When the Bough Breaks

Most human beings run their lives to patterns and habits.

Which means most of society runs on habit too. Which is good, since then we know what to count on, and as we often say, humans mostly want tomorrow to be more or less what it is today.

Unless situation is well nigh unbearable, a large portion of the population will just want things to go on as they are right now. Or not too different.

The tragedy — and glory — of humans is that we dream of really big things, but in the end we settle for, to quote Terry Pratchett “An egg sandwich and hope it’s well done.”

The people who achieve big things are honestly a bit broken. Yeah, much is made in biographies and movies about how the great are really more unhappy than us, etc. That’s not always true. Might never be true. To be great, to achieve something, people need to get their fractures if not mended (most often mended is not possible) under control. Yeah, weirdness remains, sure, but whether they collect peach pits, or dye their cats pink, the high achievers are most often functional and even happy people. Perhaps not happy in terms that would work for you (but would anyone else’s happiness work for you?) but happy enough.

Being broken, whether through some horrible incident in childhood, as Freud would have us believe, or because their brain is quirky, is the reason they run a little faster, work a little harder, or persist beyond human limits. Or, of course, the reason they find the present unendurable and want a different future.

Even those people, though — I know a few — run on habits. Usually in fact, being more broken than average (we’re all somewhat broken, you know? I mean, no, it’s not just you) they need tighter and more exact habits than other people. It’s not quite wrong when the movies and books portray people who are driven, motivated and smart as running on very tight internal schedules. Partly because when you’re trying the unknown, you need the known.

Through some of the most difficult (though not always bad) times in my life, my routines ran like clockwork. Up at the same time, same thing for breakfast, go for walk, come back work till x time. Have lunch. Work till Y time. Tic Tic Tic.

Doing it that way freed my brains and emotions for the serious stuff, and left the day to run on wheels, no matter what wheels were coming off from my publishing, or whatever.

And then the bow breaks.

For me it was gradual, because it was a slow progression of an insidious illness (two actually) which attacks brain power.

I first noticed the habits coming unglued, then stopped being able to write much of anything longer than a blog post.

When you take in account that I can and have written a novel in two days, suddenly finding 4k words an immense weight to lift was an issue.

You can kind of see the worst of it if you go over my posts in 2014 and 2015. I do notice it when I’m looking for things to echo.

Sure my posts are always typo fests. Partly because they’re written around the “real” work day and either when I’m exhausted, or when I am still half asleep, depending.

But typo fests are one thing, and actual issues bringing the point home are another. Sometimes in the middle I just spin in circles. And sometimes I don’t know how you guys put up with it those years.

It’s been getting better since. It’s not…. Okay yet. Treatment for an illness started in 16 and in another finally clicked (though I was semi-treated) in 18.

I am told severe brain injury, which by that time I had, takes 7 years (at least. Sometimes more. In some ways younger son is NOW recovering from the issues he has had since 4 when he got major brain trauma. (Dancing. In socks. On the edge of the tub. No I don’t know why. Yes, I literally turned my head for a minute.) No idea why it took that long, and I doubt anyone else knows.)

So I am better. Not quite back to the state quasi-ante. (And the cursed book is a separate consideration.)

But what I realize, as I heal, is both what a mess it got to, and how much I relied on habits that got nuked from orbit. Like you know, get up at same time, have x for breakfast, sit down to work till y.

In all that the lockdown hasn’t helped.

Which brings us to the bigger point. (Because I’ve whined about my personal issues with establishing and re-learning habits.)

All of society’s habits got nuked. Some of them very long standing for many, many people. And expectations are all up in the air.

Honestly, beyond the fact — yes, fact, deal. we have proof in states and countries that never locked down — that it did nothing for the pandemic which was not that scary after all, the grandiose scheme of the would be elites to lock down all of society to prevent people from catching a virus, did damage at a level most people aren’t tuned to.

It nuked societal expectations at a very fundamental level. You know, stuff like “if I go into a store they will sell me stuff.” Or “If I run a restaurant, the government won’t shut me down unless I have serious issues with hygiene or I’m cooking the neighbor’s pets.” Or “I won’t be told I have to wear a mask of less than dubious medical value when it causes known issues with a condition I have.” Or “if I have the money, I’ll be able to fly where I want to.” Or….

Lots of things getting nuked, all at the same time.

This is the equivalent of taking a complex machine, and starting to remove pieces at random.

We don’t know what comes next. None of us knows what comes next. The scariness of 2020 is that it shouldn’t have happened. Logically it shouldn’t have happened. There is no sense in it. It should have been impossible. But it did. We lived through it. And we won’t soon forget.

Sure, some of the things coming out of it are good. I mean, people are starting to be as defiant of senseless orders as I am at my baseline. And the technology that allows us to work from home is finally being used, as the tyranny of “but we’ve always done it that way” comes to play.

However in individual lives as in society at large, when you break the habits you break the moorings, the things you can rely on.

And suddenly everything is adrift.

Talking to Bill Reader, who is contemplating a move of his own, yesterday, I defended the position that the housing “bubble” isn’t a bubble but an actual equalization of prices around the country. (And yes, eventually salaries will equalize too, but that’s slower.) At least for the people who suddenly can live anywhere they want to. (Look, the bubble was caused by mortgages being suddenly easier. This is not the case now, okay? Now it’s people moving around in ways they haven’t since the dustbowl years. Americans are engaged in great migrations. Some of them as erratic as a spider on acid. (And yes, I’m about to join that movement, which means for the next two months the blog will be erratic-ish on posting times, though I’ll try to stay on track.)

Where will that lead? I don’t know. No, it’s not just californication of innocent states (though likely it is for my current one, honest.) A lot of the people moving are not those who voted for the problems. And people moving are definitely in a substrata of maybe 20% (maybe as many as 30% if you extend some things) of the population. Unfortunately (?) they’re also usually the higher earning people, which means when they move a lot of jobs to service them — from restaurants to shops to quaint little ice cream parlors — are going to either shut or move. And how to move to a place with enough population density to pay is something else. As is what happens to the cities.

And all of this is happening while people who think the future has been revealed to them by the deranged prognostications of Karl Marx, who was out of date by the time he published, have seized control of our institutions and are trying to force us to fit the pattern in their heads.

It won’t work. And honestly total disrespect for the institutions and the “elite” commands are the best outcome of this. Not as good as we’d like it to be, because hell, society needs parameters and people it can trust. No, not as far as these bullshiters have been trusted, but minimally. And I don’t know if we’re left with even minimally when this is done.


So, nothing. We don’t know. Society was hit with a hammer and the fragments will assemble in some way. If we’re lucky it won’t be into a machine that does nothing but produce ducks and cuckoo clocks while starving.

Most people want tomorrow to be more or less like today. And to have stability and certainty, and count on habits: theirs and others.

But that is not what we have. What we have is heading full speed ahead into the unknown, while the ship is captained by people who think they know what they’re doing, and aren’t even aware of the vast unknowns.

This is going to be fun. For values of fun.

Fortunately we can deal with it — right? — because when things get odd, the Odds turn pro.

Hold on to the sides of the boat.

Build under, build over, build around, because the structure is groaning and we have hurricane incoming.

Be not afraid.

Ça Ira!

382 thoughts on “When the Bough Breaks

  1. I hates hates hates anything interrupting the inertia of my life. Makes me grumpy as a kangaroo with gout.

    1. My short fuze disappeared. I’ll blow at a moment’s notice.

      My mom had a stroke a couple of days ago and now she’s bleating again about how she’s “done” and wants to die right now. Family destruction means this is already ugly and will become more so.

      Because of all this, Sarah’s post is oddly satisfying to read.

      I’m not afraid. I’m tired and full of grief. So I can move forward.

        1. 🙂 You’re kind, and that helps a lot.

          It’s been a heavy 7 going on 8 years now. She would much rather be in heaven, and tried to head there once of her own volition, so we’ll see how it goes. Praise God it’s in His hands.

      1. I am sorry such a thing happened — strokes can be nasty. I hope it doesn’t affect you mother’s ability to cope with life once she gets over the initial depression.

        1. Your kindness helps a lot, thanks.

          I think everything will work out one way or the other. She’s headed to heaven, and would probably rather be there than here, so we’ll see.

      2. I’m sorry. It was hard watching my MIL go through her stroke (brain bleed), and my dad after his (blockage). Ultimately MIL sat down to die, after FIL final heart attack a little over two years later (new grandchild wasn’t enough). Dad fought and lived another 22 years.

        1. *hug*

          I’m sorry.

          My grandfather– he thought I hung the stars, I can just barely remember him being super spoiling of me playing “Indians!” in the dish washer cubby, you pulled the dishwasher out to haul it over to the sink to work— hung on until my baby brother was born. I could not have been over 3 years, after that he was sick enough he actually went to find out what was wrong. Blood cancer. But he saw my brother, second male grandson so there WOULD be a (last name) even if (cousin with obvious but not dangerous) medical issues (he’s a freaking giant!) didn’t have kids.

          Left his second pocket knife to little brother.

          Ironically, Elder Male Cousin had three boys, with his also a giant wife; brother had only girls.


          Hm. You know, from Natural Family Planning… Girl Sperm (X) are slower than Boy Sperm (Y)… to try to influence to get a boy child, you need to wait until peak fertility day…. which means if you have sex all the time, you’re more likely to have girls….

          Which would mean guys who have only daughters are more likely to have high testosterone, assuming they act on it. (More likely does not mean “Will have!”)

          I am totally going to have to work this into my fantasy storyline. (I have a guy part-orc in a family of sisters, and it’s Important that he has a horde of sisters to the Orc girlfriend who shows up, but I hadn’t thought about fertility/desire cycles)

          1. You made me smile and laugh in the same comment. Thanks!

            Some of the stories coming into my head belong to a place called The Hoochie Bait and Tackle Shop. There is a group of men who hang out there, and your Grandpa sounds like he’d fit right in.

            1. I am awful proud of my grampa.

              I think you’re right.

              Spare proud story, he got promoted to LT from “not freaking out when the boat sank” and keeping his LT (and everyone else, but mostly the poor LT) alive. While still in the US in training, but ….welll, ARmy.

                  1. And he’s Navy. Several of my characters are Army vets. This will be awesome.

                    And the awesome sauce will be an integral part of his story.

          2. Er…. Our doctor, after second son, went through the list of things you should do to influence chances of having a girl. (Mind you I hadn’t asked, I didn’t care, but when we said we wanted more, he assumed….)
            Dan and I still giggle about it. Because we accidentally did ALL THOSE THINGS.
            We call HIM Marshall.

        2. Thanks. Yeah.

          The whole fam has history of strokes. Grandma had several so I got used to the weirdness–I was a kid.

          Mom wants to quit her meds and sort of force the issue. Her heart won’t last too long without them, plus her blood pressure, and the 12 other things she takes. Quit those and she’ll be headed West in no time.

          But, we’ll see. The work that does get done feels really solid and helpful right now. I’m also working out more because I went on a hike that kicked my short white behind way beyond what I’d hoped for.

          1. Hugs.
            My family on dad’s side also has an history of strokes, usually fatal. One minute standing doing something, next minute dead on the floor.
            There are worse ways to go.

            1. Thanks, Sarah. Hugs back.

              After pancreas cancer, this is cake. She’s well cared for. Hopefully she’ll go sooner rather than later, but that’s my history with mother talking.

              The hospital did try to refuse my sister when she came to talk to mom yesterday. Mistake. Had to get the CEO involved so she could go into mom’s room. There was shouting.

              Hospitals are locked down. One visitor per patient for the duration of the illness. Full muzzle action. The medical grifters have gotten ahold of the system, and they won’t let go. No bathrooms to clean, no visitors to feed…. Heaven for them.

          2. I’m also working out more because I went on a hike that kicked my short white behind way beyond what I’d hoped for.

            I need to get my ass in gear too. The one hike we went on this last week didn’t go, um, well. Did better than I should have, only because my sister was along (with her husband), she is in worse shape than I am (which isn’t saying much). Then I fell on my ass coming down a side hill. On a big rock. The bruise is epic.

            1. Girl, I slipped on a rock at the beach about a month ago, carrying rods and stuff, and went down on my left elbow so hard I sat there and thought “oh, hell, I don’t want….” Got a deep black consuming fire bruise over most of my elbow/forearm.

              BOSS. Went away in a couple of weeks.

              1. Mine is 5 days old, last Thursday mid-morning.

                I need to get in shape (or better in shape anyway). Won’t climb any faster, but will be less clumsy going down trails.

                1. It’s really different at 61. Elegant lithe moves down the trail and up the rocks aren’t gonna happen anymore. And I sort of expected them to. Tee hee! Nope! I see the degradation the most when I trip and my muscles can’t recover me anymore, or at least can’t recover in a way that keeps me from looking like a giraffe at the water hole.

                  I’m designing a workout program for mountaineering with very different goals in mind. Speed, nope. Strength, and consistency, I can do that.

                  1. 64. I feel your pain.

