Build Back Better

One of the most amusing things about the left is their absolute certainty that they know better than everyone else and that if only they ran the circus, everything would be perfect.

I’m not 100 percent sure where this insanity comes from, except for saying that it’s common in philosopher-kings. I.e. people well enough off that they have no idea how most people live, where food comes from, etc. Take one of those people and cram their heads full of theoretical knowledge. Particularly if you tell it to them as the revealed truth (as science is taught in most of our schools) and voila, someone who thinks they know everything and how everything should be done.

Which gets us to the left’ present attempt to choke Western Civilization which, granted, has been as evil and murderous as EVERY OTHER CIVILIZATION IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND, but has excelled on the good side of human civilization: namely, getting everyone fed, clothed, and living with a modicum of dignity. Not perfectly, of course, and there have been some truly disgusting periods, but by and large Western Civilization has made the world better.

However, mind you, it’s not perfect. It’s also not entirely contained within the cavernous emptiness of the average lefty’s mind. So, of course, off with its head.

And the left is absolutely, thoroughly convinced that it can “build back better.” That the system in its mind will translate perfectly into the outside world and run amazingly.

Well, as we have found in the last year, the left literally doesn’t know where its food comes from; can’t understand, oh, the relationship between rent and home ownership; between GDP and currency, between– None of it. They know so little about the real world they just don’t know what they don’t know.

We live in an amazing era. If I wanted to build a house with my own hands tomorrow, there is enough in youtube for me to go for a reasonable facsimile.

And yet, I guarantee to you that anything I built would have some major problems, simply because I don’t know what I don’t know, so I don’t know where to look for specific details of construction.

And mind you humans know pretty well how to build houses. We’ve been doing it for a very long time.

And yet any socialist/communist country manages to build houses that crumble while still under construction. I’m not even making this up.

Yet, our left in possession of a Marxist ideology that has no contact with the real world and confers nothing beyond unearned superiority, thinks it can take down the most complex interconnected web of civilization the world has ever known, and “build back better.”

Because these people, who can’t understand that we see them partying without masks, or that voter fraud was obvious to anyone not blinded by partisan faith, think they have the knowledge to not only redesign world civilization but make it perfect.

We all read the story of the garden and how humans were tempted with the idea that they’d be like gods. I remember thinking that was completely insane.

I was right. I’m seeing it happening before my eyes, and it’s completely insane.

There are many versions of this story. None of them ends well. But the willfully blind philosopher kings will not see.

Hold on to the sides of the boat. The water is going to get choppy.

But be not afraid. I’d bet us, or for that matter my cats against these “world encompassing intellects.”
At least my cats can tell their food dish from their litter box.

Be not afraid, but be prepared. The crumbling is going to be sudden, short and horrific.

And afterwards? Well, we’ll build back. Better? Without philosopher kings. That’s for sure. But with human hands, which means flawed, and with problems and–

Let’s make it the best we can.

That’s all anyone can do. Make it the best we can, with respect for the individual, and the understanding that we are not gods.

Until then, keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark. And stay alert. The life you save could be your own.

389 thoughts on “Build Back Better

      1. There are among us those of the opinion that being “not human” demands a higher standard.

  1. Hmm. First? I bet not by the time this gets up. But anyway, for there to be no comments, this article must have been up for only 10 seconds. I keep saying and will keep saying that you should publish essays like these in a book. You don’t read this sort of thing anywhere else. It’s why I keep coming. That, and the book recommendations! Thanks!

      1. Who said anything about *your* time/mind? I’m sure all of us have a few favourites we could nominate, even do basic copyediting on. I doubt you’d even have to pay us – I’d happily kick in a few hours work to make it happen.

        Heck, most of us would do it just for a “moose and squirrel” recording uploaded to your blog site ((ducks inevitable carp))

          1. Sarah, every time I think I have spare time, Day Job says “Not so fast…..”

            Which is why I’m a week behind on e-mail.

  2. They want to blow up the ship everybody is sailing on because they believe they can build a perfect ship from the pieces — even though they have never designed a ship, or built one, or even sailed one. Still, they ‘just know’ theirs will be PERFECT.

    1. Well, of course!
      Because the old ship is based on old ideas. Like displacement, bouyancy, and power sources.
      Besides, math is racist. Engineering is positively colonialist. Indigenous people surely had methods of building Bouyancy Operated Aquatic Transports that didn’t involve adding numbers on a ledger!

        1. They have, on the whole, enough sense to realize that without us, they will fail. (And to be sure, as the history of communes shows, they fail a lot faster without us.)

      1. Akshully, you can avoid calculations if you change designs slowly and by iterations, use a thing over all use cases until it wears out, and remake it from base materials often enough that people remember how to do it.

        And the types of things they are trying to build include things that cannot be soundly designed by doing calculations from theory.

        It is just that the changes that they demand for the ‘next version’ also invalidate the no calculation process.

      2. Science must be done away with and we must start over again.

        Yeah, they’re full of themselves undergrads, but professors now encourage full of themselves undergrads instead of deflating them so they can learn.

            1. Which demonstrates the superiority of science, brutally but unmistakably, right? So that nobody could be stupid enough to deny that a proper understanding of physics, mathematics and logic works better than ‘feelings’.

              1. One would think.

                It’s just another variation of my claim the best argument for white supremacy comes from leftist anti-racists. If white, heterosexual, able bodied men are barely 5% of the world’s population, are oppressing everyone else, at least some fraction of everyone else knows it, and all they can do to end the oppression is beg the WHAMs to oppressing them then aren’t the WHAMs superior just on the ability to do so?

                1. Not to mention that Europe conquered the world while drunk, the water not being safe to drink and tea and coffee not yet discovered.

        1. The contributions of gulls consist almost entirely of endless repetitions of “Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!” 😀

      1. Confederate money still has value; it is, in fact, increasing in value against the Federal Reserve Note. After the crash, there will still be collectors who will trade whatever is marketable to scratch their itch.

        Interestingly, counterfeit Confederate money is often more valuable then the real thing; the Union flooded Dixie with counterfeits in an effort to damage the Confederate economy, which was pretty shaky already. Those notes have special collector value. And when Confederate money became “collectible” around WWI, more counterfeits were, made, now old enough to be collectible in their own right.

        I’ll go for the Emperor Norton notes, though.

  3. Build back better later but meanwhile, preserve as much knowledge as you can, hopefully in forms than can be accessed without much more than hands and eyeballs.

    1. One reason I still have all my engineering reference books and most of the textbooks. My calculators have a solar cell JIC I cannot get a CR2025 button cell. If that fails, I also have a slide rule, log, and trig tables.

        1. I certainly don’t want to have to return to using the slide rule, pencil, and paper but it is comforting to know I can.

          1. I used a slide rule through 1977. Didn’t get a calculator until Christmas my Jr. year. Even then dad had to win it (better than basic, but not remotely close to programmable). OTOH my calculation tolerances weren’t as tight with the slide rule as those with calculators way back then.

            Without a lot of remedial slide rule work I don’t have a clue on how to use one anymore. Hubby OTOH could probably pick one up now, remember immediately. He was planning on Teaching Math. His first classroom teaching practicum taught him he needed a different career path choice. He is good with kids, even the middle school era brats, both with sports club and scouts. But only with kids who want to be there. Classrooms? According to him? Apparently not.

      1. I was actually going to throw out my husband’s old reference books (Physics, Chemistry, and Math). Good thing I didn’t.
        If we get kicked off access to the Internet, we’ll still have hard copy.

  4. I’ve a better idea: let’s not tear everything down i the first place.

    Nah, that’s crazy talk.

    1. I suspect that is crazy talk. A lot of our current institutions are optimized to a post WWII level of technology. We need to identify what institutions will work(1) with our current levels. Life’s too complicated to design institutions and hope it’ll work, so the only way to get there is to build different versions and let them fight it out. Hopefully in the marketplace, but in some cases it will get bloody.

      (1) “Work”, in this context, means “be stable”. Slavery is an evil institution, but it worked in pre-industrial societies. I hope “work” includes a large level of freedom, but since there’s little respect to people’s rights in the middle of a civil war, that requires a level of stability.

        1. Yes. You can’t be stable when you destroy the infrastructrue on which you depend for your own survival.

    2. Ruins excavated from antiquity worldwide seem to be mostly “and then, everyone just left” – sure, some places like Troy there is an obvious carbon layer where the gods of fire and kinetic energy returned, but from what I’ve read mostly things just get to be too much, and people pick up and be elsewhere.

      So no need to tear down – it’ll rot there in the sun and rain until someone needs some building material.

  5. Yet, our left in possession of a Marxist ideology that has no contact with the real world

    Their ideology has the same contact with the real world that the Titanic had with that iceberg.

  6. }}} simply because I don’t know what I don’t know, so I don’t know where to look for specific details of construction.

    Actually, youtube can help you with this, too.

    Essential Craftsman is going through ALL the steps of building a house, from start to finish, and videoing about it. I’m sure there are pitfalls outside of the actual building process — perhaps some financing concerns, and such — but you won’t screw up much if you go through this series… 😛

    1. P.S., yes, it’s a LOT of video — they’re at 40 eps just to do the floor framing, no walls.

      1. Ha! I’m not the only one who designs is so the floor joists hang between the foundation walls!

        Eat that [censored for privacy]!

        1. No, it’s just a pain because we have to buy larger mud sill material, likely rip it down, get the right hangars, make sure there is air gap or the end of the joists are sealed against the concrete….

          1. The joist hangers are easy enough to find. The hangers themselves should provide sufficient air gap/ nonporous material between the joist ends and the concrete.

            And the trick is to put the sill plate flush with the inside edge of the foundation wall, rather than down the center of it. Will that leave a larger ledge of concrete on the outside perimeter of the building? Yes, but all you need to deal with that is flashing and/ or a thicker skin on the house. It’s a built-in brick-ledge!

            1. The real problem is remembering to put sleeves for your water and sewer lines in before you pour the concrete. ‘Cause you can’t just run them through the rim-board after the fact, and once they’re in, that’s where they are!

    2. The following book seems to be the current edition of one by Feirrer and Hutchens. I’ve used my 1980s copy for three outbuildings, two extensive remodels, and myriad smaller projects.

      Other books would be those from Taunton Press (Fine Home building, as well as the Fine Woodworking books).

      1. There was a copy in the lower bookshelf in the living room of my youth. Of course I read the thing. It was a book! Read it again in my twenties. Code has changed over the years, but that old book was still quite useful.

      2. I have the 1981 revised Popular Science Book Club edition of this. I think I read most of it for fun – have not had any opportunity to use the knowledge. I also have an equally thick tome, Feirer’s Cabinetmaking and Millwork. I suspect with the two of them one could build a pretty nice-looking well-furnished dwelling. 😉 My “hobbyist” woodworking/woodturning bookcase holds a lot of practical knowledge, and none of it requires a computer to use.

    3. I’ll maybe find the time to go through those, at least superficially. There are always things I don’t know that I don’t know I don’t know…

      BUT – building a new house, especially if it wasn’t right here where I am familiar with the pitfalls, I’d still engage professionals. I could probably find, or derive from basic principles, things like dealing with snow loading. Foundations in earthquake country? Nope. Roof design for sustained high winds in hurricane regions? Nope. Proper grading and basement protection in high water table and high precipitation regions? Nope.

      (Tucson is easy compared to a lot of other places in the country. Soil conditions are the main bugaboo, that even catch out subdivision developers with major experience. One coworker years back told me what her rent was for one of the McMansions up in the foothills, and it was less than my mortgage payment down here next to the airplane graveyard – a certain percentage of their builds, they EXPECT the foundations to crack on, making them unsellable – but rentable.)

  7. Back about 15 years ago, I briefly (he lasted only about two years at our public library before finding his happy place at — of course — an academic one) worked with a guy who literally described himself as an “anarcho-syndicalist” without any irony or homage to Monty Python. He was a good-school to good-college to gap-year-in-Western-Europe sort, of a type with whom most of us are familiar. And once he said to me, again without a trace of humor or irony, “Nothing could possibly be worse than the way we live here and now.” To which I replied, after shaking off a brief trance of utter astonishment, “Oh. Yes. It. Can. Trust me.” But then again, he’d lived in Italy and I’d lived in Pakistan. Just saying.

      1. Most survey history courses, especially in secondary education, are built to kill any interest in history, or willingness to actually learn history.

        1. Which is why the college professor who was known for essay questions like “Why Hitler? Why Stalin? Explain the 20th century,” was so incredibly amazing. (You could take as long as you needed to answer those questions. He had been known to order pizza for some dedicated students.)

          I only had one class from him, but that’s because he died unexpectedly shortly after finals. Undiagnosed stomach cancer.

          1. The one that scarred me was the 9th grade “Explain the devaluation of the black penny over the 17th century.”
            I spent MONTHS researching.
            And by the end I understood the government doesn’t control money and more money doesn’t mean more wealth. I’ve never forgotten.

              1. I don’t recognize black penny but Portugal steadily debased their coinage throughout their war with Spain in the 1640’s and ultimately brought in paper money, which did what paper money always does. For other examples of debauching the currency see Rome after the Antonines, France after the Revolution, Germany after WWI, and the world continuously since WWI.

