Things That Help

This is a public service announcement: no matter how wild-ass optimistic this blogger sounds to you, it is important to remember she’s in fact a sad, habitual depressive.

She sort of learned to reality-check herself and to act less depressed than she felt, because lying down on the sofa moaning is a bad way to raise the kids. Not saying there weren’t days like that, but it wasn’t all the time. And so, they’re not as completely broken as they’d be otherwise, okay?

But the extent to which I’m still a depressive, and still horrified by what seems to me like inevitable doom headed down the pike not only evades you — as you throw things at me and tell me how blue-sky optimistic I am — but it often evades me.

Last week I did a deep dive into the first years of Obama on this blog. I was looking for some specific reference. I no longer remember what.

Here’s the thing: I won’t say that things that I didn’t expect DIDN’T go weirdly wrong, but I would say on the whole? The destruction they managed is about half what I expected. And the thing I DID NOT expect was Trump.

For al his faults, and there are many; for all his failings in understanding how to hire people; for all his failures in navigating the swamp, the man red pilled more people than I could ever even imagine.

I think part of this is my unique perspective. My work field is totally taken over, and it was, already, when I got in. I accepted, to an extent, a deal with the devil when I went in to it. And hurt my career to the extent I backed out of the deal. (The thing with Baen was complicated, but realize they still work with fully “converged” distributors and bookshops. And if you think that doesn’t matter you’ve never done that.)

The thing was that most people — most of you — didn’t know it. The cancellations were deadly, in the dark of night. You just suddenly — oh, ask Roger Simon, why don’t you? Or Brad Torgersen — lost all your talent and became a hack, mysteriously, over night. And the word went around that you just weren’t one of the good people. That you were bad in some undefinable way. And overnight you were unemployable. Untouchable.

And it wasn’t just in writing. I have friends who experienced these joys in journalism, in academia, and yes, in STEM.

But it was all done in the dark of night, and well hidden, and the conspirators kept their knives hidden. It was all how you weren’t good enough, or you had some major issue, from personality defects to unacceptable addictions. Whispered. Of course. And all support, all friendship, all employment vanished.

This has been going on my entire adult life.

So, now it’s done in the open. In full view.

Believe it or not, this is better. Even people like my husband who “hate politics” but have an innate sense of fairness can see it now. And it turns out most people are actually decent, and this stuff is stomach-turning.

Is it in full view yet? Well, no. But it is in view enough that people are waking up in massive numbers.

The same, btw, with the betrayal of the country, the ruin of our economy, and the attempts to get a world war going. EVERYONE CAN SEE THEM. And these things don’t work when everyone can see them. The left needs to preserve the appearance of virtue and good will to get away with this.

The first three years of Trump dented that. The last three years ripped it to h*ll and gone.

In the seventies, they convinced us we were plain running out of gas. Now we know they’re playing keep away with gas. It’s not the same. It won’t be the same.

In the seventies they pretended communists were high-minded early-Christian-like. Now …. except for some sheltered trust fund babies we know they’re mostly deadly rich f*ckups.

It’s all out in the open, and it can’t survive.

Is it going to hurt us like hell going down? Yeah.

But if my past blogs are any indication, only about half as bad as I expect. We might come through this in other words: scarred and prematurely aged, but alive.

So, in the interest of keeping things in perspective/staying sane or not terminally depressed, do keep that in mind.

Other things that help: Today was an utterly useless day for me.

I went for an early morning walk, came back inside and found that husband wanted to go for a walk. Came back, and son was sitting on back porch, reading. I talked to him about a plot, then read a bit. (until I get a sun shade, I can’t write out there, yet.)

Then husband wanted to go for a drive, so we did that. Then we came home and I read son’s story for a critique. And then–

Well, somehow we got take-out. And I think mostly for the drive across town.

Because it’s spring.

Spring, and the sun, help.

Doing something every day that won’t get undone overnight helps (DIL taught me that one.)

Going out and seeing normal people being normal, helps.

Petting the cats, dogs (or I suppose parrots, hamsters, guinea pigs or hedgehogs) helps.

