triggers evil thoughts and occasional foul language. The vacuum is working in the shop, but the turbo-wand is on hiatus.

                      OTOH, the Bissell version of the same thing seems robust. At least, I haven’t been asked to fix it. On the gripping hand, we might not use it as much. The regular brushes work pretty well on a lot of surfaces.

                    5. I just got the bissel version for son. Might steal it for me. I’ll test both of them and see which I’ll keep.
                      The problem is a lot of very fine cat hair.

          2. I’m using a Fantom vacuum cleaner I got back in the 1990’s. Can’t get parts, can’t get a new filter, but it still works. I’ve got a Bissell carpet cleaner, bought 10 or 12 years ago, for the one bedroom that still has carpet.

            1. We got a cheap-end Bissell “pet” carpet washer back when the Baron was still unborn, only died this year, came out to about $15 a year, or $40 a “don’t look at the water for the first three washes, just don’t” house, including the fluid.

              They now have a super light (which is really nice, we use this more than the old one, and we were using that pretty often) version that’s under $100, where the only design flaw is that it has a collapsing handle that has to trigger a safety inside of the barrel. Easy fix when/if it comes loose in shipping, just have to be aware that it didn’t show up dead and there’s a lot of websites explaining that tech support walked them through fixing it. (I got mine from Amazon Warehouse, so no warranty from the maker, so I just opened it up and fixed it and got that lovely warm glow of aren’t-I-clever. :D)

              Both of the machines have a huge flaw: the water comes out of your carpet in a worrying shade of brown. Which makes me go get hot, soapy water, and soak the stuff directly, and use the carpet washer to pull it out until the water is mostly soapy-white, THEN use the carpet washer like I’m supposed to. Which, of course, doesn’t dry as fast as using the thing correctly, but I’m not going to wash the carpets every week…..

              1. We got a commercial, bottom grade dirt devil…. It lasted the longest any carpet washer has lasted for us: 4 years. I just looked at it. It’s now $600. That ain’t happening, particularly as all we’ll soon have is hallway and stairs (if we were going to stay here 10 years, I’d do them, but as is, probably just berber carpet. This one IS dead, really) and a couple of throw rugs. Which I can take outside and hose the heck out of.

                1. $50 pressure washer makes that hosing job a lot easier, faster, and better. (Actually, I think mine was $35 on sale.)

      2. With great hesitation I recommend that you try Dallmayr ProDomo. It comes from Germany and is available in many US supermarkets. But, we have an acquaintance who imports it for us. We pay $13 per kilo. The coffee comes from Ethiopia, not quite as catchy as Mars, but it is what it is. It’s quite mild, although we drink German style coffee which is not for the faint hearted. We drink the decaff, although the caffinated tasts the same! Double Blind taste tests with guests have proven that. The Ethiopian origin is due to the 19th Century German East Africa colonialization*. Side note, Dallmayr helps fund a school in Ethiopia for 1000 students. At least eventually the Ethiopians have gotten something from their colonialists. Took over 100 years and won’t replace all the losses.

        * In old town Zuerich there’s a shop called the Colonial Waren Geschaeft. Walking into it bombards one with the most exotic smells. Walking around the shop is like tripping totally! But I digress.

    1. Another way to drink inexpensive coffee black (at home I drink Eight O’Clock Hazelnut because my wife likes it, at the FOB it’s usually Folger’s or Maxwell House French Roast…whatever’s on sale when I run out) is to use two filters in the Mr. Coffee. Cuts the acidity, easier on the tum-tum.

      1. Um…. I CAN’T STAND eight O’Clock. I bought a bunch at clearance, but they’re in the freezer for the apocalypse, because I tried it and…. no.
        Folgers…. it’s been too long, so I don’t remember. When I drank coffee regularly (I’ve been mostly having Russian Caravan tea, the tea you drink with a fork and knife) I used to get dunkin doughnuts, flavored. But I found myself putting more and more sweetener and cream in….

        1. Russian caravan tea for the win!

          I was a little off-put at first because it’s based on an Oolong rather than a black tea, but it’s very tasty and (now) FRN15.00/lb rather than 7.00-8.00 for a 4 oz. bag. If you choose to go through Amazon. It’s more expensive from the packer, but if you want to avoid giving money to the Zon:

          Odd thing – says it’s a blend of Assam & Ceylon teas now. I’m sure the last batch I got was Oolong & Lapsang Souchong.

            1. Russian Caravan Tea is always pretty good, but everybody seems to do it differently. So changing teas seasonally… probably not that far off from caravan supply problems, at that.

              1. Good tea – and one recommended to me several years ago by the proprietor of a certain Near Eastern grocery store – Wagh Bakri International Blend. It’s the best.

                1. Indeed, Wagh Bakri is good tea for an everyday drink. The most beautiful girl in the world, the daughter of the proprietor of the local Indian grocery, turned me on to it this past summer when I was in their store lamenting the paucity of my usual brand of Assam tea. And they occasionally have it on a *really* good deal. I recently picked some up for @ FRN8.00 for a two-pound bag.

          1. Yep, that’s what I drink, too. Peter prefers Ahmad teas, but I get Russian Caravan by the pound.

        2. I had Folgers as a youth, and didn’t like it. We tried some lately, and it’s our go-to coffee now, though we have a bunch of Hills Brothers we need to finish up.

          I used to like Yuban, but it was sort of expensive, and there are smoother coffees. ‘Sides, I don’t like cardboard coffee canisters.

    2. I really like Kauai Koloa Estate Medium:

      Beloved Spouse will drink that for a while but eventually asks for a bit more edge (My theory is she needs the edge to do combat with the milk she adds; I drink coffee black), so we end up grinding Starbucks Kenya as long as we can get it. (BTW, anyone know what the deal is with coffee beans from Kenya during the bug? Very odd availability.)

      I am but a several-year newcomer to the coffee world, having somehow managed to get through college and decades in cubical land without it, so I have not ever tasted Folgers or equivalent, and Beloved Spouse insists on grinding beans, so I’ve never had instant or even preground. But there’s some nice flavors in that Kauai.

  3. Yay for Witch’s Daughter! I’m going to try something that Cedar mentioned and write something every day. Even if it’s 10 words. Something.

    And, a thank you to you Sarah for helping this newbie with writing and publishing info. And especially for your workshop at Fyrecon. Here’s to an adventurous (the good kind) 2021!

    1. I put that as a goal last year. And I wrote on 236/365 days. (I had a wall calendar, and leftover gold stars. So I gave myself a star every day I wrote. Made it easy to count at the end.)

      And you know, I got a novel and a novelette published last year. I also wrote what I thought was a short, but turns out it’s the first couple chapters of another novel, so stumbling forward under “at least 10 words a day, hopefully on the same WIP but really on something, anything.” Onwards!

      P.S. Loved the squirrels. The cats will be cats – and yours were more cat than most – but the squirrels were awesome. Having knows campus squirrels across several universities – yes!

          1. Jan 1: 80 words. Jan 2: two pages longhand, while sitting in a hotel lobby, chatting with Old NFO. Jan 3: not started yet, but by the time I transcribe the longhand, there will be some!

            While I’d love to set and keep a goal like 1K words/day, “at least 10 words” is much more my speed right now. So under the guidelines of “Specific, Attainable, Measureable, Realiztic, and Timely”, I’m going for another year of “at least 10, every day.”

            1. I find it helps to have a place to post work to keep me honest. Alas, this year I have sometimes posted that I did outline work. . .

      1. Oh those SNEAKY stories. (A Diabolical Bargain tried to pretend to be a novelette. It misled me about how it would end TWICE only for me to write the ending and be told there was more.)

    2. I’ve made an early New Year’s resolution, starting back in mid-December, to “Show up at the page” every day.

      I expect to add words most days, but not every day. Sometimes I have to stop and scout ahead for the next scene or chapter, and sometimes I have to go back and fix a wrong turn I took earlier. (My back-brain/internal-editor has very limited tolerance for “I’ll make a note to fix this later” IOUs. It goes on strike and insists “No forward progress for you until you’ve fixed that wrong turn.”)