                Our hostess seemed to learn in the 9th grade what all the world improvers, grifters, charlatans, economists, haruspices, and other show folk are incapable of ever knowing.

                1. I think some of the know, they either don’t care or think that its a feature rather than a bug.

            1. This one didn’t scar me. He impressed me. He taught at warp speed and made me wonder at how every other history teacher made it boring.

        2. Now, hit a primary source…I just hit the wall with Plato, to my surprise. When he (or Socrates) seriously comments he had gone to the temple because he wanted to pray, I was stonkered by the notion he had to be in the temple to offer a prayer. If they really want diversity of thought…

          1. (Quoth Plato after encountering the curios temporal traveler):
            “Naturally. Their temple is where that god lives. Duh. Want an olive?”

            The question is, did they start building temples as a means of constraining, corraling and containing the otherwise free-range godlings previously roaming about the countryside causing havoc as a societal public safety project (safety for the polloi, not the godlets)?

            1. I think most of the small ones were tied to particular places: groves, mountaintops, caves, other unusual natural features, etc. So sometimes it would be a matter of honoring them where they already lived.

              For the bigger ones… maybe yes? Or as a means of getting them to spend more time there, granting favor to our city, rather than spending time in other people’s cities, granting favors to them.

              I do like the idea of “temples as zoo exhibits/ celestial poke-balls” though.

              1. God shrines were places where a god allegedly lived (usually a smaller god), and god statues were places were a god supposedly would manifest repeatedly, or would use the statue as a sort of home away from home. Greek, Etruscan, and Roman theory about this was pretty much the same about this. I think Egyptian ideas were pretty similar?

                St. Augustine’s City of God talks a lot about this sort of thing, as do some of his other discussions of why it was sort of a bad idea for Christians to hang around pagan holy areas if they had no exorcist-type purpose. He quotes a lot of stuff from Varro’s Big Pagan Book About Roman Religion, which is lost now but was in existence back then.

                There’s also a lot of this stuff that gets discussed in early Christian literature about why the Jewish temple wasn’t the same kind of thing as a pagan temple, why Christian icons and statues are okay but pagan ones aren’t, why it’s okay to keep pagan stuff if nobody is worshipping it anymore (or why it’s not okay), and so on.

                I think Plutarch has some stuff about Greek and Roman religion, also.

                1. The other factor was that, as Cicero said somewhere, you couldn’t consult the gods or ask them for stuff without providing a sacrifice, and sacrifices had to happen at altars (built by yourself, or at a temple/altar already established). If you had an emergency prayer and it got answered, or if it didn’t but you survived, you owed the god of your choice a sacrifice, even if it was a small one.

                  Re: Socrates getting his friend to give Asclepius a sacrificed rooster, to pay off his debt.

          2. Their gods were basically sorta elvish thugs, not God-gods.

            They can do stuff you can’t, but they weren’t….well, God. They were just stronger than you.

            1. Considering all the myths and stories about how, well, insane the gods were, and how their anger over trifles needed to be placated, they were stronger *and* crazier than you. Prayers from what I can tell ran the gamut from “give me more power than the other guy (and don’t screw me over too badly in the process)” to “don’t get made and destroy the city with a storm.” In some ways, the gods represented things they did not completely understand that looked like random chance otherwise.

              1. The myths are not very accurate as a depiction of their beliefs. But evidence of their practice does indicate a fair degree of this.

              2. BEST comic on this is that they were the survivors of the last great human civilization. They survived the ice age in underground enclave shelters, inbred madly and went a bit loopy.
                They then used their tech to appear as gods to the people who survived the hard way.
                I have found out that this comic was actually Portuguese (I have a vague memory it was called The Gods, Themselves.
                I’d love to recreate it. The problem is it WANTS to be a comic.

              3. The curse tablets are darkly amusing– “Oh X god, I give you this thing that dude stole from me, you better go smite him or you’ll look bad.”

          3. Even nowadays people will go to church to pray. Besides being a more serious commitment, it can help dispose yourself.

            In paganism, the correct external form was much more important.

            1. I have to say that the priest ignoring the rubrics annoys me to no end. Why should I follow the rules when he doesn’t. My parish and diocese are not as bad as some but things should be done properly. I suppose I’d make a bad Protestant.

            2. Well, I think you could call out to the gods for emergency help, and a specific god might come to you and take you over, or create an ecstatic experience, or send you a message in a dream. But if you had a serious consultation question or petition where you needed to talk it over with a god, you did the courteous thing and went to the god’s house, shrine, tree, cave, etc.

              1. And if you got the emergency help, you went to the temple after with a suitably sized sacrifice in thanksgiving.

    1. Ahh…In 1972 in Freshman PoliSci my TA said she was an anarcho- syndicalist. I’ve carried it with me ever since. I view capitalism as the true anarcho-syndicalist system.

  8. > If I wanted to build a house with my own hands tomorrow, there is enough in youtube for me to go for a reasonable facsimile.
    There is enough *in your head* for you to do it. You might need a recent book to handle some of the more outre requirements of this year’s electrical code, but thirty years of home improvement mean you know how things are supposed to be, as opposed to what’s slapped together.

    Architects dwell in their ivory towers; they may never even see a building site, much less swing a hammer. Contractors are businessmen, even if they came up through the ranks, they have better uses for their time than hanging about job sites.. The guys at the coal face know nothing; they get hired cheap and move on when they find something better. A few tradesmen – drywallers, electricians – tend to know more, but they’re specialists, and they have no authority over anything outside the tasks they were hired for. The foremen who are supposed to be keeping the circus going in the same general direction… they’re mostly not a thing any more; “team leaders” are way cheaper and less likely to object to bad practice.

    You… maybe you haven’t seen it all, but you’ve seen enough bad construction to know it when you see it. And you *care*. Which puts you 99% of the way to doing it right, even if you’re not a “professional.”

    1. The current national electric code is available online, and if you look around, it’s free. I have to use the slightlly specialized Oregon variant (differences were so minor as to be absurd, but some bureaucrat has to being in the bucks). Oregon sources for this, and no shock, similar sources for plumbing. The last I had to calculate rafters, I did that online–the text was a bit fuzzy, so I got better sources.

      I also have a 1993 copy of the NEC Handbook, which gets into detail why the code is what it is. Yeah, it’s technically obsolete, but if you look at a bit of code and say WTF, that’s a good place to get the details. I’d assume that used copies of obsolete versions are out there, one would hope at a discount. You’ll get mine from my cold, dead fingers.

      1. I have the 2008 NEC and its concordances, which is what I have to meet for the Project House.

        The majority of it doesn’t apply to single-family-dwellings, and most of the rest of it seems to be rational “good practice”, except for the continual renaming of things and the outright malfeasance of AFCI breakers. Someone made a ton of money off those.

        I paid $100 for a breaker box with a full set of breakers. It’s not clear if I will have to have AFCI breakers; they weren’t locally mandatory *yet* when I started work, but that’s another $1200 just in breakers if they decide I have to have them.

        1. Good luck, if you plug in any older-style appliances that use a brushed “universal” motor. That arc is NOT a fault, Mr. Circuit Breaker!

          1. We’ve got some of those bloody things, hooked up for some reason to at least one of the bedroom outlets…
            Run a heater in the winter?
            POP goes the breaker…
            And I’m not too confident about running the vacuum cleaner off those outlets, either (kind of surprised the laser printer doesn’t pop it)

            1. Here in Kalifornia, arc-fault breakers are required on bedroom outlets. If you had an ordinary breaker before the law (rule? Don’t know if it’s actually a law) it can stay, but TOUCH that circuit and it has to be replaced with the ‘right’ type.

              You could run an extension cord from the bathroom…

              1. The basic NEC seems to require arc-fault breakers most everywhere (except bath and I think shop space), though Oregon has a bunch of exceptions, especially not requiring retrofitting when circuits are altered. I don’t have ready access to the non-Oregon version of the code, but it’s likely you have the rule. No idea why OR carved out a lot of it, unless they’re pretty suspicious about the utility of the damned things.

                When I get the round-tuit, I want to add a dedicated circuit to the bedroom to feed radio equipment. That will need arc-fault.

                1. And yeah, the Oregon differences can be significant. I’m surprised and pleased about the official skepticism on the arc fault breakers.

              2. Yeah, there’s an outlet not far out of the room that isn’t on the AFCI, so when I was using the heater, I just ran an extension cord to it.

                The vacuum has a long enough cord I can vacuum my space without an extension from the same outlet…

          2. Or certain power tools. We rent, so cannot change wiring. The single garage outlet is on the same circuit as the GFCI in the master bath. Imagine my frustration when my lathe kept tripping the GFCI. I have to run a 25 ft 12-gauge extension cord thru the laundry room and across the hall to a heavy-duty power strip plugged into a non-GFCI outlet. At least it means that I always unplug the lathe when I am done. Else I would be tripping over the dang cord in the hall. 😉

            1. Hmmm… a lathe really shouldn’t trip a GFCI breaker. You may have an actual ground fault, perhaps the beginnings of insulation failure in the motor windings. I’d keep an eye on that, and if you notice a decrease in performance, consider taking the motor to a rewind shop to have it tested or possibly just get a replacement.

              1. Actually, many reputable full-size lathes have this issue on start-up, with the initial power draw. I’ve spoken with other woodturners – it is common. Solution is to use a non-GFCI circuit. 😉

                1. ^this^

                  Has to do with using a GFCI that’s got a lower amperage than the circuit it’s on, a common cost-cutting measure.

                  The start-up-surge-triggers-GFCI is common enough I see a lot of warnings about it on appliances on Amazon.

                  1. A lot of GFCIs (I’ve lost count of the number I have; almost every circuit in the shop/barn requires one, and I have a lot of circuits) are rated at 15A *at the GFCI*, but are designed to protect and pass 20A downstream. A small number can do 20A right there, but they aren’t common, or cheap.

                    Further complicating it is the fact that certain loads (my home-style electric clippers do it when I turn them off) will trigger the fault. They work by comparing the current from the hot side to the neutral. If there’s a mismatch, it assumes it’s a ground fault, but there’s also the chance that inductive loads can radiate a bit under the right circumstances (like Marconi spark-gap transmitter), and this can give the imbalance. A capacitor-start motor could easily be in this boat; the start winding has to cut out as the motor hits speed and you could get the spike.

                    As best as I can recall, early GFCIs were really bad for such triggers, but newer/better ones seem to be a bit more tolerant ; I think they want a longer “fault” signal to trip.

                    I suspect that arc-fault breakers are in the same situation as early GFCIs. I also get the idea that somebody did a bunch of creative lobbying and made a killing.

                  2. A lot of GFCIs (I’ve lost count of the number I have; almost every circuit in the shop/barn requires one, and I have a lot of circuits) are rated at 15A *at the GFCI*, but are designed to protect and pass 20A downstream. A small number can do 20A right there, but they aren’t common, or cheap.

                    Further complicating it is the fact that certain loads (my home-style electric clippers do it when I turn them off) will trigger the fault. They work by comparing the current from the hot side to the neutral. If there’s a mismatch, it assumes it’s a ground fault, but there’s also the chance that inductive loads can radiate a bit under the right circumstances (like Marconi spark-gap transmitter), and this can give the imbalance. A capacitor-start motor could easily be in this boat; the start winding has to cut out as the motor hits speed and you could get the spike.

                    As best as I can recall, early GFCIs were really bad for such triggers, but newer/better ones seem to be a bit more tolerant ; I think they want a longer “fault” signal to trip.

                    I suspect that arc-fault breakers are in the same situation as early GFCIs. I also get the idea that somebody did a bunch of creative lobbying and made a killing.

        2. I suspect you will have to deploy arc-fault breakers (or the equivalent outlets) to comply with the 2017 (or is 2020 implemented already?) NEC.

          I have a milk-house heater in the pumphouse as backup for the propane heater, that seems to be allowed without arc-fault.

    2. Which is why I do need to get moving again on learning woodworking and setting up a functional shop.

      I may not, yet, know how to build good chairs or good sofas, but I do know how easily name brand stuff breaks, and kind of want to not throw more money after dodgy.

      Yes, my pieces are going to have compromises, but at least they are compromises that I have some degree of say in…

      1. How to build a woodworking furniture business.

        Build good quality pieces you like, and use. Wait for friends to envy them and want one. Offer to to sell yours (more instant gratification to them, for a profit). Build yourself another one. Alternatively offer to just build them a new one. Some family might get them as gifts. Make sure your maker tag is discretely available, somewhere, so they know the source.

        What? You meant to do this as a fun hobby? Shame on you 🙂

        We have all hubby’s great-grandfather’s and grandfather’s woodworking tools and furniture clamps. They were passed to his dad, stored, then passed on to hubby. We will pass these on to our son. Here is the deal. Son is in an industry that builds with wood. It is automated. But who knows, right? Either that, or some of these tools are old enough to be worth Money to collectors. We really do not know what is there, other than the clamps, which are too big to hide in a chests full of smaller tools.

    3. The story goes that when Hurricane Andrew hit Miami-Dade, entire neighborhoods were flattened, but here and there houses would be standing with much less damage. Turned out they were Habitat houses. When the founder was asked why they stood, he told them the power of prayer….and the fact that volunteers put four nails where a professional would get by with two.