Writing something strange and escapist helps.

Gardening helps.

If you find yourself waiting for the inevitable doom, go out and do something.

Doom might still come, but you’ll have enjoyed yourself a little bit before it does.

Be not afraid. It probably won’t be as bad as you imagine. You have an overactive imagination. It will be bad, but not that bad.

Go and do.

211 thoughts on “Things That Help

  1. Activity helps. Focused, purposeful, if at all possible, but activity. That’s one of the benefits of gardening, for example. As your DIL said, you get to accomplish something that won’t be overturned overnight, Seeing progress of any kind gets you set for more progress in other areas,

  2. Jerry Pournelle always used to say despair was a sin.

    “… ,lead us away from temptation, and deliver us from Evil.”

    Sarah, you’re still accomplishing a lot. Influence is a major part of driving a wedge into the cracks of the Woke. I know a bunch of us post links of your blogs on our Farcebook and other blogs, pages, and social media. Even if they look at it to point fingers, they still have to look, and each look is a straw on their camel’s back. Keep it up.

    1. Remember to put your hope in the right things. One ought to despair in some things from the start.

    2. Dr. Pournelle’s counsel was wise. He was the only living man whose judgement I rated consistently above my own – if we disagreed, I checked my own logic before checking his.

  3. I was talking to the wife about how I seem to be an optimist, at least compared to several who post here. She remarked that it must be a very dour group. Oh well, nil desperandum and all that. I love the line In Bujold, “you go on or you go under”. I have no intention of going under, too many people count on me for that.

    1. Partly, we self select for a yearning, driven by folks saying ‘it will go left, and be lovely’, to come to a place and say other things. Some times that means being into doomy doom doom.

      Partly, the recent stress and disorientation makes it more difficult to navigate debates, and patience with others more wearying.

      I’ve recently realized that not only do I often badly miss-predict others, the way I process ‘someone else must be badly wrong’* seems to have drastically overweighted my perception that makers of bad policy are themselves scary, crazy, and dangerous. It does seem to be true that many policy makers are crazy and dangerous. The way I was living life with the perception seems to have been pretty unhealthy, and depressing.

      I think dour describes here pretty well sometimes. Many of us can ‘see’ ‘black’ very well. However, it is technically possible to be very careful in our perception of ‘black’, and thus have some fairly shrewd estimates of ‘white’.

      If someone is a bit disordered with regard to fear, sometimes they can be systemic, and thereby see it in perspective, and calm down. Other times, a careful list just gets someone spun up into more extreme fear.

      I’ve been finding that careful attention to my own lack of knowledge has been extremely hopeful.

      Finding people with similar tendencies can be destructive, or helpful, depending. I think that I’ve gotten the most out of here when people haven’t had infinite tolerance for my bullshit.

      *I often calculate this incorrectly, because my default is that people have the same information I do, and process it entirely the same.

      1. I try very hard to remember that not everyone has the information I do, nor do they react to it the same way as do. What’s even harder is to remember they might have information I don’t have.

        1. I usually go the other way by reflex; I tend to assume people have information (good information) that I don’t have, when that’s often not the case. Unless I’m here, when it usually is…which is one of the reasons I come here. 🙂

    2. Might pass on that a lot of times, folks have specific things they’re very down on– and some folks have things they’re down on, that they’re fighting.

      And, for that matter, if you’re getting depressed, finding someone with a similar depression tendency who is not currently depressed is about the best solution you can get! They KNOW the arguments to try to help you pull up before you dive too hard!

      1. There are somethings, too, that just hit you in a bad place. Case in point, the main supermarket here where I live – Fred Meyer’s – lost one of the big veg bins that was out in the produce dept. Just a big hole in the floor organization.

        And there were no potatoes out.

        Well, no russets. Red norlands and Yukon Golds were still there, but only two small baking russets.

        I don’t want to see an fear górta again…

        1. Local Fred Meyers here, one of them anyway (we have 3) the russet potatoes have had very poor “select your own” all season, or small bags with small versions. What is (rumored) typically reserved for “where grown, unless at farm stand because all the best salable are shipped out” selections. Potatoes are harvested fall so selections shouldn’t be this bad. Apples? The variety is still good, but OMG the cost/# is up. Double on the lunchbox sizes, and 33% on larger sizes. Carrot and Banana prices holding, up a smidge but not drastic.