  4. & Thank you Sarah, for interesting writings, curious observations & for being perhaps a wee bit more than a a wee bit crazy.
    Much appreciated!

      1. Sanity is overrated. The proper Way is to choose an interesting bent / break of mind.

        Take Mad Science for instance; it is an old and venerable Way, with a rich history behind it.

      2. Sanity is like most things — best practiced in moderation.

        “Oh, no. You can’t-a fool me. There ain’t-a no Sanity Clause!”

      3. “…but since crazy is deviation from norm…”

        Meh. Normal sucks. Just sayin’. One man’s crazy is another man’s sublime and enlightened creative genius.

        Mostly down to marketing, IMHO. ~:D

      4. When I’m not being facetious, crazy means “harmful deviation from the norm.” You get to be eccentric if you are filthy rich. Weird/strange/Odd if less than filthy rich.

        For example, pretending to be another sex so hard you self mutilate is crazy. And sad. Cosplaying Cthulu dressed as a hotel maid? Odd. But could be fun, if that’s your bag.

        The harm is the important bit, I think. People have wild and awesome imaginations. This is good. Imagination drives invention (some of which even make life better for uncountable millions and generations reaching beyond one’s own death). When deviation from the norm begins to cause harm is when things stop being interestingly different (or just plain head tiltingly different) and become bad.

        This is what psychology is supposed to be for. Treating the bad, harmful effects and not touching the individual quirks that make us human. Painting snail shells with little stars and superhero capes is not particularly harmful. Being so out of the norm that you are a danger to other people, is. Another example, tattoos. Hurts a bit. But can be pretty awesome to have (gotta maintain the ink though). Forcing other people to get tattoos- bad.

        Sorry, I know it’s all in good fun here. *grin* We’re not that kind of crazy.

      5. Considers what constitutes “norm” in Mainstream America … rejects deviation from that as valid definition of crazy.

        I long ago determined that I constitute normality and all who deviate from me are various degrees of crazy.

        If you ain’t wallaby you ain’t sane.

        1. You have to remember that there’s a difference between the norm portrayed by the news and entertainment media (BIRM) and the actual norm.

          1. Norm’s not here. Norm has been missing for a long time. His sister Abbie Normal has been impersonating him for years.

          2. I was earlier pondering the concept that much of structural weakness in Socialist/Communist/Totalitarian societies is a consequence of the imposed “norm” in conflict with the default norm of the culture. Civilization is challenging enough without that additional stress.

            1. I like to point out to the “gender is a social construct” people that a social construct isn’t necessarily an arbitrary one.

              1. I have this terrible vision of Lenny Bruce (or perhaps Richard Pryor) offering to whip out his “social construct” to take a leak.

                Say, isn’t that what they tried to cancel Louis C.K. over? I say give a man credit for owning his shortcomings. If gender is a social construct why do reactions differ so markedly when men and women expose their amusement parks?

                1. I like to use that example because it does such a good job of highlighting the intellectual dishonesty that is the core of leftist “thought.”

                  See, in regular English sex and gender are synonyms, but as a technical term in sociology gender refers to which sex a behavior is associated with. For example, in the West today wearing makeup is feminine. It wasn’t always that way, at one time people of both sexes (that could afford it) wore makeup and it may swing that way again. There’s a social construct that wearing makeup is feminine. At the same time, most societies have a social construct where “outside” work is masculine while “domestic” work is feminine. Those constructs aren’t arbitrary, you can’t go hunting when you’re 8 months pregnant or nursing and tying down someone who can hunt doing things that can be done while pregnant is a good way to starve the next winter.

              2. “Gender is a social construct” – and yet a person’s internal gender identity is a fixed TRVTH that is not to be questioned.

                Unless that identity is “Definitely matches my [male|female] external appearance, but is not the standard, normal, stereotypical version.” Because that would be a blasphemy against the commandment of One Size Fits All laid down by Government Almighty.

                (And with its insistence on gender stereotypes, it’s almost as if Feminism were The Patriarchy in drag.)

                1. It’s one of the things that makes me craziest about the stupid gender stuff, It’s *them* that are insisting on hidebound stereotyped gender roles. So you’re a woman but want to dress like a man? “Blank look…” So who’s stopping you? Go right ahead. It becomes pretty clear that for most of them (there probably are a few with serious mental/emotional issues) that attention and victim points and fashion in your social circle are the driving forces.

                  1. So you’re a woman but want to dress like a man? “Blank look…” So who’s stopping you?

                    It isn’t as if such dressing has been a new thing for almost 100 years.

                  2. Hey, ‘Victor/Victoria’ was a fun movie!

                    Blake Edwards, Julie Andrews and James Garner would all be thrown in jail for making it today.

                    1. It WAS fun and totally light-hearted movie – gender-bending and dealing humorously with stereotypes. Have to see if a DVD copy of it is in my library…

        2. >> “I long ago determined that I constitute normality and all who deviate from me are various degrees of crazy.”

          Like the saying goes: normal is a setting on the washing machine.

          Or maybe a setting on the wallaby in this case?

  5. After the year we’ve had I am inclined to view “good things” with the same jaundiced eye that observes the sudden increased beach front as the ocean pulls well out …

  6. ” … noted lefties on our side … ”
    I’m sorry, but what does this mean? Who are the lefties “on our side?” I’m cornfused …

    1. It means the writer’s brain went AWOL mid-writing the sentence. I meant “Noted leftists in my field.” “Our side” in that case meaning SF/F.
      I’d like to point out it’s one of those “There isn’t enough caffeine” days.

      1. There isn’t enough caffeine in the whole world for some days.
        Count Vordarian: “What? You’re a Betan! You can’t do—“

        1. yeah. I’m not exactly sleepy as such. I just would like a VERY deep pile of blankets and burrowing under them, emerging MAYBE for some hot chocolate in a few hours.

            1. Well, according to my Sandra Boynton’s Every Day’s a Fabulous Holiday today is the Festival of Sleep.

              1. OT. And once more I’ll get the promo post up late. Sorry. Forgot this computer doesn’t have the right bookmarks. Sigh.
                Also we went to bed close to three am. It’s like the entire day is out of kilter. And I don’t know why. We were just sitting around and readng. It’s like we forgot it was time for bed.

          1. Especially before I got the CPAP machine (over 21 years now), at a restaurant, when the waitress would ask if I wanted coffee, the occasional answer was to request the IV be set up for my left arm.

            I still need coffee to function in the morning, but can maintain some coherence without it (if you set a low bar).

          2. At least half the ladies in my gaming groups are various levels of unusually cranky, distracted and depressed, while of course trying hard not to inflict it on others, MOSTLY over in a day, since New Years.

            To the point that one of them flat shut down an RP meet that was planned because she, to paraphrase, couldn’t figure out if she wanted to cry or kill something and couldn’t figure out why.

            1. I’ve been on a crying jag for roughly two weeks. I thought it was a rare attack of loneliness, but it feels different. Bigger, more pervasive.
              I take long drives to the mountains where I stop and regain myself. That helps a ton. There are days it feels hard to breathe.
              I’m not *sure* exactly why, but I’ve got a good guess.

                1. Thanks for validating. You start to think you’ve gone off the edge crazy. Not just regular crazy.

                  1. No. The back of my brain is very good. The next two-three years are going to be very difficult.
                    I’m hoping we can hold on for a year, and then move somewhere safe/er.

      2. I thought you were referring to Glenn Greenwald, Andrew Sullivan ad others who while remaining o the Left are noticing the Tyrannical Tendencies of their former allies. They do not think swapping a Republican government for one managed by Big Tech is a win.

        My mistletoe.