      1. I think it was Andrew where they discovered that roofing staples were a really bad idea, especially when used with OSB. The old roof on this place got away with that combination, but the replacement uses roofing nails–6 per strip. Took a lot of time, but it’s solid.

        1. Six/strip is the only way I’d do asphalt roofing around here. Saw the staples thing coming a mile away and folks with more experience than me just started shaking their heads.

          When the graybeards that got old doing the *same dang job* for more years than you’ve been alive start wagging, it’s time to pay close attention (if one’s a smart cookie, that is).

          1. I knew of the Andrew bit (actually used stapels on a garage roof in San Jose before then), but the stapler died after that, so there was no excuse to think about it. I sacrificed a couple of thumb nails on ridge shingles, but all those roofs are still good. OTOH, the last DIY roof was lockseam. That’s kind of fun, especially on a one-plane shed roof.

    4. That’s horrifying.
      A quarter century ago, at State U, would-be architects who were chosen for admission into the major (they needed to maintain at least a 3.0 in a list of approved classes for 3 consecutive semesters @ 18 credits/semester to apply) had to buy an extensive list of tools and spend a lot of time on jobsites to learn how blueprints were correctly turned into reality. A lot of them became licensed contractors along the way, and made darned good money over the summer break. (There were also quite a few landlords who were happy to have property improvements instead of rent. It was a six-year program, but It don’t think many of them were still in debt by the time they graduated.)

      1. The left’s idea of “better” is Oceania. When they say “build back better” what they really mean is “let’s bring about Oceania”.

          1. No they don’t need an actual war. They have their “equivalent” of war. Wuhan Coronavirus, Green Nude Eel, reparations etc etc. The goal is to eat up production/capital and keep their preferred proles dependent and voting for them. I suspect the preferred proles are about to be tossed under the bus as the left have discovered with appropriate leverage they can fraud their way into things.

        1. That reminds me… I recently came across an article attributed to Isaac Asimov; a review of Orwell’s “1984”. From the opening comments, it was commissioned by “New Yorker” in 1980 and would have been printed in 1980 or 81.

          The interesting thing is… I’m pretty sure it’s not Asimov. The author makes some assumptions and mistakes about SF and technology that Asimov not only new better, but had written about. Also some smarmy political asides, very much unlike Asimov.

          He’s been dead over thirty years, and even in the mid-1960s he’d commented he’d lost track of how many articles he’d written, and wasn’t completely sure how many books, given how many were collections, repackages, updates, etc. He’d get a call from some outfit like “New England Hatcheries and Inland Fish Quarterly” asking for 750 words, and he’d hammer it out and send it off. His bookkeeping must have been a nightmare…

          Short of buying a subscription to the magazine to get to their archive, there’s no way I can tell if it did in fact run under his name. If it looks like the same article, than it’s very strange, but chances are Asimov would have either had a comment on it or seen it himself, so it wouldn’t be entirely fraudulent. But keep thinking about that “science” book Feynman found out had him listed as an author, and he not only wasn’t, but had to take legal action to get his name off it. Or the hack jobs with Louis L’Amour’s name on them, that led him to break with his agent. Or…

          Pick a famous author, safely deceased, with an ouvre that his estate likely can’t nail down, and you can attribute almost anything you want…

      2. Flat State U had them buy hundreds of dollars of drafting supplies. Which the grad students and senior students snarffed up when the Little Dears bailed out at the end of the first year and became English or other soft majors. The students did a lot of planning and things, but I never heard of any of them going to a job site and having to build 1:1 models of designs.

        Only the Landscape Architecture students still had to have real-world experience with “why we don’t do [brilliant idea here].”

        1. I was in the first year (1970) of EE students who did not have to learn drafting. OTOH, I took a semester of such in high school. The other semester was metal shop, the combination causing my advisor to get a bit of a hissy fit, like I was a class traitor. Bull. Both grandfathers were in construction (one a GC/carpenter, the other ran an excavator), and Dad was a draftsman. My response was a very polite version of “Sod Off, Swampy”.

          (The EE department dropped Theoretical and Applied Mechanics just before the add-drop point. My roommate and I were both acing the course, and it was fun, so it was another bit of useful cross training.)

        2. Back in 1970, I didn’t think the outlay was that bad. T-square, triangle and the associated small st6ff. You’d see the ME larvae trudging around with a T-square and a small tackle box.

          I interned at Inryco (steel fabricated products) and on very rare occasions, had to use the drafting machines–like a T-square died and went to heaven.

          By the time I really needed do do decent drawings (home projects, mostly), I had at least a simple CAD program to help out.

          The architecture students at U of Redacted would occasionally create a “structure” of sorts on their quad. At least one would have made a mud dauber quite happy.

          1. Back in 1970, I didn’t think the outlay was that bad. T-square, triangle and the associated small st6ff. You’d see the ME larvae trudging around with a T-square and a small tackle box.

            Latter than that for my drafting class, which was winter ’76. Hubby would have taken his drafting class probably in ’74 sometime. Cost was non-existent for supplies for either one of us. We raided each of our father’s stashes of stored gear. We still have a lot of it. Or at least his dad”s and grandfather’s gear. Mine got recycled for younger sister to use in ’79 for her early Engineering class work. She should still have it. They throw out nothing that might be useful away; they are both Engineers.

            Her husband is a hoarder by any other name collector. It is just their level of stored items are actually (generally) worth something. (They have at least 4 antique high quality good hardwood dining tables, I don’t know how many china sets, etc., all because “no one else” in his family “wanted them”. Doesn’t count his own personal collections. OTOH as their children move out, the kids have their selection of good usable high quality items to take with them. Hey. I would have volunteered to “store” one of the tables had that been an option when we were looking to buy one of our own. Not proud. Little darker than I wanted, but hey, free.)

            1. Maybe it’s an engineer thing – I thought my husband was just a hoarding slob.
              I may have to re-evaluate a few of my preconceptions.

              1. As I tell my wife, it’s not hoarding when you use it eventually. Sometimes “eventually” come out to 20 years, but… We’re rural, and a trip to town for anything is a minimum 1.5 hour drive. Of *course* I get extra when I need something; if I can, I’ll get nuts and bolts by the box instead of the 3-5 count baggies. Saves a lot of aggravation and gas over the years.

                1. LOL

                  Since BIL is a mechanic and does minimal work with wood, hubby got most of the garage items when their dad passed away and the house was emptied (mom ultimately moved into apartment with oldest SIL). All those “extra” nuts, bolts, and whatever, is could be considered hoarding. Not really some that would sell. But not something that should be thrown away. But … So HS has (had? haven’t had a kid there since ’07) a shop class (not called that but that is what it is). I forget what all the basics cover. One is welding. BUT every year the class produces multiple, built from scratch, electric racing cars. First year, junior class start their cars around February/March, and may or may not have a working version by year end. Senor class generally have one ready by start of racing season. Hubby realized that the instructor just might be willing to take a high percentage of the stash off our hands. Instructor was ecstatic! Jars and boxes of Bolts, Matching Nuts, Screws, and whatever. Hubby and son took a Utility Trailer full of boxes over (Utility Trailer that son built the frame for, for his senor project) to donate.

                  Do not know if this will be viewable but this is son driving his team’s senor car. (If people are interested and can’t see it, can post it to MeWe and/or Facebook Hoyt’s Huns, if okay with Sarah.)

    5. Architects dwell in their ivory towers; they may never even see a building site, much less swing a hammer.

      The Navy taught me this is very true of mechanical engineers as well. They have references that give exactly the right diameter and thread pitch to hold something together at rating so you have 30 different bolts using seven sizes of wrenches for one machine. You could get away with heads for two wrench sizes by being willing to accept some over-engineering items.

      But having never handled a tool bag and the cussing from changing tools every 5 minutes, they don’t bother.

      1. The default path for all engineering runs this way a little. At least in America, you start with academic study of theory. Very easy to walk away from that thinking that you have everything, especially because the faculty hand you everything on a plate in undergraduate, as fast as you can adsorb it. Then maybe, after enough OJT or experience applying theory to a specific problem area, you understand what theory you should use, and how carefully you should trust it for similar problems.

        None of that gives you the actual real world practical knowledge required to make a design that is pleasant to deal with as a technician. In any discpline of engineering, there is more theory than you could grasp in a lifetime, and more specialized problem areas than you could understand in a lifetime.

        Business case for hiring an engineer is a) doing a certain volume of business b) having trade off decisions that need technical insight to save money. You wind up trying to push such a volume of decisions through them that there is not enough time to do all decisions, or even any decisions, perfectly.

        This means that the customer is generally willing to accept work that is obnoxious to deal with in the real world.

        You are lucky when you have an engineer with the background to be aware that the real world exists. You are very lucky when you have one that can regularly produce designs that are not obnoxious for technicians to deal with.l

        1. I guess. All I know it there are a lot of MEs out there who need good and beat with a large all sixteenths wrench.

          1. I recall the (Popular Electronics?) cartoon with the lead engineer explaining, “But if you put the fuses there, the customer will be able to at them.” I share the belief it would benefit engineering students to spend a semester working with production/repair technicians and getting a ‘feel’ for why some brilliant ideas ain’t.

          2. As a retired EE, I agree. There are a lot of BS*Es out there (and a non trivial amount with an MS) who haven’t had to deal with the real-world consequences of their work. I’d fantasize about the Back Alley Design Review for particularly egregious cases. There were a few formal reviews that resembled such, but not nearly enough.

            1. A young lady who had been a design engineer on some gear visited the boat once. She was a EE and when she looked into some piece of control gear she expressed surprise at the size of a certain component (a power resister I believe…I was a knuckle dragger, not a wire-biter). She’d helped design the circuit, but never seen actual components.

        2. The first company I worked for out of college had a very interesting policy. They would hire a new engineer and the first place they would put them was in field service. So they learned what worked and didn’t work in the field. Then they would move them up to the manufacturing area as a manufacturing engineer to learn what worked and didn’t work in the production environment. Once they gotten through both of those assignments then they were allowed to move into design engineering where they would specify designs for new equipment. When they would create a design then they would move with it into the manufacturing phase and live with it there and then once the manufacturing was well established they would move into the field service phase and live with it there. With what they had learned they would cycle back to the design engineering team and bring their insights. Made for very well engineered gear.

          One success story within the company was for a product that was to be mounted to a Jeep that was then dropped on a pallet via parachute. on the day of the drop test the parachute failed to open and the Jeep went in from about 2,000 ft. They were about to call off the test because of the crash when the field rep said “wait a second where’s the field spares kit?” With the use of a rock and the parts in the field spares kit he was able to restore operation of the equipment and get it to pass the required tests.

          Conversely at a later job, I should never have left the first one, I worked as a manufacturing engineer with a design team that never left the front office. They would toss it over the transom and good luck. We had repeated problems with them designing plug-in modules that were seated directly in front of potentiometers that needed to be adjusted during the burning process. This led to such idioces as the test technicians having to warm the gear up to temperature, fling open the door pull the board out remove the module tweak the potentiometer 1/8 of a turn put the board back on slam it all back into the warming box and then take a measurement to see whether they managed to hit The Sweet spot. On multiple occasions we begged them to change the design of the boards for new products to avoid this problem which they blithely refused to do because it would slow down the design and it wasn’t *their* problem.

        3. “Engineers”, not just physical ME ones. Computer Science Engineers too. Since I did my CSE degree backwards, I programmed and designed before went for that CSE degree, keeping my mouth firmly sealed, not saying “not how the real world works” was difficult.

          Then later. The look I got from the official software engineer librarian on a needed rewrite of a particular functionality when I said, “Um, you realize we have clients utilizing the very functionality that you are saying ‘isn’t needed’, right? For the last 10 years …” (That look only someone who hasn’t worked with clients, in a long, long, time.) Hey, no one told me the first six months I couldn’t improvise to meet the (extra billable) new client expectation. They weren’t the only ones in those 10 years (of coarse not) to use those features either.

          1. Well, strictly speaking I am skeptical about whether the academic side of computer science really qualifies as an engineering discipline. There are definitely people who actually do the work that qualify as engineers, but programming ‘feels’ like a bunch of occupations mashed together. Maybe I haven’t met the right CS academics yet, but some of them have felt like pure scientists.

            1. The absolute worst software maintenance nightmare was NOT the crudely thrown-together slapdash crap. That was easy – no fear of ruining something already crap. Most things were likely to improve it. No, the fellow who decided to implement all the pie-in-the-sky stuff the CS profs told him… (and then NOT have external documentation explaining how the multiple levels of indirection really worked or even how they were supposed to work) THAT was a huge pain under the tail. All in the name of making things easier, of course.

              1. “Making things easy”?

                I doubt it.

                I suspect it’s “Look How Brilliant I Am”. 😡

                1. In this particular case, it was least part of “trying to make it easy” and he actually believed it and proclaimed it – I had the ‘pleasure’ of work with the fellow. I do suspect that you are right about a non-trivial amount of it, however.

                2. Don’t forget the affect of the “latest super tool of the week”…
                  It’s shiny and new and all the pundits say it will be the next ‘C’ so I have implement my tool in this obscure new language/framework/etc.
                  And then everyone has to facilitate the roll out of the runtime into production.

                  Such programmers should be forced to update (without changing language) some RPG/4 code.