                    Exactly what happened. Was lucky to not go head over heels downhill into the brush (steep, but brush would have stopped me, quickly). Didn’t help that I had a hiking (solid hickory) stick in one hand, and dog’s leash in then other. Owwww. Plus have to act like it was no big deal. Otherwise, the lecture would have been worse. I mean, he isn’t wrong, but still …

                    1. Fishing rods in one hand and bag of essentials in the other hand. BOOM.

                      And yes, the lectures must be avoided at all costs. I hike alone. And yes, I’ll probably get a satellite phone or some such before I go on a week long adventure where there isn’t any cell service.

                      But well done! You got home, the dog told no tales, and you’re on the mend. 🙂

                    2. I’m sure I’ll hear about it. Planted in front of hubby, sister, and BIL. Only hubby got to see the bruise, eventually, 3 nights later (dang hotel). Pepper is at least sympathetic.

          3. Lots of hugs. We went through a lot of that with my grandfather when he had his hemmorhagic stroke–he hung on for 5 years (and grandma was kind of horrible to him). I know that when he finally let go, he was really relieved. And we got HIM back the night before he went–not the not-right version of him he’d been since his stroke.

            However it works out for your mom, hang in there.

            1. Thanks so much. Self care is the most important thing, and I’m getting better, with practice.

              Things take care of themselves in these cases. My work is to keep doing my work and not try to control things.

              1. (Also want to add: don’t feel too guilty if you find you’re going to feel more relief than grief. We’re at that with my maternal grandmother–who lives with my parents, and who I am helping with as well. Because she has always been pretty awful to mom, and that’s not improved much–so while we do love her, when she finally does go–doc says she has about a year left–it’s going to be more a relief than anything else. It’s okay to feel that way (if that is how you’re feeling, or are struggling with that), and death isn’t the end anyway! )

                1. Oh, no! That guilt when the old person is acting like a POS, but they’re old and dying so you can’t talk to them like a younger person who isn’t dying.

                  Thank you so much for this validation. When dad finally died of pancreas cancer all I felt was euphoria, and said over and over again “praise God….” for about an hour after I heard the news. I’ve never felt guilty for that, fortunately.

                  Mom didn’t have the capacity to deal with my bright, shining artistic light. She destroyed it at an early age, and shamed and humiliated me the rest of my life. We learned the truth about things when she tried to kill herself with a pain killer OD a few years ago.

                  I won’t be happy happy when she goes, but I’ll be very relieved that she’s finally over when it does happen.

      3. So sorry. I was on the periphery of my mom’s dementia, but I was there enough to know how exhausting caring for/dealing with a sick or dying parent can be.

        1. Thanks, Dorothy. We went through five years of pancreas cancer with Dad, so we know what ugly looks and feels like.

          My sister is the exalted daughter and due to family destruction has taken over 100% of the care. She resents any offer of help, so I don’t offer any more.

          And it turns out that Mom wants to die, but not enough to quit taking her 18 medications. Mmm hmmm.

          Vincent Van Gogh did some really great work when he was in an asylum. So there’s that. 🙂

          1. At the end of the his life, my grandpa just stopped eating. He wasn’t suicidal or anything, he just lost all interest in food. He didn’t live much longer after that and the doctors said at the point he was more cancer than he was himself. It wasn’t too bad for us since he was 89 but Grandma still misses him everyday.

            1. I got called home because Dad thought he was going into the hospital, and saw it was taking at least half an hour to get her to eat half a sandwich. I knew then, but Dad was firmly riding the badge on the river in Egypt at that point.

            2. Very old rule about extraordinary effort — you do not need to make an extraordinary effort to eat if it’s just too hard.

        1. WeeFree, just reading your comment fills me with His Spirit in that way that makes tears. Thanks. I’m in His hand, secure and well, and He is in charge of everything. So no worries.

  2. “May you live in interesting times” likely isn’t an Ancient Chinese Curse, but “interesting times” can be hard on people so there’s an element of truth in “interesting times can be a curse”.

    Sarah, I hope this purchase (of the new house) goes through OK and hope the move goes well.

      1. Very cute Jim 🙂 . Luckily Google Translate exists.Some of Star Trek actually kind of got here…

          1. First rental I EVER did, was thanks to internet translation.

            The poor…guy… had me type in what I MEANT and then we hammered it out, to get me an apartment in Sasebo, Japan.

            They also let me bully them into renting for three extra months so my buddy (a few weeks later, fiancé, shocked me) could pick up the lease when he hit port again. Which was…. knowing more about Japanese law and culture and stuff…. those guys were awesome.

            1. On the other hand, they still don’t work particularly well for anything that has complicated grammar, is longer than two or three phrases and clauses, or for translation to/from non-Indo-European languages for anything other than pre-translated stock phrases (like the extant example).

              About five years ago, I had to prove to management that our web site could handle localization into Mandarin, so I took our JSON file of English strings and ran them through Google Translate. The double-byte characters did not crash the then-PHP code and they displayed on the site just fine, but our Chinese DBA who gave it a once-over said it was mostly nonsense.

              (I also got the task of implementing “alphabetical” sorting in Chinese. In mainland “Simplified” Chinese, it’s done by transcribing into Pinyin and then sorting as per the Latin alphabet; in “Traditional” Chinese, it’s by number of strokes in the character and arbitrarily within each group. There’s a PHP library that would have done it for free, but according to our IT department it would be Too Hard™ to install it everywhere. [eyeroll])

              1. One of my better freelance jobs was polishing product descriptions from a…prolific…Chinese manufacturer. They started out with a stock description (Start with an imperative: “look at this Thing!”. Tell ’em why they want the Thing: “the Thing has X, which means that Y”. Finish with “call to action”: “buy the Thing!) buuuuuut…original Chinese description. Google Translated into maybe-French? Vietnamese? and THEN Google Translated into English. The results were *spectacular*.

                My favorites were “enduring Hendecor” (horrible resin chicken-themed garden decor) and the Suicide Sofa (“Put an end to your thoughts and buy this divan right away!”)

                1. Heh. Some of the stuff I’ve recently bought, they’ve given up entirely on having any actual written instructions. Maybe a word or two (still translated badly), but it’s mostly pictures.

                  Which is, somehow, even worse…

                2. Try something that actually NEEDS a users manual, which is written in low-grade Chinglish.

            2. If you can, look up Google Translate Sings. The gal on there sends popular songs through Google Translate, through multiple languages, then arranges and sings the results. It is quite funny.

              1. Lovely voice, too. I watched her take on “Total Eclipse of the Heart” with Kid, and we both agreed that it made more sense than the original video.

                1. Heh. For all that I am a child of the 80s (well, part 80s/part 90s, but I remember a LOT of the 80s) I only saw the video for Total Eclipse for the first time a few weeks ago.

                  So. Much. WTF.

                  My mother–who watched VH1 a LOT when I was small–pointed out that it’s supposed to be about a vampire. Which…made the video a teensy bit less WTF, but only a teensy bit. (And I still don’t get “vampire” from the lyrics. Toxic relationship amidst the “I’m not sure these lyrics make a lot of sense” maybe. But not “vampire.”)

                  1. Now, watch the German version of the play the song comes from. “Tanz der Vampire” is WEIRD, and “Totale finsternis” is mesmerizing in German.

            3. Sleep deprived thought is ‘akshully, they don’t work as well as we think. in practice, you have two humans and a program, and humans have some ability to deal with communications issues.’

            4. heh. I had a (thankfully fairly brief) stint at the local sawmill office a few years back, and they decided “Oh, well, since you’re fluent in Romanian, here, finish translating the employee handbook into Spanish.” I blinked at them a few times, then shrugged, and went to google translate. Romanian grammar has some similarities with Spanish grammar (they’re both latin languages, at least), and share a lot of similar words, so between that, and running things back and forth through the translator a few times (and emailing baby brother, who was in Ecuador, when I encountered words I just could NOT figure out alternates for to get it to cough up a Spanish version), I think I managed something that could at least be made SOME sense of.

              Of course, they were so shady/awful they couldn’t be bothered to care enough to check, and I couldn’t actually ask any of the Spanish speaking (and I’m fairly sure not actually here legally) workers if it DID make sense. I was so glad to be rid of that place….(I mean, they were so awful that a jump to the local grocery store–where they stuck ME–the good Mormon girl who has never had a drink of alcohol (Nyquil doesn’t count) in her life–in the liquor store was a vastly preferable alternative.)

              1. (I mean, they were so awful that a jump to the local grocery store–where they stuck ME–the good Mormon girl who has never had a drink of alcohol (Nyquil doesn’t count) in her life–in the liquor store was a vastly preferable alternative.)

                No that makes sense: you know the employee isn’t going to…. help themselves.

                1. My biggest problem was…I couldn’t answer questions! I brought that up when they first told me they wanted to put me up there and got “Ah, no big deal, no one asks questions.”

                  Yes. Yes they do. Though everyone did find it pretty hilarious when I admitted I couldn’t answer any of their questions because I didn’t drink alcohol (I do cook with wine, but…that doesn’t help me answer what is a good wine to DRINK.)

                  Other than one of the local drunks mistaking my being polite and friendly as me wanting to go out on a date with him–and not wanting to take a soft no for an actual no (I have a really hard time being “rude” to people, stupid social programming)–it was actually one of the best, least stressful retail jobs I’ve ever had.

  3. Tearing up floors is a pattern that probably shouldn’t be carried over to the new house… 😛

    1. Especially not given the current cost of lumber of any kind. We normally pay 7-9 dollars for a sheet of OSB. Currently it is SEVENTY FIVE dollars for a single sheet. Other lumber is likewise insanely expensive.

      1. I was talking with a clerk at a local non-big-box lumber store on Saturday. He said the last time lumber prices went nuts was during the pre-2008 housing bubble, and it took about three years to settle back down to “normal”. But that was a long curve up and a long curve down, and since this time it was a spike up, he hoped it would be a short curve back down. Fingers crossed; I got stuff I need to build.

        1. Canada shut down their mills, so there’s a serious supply-side shortage. Once they open those up it should ease off in tandem with expansion of the supply.

          1. There is also a massive issue with importation: and some point last year, longshoremen and trucking unionwent on strike, and that fecked cedar, etc, and also several of the mills in the area lost sizeable amounts of to-be-milled stock from the suspicious fires of last summer. Add in the covidiocy and not having people working, willing to work, etc., royally fecked everything. And if Canada’s mills are still shut, despite roseburg, huber, and all the other stateside ones running what they can, there’s not much to be done.

          2. Web searching shows a bunch of problems with Canadian lumber. Strikes, doug-fir bark beetle issues, and the usual trade wars. Interestingly enough, overseas lumber and some (Eastern) US production is helping a bit.

            Last week, Home Desperate had 7/16″ OSB at $62, with 1/2″ hardwood-faced plywood at $65. OTOH, 2 x 4 x 8′ was running around $8 a piece, as opposed to $5 before things got weird. I’ve very glad that the big projects got completed previously, and any further projects need stuff like concrete and *small* quantities of pressure treated 2 x whatever.

            I gather that several of the sheet goods mills closed during the Summers of Recovery, and while some got back in business under GEOTUS Trump, Covidiocy shut them back down. Further complicating things, in Medford, an Antifa-Tantrum fire did in a lot of less-expensive housing, so there’s yet another worker shortage for any of those mills trying to do business.

            In our area, log trucks are moving, but anything local is pine.

            1. I think the shed replacement will be made of concrete blocks, for at least the walls. It will be probably be cheaper, and learning how to mortar might be a very useful skill…

              1. When we bought our first house my Father in Law (a Mason by trade) offered to make us a fireplace and brick stairs. Catch was we couldn’t use the hired help so my wife and I were the apprentices/laborers. Making mortar in large quantities is hard work. I (then a relatively healthy 30 year old)was worked into the ground by a 58 year old who didn’t seem to need to stop. Also getting brick or block square is hard, got ok with block, with brick I was never quite good enough.

                1. I figured, but at this point I don’t care if it isn’t pretty, as long as it’s sturdy. 🙂 The current shed was homemade decades ago and is a weird size, as well as having started to lean ominously over the past winter. Never mind the holes in the siding and the woodchucks which live in it. I can’t go larger without building permission (grrrrrr), I don’t want to go smaller, and with the price of lumber these days….

                    1. Plumb and Level is not necessarily pretty, but if you don’t have it a 25′ chimney may just pitch over on you. I was pretty good at pointing but still half the speed of my Father-in-Law.

              2. I have heard of a technique where concrete blocks are dry stacked then painted on both sides with epoxy mixed with Kevlar fibers. It is apparently quite strong.

                1. There’s a similar technique where the outer coat is glass-reinforced mortar.

                  One time I did a block project, made a base pad with vertical rebar, then dry stacked the blocks, threading them over the bars. Finishing, I filled the cavities with concrete. That was originally a 2-block high stand for a diesel fuel tank, but when it got too risky to keep fuel out in the open, I added a couple of layers of block, did a table top and had an absurdly strong workbench just outside the garage.

            2. In unrelated news, I saw a price for copper strip. I rejected it when the cost per coil was $125 or so. Now it’s $600, though rumor has it that somebody’s trying to corner the market on copper. Looks like they have short term success.

              Glad I got the wire and copper bar I needed in January.