  7. It’s a race, then! One if the things I decided to do this year was to build a website and try to sell stuff from it… a few weeks is pretty spare time, but I’ll do my best! 😉

    1. Meh. I too am very late in this, partly because my sewing room is boxed until son and I floor it. I’m going to make a field-expedient sewing room this week, so I can put a site up. (I’ll sew when not able to write. Because 2020 nuked what I did for fun, so….)
      BUT worry not, I”ll do this every few months.

  8. I haven’t gotten any gifts out of the blue – oh, wait – the nice German-American lady neighbor who makes the most divine bread and cookies regularly bestows a loaf of seedy bread on us in exchange for a regular supply of eggs from our back-yard chickens.
    I do have to admit that being a Vine reviewer has put us in the way of some nice fixtures (lamps, faucets, shelves and kitchen appliances) for my various home renovation projects, and a lot of useful baby products for my soon-to-be grandson. (No, I have no notion of how that invitation to be a Vine reviewer came to be – something to do with a lot of book and movie reviews early on, and a lot of positive helpful votes on them.) There are still good things and unexpected gifts bestowed upon us in this last year…

    1. If we could get Mars terraformed, you’ve got all that light volcanic soil and mountain climate to play with. So sure, you could have an Ethiopian highlands kind of climate going, and grow some darned good coffee beans.

      1. Sadly, such a terraforming would also need to include the soil. I can’t remember the reasons, but it recently came out (this year, iirc) that Martian soil is poisonous to Earth crops.

        You’ll have to ask the coffee bean growers how they do it.

        1. It’s easy, just watch ‘The Martian’. 😀

          “Yes. I grew potatoes in my own shit. It’s as gross as it sounds.”

            1. There are some bacteria that can eat them, and I don’t think they’re too stable in aqueous solutions.

  9. Just tried to order some King Harv’s Imperial Coffee, and for some reason it wouldn’t work with PayPal ;-(
    I’ll try again later.
    Wife prefers less bitter coffee, has started with cold brew.

  10. Murder needles? Now I understand a couple stories I read where the gal takes out the bad guy with a “hairpin”

    1. Have you ever seen a good steel hairpin, from the turn of the century when big hair and even bigger hats were the fashion? I have a couple of those (came in a vase that the Daughter Unit bought at a yard sale and gave to me to use for my author costume presentations.) 13 inches long, sharp on the business end, stout steel shaft, with a marble-sized knob on the other end … given the right place to stab and a good grip on the knob end, it might be possible to kill someone with one of those things. Or at least — ensure their complete and respectful attention…

      1. Absolutely possible, and highly recommended that if you end up *needing* to use them, go for the soft bits. They’re only a polite weapon in that they don’t *look* weaponlike to the average idiot.

        1. Almost anything can be a weapon to the ingenious defender.

          At the end of the ‘Dragnet’ movie, the bad guy kidnapped Sgt. Friday’s girlfriend and was taxiing to take off in a small jet. I hollered at the screen, “Toss a fistful of change into the engine! It’s RIGHT THERE!” A few coins will tear the guts out of a jet engine, and that plane is going NOWHERE.

          Spare change as a weapon. What next?

          1. *grin* It is harder to find things that cannot, in some circumstance, be used as a weapon than the opposite. Your car keys can be a weapon. Don’t believe me? Take a gallon jug of milk (or water, if you’ve already drunk it) and sling your keys at it, hard as you can. Skin is not quite as tough as plastic, but the flesh beneath has a bit more resistance than water. Your attacker will bleed if clothing is pierced. Can be used as a light flail if you keep it on a lanyard, but that can take some practice, as with any halfway decent weapon.

            Heck, a cup of yogurt in the right place is damn slippery, and such distractions can be very bad in a fight, too. A real fight rarely more often occurs when the environment itself can be your weapon, assuming you keep your head.

            While it is best to never be in the situation where you need to fight for your life, and if you have to, a gun and some similarly armed friends are probably your best bet for “EDC” (as a policeman is too heavy to carry with you and your friends will probably be around anyway, so…) .

            1. Jeff Cooper used to have a bit on righteous bloodlettings in his column (don’t recall the magazine). One trick he mentioned was to grab the keys with the teeth sticking out between fingers. A punch to the fact with that gives a nicely spiky brass knuckle effect, especially if you hit the eyes. I gather it put a rapid stop to a mugger/rapist.

              1. Well, another reason for that is when you punch someone that way, the key digs into your hand *too.* Keeping the teeth out is just good sense. *chuckle*

              2. The throat is a good spot, especially for those of us who are 4’11” tall in a rather taller world.

          2. Bad guy: Are you going to kill me with your bare hands?

            Riddick: No, I’m going to kill you with my teacup.

            1. Errr…close. Classic scene.

              Bad Guy: “So, what, you’re going to kill me with your soup cup?”
              Riddick: “Tea.”
              Bad Guy: “Huh?”
              Riddick: “It’s tea. I’m going to kill you with my teacup.”

              Riddick sets the tin teacup on a rock. Bad Guy attacks, Riddick grabs the teacup and kills him. The rest of the gang gets ready. Riddick picks up a sardine-can key and sets it on the same rock. They look at Riddick, look at the key, look at Riddick, pick up the late Bad Guy and leave.

              Kira: “Death by teacup. Why didn’t I think of that?”

      2. IIRC, England passed a law limiting hat pin length after a gal murdered her husband using one. Stabbed him in the heart in his sleep, punctured a few important things, but the wounds were small enough not to be obvious to the coroner.

        1. Various American cities, starting with – I think – Chicago (of course), started limiting the lengths of hatpins when women were using them as effective weapons for self-defense against importunate men.

          Now, of course, it has been so long since anyone has worn hats requiring pins that they are not even recognized as a potential weapon. Not even by the TSA.

    2. More often it’s a hatpin. Women used to use pins, some up to 10″ long, stuck through their fancy hats to hold them in place. If you’ve ever looked at an old picture and wondered, ‘why doesn’t that hat fall off?’ — hatpins.
      Artie: “Don’t open that!! It’s the original can of worms!”

      1. Cold Steel sells a weapon that is a super hard plastic sharp point concealed under a hair brush. I have one, it’s pretty cool, never had to use it thank God so I can’t tell you how it preforms.

    3. Mogens Ballin Silver Hair Pin, Needle, with Mother-of-pearl

      This is a bit over six inches long.

      FWIW, it took me at least 15 minutes to get something that isn’t modern hair pins– IE, “bends picking a lock” stuff– when I knew what I was looking for.

  11. Thank you for all the help and all the aid, and even all the laughs and smiles as we all realize that this world is full of crazy people.

    My only hope is that our kind of crazy can beat all the other crazy out there.

  12. On the murder needles, I like the idea, but usually do the hair differently, and the kids are kinda small so I have to be really careful with stabby tools. On the other hand, there’s always stashing them for later, just in case. I like things which combine beautiful with functional.

    1. I switched to a pixie cut about the time youngest boychild was born and mostly love it but does not leave opportunities for either the display of pretty things or the hiding of stabby things (*not* mutually exclusive goals). OTOH, my mother gave all of us (admittedly middle-aged) girls nice heavy gauge solar-powered “survival” flashlights to carry in the cars. The kind with a seat-belt cutter and a big, heavy, sharp-tipped, um, ‘window-breaker’ that is absolutely *not* an offensive weapon officer and which I’d *never* consider keeping close to hand just in case I drive the wrong way and get caught in a riot. Sorry, ‘mostly-peaceful demonstration’.

      Also has a nice loud alarm button, that every single one of us managed to hit by accident when we opened them.

      1. The Daughtorial Unit, with hair long enough for her to sit on it, likes chopsticks for hair control.

        Strap a pair of steel chopsticks to your forearm or elsewhere and they can always be justified as dining accessories but that doesn’t mean they’re innocent.