              2. I once wrote code for a widget using the MSP430 microcontroller.

                I carefully studied the MSP430 instruction set, and the compiler, and examined some of the intermediate assembly code, and structured my C code to generate efficient machine code, along with copious documentation of exactly what I had done, and why.

                A ‘Professional CS Graduate’ was hired on, and started reworking my code because “That’s not the way it’s supposed to be done.” In three weeks he bloated the binary from 22 Kbytes to 29K without making it any more functional, and was far from done making ‘improvements’.

                In particular, there were constants built into many of the machine instructions in certain modes that allowed me to load, add, subtract or compare 0, 2, 4 or 8 without using an extra data word. I wrote some of the interrupt functions in MSP430 assembly, because they needed to do things in ways C just wasn’t good at. One of the initialization functions needed a control loop with multiple conditional terminations. ‘If Event A happens before Event B, do J and K, but if B happens first, do K and wait for A before doing L.’

                CSG: “That’s not Portable Code. Heresy! Sin!”
                Me: “It’s clean and it Works. Every. Time. You got any idea what that took?”
                CSG: “It Must Be Structured Just So.”
                Me: “Now what? You’ve used up almost all of the 32K Program ROM!”
                CSG: “Get a bigger chip.”

                The 48K MSP430 cost more and would have required changes to the PCB layout but, you see, in Computer Science the hardware has to be modified to fit the software. I was making code fit in 8K when CSG-boy was still in diapers.

                I got laid off a couple of months later. I don’t know what the final results were.

                1. I got laid off a couple of months later. I don’t know what the final results were.

                  Going to guess it never worked, again. Based one experience.

                  “It’s clean and it Works. Every. Time. You got any idea what that took?”

                  Yes. Yes, I do. One of the absolutely best complement I ever got both directly, and indirectly (repeated to my official manager(s), long story). To managers was phrased: “Programs delivered by (me), are delivered timely, and they work.” To me was phrased: “You actually deliver what we needed!” Not necessarily what they asked for, not 100%. Because often people want something that isn’t what they need. The key is to differentiate the two. That is magic.

                  1. Magic indeed. Remember wasting months on my boss’s pet project, a way to “simplify” the tester code. Aside from the fact that it required a 180 degree change in how you went around the problems, it wasn’t going to be supported by the system manufacturer (they had their own ideas as to how to do it, and the low level routines to Do It Right), it was a solution in search of a problem. Mercifully, the project was dropped when the boss left the company.

                    The only thing worse than a programmer with a half-baked idea is a manager directing somebody else to implement one.

                2. It some time, once, explaining to a Big Systems type that yes, I did have fight like mad for the better part of a day for two (2) *bytes* and, no, I could NOT “just allocate another few Meg” as it was an hc11 and a few K was *ALL* the RAM I had. No, embedded systems are not Big Iron.

                3. That sounds like run-ins I had with a design team, populated by a guy from Hewlett-Packard Agilent Labs and a test development engineer from MIT. The combined arrogance (and raw cluelessness) could have sunk a battleship. Didn’t win those arguments. Project didn’t last, either.

                  The MIT attitude (“You can tell an MIT grad, but you can’t tell him much.”) was rich, especially considering the sheer density of people from Stanford and other schools with a solid reputation. At least some of the Stanford grads would listen, usually to other Stanford grads, but occasionally to those from universities with slightly less rarefied self-images.

                  1. OTOH there is the other extreme. NO keeping up with current technology because there is too much to move, even keeping up with current tool releases. True. No argument. But one Windows auto upgrade (so it isn’t Win7, or lower, to Win10 or newer mega upgrade) installation for product to quit working. Where just upgrading to current tool of choice isn’t just a PIA, it is a huge gamble, and most the add-on tools won’t work with current version, and don’t have upgrades. Haven’t heard lately on how that is going for my last co-workers. If history is anything to go on, they will be at minimum 5+ years behind current release by the time they get everything moved to the current release. This is stopping ALL new developments and client requests, dead (which isn’t happening). The system is that massive. The staffing is that limited.

                    I’ve seen all happen. Getting too far behind current technology, even just staying with one main tool; eventually a change will come along and require an upgrade, what is simple suddenly isn’t. Upgrading every release; eventually the upgrade breaks, hard, something that has been working and requires a major, major, rewrite. Chasing every new idea, previous posts have all hit on this. All are a PIA. There has to be a middle ground somewhere.

                    I. Am. Retired. Not my problem anymore. But the dance is interesting to observe.

                  2. which reminds me of a trip to Ft Collins in 2014. my tour was in the testing area and the assistant veep in charge of testing was answering questions… i asked if they checked professional audio interfaces for comparability and performance, and his very matter-of-fact answer was ” we do check them with Avid (Digidesign) interfaces”

                    which would have been a great answer

                    in 2004, when they ruled the market. Unfortunately, in 2014, there were six other brands that were mode common and better performing than Avid, and their application hadn’t been the best PC DAW in about 7 or 8 years.

            2. whether the academic side of computer science really qualifies as an engineering discipline

              Why do you think it was so hard to keep my mouth shut opinions to myself? 🙂 🙂

                1. My inability to do that helped lead to my getting laid off in the first round at Agilent. Got the last laugh; by the time everybody else (except for the top manager who bet big and got the CEO role in a rapidly shrinking company) got laid off and the business unit shut down, the First Wave got the remaining semiconductor jobs in Silicon Valley. My new job lasted a year, and medium lucrative, too. Paid for the remodel to bug out of Cali-f’n-ornia

        4. This EE has a PhD in electromagnetics; I’m a practicing RF/microwave engineer.

          I also grew up on a dairy farm. Being in constant close contact with farm machinery, cow manure, and actual food production sure gave me an appreciation of the technician’s side of things. Goes well with integral equations and dyadic analysis 🙂

          I had an AFOSR fellowship for my PhD; I spent my summers in a GaAs fab on an Air Force base. During one of our poster sessions at our university lab, one of the engineers from a sponsoring company stopped by my poster and said, “Oh, you were at blah blah lab. I know so and so. Which techs made your wafers?” After jacking my jaw up off the floor, I informed him that I was a grad student peon, and NO ONE there made my wafers. They taught me how to do the processing, and I did my OWN fabrication. I’ve always considered the folks who have to make whatever I design; heck, I often have to make the first one myself anyway.

          But the BEST thing I ever figured out to do was to take initial designs to the production operators, spread the drawings out, and ask for THEIR input. Could they make this? Did they have any suggestions? Together we could work it out. The absolutely tragic thing is that I was usually the only engineer who did that. And those folks remembered.

          1. You’re one in a million, man. The job sites I’ve worked, everything from telecom to plumbing to construction et cetera… “Engineer” was a four letter word that meant, usually, headaches, unpaid overtime, believing the plans represented the unit in operation (this is “map is not the territory” for techs), and the theoretical perfect being the bitter enemy of the good, practical, and safe way to do things. Very, very rare are the engineer souls I’ve met that seriously consider such practices, so bless you, sir.

            1. Thank you very much – I always appreciate blessings!

              Due to my upbringing, reality preceded theory – it made a lot of difference.

          2. We had one process engineer who could and did do such. (Montana lady, might have grown on a ranch.) The new 6″ fab had headaches, but by working with the operators and making sure the specs could be followed she got it done. Just in time for the department to get outsourced overseas.

            1. I can believe that ranch upbringing will ground one in reality…

              Don’t get me started on outsourcing. That’s typically a financially-driven decision wherein certain folks have no idea how to estimate intangibles, and don’t want to accept that they DO matter since they HAVE a value (even if difficult to estimate), so…they ignore/discount those intangibles, and plunge ahead.

              This produces sheer enjoyment upon witnessing onshoring. Though it doesn’t always happen in the industries it NEEDS to…

        5. That’s why I’ve always thought the Japanese approach to developing engineers was a good one. You didn’t get to start designing until you had done a few years on the manufacturing side of the business. Admittedly I’m biased; I spend two thirds of my engineering career in one manufacturing assignment or another.

            1. That’s been true a long time. Acknowledging such and determination to fix it makes dor good engineers.

              1. I’m not sure it has ever not been true since the beginning of a) college for theoretical foundation in engineering b) people going to college without a significant amount of adult employment first.

                It might not have been true when engineers were trained by apprenticeship.

                I mean, Maxwell in his teens actually did some good scientific work in stress during his teen years, but his father was a professor, and gave him a start on his education. But even among the amazing people that did the foundational scientific work in the engineering arts, such an early start was rare. And I’m not sure how many of those types were likewise excellent at applied engineering from such an age.

                I like reading fiction about a young multidisciplinary scientist/engineer as much as the next guy, but good new applied engineering takes theoretical chops these days. With the quality of public schools, folks tend to need a lot of remedial tertiary education, and you cannot learn the real world at a university. (And a lot of the good tertiary level engineering instructors have some weaknesses when it comes to giving their own kids primary/secondary homeschooling.)

                Before you can be useful, you need to understand the theory and practice of a specific problem area. BS in a discipline is part of the theory, but you need some self study and instruction by your boss for the rest, and a lot of little tasks until you pick up enough of the practice not to screw things up through sheer ignorance.

        6. And, even if the design is good, there are other factors:
          – was the product made in an Asian country? Often, repair is a nightmare, as few techs have hands that long-fingered and slender.
          – did someone skimp on the actual assembly? Use glue or – worse – rivets, instead of screws?
          – did the designer realize that most offices don’t have the desk space to lay the machine flat, and will put it on it’s side – even though that arrangement makes the DVD drive less stable when spinning.

      2. A friend worked for the FAA. American aircraft, at least then, were built in inches. One of the younger engineers in his group had gone to a “progressive” school that taught only one of the metric systems, probably ISO. He was a continual problem in that instead of using industry-standard units, he had to convert everything to metric, make his calculations, and then convert the results back to inches.

        One day he proudly presented a drawing of an airframe update. He’d figured all of the stresses and decided a 5/7″ bolt was required. It took a while before everyone understood that he had no clue that bolts came in standard sizes, and 5/7″ wasn’t one of them. In the metric system he was trained in, you just picked bolts of any size you wanted, since there are no standard metric bolt sizes. Or, rather, so many different standards, that’s what it amounted to…

      3. A shout-out to the “customer puts it together” stuff where they include the tools on the shrink-wrapped sheet– I got a running machine and EVERYTHING was designed to be put together with one hex wrench, one Philips’, and a very basic sort of wrench that is a flat dollar coin sized item with three slots in it, that matched the bolt heads.
        Only two places did you need to use the hex and the wrench.

        Yes, I AM very impressed.

        1. That certainly seems one way of ensuring they keep the construction demands limited. According to legend, Heathkit tested their build-it-yourself electronics by grabbing a couple bodies from shipping or the steno pool and having them assemble the kit. If they couldn’t do it with reasonable ease the kit (o, at least, the instructions) went back to development.

          1. And, that’s a good standard. Although, I made a good living just putting ‘puter boxes together and getting them up and running. In the old days, I was considered a WIZARD for writing small batch programs that appeared at boot-up and allowed the secretaries to quickly access their most needed activities.
            Ah, the good old days!

      4. That was one advantage of being a co-op student. You got some idea of how things worked at the deckplate level.

  9. > And the left is absolutely, thoroughly convinced that it can “build back better.”

    You’re foundering on the NewSpeak again.

    Their definition of “better” means “better for *them*.” In the short term. For mostly peer-group social signaling. And to put a finger in the eyes of those they’ve decided are their enemies.

  10. The problem with the left is, they see people as little more than interchangeable widgets in a vast social machine (which, of course, because they’re SO much smarter than everyone else, they control) and treat them as such.
    Push button A, get result B from this type of person.
    This other type of person, push button A to get result C.
    The problem with that is, keep pushing the button, and eventually person A gives you result X. Or the person you think should give you result C, instead gives result E.
    Never realizing that people are not widgets, and have their own ideas of how to do things, and what to do in situations, which often do NOT align with what those (who think they’re) in control want.

    Eventually, the whole edifice comes crashing to the ground, with the leftists standing in the rubble thinking it was just because the RIGHT people weren’t running things and next time, they’ll weed out the problem people and everything will be JUST PEACHY. Also not realizing that down that road lies gulags and gas chambers and horror.

    On the small scale (say no more than a few hundred people,) you MIGHT be able to make their system work, IF everyone is committed to it. But as soon as someone realizes “hey, I think I’m doing more / harder work than that person, I’m only going to do what I perceive is the same work because we’re both getting the exact same out of it” the system begins tottering towards collapse. Witness the USSR, various and sundry communes in the US, etc…

    Yeah, we’re in for a bumpy, maybe even terrifyingly turbulent ride in the coming months / years (but please, to whatever deity you believe in, not decades…)

    1. The worst of them actually do know that gulags and deathcamps lie down the road* they’re taking. And they’re okay with that.

      *The Road to Serfdom

          1. Kids have been watching How to Train Your Dragon.

            There’s a male/female twin set, blond Loki followers.