              1. Same here, bought some rod to machine and thought about getting a few more . . . nope.
                Lead too has been weird, haven’t looked at prices lately, but ball and shot was either birdshot sized or .40 and up, Want .25 for leather forming bags? ha! “No longer made”

        2. Yeah. Construction projects at the parents’ house are now on hold–though we have to figure out a way to repair the extremely leaky kitchen roof. Likely peel off the top layer of ancient shingles (there are 4 layers, the bottom cedar shakes that may very well date to the original 1896 roof, or close to it) and slap down a new layer to hopefully stop the worst of it. We had been going to strip it down and lay OSB over the planks that make up the original roof, but…not happening.

          Thankfully, for my own house, I already have all the plumbing supplies, and most of the stuff I’d need lumber for can definitely wait. (And now that Dad can’t work on his mythical workshop–which I will be very surprised if he ever actually finishes the thing–I might finally arm-twist him into helping me get my plumbing up and running. Really it’s that he doesn’t want me to move out, but…good grief, father, I have a house, I want to LIVE IN IT.) The window and french doors that need replacing–and the closet that needs built–are none of them urgent things. (I already have the window for the bathroom though, so I will probably cough up the money for the reframing there, because I loathe the tiny, miserable window that’s currently there.)

          And I think I’d better go ahead and buy my flooring (vinyl plank, rather than any kind of wood, thankfully) before prices shoot up *there* as well. I bought the cosmetic wood for walls two years ago, so at least I’ve already got that, heh. And all the appliances. So I’m hoping to hunker down and wait for a semblance of sanity to return to finish the cosmetic bits (and the closet, argh)

          1. I’m hearing from sources like Matt Risinger (Youtube house builder in Austin, and not a lefty), that for things like windows and appliances, prices may not have gone up but lead times are ridiculous. As in, order your appliances now so you can have them in six months.

            1. Friend in CA says three months for a stove. They got the washing machine last year, so it’s still boxed and in the garage.

              1. I needed a couple of small parts for a lathe last year. Took 3 months for the piece to come in, then I realized I needed a fitting for that one. Add 3 more months.

                I tried to order a desk microphone (made in Japan, I think) for my radio, but the vendor kept stretching the promise date. After 3 months, I cancelled the order until things get a bit more settled.

            2. I talked to 2 modular home builders in South Carolina over the last few weeks and they said the same thing. Appliances are on allocation and are stretching out 4 to 6 months. One of these builders does hundreds of units per month – they are not just ordering a few.

            3. We bought a new AC/ heater system exactly because our local guys had a warehouse full of stuff they’re trying to move and I’m not sure about there being anyting to refill said warehouse.

              1. We had a “oh my loving God you are watching us” event with the kids six months ago and putting someones HEAD THROUGH A BLOOPING WINDOW, and haven’t gotten a replacement yet.

                I guess we’ll get a response before I stop shaking in terror at how bad that could’ve gone?

                (Short version: I had weather proofing plastic over the window, so no broken glass hit skin)

                1. As an an adult I had a window break over my head, so it can happen! Third story attic throwing deceased Grandfather’s junk onto the lawn for deposal. The window swung up and was held in place by friction. Well tossing stuff out missed and hit the window frame and the window swung down and shattered over my head and forearm. Cut head, thumb, glass in hair and ears. Literally as the glass is falling down and Dad is springing to my side to see if I’m ok, Mom calls from 3 states away to see how we’re doing.

                  1. We had a skylight shatter randomly. No reason. Just shattered. It was away from where people were. Only concern then was the pets (walking on it). Plus replacement. Had to special order it. Of coarse the skylights aren’t standard size anymore. Plus too it happened late at night which made the night even later, because we had to get it 1) covered, and 2) cleaned up before bed. Luckily kid was old enough to assist so 3 cleaning. Animals weren’t a problem immediately because the sound of the glass shattering sent them into hiding, initially, giving us the chance to clean up most the shattered glass before they emerged to investigate.

                    1. I had my car window shatter on me out of the blue like that. It was so unexpected, for one bewildered minute I and my passenger at the time were worried someone had shot at us!

                2. We had three windows broken in an hail storm. Two have been replaced. Of course, the one not done is right up front. We’ll include an allowance for replacement, since we’re going to try to put this up in two weeks.
                  Honestly, it’s just cracked, it doesn’t have a HOLE through it, like the others.

                  1. Get some of that epoxy for glass and seal the crack — it’ll probably be good forever, or until someone breaks the rest of the glass.

                    We have an impossible-to-replace without tearing-out-the-wall original window (1920) in the rental, and someone in ages past clear-siliconed a crack… seems perfectly stable, ain’t messing with it and doesn’t look bad enough to matter. (It’s also got about four tubes of silicone goop in the frame, just getting it to stick together…)

                3. Yikes. I had a client who had a dog run through a old plate-glass door, broke the glass and sliced its throat clear to the spine. Yeah, that can get really ugly. You done been watched over, you have…

            4. It took us two or three months to get a sofa delivered. Long leadtimes on a lot of things.

        3. A carpenter friend was telling DadRed and I that one minor hardware chain can’t get plywood because the factory that makes it for them is closed. No labor. No one wants to run the machine that glues up the sheets, among other positions. The guys make more on the government dole, especially if they have kids. The plant owner can’t match the .gov.

          1. Not buying it. At $75 a sheet, he could match Morton’s Steak House.

                1. Aye, and part of that price per sheet is his own material cost, plus transportation to and from the mill. Not sure what the middlemen are getting, but it’s not going to be small right now.

                  And yeah, productivity issues related to Chinavirus restrictions.

              1. Oh, I believe that’s what was told to the carpenter. I’m also willing to believe that’s what the plywood mfg. told their retail contacts. That’s about as far as I’ll go.

                1. Considering I’m hearing the same thing and I’m half a continent away, I’m after thinking it’s true. I know that happened to Milwaukee Tool – one of their US plants went TU because of the feckin’ dole. Caused issues with a bunch of stuff.

                  And don’t forget that the chain to just get to ply, even CDX, is long. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if some things were artificially low.

        4. I want a shed and a deck and a geodesic greenhouse, but I’ve put them all off because of the cost of lumber. I don’t *need* any of them, sigh.

          1. I’ve been planning an expansion on my dining room in which to build a better kitchen for five years now. I have the HELOC and and the DIY-friendly general contractor and everything, and I was going to finally execute on it … in 2020.

            And now it would probably cost me at least twice as I budgeted for much between materials and contractors for the parts I can’t do myself.

          1. Contemplating the use of fireworks during the last year, as distractions for police, as weapons for rioters, and as “expressions” of antisemitism … I wonder if there isn’t something behind their banning beyond simple killjoyism.

            In other random thoughts, all the furor over the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade and elimination of uniform national legal regimes for abortion has me wanting to snark “Welcome to Second Amendment regulation – and it is literally IN the Constitution!”

          1. BAH! hit post accidentally…

            Also ammo prices have plateaued and are starting to slowly fall. 9mm is drifting under 50cpr. .22lr approaching 13cpr.

            1. The biggish Not-Cabelas is saying that they are getting primers in stock regularly, but the shipment comes in on Friday, gets shelved overnight, and sold out Saturday morning. My Tuesday/Thursday quests ain’t going to work until things settle. I think the only local gunshow is over, though I gather that a fair amount of the retailed stuff was likely getting resold there at nosebleed markups.

              Local city, Saturday morning. Still, I really want to load those .357s. Been musing over a black powder rifle & doing shotshell reloads, so 209 primers, too.

              1. I see on eBay scrap lead is averaging about 3 bucks a pound for random uncleaned pieces, or 2 bucks for ingots. WTF.

                My pile is in artistic curves, because apparently it was just dumped out on a board and let flow how it likes.

      2. Of oriented strand board??? Please tell me that’s 2-inches thick or something.

        (What’s that done to the price of standing timber? ‘Asking for a friend.’)

        1. If by standing timber you mean, say, 2x4s, etc…those have shot up hugely as well. Which is why my own construction projects are on hold for now.

          Supposedly the *cough* *spits* administration decided to also slap tariffs on lumber imports from Canada, so I’m sure that’s not helping either. And of course, we are not allowed to cut our own timber here in the states, nooo, it must stay as fuel for mega-fires.

          1. Standing timber is trees; specifically, tree that one would like to convert to cash.

            And I thought it was the Canadians who had closed their exports to the US?

            1. And I think the industry calls 2×4, etc. “dimensional lumber;” I think we just used to call it lumber.

              1. To file under “divided by a common language”, apparently in the UK they switch the terms. So a London woodworker on Youtube is always mentioning “popping around to the timber yard” and I have to mentally translate that he’s picking up sheets of MDF and not looking at trees with the bark still on.

            2. Weyerhauser locally scrapped their tree farm harvest plan and are taking everything they can out of the Oregon Fire burn areas. Also shipping a lot of logs overseas, but local mills are also getting a lot of unmilled logs. They only have a small window to get these burned areas logged off and to mills before the beetles get into the standing dead timber and it is worthless to log. After that Seneca can use it for hog fuel for their electric generating burner.

              Which brings up another point. We drove up and back via 126, which is through this last summers Holiday Fire. When they state that (town of) “Blue River is Gone” … it is GONE … wiped down to cement pads GONE.

              1. I’m glad that salvage logging is actually happening this time. The 2002 Biscuit fire by Brookings had a lot of potential for salvage, but the environazis applied enough lawfare for several years to make the logs worthless. The fire a few years ago (can’t recall the name) was largely fueled by the dead wood from the Biscuit. I got the distinct impression that environmentalist types are an endangered species in Brookings now. (The Feds who did a magnificent job of making a bad situation worse “we won’t protect that house” are also on that list… Protip: if you have a wildfire in your area and it’s been assigned to a NIMO team, be afraid. Be very afraid. These guys don’t fight fires, they watch them.)

                I didn’t have the heart to go through south Medford last December, but I’m told that a lot of the housing for the workers got clobbered in that arson-fire. We drove through part of the Two Four Two burn scar last winter, and it was pretty ugly. The area we saw didn’t have much housing, but anything that would have been there is gone. Collier Memorial State Park (and logging museum) is where that fire started, but while the campground was wrecked, the museum seems to have survived. There’s a fish hatchery just off Highway 62 that we like to visit. It’s on the edge of the fire, so I don’t know its status.

                1. Medford area. Haven’t seen the results, just know the little town of Phoenix Oregon was all but wiped out, per rumor. One house and one facility were not touched (knowledge is third hand from mom, from her SIL (my Aunt). Which is cousin’s (mutual nephew) house survived, as well as the storage facility his company built and manages. But not a whole lot more.

                  Weyerhouser pivoted quickly. Don’t know about what some of the smaller private timber company holders are doing. Suspect they pivoted fast too. Public lands OTOH, doubt they’ll get the process through fast enough, or that the environmentalists anti-harvest-league will let them do anything in a timely matter if they do. Already lost 8 months of the 18 month window before anything is salvageable. Whether they’ll be allowed to replant or seed, is TBD. The dead trees are coming down naturally, just like the trees from the 2003 fire on the top of the Hwy 126 Pass, around Big Lake, and Shuttle Lake (although to be fair, most, but not all, of that fire covered Wilderness designated areas). Regardless no matter what the beetles will have their boom. Not even the private companies will get everything out in time.

                  1. Which is going to spread, just like it did in the Kalmiopsis.

                    May those anti-logging scraps of wasted shite get their just desserts.

                    1. They’re big on chaining themselves to trees, right? So encourage ’em to do so….

                      …just far enough downwind of the fire line that they can watch it coming for them.

                  2. The local taqueria has a branch in south Medford (miniscule chain–3 sites, two of which are in K-Falls). I asked about it after the Medford fire, and a lot of their workers at the store there lost their homes. The taqueria apparently survived the fire, but I haven’t asked it it was able to reopen. I’m going to be there in a couple of months for the eye exam I should have had in April, and will check it out if practical.

                    Should have guessed about public land salvage logging. Gotta keep the habitat for all the dead critters killed in the last catastrophic fire. The Two Four Two fire (242? It’s the number of the road.) had a bunch of dead trees on private land, and crews were taking down public land trees that would have threatened Highway 62 on the way to Crater Lake. I’m hoping they did some kind of seeding; the slope where they took the trees is quite impressive, though the dry winter helped keep mudslides from closing the road. Road-protection cutting was going on in early December, with private land salvage logging starting a bit later. At least with the dry winter, logging crews were able to work that land.

                    Ponderosa pine bark beetles have been a problem around here. I’ve lost a couple of trees to it, and a major grove got wrecked just east of the Cascades off Highway 140 a few years ago. Haven’t had any large fires close to us since 2014, but we keep an eye out for brown trees that don’t belong.

                    1. Hwy 242 (Old McKenzie Hwy) between Hwy 126 and Sisters), had a fire on the east side. (DuckDuckGo search didn’t cough up the fire complex fire’s name. Scott Fire for Scott Lake, or **Lava Fire for the Lava Flows or Lava Lake, which was hit really hard, I think, but IDK.) Most of the fire damage was in Wilderness. Only areas cleared of trees were the ones along the road to remove dangerous trees. Plus the area scorched around *Melakwa summer camp SW of Scott Lake. Sister’s escaped because there is aggressive under story fire burns under the Ponderosa Pines, plus as one approaches Sisters from 242, the south side is mostly thick green pastures. The lava flows kept it down some too, but not 100%.