  13. I noticed that coffee was already bitter, but now it is VERY bitter. I think I drink it for the creamer. I’ve tried black tea, but I really don’t care for it. I noticed that green tea is tasting bitter as well. I’m running on half a thyroid and meds. I wonder. Everything else still tastes good.

    1. I would say… try white tea. Twinings has a brand. It’s harvested before the leaves even open, so basically it’s baby tea; and they don’t let it sit around and oxidize, so it shouldn’t be bitter. The Chinese Fujian kind is very low on caffeine, but apparently some of the other kinds are somewhat caffeinated.

      1. I’ve had white tea, and honestly I could hardly taste it; it’s just a suggestion of greenness. But I’m one of those people that likes to let tea steep for ten minutes, and my tastebuds and nose are not sensitive.

      2. I wonder if it is just this year… and after starting dialysis that cleared out a lot of toxins– so I can tastes things better again. Anyway I’ll try white tea.

    2. Oh! For green tea, if you can – if you have enough spoons to be this fussy with your tea – make sure you brew it with cooler water.
      Green tea brews best at 150-180F, and hotter water than that really inserts and emphasizes the “cut grass” flavour and bitter notes, that cause it to be reviled.

      1. actually– since I’ve started dialysis, my spoons have increased. I still need that afternoon nap. And food makes me sleepy.. but I feel so much better.

      2. Oh, right-o! You’ll destroy green tea if you make it with boiling water. I was taught the trick of letting the water boil, then waiting a minute, then using the cooled off water for the green tea.
        And Monkey King Jasmine is the most wonderful substance ever to be called green tea. I’m not a tea drinker per se–uber dark coffee for me, black–and this stuff is heavenly.
        If you brew it with the cooler water Dorothy talks about.

        1. Not for most writers, no.
          And I can write WITHOUT it. BUT this one…. I’m very dubious about the voice. Yet, it’s how he wants to be written, the bastard.

          1. I still say just let the bastard talk himself out, and then get back to the other books. Because he’ll want it all to pour out quickly, and hey presto, a book you weren’t expecting with no more schedule loss time than a mild flu!

  14. “I giggle hysterically when someone accuses me of selling out to the right, because…. dude.”

    Is that even a thing? If so, I would like to sell out to the Right as soon as possible, please. If there’s any Righties out there with money burning a hole in your pockets, I am your man. Being paid to do what I’m already doing for free would rock.

    Also, do the hair stabby-things come in stainless or better yet, Damascus steel? Asking for a friend, I don’t actually have enough hair for those. 😦

      1. Right, because -money- is the only thing that could explain you not agreeing with them. ffs. 😡

        Here’s an interesting development. Proud Boys on Jan. 6th apparently are going to show up in Washington DC (like anything was going to stop them doing that) but instead of the usual MAGA hats and American flags, they’re going to wear all black. Just like Antifa.

        Why? Because the cops have started -defending- Antifa whenever they show up and riot. The cops have been defending Antifa rioters this week in particular, by firing stingball rounds and teargas at Conservatives who were doing nothing. Literally just standing there, in the video I saw.

        Going to be hard for the authorities to pick a target when Conservatives stop self-identifying. And stop defending government, by the way. Just one big undifferentiated mass of pissed-off Americans, breaking shit.

        I’m thinking it’s a great way to get Antifa rioters arrested en-mass for a change. The cops will have to arrest everybody with a weapon in their hands and sort them all out later.

        I can easily see something like that getting badly out of hand rather quickly. Jan 6th, good day to stay home.

        Downside, staying home is dangerous too. Six people were in a house in Gatineau PQ yesterday. Neighbors (or someone) -called the cops- and told them one of those people in that house was VISITING! So the cops came and quite literally dragged a guy out of that house in full jackboot style. Arrested his ass and tossed him in jail, because he was visiting somebody. There’s video. It’ll make you nauseous, don’t watch it.

        I can’t think of anything that will get the entire population of Canada screaming for heads to roll faster than that. Left, Right, won’t make a difference.

        I’ve seen this show before though. I live near Caledonia. Where the cops protect the Indians while the Indians beat people, dig up roads and burn shit down. They’ve been doing it nearly 20 years now. Call the cops here? They’d probably come and shoot my dog on general principle.

          1. And the not so humorous one of providing evidence of premeditation and criminal conspiracy for anyone they catch doing it. Guess we’ll find out.

            1. Criminal conspiracy? For dressing like someone else?

              I must not have read your comment properly.

              1. “You all agreed to dress alike so as to confuse law enforcement.”

                Didn’t say that it would work in an actual legal system. Given what we’ve got, expect it to be used.

          2. Isn’t that difficult, from what I hear. If an actual fight starts (as opposed to a group of people in black attacking some other people who are just trying to avoid trouble), then arrest the people who are winning.

            Those are the Proud Boys.


            The one bit of info that I’ve seen confirmed over and over again is that the only way the Antifa soys win anything approaching a “fair fight” is by having someone distract you from in front while someone else sneaks up behind you and hits/shoots you in the back of the head.

            1. Michael Yon uses the term BLANTIFA to refer to them all. I like it, so I use it.
              The best BLANTIFA videos are the ones where their Nancies are getting beat so bad the girls start hugging them, draping them across these bloodied, limping soys. Proud Boys have to pull the girlies off, punch the dude, then the girlies are all hanging all over them covering them with their protective arms.

              It’s disgusting and hilarious at the same time.

      2. “Sold out???” Hell, I’ve been trying to convert them! Have you looked at the Conservative, Inc. agenda?”

      3. I guess you can mock them by imitating Zangief from that terribad Street Fighter movie.

        “We get… paid?!” 😉

    1. Tent pegs. Seriously. Basically big-ass nails, stiff enough to take Hammer Abuse.

      I have noted that a brand new railroad spike feels really nice in the hand, can commonly be found discarded along the tracks after the repair truck goes through, and has an edge that can draw blood and a head that will bust whatever it hits.

        1. I have made steel murderneedles. Hardened high carbon steel actually! But feedback said that they didn’t want to stay in hair. The G10 actually comes out with a nice subtle texture, and are light enough that even weight sensitive ladies don’t notice wearing them. And they are strong enough to be hammered through a 2×4.

      1. Theatre gits know the utility of a good stage screw (no, not the kind employed by the leading lady! I mean the kind used to quickly fix (and unfix) scenery, flats and other fixtures.

        Of course, if the inquiring officer lacks familiarity with Community Theatre such a device might prove hard to explain. You might better resort to a small sack filled with nylon leader, a few bits of fur and feather, and a goodly quantity of sinkers.

        Of course, you can always carry a leather pouch with a couple 1-1/2″ diameter brass balls, suitable for a hard overhand swing, about with you. Ladies can declare them as “belonging to the husband, I just carry them to keep him out of trouble” while you men can explain “the Missus let me carry them tonight.”

    2. Are you saying you don’t get checks from Big Evil!?

      What is WRONG with you!? Didn’t push enough little old ladies into traffic of something?

      1. Big Evil is late this December. Likewise the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy AND the Basket of Deplorables are seriously in arrears. And my White Privilege check bounced. Again.

        Like I said, I’d LOVE to sell out but they’re not coming through with the dough.

          1. The Patriarchy ain’t returning my calls. Big Pharma just sends form letters begging for *my* money. And I’m totally missing out on my privilege discount card for being straight. What’s a man gotta do to sell out these days, huh? I keep hearing the benefits are great, but the selection process must be tough. Nobody I know has gotten *anything*!

    3. Improvise. Suarez International has steel chopsticks that will serve that function nicely.

        1. I have some composite Japanese style chopsticks that, while not as sharp as the wooden ones I used to have, would sharpen nicely and don’t set off metal detectors

          1. Now you’ve done it. You went and made me think about it. 😡

            Hardwood veneer vacuum pressed with epoxy comes out hard enough to hammer into a 2×4. It’s a bit fiddly to lay up, but once a couple of jigs are made and you’ve got the vacuum press set up…

            Who wants a hair sticker strong enough to stake a vampire with? Taking orders now. >:D

            On another note, what kind of f-ed up society am I living in that I want the distaff side of the family armed right up to their fricking hair? Or is it just me?