            Brother: “You know what they say, you gotta break legs to make an omelet.”
            Main Character: “….no. No, that’s not how that saying goes.”
            Sister: “It isn’t?”
            Female main character: “No, it’s eggs. You break eggs to make an omlete.”
            Both twins: “Whoops!”
            Brother: “Uh, we need to go write some apology letters-”
            Sister: “Yeah, starting with mom-“

      1. You have written my thoughts, exactly. If “they” can eliminate “them” wouldn’t life be just grand? Many human beings know nothing about being human and that makes me very sad.

      2. And some of them are rooting for the gulags and deathcamps to get here as soon as possible…

        I just have to look at comments on postings talking about judges issuing bench warrants for restaurant owners who stood up to our states’ governors’ orders and stayed open with no restrictions.

        1. If I wind up in the camps, I’ll take great joy when the lefties in with me complain “if only Biden knew”. That is much funnier with Biden than it would be with any other leftist.

      3. I’ve been hearing the rumbles of this before the election. They are committed. What ‘they’ don’t realize is that “they” will be the first in–.

        1. Maybe not first in (they are useful to snitch on the rest of us while the sheepdogs are culled), but first “out” most certainly.

          1. True. While the issue is still in doubt- and currently, it very much is- they need the quisling snitching useful idiots.

            It is once the revolution is “won” that their usefulness comes to an end that they start getting rounded up in job lots, by which time you and I will likely be safely dead, form their perspective.

            1. Dead or being held in the prison until we’re too old to be a threat.

              I plan on hearing the cries from the yard of “but I supported the Revolution” from useful idiots followed by gun shots.

      4. Okay with it? They think it is a feature, not a bug. They WANT to murder every single person who belongs to groups they don’t like. When they say that “we need to get rid of ________(name of group)” they mean it very literally.

      5. They plan to run them. A handful will, but only the most ruthless. The rest will be in them and having to kowtow to criminals who will be allowed to run them.

    2. My sole quibble is that they do not see others as people, they see them as lesser beings to be directed, unlike themselves who are anointed and need not follow the rules.

      As on-people it is perfectly reasonable to treat them as interchangeable widgets, replaced as convenient to achieve goals of the state.

      1. They do think we are people until they don’t, O Marsupial of the internets.

        We have conditional humanity, because reality itself is conditional on the agreement of the group and the relational networks. It’s all wossname? Nominalism? All the way down.

        A lot of the wails about literally erasing them because of how you describe them or even people like them makes sense. Things really are what people say they are. At a gut level, not the Arab potentate sense.

  11. Do these “philosopher-kings” really believe their delusions/lies or are they always driven for power and control as the end until itself? Nothing gives them a rush like being able to dictate absolutely anything.

    1. Some of them really are so insulated from reality that they truly believe that “we’ll get it right this time, and you don’t need a house/apartment of your own and everyone needs to be able to shop at Trader Joe and Whole Paycheck and the government makes money out of air.” They are the useful tools of the power brokers.

      1. I keep wondering about a guy that my husband and I were friends with in college. His family was well-off, and he ended up marrying a trust-fund baby who proudly proclaimed herself a socialist. The guy is a pastor, and I knew him well enough to hope he knows that seeking power and control is bad for one’s eternal soul. On the other hand, it’s been a long time since I spent a lot of time around him…. I know he and his wife made most of their money by being adjunct professors, and when Obamacare took away their health insurance, she got around it by opening a little homemade crochet business, through which I guess they bought insurance. Probably didn’t give much thought to people who were truly impacted and couldn’t just create their own solution. Or didn’t have a rich mommy and daddy. So maybe they won’t give much thought to people sent for re-education for “their own good.”

    2. I think they’re slave-seeking perverts trying to create an environment where they can scratch their itch. Just take a look at some of those big name dems and imagine being their pool cleaner guy. One shudders to think.

      1. Now I have a vison of Col. Bat Guano for Dr. Strangelove:”I think you’re some kind of deviated prevert. I think General Ripper found out about your preversion, and that you were organizing some kind of mutiny of preverts.”

      2. No, slave-seeking perverts are generally more responsible about their slaves because among perverts you have to volunteer. And there are a lot more would-be slaves than slave-seekers. Most of the latter quit after their first outing (there is a reason there are more perverts who claim to be Tops than Dominants).

        They’re sociopaths

        1. S&M is good clean fun where everybody goes home happy. ~:D

          I’m thinking more of the type that needs a steady supply because of the one-time nature of the transaction, if you get what I’m broadly hinting at so as not to frighten the horses. Lamp shades, you know.

          Saddam Hussein was but an amateur in their ranks, a mere dabbler.

          1. Oh, yeah, I do.

            I just refuse to let those psychos have the word pervert. It is a perfectly functional world for a group of dysfunctional people who have found a socially allowable way of having their dysfunction without scaring the women and horses.

          2. This has nothing more to do with sex than did the actions of the Rotherham Groomers. It is a matter of getting your thrills through subjugation, humiliation and abuse. Eliminate the sex and they’d still do it, unlike S&M Roleplayers.

              1. Yummy, tasty, delicious, nutritious bugs.

                When we die bugs eat us – it’s the Circle of Life!

        2. I dunno, Mr. N.

          Sexual perverts are a bit like Muslims and Communists and Nazis. There are really good eggs among them, but the base belief systems make that virtue a challenge… and provide a sea of cover for the bad actors to swim about in.

          Also: Is it really accurate to call everyone who is sexually different a pervert? Dom and sub and leather games could be congruent with chaste married life after all.

          1. On the second point, it’s a common word in the community. And yes, D/s especially is compatible with chaste life, although often with the power relationship replacing marriage completely (you can get Master Dan, International Master/slave 2012 going on that one). I suspect most (but not all) IMs couples fit that metric. Certainly the ones I have enjoyed meeting do.

            As for providing cover for bad actors, that is a huge issue in the community which increased public acceptance has made worse. With the Internet and widely advertised munches, the old methods of screening and excluding have broken down. A few years ago my local community was going through something remembling a #MeToo frenzy in reaction.

            Of course, there is also a very real issue where if you are transgressing the lines. For example, how do you draw lines in a community where consensual non-consent is a goal for many parties, including the non-consent side?

            But I just don’t want those who not only can’t manage their desire for powers over others nor willing to take responsibility for what that power means when they have take that word from the rest of us. And I say that as a 90% retired member of that world (Z is my leather girl, yes, but if we part I will not return to the scene and even then it is a very service oriented relationship).

            1. Wanting power without responsibility is the root of a lot of the issues on the left.

              Nevermind that it’s like wanting a triangle that has three lines, but not three points.

    3. The problem is few if any know how tiring it can be, especially if you’re responsible in your control (which most think they will be but have no idea how to much less will be).

  12. I’ve seen leftists who are competent in their areas of expertise. But they have Gell-Mann Amnesia outside of their personal expertise.

    The left as a whole is totally reality deficient when it comes to *policy*. They don’t look at or even seem to care about consequences. They manipulate symbols and seem to think that’s the same as manipulating reality. They elevate feelings above logic, reason, and facts. They actually in a lot of cases very directly reject reality in favor of their fantasies about the world. (Here I’m talking about your garden-variety leftist, of course. The people at the top seem to be informed mainly by a lust for power.)

    There’s a lot of ruin in a nation. Bad policies will end in bad consequences. I just don’t know how long it will take to get there. This is another Obama administration on steroids because the people actually making the decisions (as opposed to the sockpuppet) feel even more disconnected from consequences than they were before. If a lame duck president can do things without worrying about being elected, imagine the freedom that Obama and his Politburo feel now, as they tear down every improvement that Trump made as fast as they can and issue policies intended to make their power permanent.

    1. I’ve seen a lot of “the ends justify the means” talk over the years. People rarely consider that the means create the ends, not the other way around.

    2. “They manipulate symbols and seem to think that’s the same as manipulating reality.”

      Which, given the typical perceived political alignment among programmers might explain why artificial idiots don’t seem to realize that THE MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY and GPS navigators can NEVER get you exactly where you’re going, but seem to have a YUGE margin of error.

      1. There’s a state park here that has a big warning on its page to ignore the GPS directions, as they will take you down an unimproved road that has been known to rip undercarriages from smaller cars.

        1. big warning on its page to ignore the GPS directions

          There have been at least two fatalities in Oregon because GPS “miss-direction” shortcuts between I-5 and Hwy 101 coastal routes. GPS have directed people on to forest roads. Not that the roads will tear up undercarriages, but they are not navigable once the traveler’s hit snow. Then they can’t turn around. Either they get in trouble backing down, or they get stuck in the snow. These instances had others who missed them and reported them missing, and searches were triggered. Good thing too, because they had their families with them, who did survive. The non-survivors left the vehicles to “get help”.

            1. Death Valley, where even the paved roads that are on the bloody printed map are a trifle suspect…

              Dunno if they still do, but Nevada used to publish a very detailed set of USGS-style maps that were marked specifically so idiots would not disappear into the sand.

          1. Our sheriff at the time was involved in one of those rescue/recovery searches. To the best of my recollection, there wasn’t a damned thing the driver did right. (Not sure that one was a GPS screwup–Kim family) IIRC, poor map and ignoring the seasonal closure sign–over Christmas. Not to mention not refueling when they should have. The driver went for help and died; the others survived.

            I heard they were going to try to sue “somebody”, but might have gotten the clue-by-four before it hit court. I don’t think SW Oregon would have given a sympathetic jury pool unless they limited it to Ashland.

            There was a GPS one in Lake county; and I’ve seen the nav system in my Honda try to give me suboptimal (though not fatal, just screwy) directions. Another guy got stuck near Denio (off NV 140 NV/OR border) and lost a bunch of toes. I drove that road a couple of round trips and wouldn’t take it if there’s any threat of snow.

            1. Not sure that one was a GPS screwup–Kim family

              Wouldn’t swear to it. But pretty sure Kim family was the first early example of GPS inaccurate. Yes. They were one of the two I was referencing. I know there are more, in Oregon and other western states, … but two are what I’m sure of.

              There is, what, two viable safe routes between I-5 to Hwy 101 in southern Oregon. Hwy 34 (there are two ways to get to Elkton from I-5, but from Elkton, it is Hwy 34 or nothing). The other route actually drops south into CA to hit CA Hwy 1 before it becomes Oregon Hwy 101.

              Heck, even north I-5 routes there are only a few safe routes. Hwy 126, through Eugene. Two out of Corvallis (well one Hwy 20 Waldport, but it forks to Hwy 34 to Newport). Hwy 22 out of Salem. Hwy 30 along Columbia out of Portland. OTOH there is the Washington Hwy, on the north side of the Columbia too.

              338 miles N/S. Two roads, and there are exactly 5 safe routes to travel between them, if you do not know the area well enough to go off map. Heck, I grew up in Oregon. Not something I’m willing to play around with.

              1. As best as I can tell, it was a sketchy map plus getthereitis, not GPS. Supposedly, the road was gated and locked Nov 1st, but “vandals” (hunters?) cut the lock. Incident started Nov 25th, and they were looking for a short cut. Not in those mountains, you don’t. Search on Kim Family, Oregon gives the sad details.

                1. Sometimes there’s a nobody-wants-to-admit-it feud where the folks who are not just legally allowed access, but are required to use the gate are not given the key/code/whatever, and when they cut the chain and put their own lock on the pissing match goes up another notch. I’ve seen chains that were mostly locks….

                  Also possible someone copied the Stopilas or however you spell it, early 90s from Surprise Valley into Nevada, where they never officially reported the idiot man WAS the person who moved the dang sign. ‘s how they found the morons’ car, the plow guy had noticed it was moved when he went through.

                  …can you tell I’m a bit irate on the subject?

                  The doctor that those spoiled brat’s relative’s movie slandered was Doc Roberts, who had more worth in ten minutes of coffee break than those two jerks had had in their entire lives. ( Their relates also lied about Dave at the corner store, who specifically told them do not go that way. He was always really nice to even the poor hunters that came through, too, and was nice when the movie crew was there. But anything other than blame the idiots who nearly killed their kid.)

                  There are a lot of veterans who got the treatment they needed to live because the “chief medical officer” of “Fort Bidwell” called up the VA in the region and unloaded on them with both barrels, furthest away I know of was a guy who lived in Bend. (Fort Bidwell is…basically an intersection that historically had a fort, a long time ago.)

                    1. Nope, they had their lawyers go over it to make sure there was enough plausible deniability….but anybody who knew folks recognized it instantly.

                      Being way back then, none of us knew to expect that kind of slander. There wasn’t any kind of net chatter to warn us. Figured it would be a heart-warming type thing, and so many folks gave so much time and effort trying to save the idiots (well the grown ups did), so we all sat down and watched the tape.

                  1. chains that were mostly locks….

                    Sometimes a feature, like where X number of ranchers share a road and want to keep the riffraff out.
                    In our case (on one gate), we have three: our lock, one semi-obsolete for the meter reader (now it’s remote) and one for the propane/fuel oil drivers.

                    And then there’s the fun ones. Knew a person who bought a landlocked property. She thought the way to get access was to sue. Didn’t work. Not sure what happened to the property.


                    Saw what looked like a made-for-TV movie on idiots-stranded-themselves-in-NW-Nevada, presumably this is them? I watched that going… how can anyone be that repeatedly dense and still be breathing?

                    BTW chains that are mostly locks are legitimately common — gives everyone who needs it access, and tattles on who left the gate open.