                      * Besides closing the highway “early”, it put a real scare into the camp groups who use this camp (BSA, 3 weeks, and also serves a church for another 2 weeks). Scott Lake is the emergency walkout route for when (not if) the one forest service road access is blocked by fire. The other fire measures taken is each troop is required to have enough vehicles to evacuate all members. Vehicles are parked facing outward, load and go, no backing out. Keys are to be on an driver at all times. There are TWO fire drills for each camp session (week, Sun to Sat). Not only head count, but those with keys are expected to hold them up when asked. This has been the procedure BEFORE the fire mentioned above (which occurred after the 5 week camp sessions, by a week or so). Note. 2020 Holiday Fire occurred after what would have been Melakwa camp season had there been 2020 summer camp.

                      ** Naw that would be too reasonable.

                2. That’s our biggest problem around here, I think: the loonies refused to let harvesting happen as thousands upon thousands of trees died because of the Japanese beetle infestation. And the ‘blue pine’ that results from beetle kill is quite valuable! But the blue color only lasts a short while (unless you stain/treat the wood in time). So all those incredibly dead trees, going to waste and only good for fueling fires…

                  They did finally open up some logging again a few years back, but still not enough. (ie, only the shady guys in the nearest town to mine have their sawmill open, but the sawmill in my town is still defunct–when things are really going, both are open.)

              2. And when I went out to Black Butte this Feb., Detroit was just … desolate. Me heart aches. Plus the lake was 40+ feet low – all the docks were setting on mud tens of feet above the actual water line…

                1. That is what mom said. She and her brother came back that way from Baker to Salem (visiting ailing 85 year old sister). We haven’t mentioned yet the town that was destroyed in the North Umpqua river canyon.

                2. My physical therapist said Trinity Lake in Cali was really low last weekend. Somewhere near Lake Shasta.

          2. that and the Canukistani Rulers are “Michigan & NY are too open!! OMFG We GOTTA lock down, we are all gonna DIEIEIEIEIEIEEEEEEE” locked down and little lumber is rumbling this way from them.
            Non-scientific anecdotal, but I have not seen a train with cars full of lumber go through town in some time. We get a goodly amount from the Sault crossing. I might be just missing them. or they are using the enclosed cars for shipping. Some cedar has, but there is a place just up the road, and the flooring mill up the street is busy, but both ship via trucks mostly.

            1. I see plenty of cars loaded with dimensional running through my town (when I’m around). I even saw a couple cars loaded with CANFOR about two weeks ago.

              1. Watched two mostly empty trains go through last night. The southbound had several of the cars that haul the lumber, north had some as well, but sounded like a reposition originating here. Empire and Lake Superior has a small yard for shuffling here.

  4. This is the equivalent of taking a complex machine, and starting to remove pieces at random.

    Yep – removing pieces at random by whacking it with a hammer. It struck me (hah!) while reading this that the weird Congresscritter insistence on an Official Commission to dig into the Capital Hill Open House Walking Tour is basically transference and misdirection from That Recent Subject Which Shall Not Be Examined By Commission, i.e. the entire pandemic, response, and associated political doings nationwide.

    Transference for those who know that they did, in fact, see soon-to-be-skeletons being shoved into closets yet are madly trying to convince themselves it was something completely different that they saw with their own eyes, and misdirection for those who did the shoving, as they know those skeletons are so fresh they are smelling up the place and won’t be difficult to find if anyone goes looking.

    So set up an Official Commission! With Official Authoritay, but only to investigate the Walking Tour Buffalo Guy!! They’ll obviate the need for any individuals to really think about what they saw, and figure out what that smell is.

    1. The metaphor that came to my mind was launching Task manager (for the Windows users) and randomly cancelling miscellaneous running subroutines.

      As for that Oaffishul Commission … there are multiple Congressional committees and several DOJ probes currently ongoing, probing (and charging, trying and acquitting railroading the responsible parties), all of which ought be allowed to run their courses before any effort is made to establish a Authorized Version.

      The only reason for a commission is signaled in the fact that, as the legislation currently stands, all staff will be handpicked by the majority (i.e., Democrat) party. They’re desparate to establish a narrative before actual facts become public.

      Those wishing to draw a parallel with the emergence of an “accident” at the Wuhan Virology Institute as a credible alternative to the “it just jumped from bats” narrative can do so at their leisure. Just keep in mind that the MSM and the Progressives don’t care about Facts, they care about Narrative.

      1. Was on Twitter, where there was a bit of kerfuffle over George Will equating 1/6 with 9/11. (George, George, I used to think better of you). There were people seriously agreeing and going, “Yes, because those were foreigners, but these were our own people trying to overthrow our elected government. Traitors! Traitors!”

        It makes me want to put my head on the desk and sigh. (Or start all-cap screaming at them).

              1. Yeah, a bunch of formerly reliable commentators had their spines removed (we regularly complain at ’em over on JWR). Conversely, Michelle Malkin inserted a ramrod, and lately has been ripping the Dems a new one, in rather more strident language than her usual.

              2. Me too! Mona Charen used to be a voice of sanity.

                Then POTUS Trump and she lost her mind. Hard.

    2. That Official Commission to Document the Walking Tour Participants and Route can cut both ways… after all there were a couple hundred Antifa agitators and one Capitol Cop who can’t help but get investigated along with, at least if anyone from our side has a say in where they look. Methinks that’d be right fascinating….

  5. Ducks are good. We won’t starve if we end up producing ducks.

    The bigger problem of house prices soaring is going to be old folks on fixed/limited incomes getting forced out of houses by skyrocketing property tax. And the reactions thereto.

    When I say “Maybe we should copy California’s One Good Idea” people in the checkout aisle know exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t know if it’s a good idea or not-getting rid of the property tax would be better-but something has to give.

    1. Yeah. Prop 13, only sane ballot initiative to ever cross California’s desk. Montana desperately needs this too. (Tho we’re not really willing to trade it for sales tax, that double-penalty on those who can least afford it.) Price inflation leading to assessment inflation and tax inflation is otherwise going to put a lot of but-it’s-paid-for homeowners out on the street.

      Property tax: a fine for improving your property. — RAH

      1. Is it worth noting that Property Tax is the ONLY tax levied without an underlying financial transaction? Income taxes, sales taxes, inheritance taxes all serve to siphon off some portion of economic activity. The Property tax (and, if Lizzie Warren gets her way, any Wealth tax) necessitates economic activity to free cash to pay the tax – it is a fine on economic inactivity.

        And, pace Heinlein, the taxes on property improvement are paid in the form of sales taxes on the purchased materials and wage taxes on the labor. So “fining” you for the improvement constitutes double taxation.

        1. Good point about double taxation. (Just wait til they manage to institute VAT.)

          I suppose the “underlying financial transaction” is when you bought the real property, and otherwise it’s much like any “license” — a fee for having the audacity to continue to own or operate something you’ve already paid for. Cuz if you fail to pay, they’ll yank your “license”.

          1. Real Property was deemed the property of the Crown, rented or granted to a House, a Family, or an Individual for a defined period of time (technically, “in perpetuity” is a defined period) but ultimately reverting. So in that sense it is never “owned” (except by the State) but merely rented, however the fact of that rental may be obscured.

        2. Death Taxes straddle the line. Technically there is an economic movement happening, but in practice it functions more like a groundburst on a fixed target.

      2. Oh, we have sales, income, AND property tax in ID.

        I’d prefer that we cut government back to size that we don’t need to pay so much tax. The majority of the local county budget goes to fed mandated medical costs.

        1. I saw someplace in the last few weeks that the tax increase (or tax in general) that sparked a few issues (such as a tea party) was 3%.

          And then I look at what I am taxed on.

          1. The Sleepy Hollow TV show from a couple years ago made the same point. “A 4% surtax on baked goods?! We rebelled for less than that.”

            I guess representation makes all the difference.

            1. Heh. I chuckled hard at that bit in Sleepy Hollow.

              Of course, I’m not sure we’re actually being represented *now*, either…

            2. And now they’re taking the representation away, and in ways that aren’t disguised.

              Hopefully that will go as badly.

      3. We also passed 1996 Prop 209, which survived a stealth overturn initiative this last time around in spite of the CCP virus “tweaks”:

        A “yes” vote [on proposition 209] supported adding Section 31 to the California Constitution’s Declaration of Rights, which said that the state cannot discriminate against or grant preferential treatment on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, and public contracting.

        As a result, the Glorious Bear Flag Peoples Republic has been prevented for the past quarter-century from racially discriminating in UC and CSU state-run university admissions, state contracting, or state employment, which is what the state government जातिवादी कमीने really, really want to do.

    2. Well, there’s good old “present use valuation” for farmland here, and I think a discount for seniors.

  6. Unfortunately, wanting things to be the same as they were before means the Californicators and the Left Coasters and the New Yorkers who are fleeing like rats from a sinking ship and infesting the rest of the country want to bring their dysfunctional habits, their demands for goods and services, and their voting patterns to the rest of country. And demand the taxes go up to pay for it.

    Just because the people moving out aren’t the worst of the lot doesn’t mean it doesn’t get very tiresome to hear “But where do I put the recycling? Why don’t you have recycling? I can’t believe you don’t recycle! And why doesn’t your public trans have a rail service between here and Dallas and Austin and Houston? Why do we have to drive everywhere in Texas? Why do there have to be all these huge pickups on the road? I can’t believe you don’t have a good organic free range locavore gluten-free no-GMO Michelin starred cafe here! What a backwater! And can you believe how many military feel free to walk around the city in their uniforms like that’s okay?”

    Extremely tiresome. I don’t care if they think they’re conservative, they need to get their asses right back on I-40 and go back where they came from.

    1. Something that Tim Pool pointed out months ago is that this dilutes the Blue vote.

      And the go alongs are going to become more red once they get out of the indoctrination chambers known as cities.

      1. When the kids get a good look around, they’re going to reprise Robin Williams’ famous line, “Gee, Dad, you’re f****d.”

      2. I’m hoping. Would be nice to see a California that doesn’t have veto-proof Dem majorities.

        1. With the vaccine passport, I think Despicable Kate Brown (D-ictator, Oregon) just killed the California Exodus to at least our portion of Oregon. The Vax take rate is low in our county, and lower yet in the county just east of us.

          Might still see influx West side, but she’s striving to out-crazy Gavin Nuisance and Wretched Gretchen.

      3. You hope. Some cultural traits don’t fade that fast. (“The government needs to fix [thing]! Vote for the government to fix it!”)

          1. Fair enough, apply an empirical litmus test: If the first place a given Glorious Gavin’s Bear Flag Peoples Republic escapee goes on a shopping spree after they establish sufficient residence documentation is the local firearms emporium, pray grant them the benefit of the doubt – because that’s what I will be doing if I manage an exit stage right.

            Not looking likely just yet, but those subspace vibes Sarah is picking up on are generating subharmnics all the way out here as well.

          1. When it don’t rain, da roof don’t leak.
            When it rain, I cain’t fix it no-how.

    2. But where do I put the recycling? Why don’t you have recycling? I can’t believe you don’t recycle!

      [Suppressing urge to tell them where they can put their recycling.] “Gee, that sounds like a great business opportunity for you! Here in RedState we like our government limited so that they don’t do to us what they have done to California, so we don’t let government compete with honest businessfolk. Nor do we make folks with great ideas jump through a lot of needless hoops to open a business, so you could probably find a location, acquire equipment, hire people and establish a recycling facility in just a couple of months.

      “What, you don’t think you could make enough money at it to be practical? Then the government probably shouldn’t do it either. It isn’t as if RedState lacks landfill space!”

      1. Or my answer: “We put the recycling in the same place you did back in California–in the landfill. Except here, we don’t lie to ourselves about where it’s going.”

        1. Yeah. I’ve always been against recycling but these days it’s absolutely insane. Everybody goes to all this work to sort things out into different categories so they can dump it together in a landfill because it’s prohibitively expensive to actually do anything with it now that China and India don’t want it anymore.

          1. We’re in that sort of in-between stage where I can just have fun now. It only happens when I travel now, but when somebody says “no, that goes *here*, in the blue bin not the gray” (or whatever), I just grin my best executive-level smile and respond “you know it all goes the same place, right?”

            It’s been years since anybody tried to tell me I’m wrong. I think pretty much everybody knows the truth now, and even the “tribal custom” of it has worn thin.

            1. That’s like telling people who like their food not touching and mixing that it all goes to the same place.

              True, true, but I still don’t like the broth/juice/liquid from my canned corn to make my brownie or biscuit damp. Soggy bread is the devil!

              Okay, the analogy doesn’t exactly hold well, but that’s what “it all goes to the same place” conjures up for me.