            1. Hey, I lived in NOLA so this is old hat
              Aunt who was unable to arm herself legally (time spent in the pen) always carried her knitting when on NOLA public transport.

              1. Canadians are always tempted to say something unkind about American cities and how unsafe they are.

                When I was a young man, there were commonly something like six (6) murders a year in Toronto. Generally domestic. I remember the uproar the first time some Yardie from Jamaica smoked a rival gang member on Eglinton Ave. back in the 1980s. You’d think it was the end of the world.

                Fast forward to now, there are mass gunfights with hundreds of rounds exchanged between rival gangs in Toronto. Not a one-time thing either, but a fairly common occurrence. More than once a year for several years now.

                So Canadians are well advised to seek information from experienced Americans and just give up on the whole snooty superiority thing. Toronto seems to be doing its very best to become the next Detroit.

                Knitting is inspired. Go Aunt Petunia! Maybe she could be knitting with kevlar.

                1. There is a blind spot in a lot of people even in s#!tholes like NOLA. Poppy Z Bright, iirc was always quick to deny how bad it could be while also posting about hearing shootings while napping on the sofa. That is a live version of the meme with the dog sitting at a table in a flaming tavern or whatever saying “It’s fine.”

                  1. I think it’s endearing that Canadians would think they had standing to criticize anyone.

                    You should hear what people say about you all. The PM has made it worse.

                    1. I remember an interesting discussion online where a Canadian told Americans we had to adopt a Canadian-style healthcare system because the rest of the world was laughing at us, and also because as long as we provided a release valve for their horrible system, they couldn’t improve it.

                    2. I think I heard Conrad Black bleat some such ridiculous thing, before he was forced to renounce Canadian citizenship.

                    3. Yep, all those millions of Canadians who’d rather cross the border to pay for treatment by American doctors than depend on their ‘free’ health care. 😛

                2. Canada is a wonderful country, but y’all have some scary-ass serial killers. Australia too. Any time I’m watching a true crime show set in Canada or Australia, I know it’s going to be horrible.

                  Although Ohio appearances on true crime shows are also pretty terrible, because any show would rather go film in Florida.

        1. Haven’t you heard? The Patriarchy’s gone bankrupt. They handed all their savings over to their wives and daughters and its been squandered.

          Apparently, domestic peace cannot be bought.

    4. Alas, as it turns out, the accusations from the Left that one has “sold out” are, as always, projection.

    1. Just want to mention that there ain’t no man on a white horse going to come along and give you back your freedom, Ian. Start with a picture of a lamp post. They’ll get the idea.

  15. I’ll be putting up a real live professional site to sell my photography later this month. I have no idea when it will go live — nor what the link will be when it does. I’ll try to keep you updated.

  16. I like those hair stabbies. Good way to have an argument handy, even in nonpermissive environments.

  17. As for coffee…I’m sorry, I prefer hot chocolate. Or tea, but I’m a Southerner and prefer that beverage with plenty of ice and sugar.

        1. And for those who like the classic cocoa + sugar + milk route to “real” hot chocolate, but don’t like the residue of “uncombined” cocoa left in goopy drops in the bottom of the cup, here’s one (well-tested) strategy:

          1. Dry-mix cocoa and sugar
          2. Mix (well) with enough water to make a wet slurry
          3. Optionally, heat slurry in microwave then re-stir
          4. Add hot milk (stove) / add cold milk, stir, & heat (microwave)
          5. Stir very well once again

          Seems to solve the problem quite nicely, but YMMV.

          (Also consider trying dark-chocolate cocoa; even Hershey has some.)

          1. *grin* If you want *rich* hot chocolate, swap the water for evaporated milk and use a soup pot to heat it up. Otherwise, that’s been my go-to recipe for years.

    1. I just gave a friend Godiva dark hot chocolate mix for Christmas. And some .357, as well. You know, to keep her and her purse pet well fed and happy. Food is love!

  18. I love my hair stabbies! Love love love love love them. I have 5 colors and I need MOAR!!! *ahem* Ben will be getting a message from me as soon as my check clears lol

  19. Meanwhile, John C. Wright’s blog is showing definitely better in the availability statistics. As in, didn’t have any trouble today or yesterday.

      1. Ditto.

        Nothing will get mine below my shoulder blades, it’s at that length right now, and I’ve got it up in a bun right now– it’s smaller than the palm of my hand and held up with an old clip that’s supposed to be used to control stray locks. I can go half the day when I forgot to put a like-for-picking-locks pin in it at all. Which is nice, from an absent minded point of view– but so many pretty things I can’t use!

        Is yours thin enough that non-plastic or have-any-decoration type hair combs just flat fall out?

        1. Yes, it’s that thin. When it’s longer I usually put it up with one of those plastic hair claws. I console myself with pretty earrings.

          1. Mine used to be extremely thin but beyond abundant.
            NOW not so abundant. Might come back. With me, it’s stress related. Sometimes you can see my scalp. I might be on the way there again.
            So…. cough. They make these little sponge bun padders. And with those, you totally can use these.
            I shall get a pic later.

              1. Want to have some serious hair fun? Attend US Army Airborne school. You got two choices: a queen size ankle length nylon put over your head, or duck tape. And they weren’t kidding. You couldn’t wear a braid or a ponytail tied up–catch that on a riser being deployed and it’ll rip your scalp off.

                Fun times.

                1. I wasn’t too keen on being over that much empty water when I was in the Navy, and still haven’t stopped giving my brother guff for jumping out of planes. Would be much more worried about that than hair fashion!

                  1. Well, yes. The hair thing was the chaos of first day. I don’t remember thinking about anything other than surviving for the next three weeks.

                    I’d rather jump than fly, given the choice. I’ll only do them by necessity any more. Though I can recommend a tandem free fall over some really pretty area as a fun thing to do. I jumped over the FL Keys on a nice day. I decided I could see Cuba. Pretty fun.

                    1. Reminds me of the joke of the fellow returning from The War by (civilian) plane and getting increasingly nervous as the flight went on. “Sir, you’ve flown before, I can see. Is there a problem? I wouldn’t expect you to be at all nervous .” “Well, see, this will be the first time I’ve still been on the plan as it lands.”

                    2. I have never actually landed in a military aircraft. All the overseas charters for deployments were commercial aircraft, designated as military for the trip.

                      I wouldn’t know how to do that. It would make me nervous as well.

      2. I use those spongy bun-pads (technical term: hair-rat) regularly to achieve my favorite hairstyles.

        Current favorite is a tube about 6 inches long with a snap in each end. Put the hair in a high ponytail, roll the rat up in it from the end. Then you can either snap the ends together, spread your hair out over the surface of the rat, and pin it in place for a bun, OR you can pin each end of the rat to the sides of your head, spread your hair out to cover it, and then pin everything in place. Gives you an updo that vaguely resembles Cinderella’s but without the headband.

        If you don’t want to buy a rat from from the store, you can always make your own by saving the hair that comes out in your hairbrush.

    1. My hair’s now below mid-back, thanks to no mop-chop-shop. It’s not as thick as it used to be, thanks to anxiety (this is very, very common around here, apparently.). I might be able to pull it up into a bun without breaking things. (It used to kill clips, bun-rings, and the like, it is sooooo heavy. Or was.)

      1. My hair’s now below mid-back, thanks to no mop-chop-shop.

        So is my hair. Even after finally getting in to get my bangs trimmed (I was not doing them again), and an inch trim off length (didn’t color it, first time in 34 years). Hair definitely not as thick as the last time it was this long, 56 years ago (still remember the epic fight to not cut it … I lost; I was 8). Never allowed longer than pixie cut again, until I graduated from HS. Although not as thick, it still isn’t thin where one see’s one’s scalp. just a lot of white, gray, and black, VS brown/auburn.