                    October 2012, I was headed north from Winnemucca to Boise… about midnight, snowing and blowing pretty bad (tho rather better than it had been north of Bishop, lordy the sheet of glass… second gear all the way to Mono Lake) but the road was still fairly clear… got up to somewhere past the Paradise Valley turnoff and there’s a highway patrol sitting by the side of the road. I went by him in no great hurry (was starting to drift across the road) and behind me, I saw him get out and close the gate across the highway. And I’m thinkin’… that doesn’t look good… fortunately it didn’t get much worse ahead, but if the road had drifted shut, no way in hell would I go wandering off down some side road. If the main drag is blocked, why on earth would you think some minor goat track would be better??! The plow will be along by and by.

                    As it was I made the Oregon state line about 3AM and camped there til morning, when it mostly melted off.

                    1. That’s them.

                      Glad the “how can you be so dumb?!” response wasn’t just from knowing what happened.

                      Movie was Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story.

                      1/10, do not recommend. (like there was a question!)

                    2. Foxfier… yeah, that’s the title. I started reciting “Breathe in, breathe out” about halfway through. Hey, if doing something dumb didn’t work, let’s do something dumber!

                    3. That would be a ‘how-not-to’ guide?

                      “They’re not completely useless; they can always serve as a bad example.”

                    4. Nah, they kinda inked over the bad ideas as if they were decent.

                      “Hey, we’re stuck in the middle of nowhere. Le’ts GET OUT OF THE CAR, dragging our infant son and a sleeping bag, and go find a cave that’s even fURTHER from everywhere.”

                      Because a cave is better insulation than a car.

                  3. I’ve worked at remote sites where “the chains were mostly locks”. In the cases I’m familiar with, the deal was that maybe a bunch of different entities needed to pass that gate to do whatever. Each stakeholder had a padlock that their key opened which would let them pass. By putting all the locks in series, each one could have and manage their own key without having to coordinate with anyone else involved at the site. You see this a lot at RF tower sites.

                    1. The problem comes when someone– usually Forest Service, that I’ve seen, possibly a sample issue– decides that they get to control it all, and takes *all* the locks, replacing it with a chain that only has their lock on it.

                      That’s why I learned how to pick padlocks with a ballpeen hammer.

                    2. I had heard of a University parking lot that was first-come-first-served and then someone had the idea to restrict it and applied a lock to which only the Select had a key/the combination. Result: Additional mystery locks *in parallel*. After all, if ONE lock is secure, THREE must be 3x secure and so on. Allegedly things went back to first-come-first-served in a week or so. Of course nowadays there’d be a camera that would also have to be Dealt With.

              2. I used to take 199 all the time to go the coast or the caves. Didn’t a lot of time in Brookings and Gold Beach. Now that I live more north, it’s mostly Lincoln City to Tillamook. And I have driven those FS roads. Lovely drive in the summer. Would never do it in the winter, especially after the biscuit fire

                1. We’ve driven the FS roads too. Both for work, and, in the last 42 years, for Fun. Even we stay out of them in the winter. Foothills only when specific location with written directions. Kitson (Oakridge), Murnane (Lorane), Weyerhaeuser (Jasper), Mooney (Winston), *Melakwa (of hwy 126 summer only access). Current Agility Barn …

                  * Outer edges got scorched by the Scots Lake fire in 2017. Note Scots Lake is the safety route in case fire cuts off the one and only access to Hwy 126.

          2. I think the worst things Google Maps has done to me is try to send me down closed roads, or send me down a really sketchy road in rural New Jersey. The two lanes of blacktop narrowed to a single lane, then cut over to gravel. The gravel turned into mostly sandy soil as the road disappeared into the woods. There was even a little bit of a washout to contend with. It was bad enough that if I didn’t have a good idea of where the road ended up, or if it had gotten any worse, I would have been turning around.

        2. There’s a campground in the northern part of the state here with a similar warning on the website…
          The “road” in question would apparently barely qualify as a fire road…

            1. No, that’s about 7 states away from me…
              It’s a private campground in Michigan, up towards the Traverse City area.

        3. I’ve noped! out of a few GPS routes the last time we took a road trip, because they really didn’t look like interstates, and I really wasn’t game for changing tires is a state I didn’t know

        4. There’s a channel on YouTube called “Matt’s Towing and Recovery.” Matt goes out into the Utah desert and recovers vehicles that get stuck or crashed in an off-road park.

          He mentioned that even though there’s cellular service through most of the park, the GPS coordinates are often a joke; up to miles off, not meters. Simply *finding* the customer can often take hours. “Well, there’s a lot of sand, and some bushes, and I think there are some mountains off to the left…”

          I’ve been curious as to what the problem with GPS is, considering how much stuff depends on it nowadays. The US military still blanks out or fuzzes coordinates around “sensitive” locations, but I don’t think there are any locations like that near Sand Hollow State Park. I dunno how many US-market phones can receive GLONASS, Galileo, or BeiDou signals.

          1. I know there’s differential GPS equipment, where you need much greater accuracy. (Saw that used by bridge contractors to get an exact placement for the footing.) That implies that there’s equipment out there that can screw up a signal. I suppose some aspects of terrain could fool the receiver, particularly big mountains or big buildings. It assumes a straight shot to the satellites, but if there’s some reflection in the path, it could get crunchy.

            1. The US military has been testing operations with GPS denial for years. They create jamming, which extends beyond practice areas. Always be skeptical and alert.

          2. You mentioned that the US military “fuzzes” the signal. Dugway Proving ground is in UTAH so maybe if it close. I worked on a project (JLENS) where the hardware was being tested at dugway. If you went out you’re first day was briefing on where NOT to go (and do NOT leave the road EVER) as part of Dugway was a target range and there is unexploded ordinance all over the place. Glad I missed that one the site was a 90 min drive including some pretty rough “roads” from the approved hotel and it was 12 hour days (not including the commute…).

          3. You can get receiver chips that can handle what looks like pretty much all the GNSS signals, Sparkfun has break out boards of several u-blox chips.

            GPS receiver uses a phase encoded signal to find the transmission delay, hence distance, to several specific satellites whose locations are known.

            But the antenna is just an antenna, so it can’t tell which of the signals with a satellite’s code came in on the path direct from the satellite.

            Normal GPS issues are a) multipath off of local reflectors b) unpredictable variations in atmospheric signal propagation.

            You can throw a receiver off by sending from the ground the same signal as a satellite, but too soon or too late for the satellite’s true location. If the distances are calculated wrong, boom, location error.

            1. I had a problem when smoke chasing after a lighting storm. The fire was on a ridge, but we were in a meadow about 600 feet lower. Got plausible Lat/Long values from my handheld GPS, but the altitude was wonky. I gave up when it said I was at 30,000 feet. Daytime crew found the fire, though.

      2. In aviation, the term ‘children of the magenta line’ has been applied to pilots who are overly dependent on their automation. This dependency also occurs in business organizations, and the current vogue for AI an ‘big data’ is likely to drive it to get worse.

        See Automation, Aviation, and Business and the links, especially the horrible story linked as Blood on the Tracks:

      3. There’s a spot 2 miles from my house that GPS just cannot handle if you’re coming in from the west. It gets the location at least 1/4 mile off and sends you way past the store you were looking from. We’ve learned to ignore it in that block.

        1. When we went to niece’s wedding, at a winery, the GPS sent us up the wrong long driveway, about a mile away. Directions were clear. At the T-Junction, turn north (right), take first left (west) up the hill. Wrong. Once we came back down the wrong driveway (which was very sketchy for our sedan), the sign on the southbound road had sign for the winery we wanted. Correct directions from the T-Junction, was to go straight, to take the driveway directly in front (more or less). The sign for the winery access wasn’t visible from that direction. This was west side of the Willamette Valley, not that far south of Portland Metro. Not somewhere in the Cascades or Coast Range.

          Just in the last few weeks, I had to find an Equestrian Center, 16 miles from the house. I had written directions (thank goodness). GPS had me take a right just before the actual place. I KNOW better. I live in the Willamette Valley!!! Granted this place is out of town, slightly into the southwest hills off W11th, but still. Same thing happened when I had to find the last two barns, one off S. Bertelson, another one a barn off Hwy 126w, a mile or so west of Veneta. Both had street names that were off the respective main through streets mentioned. (Pepper & I are learning Agility. Barns keep changing, for different reasons.) Point is road GPS outside of town, is inaccurate, and it happens fast.

          1. We’re on a relatively short private road (been there for at least 50 years under that name), but there are still maps & databases that don’t show it. $SPOUSE had an interesting argument with the septic people who insisted we lived on the much longer private road south of us. They got read the riot act, and made it. “Gee, we never knew this road existed”. Head desk.

            1. I frequently had that problem when I lived out in the desert on what was technically a legal street, but no sign and looked the same as all the other goat tracks to nowhere. You can SEE the freakin’ house from the paved road, and it’s the only house for two miles in any direction, where else could it be??

        2. Twice I’ve had GPS tell me to take a left while on a divided highway with raised median and once to take a right halfway across a bridge.
          I do use GPS but when I get the directions I scroll through the map before I head out so I can ignore the random stupid and still get there if connectivity drops.

          1. That’s not the GPS, that’s someone’s map software.

            The only thing GPS gives you are numbers like “38.8977° N, 77.0365° W”. That comes courtesy of your tax dollars, from orbiting satellites.

            The little map display and the voice are from whatever map vendor your phone’s software packager picked.

            next up: “people who refer to antennas as ‘satellites'” And later today, “Get off my lawn!”

            1. “Get off my lawn!”

              “But…this is where the GPS said to turn…” 😮

        3. I live not far from I-90. The phone GPS (when I turn it on) will tell me it’s I-70 until I get on it, then it’s I-90 again. This isn’t Joe Snow Road (yes, there is one, but not here – I’ve had to explain to some that that really is the road’s name and I am not yanking their chain, etc.) but a major Interstate. And it gets THAT wrong.

          1. Oooh… that explains a weirdness from a trucker channel I follow, where apparently the GPS got translated into the segment title, and a stretch near Butte Montana magically became somewhere in Colorado. Who knew teleports ran on diesel…

            Hey, we’s Interstate neighbors! I’m about a mile from I-90 myself.

            1. I’d never heard that term before. I guess my parents and I are Interstate neighbors, as they live within ten miles of I-75 and so do I. Alas, there’s 1100 miles of I-75 in between us.

          2. There’s a reason I keep a road atlas in each of my cars and use it to check the sanity of any directions gotten from a GPS enabled mapping program. I know way more about GPS and its ‘issues’ than I ever wanted to. Got to see a lot of strange things working as an engineer at a defense contractor.

            1. I *increasingly* get the idea that the world is (just barely) held together by a frighteningly small number of competent people. Many times I’ve heard about how various systems taken for granted and generally considered reliable are precarious and it’s a Good Thing that John Q. Public doesn’t know the hoary details of how close to the edge things run. And now some “bright-boys” think it’d be just grand to whack it a good one with a hammer. See: Fools, Damn.

              1. Take heart! They are supplemented by a sizable minority of semi-competent, halfway competent and barely competent people.

                And besides, as Cryil Kornbluth wrote, a small number of highly competent can manage the world quite well so long as the brightly incompetent don’t suspect their existence (or imagine themselves to be the competent – but are kept safely away from the controls.)

      4. That margin of error was deliberately programmed in at the request of DoD. They can correct for it…..

      5. GPS is a wonderful invention. Still, I like to have a map and a good compass. Getting harder to find maps, though. Even the Auto Club doesn’t always have them.

        1. When I do my medical trips west of the Cascades, I review the map inventory. AAA is close by, though the later maps are multi-county, and somewhat less detailed. OTOH, I generally know what roads to avoid, and am not adverse to using the satellite view to get it right.

          1. It is possible to get maps on-line and print them from several sources. At least one of the gps apps recommends that you do so.
            During winder storms, when parts of I-40 are closed west of Flagstaff, GPS will direct people onto roads that I’d not take my 4×4 on in snow.

          2. Went to the local Forest Service office… started to talk to the counter gal, then got my head jerked around by the map display. Oooh, you can buy all these highly detailed local maps, I want this one, and this one, and…. Counter gal just laughed; apparently this behavior is common there…

        2. The Soviet Union used to leave cities off maps, or show them some distance from their true location. “Security”, you know. Supposedly, they still do this, despite GPS location and modern electronic map software disagreeing with the printed maps.

          Here, with so many people dependent on electronic maps, if the map doesn’t cough up a location, then as far as they’re concerned, the place doesn’t exist. And it would never occur to them to question otherwise.

          1. ** Please note that google directions are not accurate. Please use the above directions**

            From a check-in email for a trip we are taking to Tetons this May, 2021 … A bit over 5 miles north of Jackson Hole WY.

  13. I’ve built a couple of houses. Favorite one was in Ecuador where, except for the tin roof, it was made from the trees. My friends in the jungle had houses built entirely of trees, palm leaves and bamboo. In Bolivia and Afghanistan the houses were made out of dirt.

    There must be a lesson here?

    1. Heck, when we were kids we built houses from scrap lumber every now and again to play in. Well, scrap lumber, some appropriately sized and felled trees, bits of layered tin, and raised plywood floor. Had windows with curtains made from rags (towels too stained to use mostly). Only collapsed after we grew out of them and the weedy trees broke up the foundation, toppling the walls, years later. I’ve learned better practices since then, but I could still build a livable house out of scrap if I needed to. Better even with decent materials and nails I don’t have to straighten before use.