              1. That’s like telling people who like their food not touching and mixing that it all goes to the same place.


                I remember one of my first Thanksgiving with the in-laws, and one of the newly squired nieces was doing the “but it’s touching” whine. Their mother apologized. My response? “I don’t like mine touching either.” Got the strangest looks, new hubby (same one I’ve kept around for 43 years, if count dating), about fell of his chair laughing. Extra bonus, got a huge hug from the 6 year old niece. I mean she didn’t get a new plate or anything. But still …

                1. We have the same issue. Both of us. Might have to do with sensory issues which are rife in Odds?
                  My MIL and FIL tried to mock this by giving us divided plates from corelle. To this day they’re our prized possession and used a lot when we’re alone.

                  1. My in-laws didn’t try anything like that. Plus when nieces/nephews present, when we were, at least they toned it down. Didn’t have a problem with them with our child. Might have. But FIL died 6 weeks before kid was born, and kid wasn’t quite 3 when MIL died. Bullet dodged.

                    Don’t get me wrong. Thanksgiving/Christmas Turkey, mashed potatoes, and bread dressing, all get smothered with gravy, but each items still has to be separated. Drove my folks nuts too. But at least that was one battle they refused to fight. Force to eat creamed corn OTOH (OMG Yuck!).

                    1. Mom struggled to get my “Baby Sis” to eat some foods.

                      What’s humorous is that after the two of us were out-of-the-house, Mom learned that Dad didn’t like those foods but didn’t say anything while the two of us were growing up.

                      IE Dad didn’t want to give “Baby Sis” ammo in her “fight” with Mom. 😆

                  2. Heh. I never had the sensory issues…at least, not with food. (I do have skin-sensory issues, so there is that, sigh.) Though there are some (few) foods I cannot abide because of the texture. Raw onions figuring largely on that list.

                    Of course, the fact that I came out three months early and then they had to feed me within twelve hours because I was HANGRY (and apparently, that doesn’t often happen with preemies, heh)…well, food and the consumption thereof has always been so high on the priority list that I don’t think my system allowed any food-related sensory issues to develop. Even the brief flirtation with food allergies (strawberries, when I was 5) did not last long at all…

                    But. Divided plates are COOL. 😀

                    1. Texture. Coconut, EEEWWWW!!! Also taste, and smell, but that tough, squishy texture just knocks it over the top.

                    2. I always thought it was the texture of coconut that I didn’t like, but apparently that was my body saying “just don’t ever eat this”. Around about the time I turned 40 I discovered I could no longer eat movie popcorn, because it’s popped in coconut oil (or rather, I could eat it, at the price of hours in the bathroom later). When my ex went gluten-free, she tried a number of different flour substitutes, and I had to spit out the pancakes made with coconut flour because the body said NOPE.

                    3. My 23 and me insists I have celiac. My issue though is I have problems with all carbs, at least at high altitude…. Lower on I have more tolerance.

                    4. My mother has an odd condition–like carpal tunnel, but covers most of the nerves in her hands, rather than just a bit of the wrist–that seems to be aggravated by too much white flour. (But she cant’ really do whole wheat stuff, because that’s hard on her failing kidneys, heh.)

                      I’d be interested to know the actual reason so many people are beginning to struggle with these things. Is it because of the hybrids that make up most modern grains? Some genetic shift in us? I’ve seen lots of theories, but half they don’t know enough yet, and half seem to be driven more by political (or environmental activist) nonsense.

                    5. *points at the failing kidneys*

                      Because they’re not dead.

                      Same reason more people are dying of pneumonia, even before the kung flu– because they’re not dying of other things.

                      Same pattern with Iraq having record-breaking numbers of folks coming home missing limbs. Because they survived losing a limb, rather than bleeding out.

                    6. True, that. Though…well, I was gonna say “It doesn’t account for all the kids with inexplicable intolerance to gluten/food allergies/other weirdness” but…it kind of does, doesn’t it? It doesn’t kill them in infancy/early childhood–they can survive it (at least right now they can) because of the abundance of alternatives for food and so on. These are probably things that would have caused the child to die of some ‘mysterious illness’ a century or more ago, and that would have been just the way of things.

                    7. Like those kids who got better under starvation, then started slowly dying when they got food– food that included wheat? (Tiny version of celiac disease’s discovery.)

                      Same way that folks with Down’s now die as adults of things besides “they were born with Downs, they’ll die before they hit double digits.”

                    8. Wasn’t slowly. A hospital’s entire ward of celiac kids in the Netherlands relapsed together as soon as they were fed the first shipments of food after WWII.

                    9. My brain twin (Blondengineer when she posts here) has that issue with tomatoes. Other folks I know can’t stand mushrooms.

                      Raisins. I can’t stand them in baked goods. The slightly-squishy texture is just…::shudders::

                      I actually love coconut, heh. But I do get why the texture is off-putting. I’m not very fond of raw coconut, but even the shredded sweetened stuff is like chewing fibers. But I like the taste (and I love, love, love coconut bread), so it doesn’t bug me.

              2. The difference, of course, is that you don’t take your preferences as principles, and force me to eat a helping of fries, a helping of cheese curds, and a bowl of gravy–instead of poutine.

        2. After the China refusal, recycling got really simple for us. Corrugated cardboard (no shiny surfaces) in the special dumpster, glass containers in the barrels. Electronics, for the while, in their shelter. Everything else, toss.

          OTOH, I keep a lot of cardboard as kindling…

          1. Even glass and cardboard go to the dump. In the paper industry, it’s cheaper to purchase virgin pulp and dye it to look “recycled”, than to deal with the unknowns of incorporating recycled paper products into new ones. I don’t have any particular knowledge of glass, but I know it doesn’t really get recycled much, and I’ll bet the problems are similar.

            1. I used to work for a printer a long time ago, and my understanding from talk around the office has always been that most “recycled” paper comes from pre-consumer waste, i.e. the scraps and cutoffs and ragged ends and chaff from the paper mill itself.

                1. Nor have I, ever. At least Seattle just makes us put everything recyclable in the one big blue bin without having to separate it out. We’re supposed to put all food waste in the yard waste bin on pain of citation, but that’s really only enforceable against supermarkets and restaurants so nobody cares.

                  1. Eugene does the Recycling Co-mingle too, everything except Glass, only big Green Bins. We too are suppose to put food scraps into the yard debris can. With the reported rat problem that has been occurring locally? Not a chance. It either goes down the disposal or gets seriously wrapped, bagged, and put in regular garbage.

              1. And trash pines grown specifically FOR the pulp business. Fast-growing and no timber value, but pulp is pulp. Saw somewhere that trees for pulp amount to something like half of all trees purpose-planted, a crop like any other, if a little slower.

                1. Locally (Willamette Valley) it is hardwood, 10 to 15 years rotation on flatland, mostly rented from farmers. Harvest is one machine. Once harvested another machine goes through and rips through the left stumps and roots. Then replant. Bonus, once trees get high enough, livestock, like sheep, can graze under the canopies at least the last 1/2 of the rotation.

                  1. What are they calling hardwood?

                    The aspen here will take over if nothing mows or grazes it, and grows into a tree in nothing flat. But for bulk we’ve got a squatty local cottonwood that… well, the one the pipeline took out across from me had only 50 rings, but a diameter of 12 feet.

                    1. Hardwood is defined by the botanical characteristics, a websearch saying it’s mostly deciduous trees. Amusingly, balsa is classed as a hardwood, while Southern Yellow Pine is a softwood.

            2. The San Jose Murky News had an article about “recycled” glass back in the ’90s. One of the places (dump in the S. East Bay) had a small mountain of crushed glass. Further back (’70s or so), corrugated cardboard was useful enough for somebody to pay grocery stores $60 a ton for it. A couple of guys got busted in front of a friend’s place for taking two large bales of it. The onlookers were quite bemused at the arrest, until somebody told us about the value, such as it was. The bemusement continued, moderated by amusement.

              All the other county recycling programs were cancelled when China started to refuse. For some reason, the transfer station (read county waste control) decided to keep the lowboy covered dumpster for cardboard. It might not go to paper, per se, maybe molded paper packing material. Either that, or somebody’s using it for fuel. The glass is less marketable, though if it’s crushed, it’d take up less space. There was a brief fad for concrete countertops, with colored glass in the mix. Emphasis on brief.

              1. Do not remember the particulars. But have read that crushed glass has been mixed into road bed base, which is then layered over with concrete or asphalt. Don’t know if that is true or not, or if still doing, if true. OTOH glass is originally made from sand …

                1. It’s been tried for that, as well as for traction on railroad beds. I’m afraid recycled glass is a solution in search of a problem – and given the inherent complications of introducing a new material into a current process, the answer usually ends up “It can be made to work, but without the subsidy from government grants, it’s not economical when the standard material works just as well or better.”

                  At the very end of the logistic chain, that can occasionally change: I know of one company in Alaska using recycled paper pulp in their hydro-grow spray (pulp, fertilizer, grass seeds, green dye, spray for erosion control), because it was so cheap as a ground cover/bulking material that it was practically free, and the standard material had to be imported from the Lower 48 at some expense.

                  1. I can’t help but think that the days of turning in glass soda bottles (or beer bottles, or whatever) for a small deposit, and those bottles then being sterilized and re-used, was a wiser approach. WHY don’t they do that anymore??

                    1. Paper cartons and plastic bottles are cheaper than running a sterilizer, I’d guess.

                      I remember when you’d sometimes see a mismatched, obviously older bottle on the shelf…

                    2. Find an old Coke Bottle and it will all become clear. The glass for carbonated beverages (Soda, Beer etc) has to be INCREDIBLY thick to take both the cleaning AND handling and just general pressure issues for room temperature storage. The old standard for chemistry efforts involving pressure used to be the Coke Bottle. All that glass is heavy thus the delivery costs go up. That’s why Milk (which used to come in glass half gallons and quarts) also moved to plastic, weight went down and you could store more packed together, it didn’t have the pressure issue but still the change to plastic was a big win for shipping costs.

                    3. And why soda cans are so thin now. They’re just strong enough to not blow up with normal handling, because it saves on materials. It used to be a minor feat of strength to crush a soda can with one hand, now you barely need to look at them crosswise.

                  2. Crushed glass is useful in glass manufacture because it lowers the melting point

          2. And electronics recycling rapidly goes tits-up if they aren’t subsidized or don’t get their labor for next to free (where I used to live, they used guys from rehab, $2/hour, when they bothered to show up). There’s just not enough market for it and too much involved in separating metals and chips, and too much hazardous that still needs to be disposed of.

            Tho lately a lot of old server chips are being repurposed into cheap Chinese mainboards, and sold on Ali Express.

      2. Garbage/Trash: You pay to have it taken away.

        Recycling: You are PAID for it.

        Aluminum is recycled. The rest? Chances are, unless you are BIG source (grocery store, lots of boxes….), not even *cardboard* is recycled – and that’s a Big One.

        1. And if you’re really concerned about Global Warming you shouldn’t be recycling paper and cardboard anyway. Putting that in a landfill locks up some of the carbon the trees pulled out of the atmosphere in the ground, the exact opposite of the process the cultists say is going to doom us all.

      3. If it’s had food in it, the dishwasher, or at least the sink. If it’s paper, the garden.

        What, you don’t recycle at home? What is wrong with you people? Don’t you know if you just cut the bottom off the plastic milk bottle you get a perfectly good cloche? And that yogurt container is a fine plant pot. Papers are good for smothering weeds. (But weight them down with rocks.)

        Yes, I can do aggrieved at un-environmentalists quite well. Feel free to borrow.

      1. Why do you hate Barstow?? There’s a perfectly good ocean with far more room, just a little further along!

        Tho a summer walking tour of the Chocolate Mountains would dispose of a good many. Coyotes and buzzards need to eat too.

    3. Power Line this morning quotes William William Voegelin from the new issue of the Claremont Review of Books:

      The Biden Administration’s shock-and-awe statism—trillions of dollars in additional federal spending for COVID relief, infrastructure, and economic opportunity—is not being devised from scratch. According to the Los Angeles Times, Democrats in the White House and Congress are treating California as both a “de facto policy think tank” and an “inspiration.” Former governor Gray Davis told the paper that Vice President Kamala Harris, the first California Democrat elected to national office, will be “sharing ideas, innovations, and breakthroughs from California that might help solve problems on the national level.”

      The more you know about California’s recent governance, however, the less enthused you’ll be about replicating its policy triumphs on a national scale. Dan Walters, a journalist who has covered California government for more than 50 years, wrote in 2020 that the Golden State is beset by a “crisis of competence.” As a result, government agencies’ “chronic inability to provide rapid and efficient service—to simply do their jobs—has created boundless frustration and anger.” His list of particulars is long and depressing: accounting systems that don’t mesh; housing programs that don’t mitigate homelessness; a high-speed rail initiative that the Times, once an enthusiastic supporter, recently called “the project from hell”; schools that don’t teach; a power grid that takes sabbaticals.

      Geeze, you’d think a national political party comprised of the “brightest” (just ask them) Americans would have noticed that California doesn’t work and has’t worked in decades.

      1. They don’t care whether it works. All they care about is whether it helps them achieve their goal of obtaining absolute totalitarian power.

        1. Right it “Works” for THEIR values of Works. It gets them reelected and they get to keep their $27,000 fridges full of $15 pints of ice cream.