  20. Mrs. Hoyt, maybe you could do another perma post for shopping links and call it not one red cent?

      1. Sarah- Yes, please! I would very much like a go to place to find worthy places to patronize, but don’t know where to start.
        (Maybe save the “not one red cent” title for a list of places with deplorable understanding and service?)

        And as I’m mostly a lurker, I have been wanting to send you a thank you present since the book sale two years ago, but don’t know how to do it without being creepy. So here’s a virtual thank you- thank you for a place where I don’t feel like I am crazy while IRL folks keep drinking the koolaide and drowning in fear.
        Thank you!

        Here’s to a happy, healthy, productive new year.

          1. From Rita Hayworth to Jessica Rabbit, this nation has had a preference for red-blooded American gals over the blue-blooded.


  21. For anyone still wondering if January 6 will see much of any “action” in the Congress on Electoral Vote Count Day…

    Coalition of Senators Prepare to Challenge Electoral College Slates on Jan. 6

    Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) will lead a coalition of 12 senators to object to the certification of electors on Jan. 6, 2021 “unless and until there is an emergency 10-day audit” of the disputed states. A joint statement from the senators cited a precedent set in 1877 following serious allegations of fraud and illegal conduct in the Hayes-Tilden presidential race, “Congress appointed an Electoral Commission–consisting of five Senators, five House Members, and five Supreme Court Justices–to consider and resolve the disputed returns.”

    The Senators proposed the appointment of a similar Electoral Commission with “full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.”

    Cruz is joined by Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Senators-Elect Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) had already pledged to object on Jan. 6 because some states, like Pennsylvania, “failed to follow their own state election laws.”


    Reportedly, 140 GOP House representatives have pledged to object on the 6th, including Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who filed a lawsuit on Dec. 27 […] seeking to declare the Electoral Count Act of 1887 unconstitutional because it violates the 12th amendment […] in conjunction with 11 defeated Republican electors from Arizona.

    ((end quote))

    from uncoverdc . com / 2021/01/02/coalition-of-senators-prepare-to-challenge-electoral-college-slates-on-jan-6/

    See the full article there for more, incl. the actual statement released through Cruz’ senatorial Web site.

    And on that “failed to follow their own state election laws” note above (though it’s unlikely ever to be ‘outcome determinative’ even in Ca. itself), also see:

    California Clearly Violated Election Law–Votes are Invalid

    California has been mostly absent from the discussion of election law violation, but new information reveals that wording legally required to be on its ballots was missing, in direct violation of its own state law. This means the ballots should not have been cast or counted, yet California certified its ballots, and thus illegally cast its electoral votes for Joe Biden.

    Let’s be clear about something: Our nation’s founders tried for years to work out their differences with England’s King George. But George was a tyrant, and a war broke out that lasted eight years. After that war, our founders avoided creating a government that was ruled by a man–they decided to be governed by laws.

    ((end quote))

    from uncoverdc . com / 2020/12/17/california-clearly-violated-election-law-votes-are-invalid/

    (I guess we’ll see how our latter-day wanna-be King Georges do, in this whole government by men vs. by laws dispute, 21st Century edition…)

    1. The Cruz scheme is a dilution tactic: they will only challenge after a 10 day investigation to see if there might have been anything looking into.

      Or, TL;DR: “bUt wHEr’eS thE EvIdENcE!?” — Ted Cruz

      1. Meanwhile, for those of us who actually read his proposal:

        “I know there is evidence, and you know there is evidence, and unless you allow that evidence to be presented, you won’t be able to paper over that with “unanimous consent”.

        It’s all about

        “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” and

        “a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

        Can the President short circuit the entire process? Should he? I say yes. That doesn’t mean that’s the only front to fight on, and Sen Cruz is fighting on his.

        1. I had not in fact read the whole thing.

          Annnnd time to relay a proper smacking to the people freaking out……

          ps: the relevant quote you were looking for is this:

          “Accordingly, we intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed.” (emphasis added)

        2. Cruz has the skills to dress it up pretty.

          But he is not to be trusted.

          Gonna have to see how it goes down to judge.

          Lankford was one of Cruz’s buddies on SESTA. I can see this as being an attempt to co-opt the Senate opposition to certification in order to stab Trump in the back.

          If it is just opportunistically cashing in on opposition now that the inside baseball makes the outcome clearer, that is fine.

          But looking back to Hayes-Tilden is suspicious, at this point. Sure, Tilden’s EVs were fraud backed by white supremacist terrorism, exactly like with JFK and Harris. But Tilden’s backers could plausibly constitute an effective conventional army. JFK didn’t have that, but he presented relatively little imminent threat, and Nixon was a squish. Harris is backed by violent terrorist nutjobs, and the PRC’s conventional and asymmetric forces, but would not be wasting time on petty mind games if she had even a fraction of Tilden’s domestic army potential. Therefore, the controlling precedent is clearly tilted even further in the direction of Lincoln and Sherman than the actual case of Lincoln and Sherman.

          Yeah, that may well be my personal insanity talking. Or the fact that I could potentially be overlooked where having skin in the game is concerned.

          If Trump is not justified in suspending habeas corpus and arresting all those officials involved in this rebellious conspiracy, then the thirteenth amendment is invalid.

        3. PRECISELY THIS.
          I go in awe of Cruz. Of all the losers in 2016, he is the one who when he saw how Trump meant to govern switched to give him wholehearted and VERY BRAVE support.

                1. Same here. Cruz is articulate and has a very good understanding of the Constitution and is one of the more libertarian minded Republicans.

                  1. Oddly enough, I think his beard makes him much more electable. I was a Cruz fan too, and took a long time to come around to Trump. But I’m a big fan now.

                    1. *starts to giggle*

                      I hadn’t thought of it, and then I started comparing him to some of my Marines and such, and now I’m not sure if I’m more upset you did that to my brain, or that I didn’t notice it before.

                      He did have the “pretty latin boy” thing, and also very obviously wasn’t rolling with it, so…..

                    2. No, for me it was OBVIOUS. Older son has exact same look. In Latin countries, it just makes people go “Oh, he’s so cute!”
                      But in America, for some reason it triggers “used car salesman”. I realized that from the beginning. Only he was way prettier than my older son, and reminded me of cousin who looked like telenovela actor pretty and who couldn’t get anyone to take him seriously. (And he really was just a nice, somewhat gormless man.)

              1. I say YES. He’ll win because he’ll work at it like Trump. He’ll *earn* our vote.

                1. Not if we don’t fix the fraud.

                  One reason to trust Cruz is that he wants to be president, thus he has a solid reason to a) be “the hero Trump needs” and b) clean up the system to (at minimum) limit the effects of fraud.

                  I like Cruz, but I always trust politicians to pursue their own interests. One basis for preferring Republicans is that their interests, as individuals and as a party, are far more aligned with defending American liberty than the Democrats have been since (at least*) 1980.

                  *An argument can be made for other dates but forty years of unwavering hostility to America is sufficient and avoids protracted debate over what amount, in essence, to matters of opinion.

                  1. I’d put the Democrats as solidly anti-American since at least 1854. Imbibing communism and fascism didn’t change anything but the label.

                    Here in Kalifornia, there is a Public Safety Committee in the state Senate, and another one in the Assembly. The Democrats are already preparing to set up tribunals. They see all the worst parts of history as a how-to manual, where the rest of us see how-NOT-to.
                    There is no shortage of people convinced they can create the perfect world. They just have to eliminate all those imperfect people who don’t fit in it.