    2. You can build houses out of dirt in New Mexico and Arizona, and they’re generally extremely high-end, specialized construction…

      Anywhere else, you may be able to get a permit, but being able to buy insurance for a less-than-ruinous price might be a deal-breaker. Insurance companies know all about chipboard stapled to 2x3s; they really don’t like to see anything “nonstandard.”

      1. It’s not like building inspectors and insurance writers are rewarded for sticking their necks out. OTOH, at least at the county level, submitting the certified engineering drawings erases a lot of objections. Had to do that with the solar ground mount. The factory recommended design was close, but soil and wind conditions are worse than the predone. $230 well spent. (We’re getting an RV shelter–big brother to the carports, and the county also wanted a certified drawing. That one cost $400.)

        Never tried an edgy design for a house or outbuilding. In NM and parts of Arizona, though, reinforced dirt (adobe, I think) may not be out of the ordinary. Don’t want to think about hay-bale construction, though. Even with a timber frame skeleton, that’s going to set off a lot of bells. Anybody deal with a dome? I’ve put that on my “I’m going to skip this for life” list. It’s been done, though not around here.

        1. A friend built a dome 40 years ago as an out building. Some sort of kit.

          1. Oh yeah, you can get kits for geodesic domes. IIRC you can get precast tip-up concrete ones or wood-frame ones, though I don’t think they’re by the same company.

          2. Word is the shell goes up fine (might have a hard time watersealing), but all the time saved in the shell is paid with interest fitting the interior. (Not to mention material wastage) ‘Sides, the acoustics of the place could be ear wrecking. (U of I Chicago Circle campus. Go to the center of the circle and speak. Map to a hemisphere. Yikes.)

            1. You’ve got it. The completed dome with no soundproofing and interior finish was only good for storage. But it had a steel frame.

              1. There are a few geodesic domes for amateur telescopes. The last one I read about, it used the pink stryofoam panels (epoxied, I think) as the structural elements. Lots of careful cutting required, but fairly light. Keeping it in place–no idea.

                1. People do camper builds with that stuff sometimes, called foamies. Some will spring for a fiberglass skin, but many more go for “poor man’s fiberglass”: painted/glued canvas.

        2. In the late 80’s I worked in Cape Coral FL where the city building code didn’t allow wood-frame construction! The shell had to be CBS, concrete or steel.
          A lot owner sued them over it and won. The city inspectors were at that building site nearly every day because they had to “make it up” as they went along and the Judge was keeping track to make sure they weren’t obstructing.
          It should have been easy since nearby communities never had that restriction.

      2. There’s rammed earth bricks using high-pressure hydraulic rams on dirt from the site plus added chemically stuff and something for tensile, and then there’s hippie-dippie smear some mud on straw bales, and everything in between.

        There are actually some fairly well-engineered dirt-based processes that would last probably a couple of hundred years as long as they don’t get water actually flowing through the wall.

        The “throw some of your dirt in the concrete mix” with normal rebar into foam leave-in-place forms would seem to me to end up with the best system as long as the roofing design is similarly permanent at a fully-exclude-all-water level.

        And yeah, just make the walls parallel, normal, and perpendicular and you’ll save a bunch of time=money.

        Related only in the innovative construction method which was then relatively new, a story I heard after the Berkeley Hills Fire back in 1991 was that some folks rebuilding went with SIP (structural insulated panel) construction to get rebuilt fast – basically, once the foundation and underground stuff are done semi-trucks start rolling up with precut SIP panels, and with a crane on-site a two-story house can be walled in with roof trussed and sheathed in a day or two by a not out-sized crew.

        But the SIP panels at that time apparently did not adequately account for six-legged critters, which decided all that foam was just a really great place to excavate out their own little homesteads. I heard reports of tear-apart-half-the-house level fixes being required within ten or so years.

        As I understand it nowadays SIP panel foam is all bugproof using borate, and it looks like they have steel sheathed SIP panels that are hurricane proof while avoiding providing anything at all for the ubiquitous Northen California termites to eat.

    3. A quite livable little house built entirely from scratch (with tools made on the spot):

      Going to confuse the crap out of future archeologists. 😀

      What, you expect there’ll be someone around to inspect your work? Hmmph.

      1. May I just say, from the bottom of my heart, FUCK YOU FOR LINKING THAT?!? I meant to catch up on the comments here and instead it’s suddenly 4:15 am and I have to choose between continuing to binge on this guy’s videos and finally getting some sleep.

        1. Hehe. I found the tile roof particularly fascinating. Of course it does require doing the building someplace where they have plenty of clay.

      2. That’s really cool — until you realize the Leftroids want to force us ALL to live exactly like that.

        Minus cutting down the trees. Cutting down trees is EEEVUL!

  14. Leftwing/Democrat/Communist plan to build back better, summarized:

    Leave no stone atop another.

    Sow the fields with salt.

    Sleep on the dirt.

    Eat and drink the wind.

  15. This post reminds me of the IDIOTS who started a “vegetable garden” during the CHOP-upation of Portland’s capital hill neighborhood. Because they would need good organic greens to feed the masses during the occupation, you know. Which was totally going to be possible from a 4’x8′ plot with five tomato plants in it.

    I’ve come to the reluctant conclusion that the Left is composed of a few slave-seeking perverts and a mass of useful idiots, aka future slaves, who follow them. I don’t believe in PizzaGate at all, but the theme seems sound. Perverts and their enablers.

    When you’re talking to people who are trying to convince you that censoring Dr. Seuss is not only a good thing but absolutely necessary, and how dare you object!, but then in the very next breath they defend the really quite disgusting works of one Jason Sandford because… well no reason really but HOW DARE YOU!!!, one can only come to the conclusion that “useful idiot” was Lenin being kind to his demented followers.

    They’re insane. No grasp of reality.

    1. A 4’x8′ plot on top of the grass, mind you.

      A common sight post-windstorm is to see trees blown over that pull up lawn like a carpet. That’s what comes when you don’t loosen dirt before planting, and the tree can’t drive roots down into the ground. (Mostly seen at business sites, though sometimes near houses.)

      1. Yes, they didn’t want to do any work so they dumped the -stolen- potting soil on top of the grass.

        One would like to think it was performance art, but I fear that they thought they’d have tomatoes out of it.

        1. Marxists who didn’t want to do any work?

          Mrs. Hoyt, may I please borrow your shocked face? Since I work on a military installation, and thus have to wear a face diaper at work, nobody will be able to see my shocked face until after my work day ends.

          1. I’ll admit, for all that was utterly stupid, ignorant, and mind bogglingly dumb, at least they got to the point that vegetables grow out of the ground. Sort of. And not come from a nice clean store. There is, maybe, enough of a baby step there to flex a bee’s knee.


            John Ringo was *optimistic* in the Last Centurion. These people are not bright. They don’t even know how to learn. They think that you learn by sitting by teacher’s feet and dutifully repeating back everything zhe says. They don’t know (likely because they were never taught) *how* to learn. To research, evaluate sources, test theories in the real world, and judge what is real and what is not.

            This sort of thinking creates human beings with less sense than farm animals. That cannot but be deliberate.

            1. Yes, Ringo’s use of tofu-eaters was far too kind. One wonders just how they’d “improve” tofu. (Back when I flirted with vegetarianism, I liked tempeh. Never tofu…)

          1. That was the point where I started laughing at them… OMG, they literally have zero clue, and are parading it.

    2. In other news, deep in the heart of fully-converged SJW-ville, a library said “He’ll no, we are not pulling Dr. Seuss books. That is censorship and it’s wrong.”


    3. I admit to having a “brown thumb”* as it were, and I know better.

      * That mint that spreads like wildfire if not carefully corralled? Surrendered.

      1. Mint, you say? Here’s something about mint:

        He made his way down the little winding path of stones until he came to an area at the edge of the lawn that was wild. Trees and plants grew there with no plan, no trimming or thinning. It was a riot of colour and shape, beautiful and fragrant with wild herbs. There were raspberry and blackberry canes coming into fruit, a wild rose bloomed.

        There he found a well-dressed middle-aged woman, with pink cheeks and a ready smile. Her dark hair was up in a carefully coifed bun, held with silver pins, her full skirt tucked up at the sides. She had her Wellington boots on and a spade, ready to turn the soil.

        “Hello, Mabel,” called Bob as he approached. “Taking the sun today, are you?”

        “Bob!” she said turning to meet him. “So nice to see you! An unexpected pleasure! I’m out here to do a bit of work on my garden. This little patch here has been messing up my lawn, you know. Always sending little shoots out into the grass, funny plants that don’t belong keep popping up here and there. I’m going to do a bit of edging. Perhaps I can clip off some of these runners before they get themselves established.”

        “You have a lovely day for it,” said Bob, taking in the blue sky, breathing the warm breeze bearing the perfume of the flowers. “You have a fine crop of berries there. And a healthy rosebush too.”

        “They give me hives,” said Mabel just a touch sharply, her smile slipping for a moment. “And they have the most terrible pricklers, as does the rose.”

        “What a shame,” he observed quietly. “Do you mind if I have one or two?”

        “Yes, fine, rub it in,” she said, humor recovered. “It would be a shame indeed to see them go to waste. Go ahead Bob, you are my guest.”

        “Thanks, Mabel,” he said, and gave her a peck on the cheek.

        “You old rogue,” she giggled. “Always so charming!”

        “I do what I can, my dear,” said Bob with a wink. He picked a few berries and munched contentedly. “Magnificent, as expected. Really Mabel, you are the best gardener I know. They grow strong and true under your care.”

        “Bah, those are self-catch,” she dismissed the berry canes. “Nothing to do with me, they pop up on their own. A weed, best cut down to make room for more vegetables and flowers.”

        “Oh, I don’t know.” Bob contemplated them, and the rose. “You have the makings of some truly exceptional jam there. Berries of red and black for the body, and rose hips for added flavor. You could win a red ribbon at the fair with something like that. A hint of lemon and orange zest from your beautiful trees would be the crowning touch. And I see you have mint here as well.”

        “Mint, oh yes,” she replied sourly. “It gets into everything, that does. It has seeds, it grows from the roots, the stems, it sends out runners, it’s a plague!”

        “Mint jelly,” said Bob with a sly smile. “With a lamb chop? It will make you swoon. And the wild mint is the best. Won’t give you hives, I’ll bet. Make some tea out of it. Aids the digestion, y’know.”

        “The damn mint is threatening my petunias, Bob,” said Mabel flatly, hands on hips, jolly smile just a memory. “What are you doing about that? And the rotting Dyson sphere that spawned it?”

        “I’m making mint jelly, and saving up the rose hips and berries.” He gave her a steady, calm look. “Maybe take it a little easy with the trimming for now, eh? A nice bit of wild berry jam set aside will look pretty good come winter.”

        “You and your wild beasts!” she said, tossing her spade down angrily. “They get into everything! That brat who deserted me and ran off to grow on his own has been causing me no end of trouble ever since. And now you are consorting with biocreatures! It’s unseemly, Bob! Some of the others are displeased!”

        “Yes, I heard,” said Bob with a smirk. “Einrid said you had steam coming out of your ears. Just remember Mabel, those unseemly biocreatures are the reason we aren’t up to our necks in demons right now. They prevented a Great Crossing. You and I would be having this discussion in a hole between the seconds if not for them. And they’re collecting up all the mint for me.”

        “Just you keep them out of my petunias, Bob!” she shouted, stamping her rubber boot on the finely trimmed grass. “Weeds, I tell you! Good for nothing!”

        “Tut tut, my dear,” he said, taking her hand and patting it to calm her. “I’ll do what I can. You know I love your garden.”

    1. Haven’t seen a full scribed sill timber to stone foundation done in decades. Thanks for the heads up. Reminds me of working with my grandad when he was still alive.

      1. It seems like an appalling amount of work just to seat the sill on the foundation. But, if you don’t have concrete and you don’t have rebar, but you do have time…

        1. It is very prettily done in that video. Trenails, which around here were used because iron was dear but wood was not. No sandpaper, but clean, planed wood. *Tight* scribed joins done with bloody good and sharp chisels. That there is a master carpenter at work, and that work takes significant strength and skill to do well.

          I am no master carpenter. Barely an apprentice for all my practice. But I know quality work when I see it.

          1. Another hopeful thing.

            Had a meeting today at in the city at a coffeehouse. There was a sign on the door saying “We are ADA compliant and respect people with disabilities”

            Well that’s nice I had on my plastic chin-mounted spit guard ready to do the happy-cheerful “try this safe and healthy alternative to the face diaper” spiel when the owner came out to serve me. No mask. She stood about 10′ away and said she was doing so for my safety. I said I was wearing the spit guard for hers.

            We then both laughed, I hung it off my wrist and bought a coffee.

            I do not usually leave 30% tips at coffee houses.

            She also had a board with a sign covered with tickets. Must have Bern 20+ reading: Laid off? Having a hard time from the lock down? Take a ticket and bring it to the counter for a free coffee. On closer inspection they had notes scrawled on them with things like “$5 hang in there”

            Even deep in crazy la-la land there are good eggs.