    4. Before we moved from Oregon City to Dallas I took my teenage daughter to look over our new home. Cruising around the fringes of Dallas, she asked, “why isn’t there anything here? Over there? Where is everything?” TX is a lot more spread out than she was accustomed to….

  7. And sometimes I don’t know how you guys put up with it those years.

    Can’t speak for anyone else, but I knew that you were having issues, I had some idea what can happen when it is me, and I made allowances.

    When I’m too sick to think straight, having someone try to take me to task to get my thinking in order rarely gets my thinking in order. Compared to sorting it out when I get well… You had made a place for some interesting thinkers, and so the comments could guess at things, and reach interesting conclusions even when you personally were not up to much in the way of new observations.

    I don’t have anything to offer on your broader point.

  8. Maybe this is why I’ve started dreaming regularly. To either try to make sense of the mess, or give myself something consistent?

    It’s not that I didn’t before (I think?), but I didn’t have any I remembered. Now it’s three or more a week. And what’s even odder is its all the same world. I’ve got recurring people and places, and a geography that’s slowly filling in. I should probably draw the map.

    1. I’ve had a well-defined Dream Anchorage, Dream Portland, Dream Seattle, and Dream Williamstown (college) for decades now, to the point that if I find myself in a dream in one of those places, without any “establishing shots”, so to speak, I know precisely where I am. The geometry isn’t necessarily Euclidean, and they don’t really correspond very well to the real geography, but they’re very consistent. Occasionally I’ll be in one of those places but go somewhere new, and then that new neighborhood gets added to the recurring map.

      1. Hadn’t though about it but I suspect Anchorage is the source of most of my minor nightmares.

        Back in the day, most any time I drove down to Anchorage, I end up on a street that was, under construction, blocked. My habit, in such situations was hang a right and side street around. However trying that in Anchorage I’d always seem to drop off the hill into a cul•-de-sac neighborhood wherein I’d wander endlessly before finding the only was out of was the way I got in.

        The wee mares I remember upon awakening nowadays seem usually to involve such situations although the settings usually someplace like Bangkok, Vladivostok, Melbourne or Matsuyama.

      2. I have dream places like this, except they’re usually different house that I’ve lived in. After a while there is only a tenuous connection to the real houses, but I’m familiar with them because I’ve seen them for years 🙂

      3. This place started as a weird city, as you say, non-Euclidean, which had bits of Dublin (IRE) and Philly (which I’ve not spent much time in at all) with a university complex which added a huge casino/hospital complex (I’ve worked at both) after the first few visits, including the back offices and I consistently work/visit the same areas, and several libraries. The suburban area outside the university and city center makes me think a bit of Ann Arbor (which we left in ’75) and further out of town the Galway coast with a bit of Cape Codishness added for good measure (there is a Navy yard with certain WHOI like aspects to it there too).

        I’ve never had dreams in the same place before, and now it’s been three-plus months when every.single.one is in this world.

      4. At least you have SOME location. I’m lucky if I can realize it’s the grandparent’s place(s)…. I’ve had dreams where I am a place that is a weird mashup of a couple locations. More often, all I know is “Here is Here and Now is Now.” Though once I did realize it was ship on the way to (visit/flyby?) Mercury…. and damnit, woke up before I could *SEE* anything!

        1. Definitely some odd dream scenes. I get houses that are mixes of my paternal Grandmothers house (she has been deceased for 30+ years). the house I grew up in (haven’t been in in 35 years), the first house my wife and I had (we’ve been out of it for 25 years). If I’m having a late for class dream its a mix of my grammar school, two of the buildings at my college, and the building where my wife teaches. Cities tend to be a mix of Boston and Worcester with a little New Haven/New London thrown in for good measure. The human brain is just frippin weird.

  9. They just wanted everything to go back to normal.

    Damn all the normies who looked away when the left tore the masks off and ran rampant for four straight years.

    Damn all the normies who tuned in to the news and parroted every contradictory story and baseless speculation about Orange Man.

    Damn all the normies who vote for that nice Mr. Biden because they just wanted everything to go back to normal. Because any real normal was going to be on the other side of a fight, not gained through capitulation.

    And damn all the normies who bought into that crap about “unity.”

    “But I never went out and burned and looted!”

    Yes. And you’re worse than them.

    I never understood Psalm 137:1 – 137:9 until now.

  10. …actual issues bringing the point home are another. Sometimes in the middle I just spin in circles. And sometimes I don’t know how you guys put up with it those years.

    There are two kinds of people:
    1) Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data

    The comment section clearly indicates which type hangs around here.

  11. The Great Office Exodus of 2020 threw my nicely ordered days into a cocked hat. Granted, it helped that we were in the midst of a big server migration to a new hosting provider, so that kept me almost as busy as a one-armed paper hanger.

    Until it was over.

    I’d settled in (mostly) to the new habits of working from home, but once the heavy lifting was done and it was down to the fiddly-bits (most of which I tackled on my servers during the big bits,) I started feeling disconnected. Started somewhat hoping to get back into the office. But the lockdowns JUST KEPT GOING (two weeks my posterior!) And then I made my situation even worse, I changed my work schedule, went from working 8 9hr days and 1 8hr day in a pay period, to 4 10hr days. So, sure, having a three day weekend every weekend (even 4 sometimes!) sounds great, I need to make NEW habits to get me through Fridays.

    As for the housing, I’ve already seen complaints / whines from people (IT industry) who after going work-from-home 100% decided it was a good time to buy that nice house in a low cost of living area hours away from the office, and are being told “yeah, we’re going back to all in-office work, maybe a day or two of work-from-home, starting X” and realizing they’re staring down a multi-hour commute because they thought the WFH (work-from-home) train was going to keep on rolling (ignoring the “habit” of business and management to want to see their workers.)

    I think housing prices are about to go into one heck of a roller-coaster ride (and really, we’re on the first hill right now, going up,) when people who can continue to WFH from anywhere look to flee high-cost-of-living “status” areas (San Fran, NYC, LA) and the people who can’t keep WFH have to rush back closer to the office, and likely our benevolent overlords in DC decide it’s a WONDERFUL time to push some sort of crap like what caused the last housing bubble…

    1. Husband’s office closed. The job is still there but the office closed for good. He can work anywhere. About half of our friends are in the same boat.
      Now maybe 1/4 won’t move. They grew up here/have family here.
      People like us? Well, with the kids going elsewhere, we’re free to go.

      1. A lot of the places Husband’s job works with have closed, forever.

        They now have Rent An Office deals going.

        …and are happy.

        1. yeah. This one they sent people home to work. Which actually helped with highly specialized crunch for personnel because now they hire from the entire country.
          (Short form: scientists who program. I mean, they have to have a hard science degree, preferably graduate. Husband doesn’t have graduate — he was tired of school — but has done Number Theory work on his own because he’s a madman.)
          But you get where that would be rare in any one area.

          1. scientists who program

            …and they became more productive…..?

            no….no..no..no..no..nonono……. now we know why the world is irreparably doomed. There is no escape.

          2. Do you mind sharing the name of the company? I’ve got a PhD in computational biology and no prospect of getting back into academia any time soon.

      2. My office in the North End has effectively been closed since late march last year. Come mid fall boss realized that the overhead was just not worth it. Similar to what you said further down we now recruit from all over the US (Specialized embedded programming work, dying breed). There are some issues for example our CFO HATES adding a new state as it means yet another set of taxes/rules to figure out, but in general it works like a charm for software. It is hard to integrate new folks (many of us have been working together for 7+ years so we know our habits). Definitely the area in Boston near our office (near the North End and Boston Garden) was looking pretty sad. much of the street front space is empty or has closed signs on it last time I was in in March to get the last bits of things I needed. Doesn’t help that Boston was building new office space and high end housing (Luxury apartments/condos) like mad for the last 3-4 years. It isn’t going to be pretty. Out here in the burbs stuff sels wicked fast (and exen more so in the exurbs like vermont where mybrother in law lives). At least here in the east it’s pretty easy to get decent internet even in the boonies so for that kind of work ANYWHERE works…twenty somethings stay near the city, but prices have dropped enough for them to be IN the city.

        1. Taxes. Oh. Yes. Software I worked on, all targeted to public entities. (Counties, cities, and more recently, last 7 years, Federal-Tribal reservations.) Which then added on legal setup for overhead to include into real expense calculations. We were experts in how calculated based on settings, but they had to know what their state allowed and sit settings correctly.

          I retired 5+ years ago. At that time the software was in 80% of the county Public Works in Washington, California, and Oregon (given exactly 2 county installations in Oregon … due to free, but much less extensive similar software through the Oregon county association). But the software expansion into other states, let alone federal, has minimal programming requirements. Mostly setup, which is enough of a PIA. Then there is setting up the custom forms. There is always new programming, in general. None of it embedded however (Delphi). But interestingly enough, while I was the last programmer hired in the prior 12 years, the 6 they hired after me, only one has stayed, and isn’t programming. Then they lost two more old timers (as in hit 70 years old). Other than downsizing the office space (everyone except 4 are working from home), IDK what is going on. My source doesn’t know much as source is working 100 miles away. Occasionally I’ll get gossip.

          FWIW. I used to have so much fun with clients on the Sales and Use Taxes. “What is that?” *grin* “We’re in Oregon.” *pause* client “Ha Ha”.

  12. If I run a restaurant, the government won’t shut me down unless … I’m cooking the neighbor’s pets.

    That’s Sinophobic, you raaaaacist!

      1. Ranger Dad had to tell a group of Vietnamese that marmot was not ok to kill and cook on Mount Rainier. He found them roasting one over a fire. On the meadow.

        1. one of the complaints about the Hmong when they came over in large groups was they’d hunt and eat everything that moves. The songbirds, chipmunks etc between Green Bay and Oconto were said to be quite thin for years afterwards.

          1. Ducks in Madison were being microwaved in the Lakeshore dorms, caught off the crew dock in Lake Mendota. Same thin out.

  13. If the point gets across, then the communication has been accomplished. I can’t throw stones: I deal with my own bits of mental weirdness when it comes to migraines. Some days I feel like I’ve stripped a gear somewhere, or like a puppet with my strings cut. I know what my forebrain wants to do, but I cannot *make* myself work. It’s unnerving.

    I’d rather raid you for your coping strategies wrt brain fog and writers block, because I have my own versions of these I wrestle with.

    1. I was having headaches quite literally 24×7, two migraines a week until I started taking CoQ10. Down to one or two headaches a week, about a migraine a month.

  14. [A]ll of this is happening while people who think the future has been revealed to them by the deranged prognostications of Karl Marx

    In fairness, their primary error lies in reading Karl’s books instead of his entrails.

    1. I wouldn’t want to mess around with his entrails: I don’t know where they’ve been.

    2. In Karl’s case, I’m pretty sure that what comes out of his books and what comes out of his entrails is more or less the same thing.

  15. It is oft o’erlooked that the types of thigs generally acknowledged as Life’s Great Stressors — death in family, birth of a child, loss of job, marriage, divorce, new job, moving — all have a common factor: disruption of life’s patterns. Even less major events, such as graduation, are disruptive in that long-standing patterns are no more.

    This may be an unappreciated factor in the popularity of sports — they provide a rhythm and pattern regardless of how life otherwise proceeds, like a bass line in a rock song. This is used to great effect in the 1975 film of Raymond Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely (Robert Mitchum’s first – and more successful – portrayal of Phillip Marlowe.) which uses Joe DiMaggio’s record-setting 56-game hitting streak as background throughout the movie, establishing time, place, continuity and pacing.

    1. This may be an unappreciated factor in the popularity of sports — they provide a rhythm and pattern regardless of how life otherwise proceeds, like a bass line in a rock song.

      Perhaps it makes sense, then, that the NBA’s decision to cancel the rest of their season was what really caused the fecal matter to hit the rotary air implement. Once the rhythm of sports fell apart, the rhythm that was supposed to be there regardless, fell apart, so did everything else. Even for the people who didn’t like sports, their sudden absence was a signal that said, “Okay, everybody panic now!”

        1. I do not recall grandpa saying anything about the time we had a “picnic” by some HS ballgame (full on, just practice, no idea…) when I was Quite Young Indeed and I was *profoundly* UNinterested in the game. It just some people mostly standing, occasionally running a bit. Nothing of any interest at all. My interest has, if anything, decreased since.

          That kneeling thing? I’m kinda for it. Not that I *agree* with the ‘reasoning’ for it. BUT… let the MBA/NFL/MLB commit suicide, as far as I am concerned. Saves me effort.

          1. let the MBA/NFL/MLB commit suicide, as far as I am concerned. Saves me effort.

            100% Agree.

  16. Housing bubble is a product of two things:

    1) Supply bottlenecked at government for decades now, especially in blue hellholes like California

    2) Money chasing return, mostly after the fact.

    (You also have the phenomenon of blue state refugees spiking the demand in many locales, but that’s not general)

    To the extent the first contributes, it’s not a real bubble. It’s simply supply and demand, and since the oligarchs have no intention of easing supply and crashing their asset values, it’s as permanent a fixture of the landscape as any; it’s going to take a revolution to change it. Ditto the blue state refugees; until you absorb them by building enough housing supply to offset the increase, it’s a continuing ‘feature’.