                    1. Nyah – the Dems elected Grover Cleveland and his platform was amazingly pro-American. He straddled the era of Robber Baron (Mercantilist) Republicans and Give Shit Away Democrats; per Wiki:

                      Cleveland was the leader of the pro-business Bourbon Democrats who opposed high tariffs; Free Silver; inflation; imperialism; and subsidies to business, farmers, or veterans. His crusade for political reform and fiscal conservatism made him an icon for American conservatives of the era. Cleveland won praise for his honesty, self-reliance, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism.

                      Sure, anything from Wiki is subject to bias but this is all easily looked up in more credible sources. It was Cleveland’s failure to reverse the depression stemming from the Panic of 1893 that ended his Democrat Party and turned it over to William Jennings Bryan and his Progressives.

                      Heck, even as late as 1944 the Democrat Party had stalwarts who forced FDR to dump the pro-Soviet Henry Agard Wallace and make Truman his vice-president and successor. JFK was staunchly anti-communist and for all LBJ’s faults I’d stop short of calling him anti-American. It isn’t until the departures of Hubert Humphrey (who made his political reputation driving the commies out of the DFL) and Scoop Jackson that I think the Democrats became fully anti-American.

              2. Cruz was our choice during the 2016 GOP primary. I’m glad he failed. We needed President Trump. Cruz needed President Trump. Next time Cruz will be ready.

          1. Yes, this and all of this.

            Cruz not only ended up endorsing Trump, but also negotiated some additions (not really ‘concessions’) for it, like an explicit public list of potential Supreme Court nominees, and putting Sen. Mike Lee (read his books!) on it.

            If anyone stands a decent chance of helping defuse (most of) this bomb that the Rabid Demo Left has put under the foundations of our Republic, not just weathering the blast or picking up the bigger pieces — it’s probablyTed Cruz, running in flat-out Full Metal Statesman mode.

            May the fair winds of Heaven be at his back, now.

              1. And he hunts and posts the pictures of himself with dead things so the enemies’ heads explode. I love that touch.

            1. Sorry, but we’re headed toward a cataclysm and he – nor anyone else – cannot avert it.

              The Mainstream Media has become too corrupt, alternate media (Right & Left) are too unreliable, and we are facing too many Americas without clear sense of which is the real one. The NY Times is gone ’round the bend, the WaPo is speeding to overtake it. Those two are the benchmarks for the mainstream. Our civil bureaucracy leadership is too blatantly corrupt and yet Comey, Brenan and their cronies still turn up on the air as if any words out of their mouths are not certainly self-serving falsehoods, even when true.

              America will break, but with G-D’s Grace and good effort on our part, may yet heal back stronger for it.

              1. Speaking of two multiple news streams … these are at Epoch Times today, so precede URLs with

                Josh Hawley Challenges Pat Toomey for a Senate Debate Over Election Integrity

                Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Saturday night fired back at criticism from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), challenging him to a debate on the Senate floor over irregularities in the presidential election.

                More Than 400 Ex-intelligence Officers to Investigate Election Irregularities

                Over 400 people from the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), military, law enforcement, and the judiciary have formed a loose network to investigate alleged irregularities in the 2020 election, an organizer of the group said.

                Patrick Byrne Claims ‘Fake Ballots’ Found in Georgia County

                Patrick Byrne, the founder and former CEO of Overstock, claimed in a string of Twitter posts on New Year’s Day that “fake ballots” were found in Fulton County, Georgia.

                “On a tip, our operative entered the Fulton County (Atlanta) Warehouse and took this series of photos: THESE ARE FAKE BALLOTS,” he wrote in one post.

                Follow-up photos on his thread show boxes that appear to have ballots stored in and piles of batches of ballots on pallets.

                He further claimed that those ballots were loaded onto rented Enterprise moving vans and then shredded.

                Byrne said he didn’t upload video of the moving van because the file was “too big.” Neither any photo of the moving van or shredding truck was uploaded.

              2. The Times of Walter Duranty? Or do you mean the difference is that they don’t care if they are known to be lying as they speak?

                1. They really don’t care what lies they tell any more, or how transparent they are. Why should they? They are rewarded for lying.

                  Today on Fox ‘news’ the talking heads were bemoaning the Republicans ‘disrupting’ the upcoming electoral vote. All I could think was, “Yeah, sort of like the cops ‘disrupting’ a bank robbery.”

                  Not a word about the election fraud, the blatant and undisputed violations of state election law, federal election law, and court orders throughout the months of October, November and December. No, it’s all those nasty Republicans’ fault for being ‘disruptive’.

                  They ain’t seen ‘disruptive’ yet. But they will.
                  Ask not for whom the tumbril rolls; it rolls for thee.

                  1. Oh, yes. Like trying to dress my younger son when he was two.
                    Imagine trying to dress an octopus with ADHD….
                    I mean, he weighed thirty pounds. More often than not, both of us trying to get him dressed, took us an hour and we lost the battle.
                    (He was two, so this was just stubbornness and high spirits, and you couldn’t get him to behave.)

                    1. Controlling… Americans? Does not compute. *chuckle* We barely even follow our own strategy books, let alone silly orders like “stay in your homes!” and “wear a mask!”

                      I mean, there are good rules and laws out there, sure. Don’t steal, don’t murder, don’t cheat, et cetera. But the hard lessons that normal people are getting in how venal and corrupt the politicians are, well… Things are looking to get a might rough in the near future. Hard times, perhaps.

                      And you know the saying about hard times and great men, I’m sure. I’d rather skip the worst, though. Ain’t nobody needs that.

                2. As recently as the Eighties the NY Times could (mostly) remember the difference between its editorial pages and its news. Yes, they leaned one direction but they could mostly be counted on to have covered the behinds with their reporting. Since 1992 and openly since 2016 they no longer even bother to be in the news business. Even during the days of Duranty, Herbert Matthews and Jayson Blair they had sufficient journalism instincts to be embarrassed, but not no more.

                  1. I suspect the AP Feed’s quality may be related– there had to be a time when they weren’t so freaking stupid that their reporter in the Vatican didn’t speak ANY of the languages involved!

                    1. I haven’t (and cannot be bothered to) checked the historical record, but at a guess I would look to the time frame in which Journalism School degrees became a major employment factor in the media, and factor it forward for time spent progressing through the ranks. I vaguely recall some of the major embarrassments correlating with Brilliant! Young! Journalist! getting hired straight out of school and given a byline.

                      Once they stopped the apprenticeship period there was insufficient time to knock the stupid loose.

          2. Yes. My take is that Cruz didn’t give his loyalty lightly, but once Trump earned his trust, Cruz was solid (and never said a word about the acrimony of the campaign). I think he has thereby earned OUR trust.

            A ticket of Ted Cruz/Jim Jordan would be… interesting.

        4. Ian always has a good take on things, a well considered take. If it seems like you’re the only one who read the proposal, you may have misunderstood what Ian said. I’m sure he read it, carefully, probably more than once.

          I find Cruz’s actions encouraging. Hopefully we can agree on this.

            1. A one off. I think we’ve got it sorted.

              And the pedes on TheDonald had to be read the riot act just to chill. We’re all leaning so far forward in the foxhole we’re starting to crawl out of it into enemy territory, so I’m trying to chill a bit myself. It isn’t working very well. 🙂

            1. Yeah. I think we got this one sorted. And in a great direction. This is where men become great, and I think Cruz is on his way.

      2. I don’t think so. If you read his speech, he thinks there is evidence, and that ignoring it will destroy the republic.
        He wants to vote to INVESTIGATE.
        And not certify till it’s investigated.

        1. I suspect that the Democratic Party operatives in the intelligence agencies and FBI along with the Team Hillary “private contractors” are going to arrange “unfortunate accidents” for a lot of the Republican Senators and House members, along with those who have identified and exposed the Democratic Party fraud. They have already shown they will do anything for power, is taking this next step really something that they would not actively pursue?

      3. I read it this way: They will refuse to certify electors until a 10-day audit is conducted. We have fewer than 10 days before January 6, so they will refuse to certify electors.