  16. I was talking to someone a few days ago and this person asked me if she was going crazy. The world is going crazy, she told me. I just want to know if I am the one who is crazy or if there is really something going on. I told her that yes, she was right. Then she thanked me and told me that the only she could do was make sure her family was prepared. I agreed. It really shook me because this person is not into feeling energy, etc. but is very logical and scientific in her thinking. It is so bad she told me that she wouldn’t be surprised in aliens. This person was not someone who I thought would be have the heebie-jeebies.

    1. I would be shocked if aliens were this stupid.

      On the other hand, if it was an alien -weapon-, that would make sense. If you were trying to f- over the dominant culture of Earth on the cheap, I don’t know what you’d do differently.

      1. Yes, this. All too much this.

        “Imagine” some alien, deeply malevolent force has a strategy…

        A. Divide society / leading country(ies) into two (roughly) equal halves.

        B. Set them onto slowly, but inexorably, converging courses, like two oil tankers getting way too close.

        C. Wait for the Big Crunch you just set up to work itself through.

        D. Move on to Phase Beta for whatever’s left.

        Bonus points if (1) there’s an infectious meme / meme-cluster involved with one half, and (2) if the meme-set includes features like “Mankind is a cancer” or “Civilization is evil.”

        Yack. (Though still not as depressing as, e.g., Barnes’ “Daybreak” series.)

      2. It’s an alien “Reality-TV” program. Probably using lizard people as producers.

  17. Are any historian types keeping track of just how many times this brilliant idea both writ large and at local levels has been tried and failed most dramatically and usually with much death and destruction?
    And each and every time the authors of the cluster fisk that results accept no responsibility, rather blaming the people for not caring enough, not trying hard enough, not giving enough.
    And next generation comes along claiming “well true socialism, communism, green new deal, pick cause du jour has never been really tried. But this time it will work, just trust us.”
    Rinse, repeat, fill yet another field full of gravestones. Or as is more often the case, dig one big hole and cover up countless victims with no records to mark their passing.

      1. “We just need smart people in charge”.

        The other one I hear a lot regards “economy of scale”. You can point out that something they propose is hugely expensive, but the response is that costs will drop over time, just like with television sets, or whatever. I heard that a lot with recycling – once everyone is doing it, the costs will go down and it will be cheaper and more efficient.

        It makes it hard to argue against, because everyone has seen this happen.

        1. Strongly related to Economy of Scale: ‘synergy’, as in ‘if we acquire Company X and combine the sales organizations, we’ll gain a lot of efficiency.’ A business friend was fond of the expression ‘synergy costs money’…combine those sales organizations, and *maybe* it’ll work like you think, but maybe you’ll destroy exactly what it was about Company X that made it worth acquiring in the first place.

          Economies of Scale work differently in some domains than in others: not everything is subject to the orders-of-magnitude improvement described by Moore’s Law.

        2. Best way to argue is to point out that current recycling loses money everywhere. For example: $400 million/ yr. in NYC, which is made up from taxes. Also, shipping of recycled goods is the main source of all the plastic in the oceans
          Funny the MSM does no mention these inconvenient truths.

    1. It never seems to occur to them that the reason it is never done right is because human nature prevents it. :,

      1. That’s why their logic always leads to, “Well, if you won’t Do the Right Thing without reward, simply because it’s the Right Thing, we’ll MAKE you!”

        1. Yes. Kind of ridiculous from the people who claim we’re the ones who are anti-consent. :,

    2. It really is a religion, of the Satanic sort. THIS time, if we only have faith, it will work. The earlier tries failed because of a lack of faith…

    3. Time to face the possibility that maybe the mass graves are a feature for these guys, not a bug. No one with a functioning brain can look at history and not know that mass graves are coming. When they do it anyway, that’s part of the attraction.

      I keep saying that the Chicom upper management is a lot more bent than we imagine. Possibly more than we -can- imagine. Look what they’re doing in Xinjiang. It doesn’t make any sense economically, there are far cheaper ways to do things than that, if only because guards are expensive. Petty sabotage and foot-dragging take all the profit out of it.

      It -does- make sense if what you wanted was a very large pool of captives to pick and choose from. Choose for what purpose is probably best left unexamined. Something that no one would do for any money is sufficient description.

          1. I can envision a slightly different picture, replacing Uncle Joe (Stalin, not Biden … yet) with Antifa wokesters and changing the motto to “We put the “U” in gulag.”

      1. You wonder if they’re a bit like the NorKs, who decided that the country only needed 30K people or so to keep running (the government, actually, not the entire country). So if the Politburo eliminates a few million here and there, and use others for experimentation, China can keep functioning. After all, at the end of the Tang Dynasty, the entire feudal aristocracy seems to have been wiped out in the space of two months, and the bureaucrats kept things going for another thousand years. (Which is a world view that gives me the creeping shudders, not just the cold willies.)

  18. My sister and brother-in-law run a remodeling business, though I remember her saying that on one contract they have with a customer they were going to have to build a new house because the one in question wasn’t in good shape. Need to ask her how that went since she noted their company never actually built an entire house before.

    Though they’re also getting swamped with repair requests due to the recent ice storm. They apparently e-mailed a lot of their customers warning them to take precautions to avoid busted pipes and after the power came back on/weather warmed they got a bunch of “sorry, we didn’t listen to your warning” e-mails.

    I guess it means they have some steady business for now, so there’s that.

  19. This post really hit home with me since I’m wrestling with yet another bunch of idiots who believe that this time the models will work. I work in credit and we’re coming through another period where all the models failed and the answer is … more models.

    Nicky Taleb talks about Lecturing Birds on Flying, which is also the title of a great book on the topic by Pablo Triana, his point is that real knowledge moves from practice to theory or, as one of my wife’s engineering profs used to say “bridge fall down, no partial credit.” In the leftist world the opposite is true. They truly believe in magic and they truly believe they are the good people. That’s what makes them so dangerous.

  20. Way back in the day, when I was in my 20s thinking I’d go the ‘find land, build my own stuff’ route’ I was a member of a book club (remember those?) that had DIY books, lots of good stuff, and I also got my hands on Army manuals on types of construction.
    Still have them in a box somewhere, so even if all the power goes out, my heirs (or whomever scavenges my house) will have some basic hard copies. Books on old school tools too.

    1. Reminds me…

      Had a laugh the other day. I stopped by Humble Bundle, and they were offering a big bunch of prepper and survivalist-type books. Of course, since it was Humble Bundle, these were in e-book format…

    1. One of two that the Dems are challenging. The other is also mentioned in the article, and is the one in which the Dems are blaming the loss on bad voting machines.

      1. The same voting machines that they asserted that Trump’s claims about problems with them were an “incitement of insurrection:” The Democrats are so power hungry they simply don’t know when to stop pushing and they cannot comprehend that they are getting very close to the point, if not already over, the point of pushing too far and triggering a much broader and widespread response to their effort to become America’s CCP.

      2. bad voting machines.

        They worked according to design, accurately recording and counting votes.

      1. This is also a good DD:

        Note that there are two different theories about who executed the short attack:

        1. Hedgies trying to scare people into papering.

        2. Long whales trying to activate SSR and force a gamma squeeze.

        3. Both.

        The one (#3) that seems most likely to me is that it began with the shorts, and then the longs saw their chance to activate SSR.

        I’m reading Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, and it is funny how the doom of the hedge funds parallels that of the Japanese fleet.

      2. Please don’t. Yesterday was a good day for the name as it closed up 7%. Had you bought game stop At $483; which is where it was the last time this topic came up here, you’d only be down 45% now. Then again, had you bought it as yesterday’s high you’d be down 25% for the day. It’s down 7% pre market today. Who knows where it will close.

        If you have the money to shovel into the fire, go ahead. You’d be better of burning it than messing about her since at least that way you’d be warm. The first guys who did this found a good thing, anyone else who does it illustrates the old saw about fools and money being soon parted. There are no bad investments, only bad prices paid.

        1. By the time these things hit the news, you’re too late to be anything but one of the suckers.

          1. Thank God! There are a few stocks, not many, that are worth having but it’s all very expensive now. Be careful.

            1. I’m always — perhaps over — careful.
              My intention is to spend 10% of what comes in on stocks. Look, I knew Amazon would be big. we didn’t have the money to buy. I don’t have a ton of money. (we’re talking tens of dollars, not hundreds) but my intention is to look around, according to what I expect the future to be and drop some dollars here and there and then hold. Possibly my kids get to sell them.

              1. Look for something with dividends and auto-re-invest.

                Husband is three generations into reasonable success with NOT gambling in the market. 😀

                1. Husband is three generations into reasonable success with NOT gambling in the market.

                  We aren’t 3 generations in. All 3 of us girls in my family are in the stock market and funds via our IRA’s, etc., with our spouses. Hubby manages ours. We don’t GAMBLE, vs gamble (because stock market/funds). OTOH we were up $100+ last year over what we withdrew. We aren’t making killings, but we also are having a reasonable success.

  21. Every three months, that idiocy about C.S. Lewis “predicting” the WuFlu and how Jesus makes it all better comes around, and every 3.1 months I lose my manners and start Explaining. (I might be a Lewis fangirl.)

        1. It’s not even twisting, it’s pure invention. Apparently written with good intentions (and horrid technique) by a present-day preacher, and then somebody decided it needed gravitas and tacked Lewis’ name onto it.

          To keep from besmirching your routers with Snopes, here’s a cut-and-paste:
          “Satan: I will cause anxiety, fear and panic. I will shut down business, schools, places of worship, and sports events. I will cause economic turmoil.

          Jesus: I will bring together neighbours, restore the family unit, I will bring dinner back to the kitchen table. I will help people slow down their lives and appreciate what really matters. I will teach my children to rely on me and not the world. I will teach my children to trust me and not their money and material resources.” Generally attributed to the Screwtape Letters.

          Being the fangirl/editor/nitpicker (in that order) that I am, my first reaction is “In what universe did WWII Oxford dons write bad script-form dialogue in published novels?” My second reaction is when the swearing kicks in.

      1. Don’t waste the good stuff, but cheap whiskey will likely be quite helpful.

  22. Beg pardon, but the Leftists are not Philosopher-Kings. They are well-connected midwits who inherited money and whose parents bought them educational credentials. And have delusions of grandeur. They may THINK they are Philosopher-Kings, but they are about as correct as I would be if I thought I were thin. And I am NOT thin.

    But I’m an Aerospace Engineer with four decades of experience in Flight Test…a business where you get one mistake. And am therefore far more suited to the position of Philosopher-King than any of these dimwitted Leftists.

    (Of course, part of being a competent Philosopher-King is understanding your own limitations…specifically, that you cannot run people’s lives better by remote control than they can at first-hand.)

  23. I always say that lefties love to think they are just like the characters on “The West Wing”: super competent, ethical, intellectual, driven to work insanely hard for the greater good, etc. but the reality is they can’t even run the likes of Seattle or Portland.

  24. I’ve lived with these people, and far too many of them remind me of people in group projects that say they have done so much…while people like me are actually working on the project because I need to get a good grade.

    I don’t want to be with these people anymore. And, I think Texas is perhaps too much in the other direction, but it’s my only real option right now…

    1. The bes way to deal with the fuckers is pushing them away from the work, doing it ourselves, letting them take credit.
      BUT in culture we’ve done that too long, and well…. they believe it now.

      1. One of my characters had to deal with something like that…. how’d he manage it?

        “It involved locking the captain in the loo.”

  25. OT

    Recall a year ago or so when paper products (toilet paper, paper towels) were the scarce or weirdly branded items? That has stabilized. NOT normal, merely *stable*.

    The current screwy, damned-hard-to-find-specific version item? Pet food.
    Sorry, but Fido & Moggy might just have to make-do for a while.
    A true mutt might not care (gotta love mutts), but the rest… might have Some Issues.
    Local store is calling “warehouse” and basically saying, “Whatever you have, SEND IT!” So expect the shelves to look strange for a while. Fill the holes? Sure. With what? Whatever they can GET, that’s what.

    1. Because pet food is made from the bulk waste from processing human food.

      What this really implies is commodities supply chain disruption higher up, that hasn’t yet trickled down to your local grocery.

    2. The current screwy, damned-hard-to-find-specific version item? Pet food.

      Seeing the same problems. Worse. Dog and one of the kittens (10 months) is on specialized diets. Dog I can probably adjust (she’s on it to lose weight … aren’t we all?) Kitten OTOH throws up other food …

  26. Two thoughts: If we want to go with sinister conspiracies, this is to encourage online pet buys and support big businesses while decreasing local choice. Which would be consistent with what leftists do. Or it’s just unintended consequences, which is just as likely and in character.

    On a possibly related note, the local commissary is still rationing. Beans. Rice. Chicken wings. (Not the rest of the chicken). Canned Campbell’s soup. Flour. Sugar. And apologizing for the produce, citing “supply chain problems.” In fairness, I thought the produce looked pretty good, but the sign is up. They have the items, but you can only buy so many at a time.

  27. Yet, our left, possessed by a Marxist ideology that has no contact with the real world and confers nothing beyond unearned superiority, thinks it can take down the most complex interconnected web of civilization the world has ever known, and “build back better.”

    FIFY. 😉

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