    1. And 3) The Great Exodus from urban hellholes. Some here only moved down the peninsula to Silicon Valley suburbia to get out of the echoing heroin canyons of the City and County of SF, and the inflexible prevent-building-houses market cannot expand supply to accommodate.

      Rumor says there’s a fair amount of Bay Area property being bought with money moving through HK banks.

      It’s a causal chain, but major links are those “extra” buyers.

      1. Rumor says there’s a fair amount of Bay Area property being bought with money moving through HK banks.

        Same for Seattle and (I hear) Vancouver BC. I can readily believe Vancouver because it’s been noticeably Chinese for decades.

        1. I was surprised how “Hong Kong” Vancouver BC felt in the mid 1990s, when I was there for an airshow.

  17. Honestly, beyond the fact — yes, fact, deal. we have proof in states and countries that never locked down — that it did nothing for the pandemic which was not that scary after all, the grandiose scheme of the would be elites to lock down all of society to prevent people from catching a virus, did damage at a level most people aren’t tuned to.

    The news and such has been trying to insist that we don’t exist.

    I earlier today ran into a link talking about “Iowa’s Mask Mandate”– and had to double check myself, because we didn’t have that, it was a ‘strongly encourage’, and while there was a “if you’re going to be in close for more than 15 minutes” kinda mandate, it was followed by a huuuuuuge list of back the heck off, including “I am hard of hearing or talking to someone who his hard of hearing so I don’t have to wear a mask.”

    Similarly, our lockdown had eateries and gyms closed–but it wasn’t a stay at home order, which is what is usually meant by lockdown.

    The newly signed ban on masking orders is in part because the only places that were having outbreaks were places that DID have masking orders, even when places that should have been at least as much at risk but didn’t have mask orders were fine.

  18. I’m having to look for work again and I know I wasn’t very diligent about looking before the Crow Flu happened. Even if I get the same salary around here, no more three hour commute and dealing with San Francisco.

    Yes, change is scary. Oddly enough, going back will be a wrench even with me doing classes and similar projects for the semester. Have to get back into the habit that an employer wants me then, there, and doing the job they way they want it.

    Hopefully, by the time the shock-waves stop shaking up the world, I can get a job that is better than what is being offered. I won’t be competing with about two years worth of college graduates in marketing. And…who knows? Maybe the State of California will have enough of a shock to the system that people will think

    But, more writing, more prep, getting skin-tags and moles removed while I can do it reasonably cheaply, and general “staying ahead of things” as much as I can.

  19. I’m stealing that prices equalizing across the country notion, it’s the best explanation I’ve heard. We are awash with NY plates here but it’s still easy commuting to NYC. I can see that expanding now that it’s been shown that you don’t need to go into an office and so can live anywhere. Ive been asking myself would I live here if a I didn’t have to and coming up with no. My property taxes are, quite literally, insane and about to go up sharply to pay the graft in Trenton and all the public pensions. If I didn’t have to live here, I’d be gone and it’s getting to the stage where it might be more economical to retire again and move rather than keep working.

    Gauleiter Murphy has lifted the mask mandate in NJ, huzzah, but did it in typical weasel fashion. He is a very little man.

      1. Christie’s wife is nice, my wife knows her. Don’t know why she married him, though he’s not actually a bad guy, just a little loud. Der Gauleiter, on the other hand, is an utterly insignificant little man.

          1. Turkeys are weird. Have seen ’em stick their beaks up a hose, apparently trying to see where the water came from.

      1. It’ll improve the neighborhood. 😄. We’re not all bad, though my Jersey neighbors seem to think we are, so I can only imagine what the rest of you benighted provincials must think of us.

        Do remember that Donald John the Great is a Queens boy and a good gauge of what the average New Yorker thinks. We’ve had to take in your refuse for a long time and now we’re just giving it back. None of the rioters were working class New Yorkers, that’s for sure. — cops and firemen are. Maybe now that all the rich people and the art managers and the Euro trash have gone running back home we can take our city back. A la lanterne to borrow a phrase.

        1. I can only imagine what the rest of you benighted provincials must think of us.

          You’re immigrants from a dystopian alternate dimension. It has to be dystopian, since you blew up all your zeppelins in 1937. And the rest of that dimension must be a total wasteland, because you’re all convinced that NYC is the Only Place Worth Thinking About.

          I’ve known a lot of NYCers over time, and y’all are the most provincial, self-regarding people I’ve ever met. “The View From 9th Avenue” and all that.

          Present company excepted, I’m sure. 🙂

          1. Nope. Guilty as charged — I have a copy of that New Yorker cover on the wall, the cover mind not a print. The wife always gets a kick out of it since 10th Ave is the East side where she grew up and Harlem is downtown and technically it’s not the Hudson but, rather, the North River since it’s still estuary up to about Tarrytown. That rather manic precision is very much a NYC characteristic among those of us who were born there. No one else really cares, hence benighted provincial. 😜

            I’ve moved the wife and family across both the Pacific and Atlantic more than once but it was much harder to convince the wife to live in NJ all of 15 miles from midtown. Getting her to move elsewhere. Gah. I suppose the fact that the children are moving might move her. I’m, quite frankly, over the place. Too expensive and filled with all the rest of the country’s spare as-holes.

            A friend of mine once dated a girl from Iowa, she was an engineer at Grumman as was he, and she told me that we were the first people actually from NY that she’d met in several years living here. This didn’t surprise me much since a good 80% of our wedding invitations went to two zip codes, one in Brooklyn and one in the Bronx. Big city people are very, very provincial —. I found the same thing in London and Paris — but in NYC parochial is more appropriate. Everyone, no matter their religion, who grew up in NY knows what RC parish they lived in.

            1. I’ve moved the wife and family across both the Pacific and Atlantic more than once but it was much harder to convince the wife to live in NJ all of 15 miles from midtown.

              To be fair; no one wants to go to New Jersey.

              1. When I learned I had to accept a job in New Jersey I went to a con and wound up in Bob Tucker’s room party. The next morning I woke up at a friend’s house with my first (and so far, only hangover).

                OTOH, I got a husband and son out of the move.

              2. old school mate who was a rocker and a trucker, told his kids if they never want him to ever visit them, move to Jersey. It was the one place he will refuse to visit again.
                this from a guy who was flying into L.A. during the King Riots and the plane was shot at.

              3. >> “To be fair; no one wants to go to New Jersey.”

                Leela: “Who would have thought Hell would really exist, and that it would be in New Jersey?”

                Fry: “Actually…”

            2. Back in the ’90s I met a guy who was 40 years old and had literally never before left the Bronx. He’d never even been to Manhattan.

              Interesting bit about “parochial”: the police procedural series The Killing around ten years ago was set in Seattle. There’s a scene in which the mayor asks one of his aides “where he came up” and the aide says “I’m just a kid from Pigeon Point”. Now, Pigeon Point is a real neighborhood, but neighborhoods are mostly just geographical designations with no particular cohesion, and nobody in a west coast city talks like that. You would say “I grew up in Renton” (a suburb) or even “our house was in Ballard” (a neighborhood), but nobody says “I came up in X neighborhood” like an east coast city dweller would.

              It’s one of the two things in that series that just rang really false. The other one was that it poured down rain all the time instead of the “aggressive mist” that we actually get. I can only think that east coast focus groups knew “it rains all the time in Seattle” and their concept of “rain” meant “downpour”, and so the director had to get out the rain towers.

              1. People from NYC don’t call Manhattan, Manhattan; they call it the City or just New York. The only time they might mention it is if they are making a specific point. People from the outer boroughs will usually say which borough they’re from, I’m a Brooklyn boy myself, the wife from New York. We met through the CYO as did most of our friends since our friends are still largely those we went to kindergarten with.

                Technically, calling Manhattan NY or the City, note the definite article, is correct since NYC is a merger of New York City, which is also NY county, and the borough of Manhattan; the City of Brooklyn, which is also Kings County, Queens County, Richmond County, which is the Borough of Staten Island, and the Bronx, which is also Bronx county. NYC mailing addresses still reflect the old system, which is why you don’t address things to Queens but rather to Richmond Hill, or Astoria or what not.

                It was done in 1898 to reduce the power of Tammany Hall. Snort, that didn’t work, replacing honest criminals with educated rich people like Bloomberg and DiBolshevik did. We could use a bit more Tammany now and get rid of the Cambridge Masshole that’s mayor now.

                1. note the definite article

                  Williams College in the mid-’80s was about 1/3 from Boston, 1/3 from NYC, and 1/3 from everywhere else. The NYCers calling Manhattan “The City” grated on me; I can only imagine how the kids from Boston or Philadelphia or LA felt about it. Like, there’s more than one, you smug jerks. Of course, a girl from Long Island asked my friend from Portland OR if they had trouble with Indians out there, and a kid from somewhere east coast asked me in all seriousness if we lived in igloos in Alaska.

                  1. We’ve always called it that, sorry, I was brought up to tell the truth. Cheer up, the people who called it the city have all moved away and been replaced by people from Podunck who call it Manhattan.

                    Anyway, look at it from my side, Hobart College, Geneva NY early 80’s. Have you ever been mugged? No. Are you in a gang? No. Do you live in an apartment? No. Have you ever seen a cow? Yes. And best of all considering what has happened since do you carry a gun? No., though I have them and have actually shot wild animals with them that weren’t three game wardens, seven hunters and a cow.

                  2. DadRed once informed an individual from Back East that “oh yes, we’re pretty up to date. The Indians moved out last month, and the railroad line should be finished in a few more weeks.” The guy apologized for being a jerk and they finished their business quite amicably.

          1. I still do but she left me. My NYC is dead and gone. Good riddance many will say, but I at least mourn her. I was in the city a couple of weeks ago and, when you get off the main avenues, it looks like Detroit. There were thousands of small businesses, all gone and boarded up.

            1. I’ve never visited NYC. I’d hoped to visit some year during Christmas.

    1. I got an email from the shipyard commander today with the new mask policy. We only have to wear masks if we’re in a meeting, within 6 feet of each other, or inside and not vaccinated (but nobody is allowed to ask if anyone’s vaccinated). So, progress. On the other hand he said at the end that he’s going to be wearing a mask because he has small children and doesn’t want to risk bringing it back to them.

      1. Is he vaccinated?
        I know someone who’s vaccinated and intends to keep wearing a mask so she doesn’t give it to someone because they talk about variants, and how people might need boosters, and…


        1. Yep. Up here, some muzzles coming off outdoors, but many have the same twisted insanity.

          Today I get to take both cats to the vet. The vet has devised a barbaric system of care. They wear full PPE so they look like f’ing martian invaders. They take your animals from you in the parking lot and do whatever they want to them while you wait outdoors. No discussion, no nothing. But you can’t get flea and tick stuff without a vet’s signature.

          The grift and insanity are wearing.

          1. I took a cat to the vet the other day and it was nearly normal except for limiting the number of people in the lobby and everyone wearing masks.

            And you can get Cheristin flea treatment from Amazon without a prescription. I have a monthly recurring order.

            1. Dude. Seriously? You just saved me a trip to the vet.

              F these people.

              You have made me so happy.

              1. I used 1800PetMeds for everything Nemo needed. They had a prescription on file from my vet and just shipped it.

                1. I did the same getting pain meds for my mom’s old schnauzer, before we lost him to congestive heart failure. They wanted to know his vet’s name was all–I don’t think they even needed a prescription, maybe just a brief check with the vet to make sure it was ok, and they shipped the meds no problem. (Which was great, because the vet is an hour away–and the meds helped old Toby’s aches a lot!)

                  Chewie-dot-com is a great place as well. I think I got pain meds off them a couple of times.

                  1. Both chewy and petmeds demand a doctor’s prescription for flea medication, low calorie food, pain medications.

                    1. Ah, well, in that case our vet didn’t make any fuss about it. Not that he (or any of the others at his practice) would–they’re a pretty awesome bunch, withal. If you ever find yourself living in the vicinity of Rawlins, Wyoming–Carbon County Veterinary Hospital is AWESOME. (I hear good things of the other vet in town as well, but I’ve never had occasion to use her.)

                      This is the vet who, when I confessed my suspicions about where my dog came from (ie, she’s probably a $4,000 dog who escaped from a former neighbor who was notorious in our area for starving very expensive hunting dogs to death, because he was too drunk to remember to ever feed them) he looked me in the eye and said, as he slid the microchip under her skin “Well, no matter, she’s yours now.” (They all *hated* that guy at CCVH. They love their critters there.)

                      They won me over when I lost my first kitty to leukemia, and had to take her to them to put her to sleep. They sent me a sympathy card, and had made a small donation in her name to a pet charity–it’s standard practice. They’re just a great bunch.

                    2. It’s a date! Even if I don’t use him as my vet, I want to meet that courageous person.

                      People who starve animals should be dismembered while alive and allowed to bleed into the garden.

                    3. Heh. Our other neighbor, upon learning about my unexpected puppy acquisition, made noise to the guy’s landlord that he was starving a dog AGAIN…and the guy finally got booted out. Dunno where he went, frankly don’t care, wish more could be done to prevent him from getting his hands on dogs, sigh.