              1. The link had too many redirects for my feeble system. I’ll look for it the next time I hit TheDonald.

                But yes. Just yes.

        1. Pretty much, except (best I can figure) that 10-day clock starts only if/when Congress votes to create the Commission and it starts work, putting its final report somewhere around the 15th or 16th — a bare few days short of the 20th but still time for stuff to get done.

          What it all really looks like to me, underneath, is a way to deny the assorted Congress critters an opportunity to stand by and watch — they have to vote to create the Commission, or to accept the Big Steal crooked results despite all the public evidence of fraud. They either have to sign on to a real investigation (at last), or sign on to endorsing massive, outcome-changing fraud.

          No place left to hide. ((Very big, if vicarious, evil grin))

    2. Cruz’ whole statement is pretty worthy of a read, and hits a lot of points not consistent with any No Evidence of Fraud narrative. Yes, it could fail in any number of ways; but still looks to me better than just standing by, watching the train wreck, and (maybe) hoping to Let Donald Do It.

      Because even if the system keeps failing, and failing America badly, it’s wholly possible that this President… will not. Even if the cost of success is far higher than what Cruz’ (new) approach might demand, if only it (somehow) did work.

      P.S., pay careful attention to all the words, some of the little ones are kinda important, like “comply with… state election law” or “fair and credible audit.”(Guy’s Day Job was to do appeals cases before the Supreme Court, so…)

      Joint Statement from Senators Cruz, Johnson, Lankford, Daines, Kennedy, Blackburn, Braun, Senators-Elect Lummis, Marshall, Hagerty, Tuberville

      January 2, 2021

      “America is a Republic whose leaders are chosen in democratic elections. Those elections, in turn, must comply with the Constitution and with federal and state law.

      “When the voters fairly decide an election, pursuant to the rule of law, the losing candidate should acknowledge and respect the legitimacy of that election. And, if the voters choose to elect a new office-holder, our Nation should have a peaceful transfer of power.

      “The election of 2020, like the election of 2016, was hard fought and, in many swing states, narrowly decided. The 2020 election, however, featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.

      “Voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed. By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes.

      “And those allegations are not believed just by one individual candidate. Instead, they are widespread. Reuters/Ipsos polling, tragically, shows that 39% of Americans believe ‘the election was rigged.’ That belief is held by Republicans (67%), Democrats (17%), and Independents (31%).

      “Some Members of Congress disagree with that assessment, as do many members of the media.

      “But, whether or not our elected officials or journalists believe it, that deep distrust of our democratic processes will not magically disappear. It should concern us all. And it poses an ongoing threat to the legitimacy of any subsequent administrations.

      “Ideally, the courts would have heard evidence and resolved these claims of serious election fraud. Twice, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to do so; twice, the Court declined.

      “On January 6, it is incumbent on Congress to vote on whether to certify the 2020 election results. That vote is the lone constitutional power remaining to consider and force resolution of the multiple allegations of serious voter fraud.

      “At that quadrennial joint session, there is long precedent of Democratic Members of Congress raising objections to presidential election results, as they did in 1969, 2001, 2005, and 2017. And, in both 1969 and 2005, a Democratic Senator joined with a Democratic House Member in forcing votes in both houses on whether to accept the presidential electors being challenged.

      “The most direct precedent on this question arose in 1877, following serious allegations of fraud and illegal conduct in the Hayes-Tilden presidential race. Specifically, the elections in three states — Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina — were alleged to have been conducted illegally.

      “In 1877, Congress did not ignore those allegations, nor did the media simply dismiss those raising them as radicals trying to undermine democracy. Instead, Congress appointed an Electoral Commission — consisting of five Senators, five House Members, and five Supreme Court Justices — to consider and resolve the disputed returns.

      “We should follow that precedent. To wit, Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.

      “Accordingly, we intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed.

      “We are not naïve. We fully expect most if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans, to vote otherwise. But support of election integrity should not be a partisan issue. A fair and credible audit — conducted expeditiously and completed well before January 20 — would dramatically improve Americans’ faith in our electoral process and would significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next President. We owe that to the People.

      “These are matters worthy of the Congress, and entrusted to us to defend. We do not take this action lightly. We are acting not to thwart the democratic process, but rather to protect it. And every one of us should act together to ensure that the election was lawfully conducted under the Constitution and to do everything we can to restore faith in our Democracy.”

      From www . cruz . senate . gov / ?p=press_release&id=5541

      1. Could still be an attempt to force through a rubberstamping, following realization that people aren’t buying the con.

        1. Sure ’nuff could be that — and either with or without such ill intent from Cruz & co., in pushing for this.

          Imagine (say) a Commission packed with Nancy-bots like the Pelosi Parade back on Impeachment Day, or even Schiff and Nadler and Schumer; or one that Just Happens to have the 5 SCOTUS justices that voted to deny ‘cert’ on the Texas case. Corruption can spread, and does.

          But what if it doesn’t? What if this time it works?

          Some days, I keep on hearing Wellington on Waterloo: A damned nice thing, as near-run a thing as ever was.

          But they won.

    1. Right? Weaponized geekery. OUR people. Made me want to say, in the tone younger sons says to his father and I when he’s being sweet and loving “Geeeeeeks.”

      1. I’ve ordered that Mars Coffee.

        Of course, I know who to blame if I don’t like it. Myself [Crazy Grin]

  22. I decided to start my Many Red Cents program for people like you. So I bought 4 of your books on Audible today. Keep up the great work!

    1. oh.
      A word of warning: Some of those books outright don’t give me any reports (Ill Met By Moonlight; Sword and Blood) and the ones from Baen were subcontracted by Baen. I’ve yet to see the contracts. I don’t know if they’re supposed to pay or how much, and I’ve never SEEN a report or any money from them.
      This is by way of an FYI to all of you.
      Of course, you could not know, and I do thank you for the intention. Truly.
      I will try to get alternate audios out on my own.

      1. OMG, I’m so glad you said something, Sarah! I listen to audiobooks constantly. Now that I’ve raced through one of your short story compilations, a novel, and am headfirst into the next short story compilation I was headed to the audio books.

        I’ll wait till you get paid. Let us know, and we’ll be ready to purchase. I really like your writing a lot.

  23. I had an envy moment when I saw Cedar’s hair sticks. This morning I decided to try it with wooden pencils… yea number 2s. 🙂 Anyway, after a few messy tries I found that my hair does better if I put it in a pony tail first and then use a sharpened pencil. Thank you for reminding me about this hairstyle. I also have to add texture spray to my hair because everything will fall out quickly if I don’t. Now I just have to get one of my brothers to gift me some murder sticks. 😀

    1. A woman was doing something with some kids at a library. Her hair got in the way so she did it in a bun with colored pencils just to get it out of the way. Then all the girls begged to have their hair done up like that. . . .

  24. To show just how utterly fascist the Democrats now, take a look at what New York is proposing:

    The Bill is so broad that it would apply to illnesses other than contagious diseases and would give the state government the power to do it by decree with no recourse to the person to be detained, except what are likely to be kangaroo courts after SIXTY DAYS of detention. If further essentially allows the State to medically experiment on people being detained and to treat them against their wishes.

    Cattle cars filled with people “suspected of illness” will be next.

    1. And he’s going to De-license any doctor who won’t go along.

      My prediction:
      This policy will go national when Biden is inaugurated, with DEA prescription authority and Medicare/Medicaid payments as the club.

      Sarah, you may remember that I predicted several years ago that your MD son would run headlong into this unless we acted immediately. That prediction and prescription was not well received.

      Will we tolerate this?

  25. Handy reference for evaluating Georgia senate election returns:

    Chart based on probable chairmanships; actual results could be worse.

  26. I like Black Rifle coffee. Not least because the range I belong to sells it, so when I run out of coffee, it’s range day! They sell direct and have a subscription program. Their YouTube ads (just search) are very funny.

Comments are closed.