                      He did, before this occurred, try to claim that Mollywog was HIS dog (she’d escaped with my parents’ two dogs, who learned Bad Things from Mom’s old schnauzer, and in turn taught her Bad Things, heh) and Mom was rounding them up. She informed him “Nope, it’s my daughter’s dog, she’s chipped and everything” and he never said another word about it. 😀

                      I mean, the a**hole wasn’t even LOOKING for her. No posters, nothing. (Not that I’m really sorry about that, because once we realized she’d probably escaped from him–we weren’t morally bound by the presence of missing posters to return her!)

                2. I use petmeds, too, but the kittens haven’t been to the vet in several years, so my prescription expired.

                  I like the idea of freeing myself from the racket that vet-low cal cat foot-flea medication has become. My cats rarely go to the vet.

                  1. Same here. And the only reason I swing by the vet to buy my cat’s prescription food instead of online is that their prices are actually better than most online places, and also it’s convenient to where I work. (That, and it takes him more than a year to get through a single 20 lb bag–which is great for my budget, since those cost 70 bucks a pop. He likes to sneak the grain-free dog food–but since it seems to serve the same purpose as his diet food, ie, prevents the crystals from forming in his urinary tract, I don’t complain too much. And he’s lost some weight, finally…)

                    Our vet has actually indicated that he’s pleased he so rarely sees our critters–his comments, when we took the old schnauzer in to see what was going on (turned out to be congestive heart failure, alas) was that he’d never seen a 14 year old schnauzer in such great shape. (And even my enormous cat, while fat, is a healthy bugger 😀 )

                    Seriously, sounds like your vet suuuuucks. If you can’t keep your practice going unless you’re an a-hole to everyone, you’re doing it wrong… (Granted, ours I suspect the bulk of his income comes from treating the cattle and horses in the area, but STILL.)

                    1. The area is generally a communist shite-hole, so the vet attitudes reflect that mindless adherence to perceived authority.

                      But, I confess, I’ve gotten lazy. It’s so horrifying dealing with the public in any form I just accepted the poor treatment. “Oh, well, poor me, juss gotta do it for the cats…..”

                      No. I don’t. Even if I can’t find easy alternatives, I’ll find alternatives.

                      This crowd right here pumped me right back up. That and the fact that both OSHA and L&I have sold employees down the “You Must Be Vaccinated Or Die” river. (OSHA will no longer enforce the law that says employers demanding the vax are liable for side effects. WA L&I is following OR and demanding proof of vax status, including a lovely yellow star on your work badge so everyone knows you are among the pure.)

                    2. Exactly! You DON’T have to put up with poor treatment! That’s what a (semi) free market is for! You can take your money elsewhere 😀

                      As I said upthread…even in my tiny corner of Wyoming, we have TWO vets in this area (and used to even have one in a very tiny town close to my even teenier town where I live), so people have options. Or more, if they wanna go to Laramie or Casper or even further afield. I’ve got a coworker who runs a parrot/bird rescue, and while the local vet does great for most normal stuff (and she has a whole other menagerie of critters of various kinds–including, apparently, the world’s fattest gecko), she takes the birds to a specialist down in Loveland, because they know what to do with parrot species (and the ones here freely admit that the weirder crap isn’t their wheelhouse, but they’ll help in an emergency).

                      And then there is the internet!

                    3. You’re the best, thanks.

                      I feel like I can tackle both L&I and OSHA, all in one morning!

          2. Our veterinarian hasn’t gone full PPE. But the parking lot hand off is the same. (Except for final solution, then you get to go in to be with your pet.) Our veterinarian does call to converse with you and note options. It is just you don’t get to watch the process and overhear the conversations between the vet and assistants while animals are being checked.

            1. I feel like a big baby because this really upset me and I felt like circumstances were forcing me to do what I shouldn’t do.

              Now, my friend in West Seattle has given me info that means I don’t have to do this, and I can be responsible without feeling like I’m selling out.

        2. Yes.

          We have boxes where you can drop anonymous notes for management to answer. Some people have whined in the past about various Wu Flu things. I’m tempted to drop a note along the lines of “Why can’t the shipyard treat us like adults and let us manage the risks associated with an illness that has a 99.99+% survival rate among the working population?”

      2. “On the other hand he said at the end that he’s going to be wearing a mask because he has small children and doesn’t want to risk bringing it back to them.”

        It’s insane comments like this that make me grind my teeth, curse, and walk away. There is no risk. The slave muzzle captures germs that would other…..

        Nevermind. I’m glad for some progress on your work front.

        1. It’s been clear for over a year now that the old you get it the worse it is. Keeping it from his kids is literally the worst thing he could do.

  20. In addition to breaking habits, one thing I’ve noticed from the last fifteen months, is that my stress is higher because one habit I developed (instead of breaking) was the habit of being stressed.

    Even changes that ought to be positive somehow end up being stressful. Sigh.

    1. Doesn’t it feel a little bit like what Dorothy L. Sayers describes as “being eternally hunched up against things.” It’s as though somewhere deep your gut instinct says it’s time to lean forward in the foxhole even if you can’t see what’s coming.

      1. That’s it exactly. And it’s exhausting and makes you wish the disaster would happen already so you can recovering.


    Governor Snowman has said he will sign, and kind of has to given said snow related incident.

      1. A couple years ago I started saying that the NFA would be gone within 25 years.

        The recent news coming out of multiple states is proving me correct. He who hath ears to hear; let him hear.

    1. And I just got a notification from the Wyoming GOP that they just amended their constitutional carry law to allow ANY CITIZEN OF THE US TO CARRY W/O A PERMIT.

      Free America is defining itself?

      1. Free America must define itself. The left is working tirelessly to crush Freedom. That may be the only work the left cares about. Every punch back is critical, and carry w/o permit sends a clear message: the Constitution as written must be the law of the land.

      2. * Cheers! * Which, by Supreme Court ruling, includes National Parks (Yellowstone, Tetons, Roosevelt Parkway, etc), and other federal lands within the state (still can’t carry into buildings, but outside venues, no problem). Still in trouble if one fires the weapon, regardless of cause, within the National Park. But what is the saying? “Better to be judged by 12, than carried by 6.” Note, when we carry, it isn’t the 4-legged fuzzy wildlife we’re concerned with (besides a handgun, short of a small canon, is really worthless against the iconic road jam worth ones, be they omnivores or grazer). Not that we are open carrying, either (open carry just invites someone to scream “gun” and deadly misunderstanding consequences … Costco …); benefit of having a lot of camera lens. (Oh. Since we’ve gotten back, stupid boat tipped, again.)

        1. a handgun, short of a small canon, is really worthless against the iconic road jam worth ones, be they omnivores or grazer

          My mother once worked for a guy in Anchorage who killed a moose with a .357 when his rifle jammed and it charged.

          He was a serious gun nut enthusiast. I went to an office Christmas party at his house once, and he had a 30mm WW2 antitank gun on display. Deactivated, I hope.

          1. Deactivated, I hope.


            Why shouldn’t a free American citizen who has (presumably) never broken the law own a 30mm gun if he wants to? Because YOU think it’s scary? That’s exactly the argument used by gun-grabbing Leftroids, which they expand to include EVERYTHING. The British are preparing to ban knives now. What’s next? Saws? Hammers?
            The Democrats trust criminals with guns more than they trust you.

          2. Moose and Elk possibilities. But was thinking more Bison or Bear, Grizzly pr bigger Black.

          3. My Dad’s old .357 used to be my carry weapon when I hiked in Southern California. It was enough, but that mountain lion still freaked me out. I walked backwards down the trail with that .357 in my hand the whole way.

            1. I also carry Doggy Don’t. Makes the sound of a taser. Got it both for aggressive charging animals (domestic or otherwise) AND because nothing else was working with off leash, barking (doorbells), and drop it (dang cats are just too helpful in putting things that dog can’t have in her reach), at home. The “exchange for treats” worked, but not when really need her to release it fast (always have to go get treat, which takes too much time sometimes). But Doggy Don’t won’t do much against two-legged critters.


        2. The real epidemic is boating accidents and property loss. #SoSad

          And I didn’t think about the National Parks! Yay! And yep, I carry for the two legged predators, not the four legged ones.

            1. YES.

              Trailhead thieves are legion. If I see one I keep heading right toward them, hand on my weapon. Cheerful greeting such as “Hey, skank! That car yours there, buddy?” There’s a skankarama that rides around my usual hiking area on a dirt bike. Totally undercover. 😐

  22. A lot of the people moving are not those who voted for the problems.

    More importantly, aren’t those who were recorded as voting for the problems.

    1. I also want to point out that you can seriously misjudge things.
      One of the house we looked at, I was going “oh, dear Lord, typical leftists” (BTW the house was perfect, except for being in an area I didn’t think I COULD live in.) And getting out of it was dead cell phone zone three directions,w hich means I’d have a break down….
      Anyway…. I was going through and from scented candles, to organic everything, to the lefty “aesthetic” to free range kids, to…. I was going “D*mn, I love the house, but I don’t want to give money to ultra liberals.”
      And then we got to dad’s office. He had a diploma from Hillsdale college for taking a course on the constitution. His shelves had a lot of the books on the horrors of communism. AND when I stepped on the floor and it rattled (well, Victorian, okay?) shook the mouse, the screen came on. He didn’t have my blog on, no. But he had instapundit.
      We saw him return to the house, as we were driving around to see if we could live with the area (nothing wrong with it, btw, just TOO small. For me, anyway. The nearest grocery store was almost an hour away, past those dead zones) and yep, he looked like a lib.
      So, you know. Don’t judge on appearances. Crunchy cons exist. (And I’m often adjacent.)

  23. Speaking of people to vote for… Mark McCloskey, the guy with the titanium cojones who held off a mob intent on burning down his house, is running for Senate in Missouri:


    He’s on The Rubin Report today on Youtube, with all sorts of details you never heard, including how the mob came back to try to finish the job a week later.

          1. Only too young if laws actually matter. There are all sorts of penumbras now if you will it.

          2. I’d enjoy seeing Senator Rittenhouse too. Dang we have to wait 8 years, and 13 years, for Representative Rittenhouse and Senator Rittenhouse, sigh.

  24. Well,
    I have 8 sheets of 4 x 8 plywood in my garage that I was thinking about giving away. Now re-thinking that.

    Have a home project on hold because the outfit that draws up the plans for city approval is backed way up. So even with the crazy material prices, construction tradesmen are extremely busy here.

    Habits and changing conditions can be disorienting, but it leaves me with queasy memories of a former boss that always had us reading books (on our own time) that he thought would help us at work. What a joke. Anyway, “Who Moved My Cheese?” was supposed to solve any work inflicted misery. And, by gosh by golly, you could even apply it in your personal life to solve any confusion. Then, of course, on to the next book.

    I’m originally from NY but people are surprised if I tell them. I see that as a good thing. But, you know I feel like the crazies, lefties, are following me around. I move to a saner place only to find it turn after some years. If they keep following me I guess the next stop will have to be the boonies somewhere.

    1. hold onto the sheet goods. Egad. I kept seeing the “Showing off your extravagant wealth today is shooting 9mm at a sheet of plywood” and was thinking “What? 9mm is cheap, try 30-30, or .45 Long Colt!” but hadn’t looked at ply prices. Shooting .22lr at ply is wasteful extravagance just on the ply side of things!

  25. Yesterday I spent a half a day looking for the “order” I was supposed to get from Prime Now (groceries). I was told that they were having problems and that the deliveries were two hours late. I canceled after waiting two hours past the delivery time. So yea– the expectation that what you ordered will appear is breaking down as well. Now I will have to go to the grocery store and hope the items I need are there.

    1. My wife and I have had good luck with delivery from WalMart, and Kroger via Instacart. Don’t know if those are available where you are.

        1. Yeah, I know Fresh is an extra charge too. But WalMart seems to be more reliable.

  26. I haven’t read through all the comments – I’m really busy right now – so if I repeat what other commenters have said, take this as a “hell, yes.”

    The rest of the world going batshit over the WuFlu has, no doubt, Chinese psyops as a major factor, but the US response can also be blamed. “Leader of the free world” is not just a slogan.

    What happened – the economic, physical, and psychological destruction of this country- can be laid DIRECTLY at the feet of the Democratic Party and their fellow travelers, the NeverTrumpers.

    At the time, it was obvious that roaring economy was going to get Trump reelected, so Dem and NT governors seized on Covid19 to shut it down. They thought that throwing the brakes on for a month or two would be sufficient to dampen things enough that their usual combination of “free stuff for everybody” and good old fashioned vote stealing would get them victory. “The best laid plans”… They had a tiger by the tail, and by the time we were 3 or 4 months into the lockdown, they had to pretend to believe their own bullshit. They’re still pretending to believe ( Pelosi). Admitting that CV-19 is mostly just a bad cold would be admitting their own selfish culpability.

    Nobody wants to admit that they were wrong, even when it has little effect on anything. Admitting that they were wrong, no make that they were intentionally lying, is not going to happen. But we know. We know.

  27. And sometimes I don’t know how you guys put up with it those years.

    That’s when I started hanging out here.

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