          Note, Costco has stated their $4.99 Rotisserie Chicken, grilled ribs, and $1.50 Hotdog/pop, are loss leaders. Granted Costco makes money on memberships and other services, has minimal markup, making very little on items sold but they don’t make a habit on losing on them either.

          1. A $5 Costco rotisserie chicken makes at least two good meals for a family. Most checkers there are astonished when I tell them how you make stock.

            (Mind you, the first trick is to not forget that it’s on the stove and turn it off at 10PM to find it HIGHLY gelatinized…)

            1. We get one huge meal. Then son works on it during the week. Cats and dog LOVE us for the remainder. No one gets bones. I don’t make chicken stock, but mom does. She’ll get one, have fresh chicken first night. Parse out the rest and freeze. Then makes chicken stock. Now that I have a Hot Pot should look into their process for quick chicken stock (crock pot died, smaller Hot Pot on sale at Costco, so why not a crock pot+?) I don’t have the patience for the stove top method, and don’t want to temp the cats, the little thieves.

            2. My son and I would get at least six servings from a Costco chicken. First meal: he got about 3/4 of one breast, I got one thigh and leg, for two servings. Second meal: I would make a chicken and macaroni salad with lots of diced green olives for the two of us with the remaining breast meat – two more servings. Third meal: I would reheat the other leg and thigh. Fourth meal: I would reheat the wings and carcass and pick the bones clean. So two servings more.

              Sometimes if I was feeling energetic I would put the second leg and thigh, wings and carcass with the gelled drippings, in the big pot, with water and a heaping spoonful of better-than-bullion chicken or turkey stuff, and the usual parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, dried onion, powdered lemon grass, etc., and simmer it for a couple of hours. Chill overnight, then pick off the meat – usually about 1.5 cups or more. Strain the broth, boil it with some wild rice, or noodles, add the diced chicken, and serve. This would make at least two, possibly three servings.

              Now I live about 100 miles from the nearest Costco and I will dearly miss their rotisserie chicken. sigh

  4. I like to joke around that being a pessmist, as I mostly am, is the best option…because I can never be disappointed. Either everything goes to poop and I can take pleasure in being correct, or things go good and I’m pleasantly surprised. There’s no downside! 🙂

    Thank you, Gracious Host, for being the semi-optimist that you are. We need you in these times.

    1. The power of negative thinking, is that all of your surprises are pleasant.

      Or so “They” say.

      As someone currently sitting here watching my computer going through over an hour of OS updates so I can file my fricking taxes…
      I find myself unpleasantly surprised.
      This type of thing happens a lot.

      1. Ouch.

        Our taxes were filed weeks ago. Mom’s and the kid’s (he’s over 30), weeks ago. Our money has been paid, as of Monday, and the return deposited, as of last week (surprised the heck out of me. Last year it was July before refunds hit.) I like TurboTax (we efile Feds, snail mail state).

        1. I use my Dad’s TurboTax. His Comcast connection went down right as I was getting ready to e-file my return. Luckily, I managed to figure out my phone’s mobile hotspot, connect his laptop to it wirelessly, and got it e-filed. Take that, Comcast!

          1. We file ours, son’s, and mom’s, using our purchased Turbo Tax. Haven’t used the Free Online version, not sure it includes state too. Technically we can eFile 5 federal returns and/or adjustments; State wants $19/efile. We messed up last year filing early-ish, for 2020, hubby thought all the calls closed after the first of the year. He forgot there were some that closed before the end of the year. So filed a corrections. Since mom’s taxes are $0 owed federal, she snail mails (usually state too, but she got a refund this year, because she paid last year, all of $29, but she paid). We all snail mail state. I refuse to pay to do their data entry.

    2. “Being a Puritan meant that he was never disillusioned.” A paraphrase of David Hackett Fischer referring to the doctrine of innate depravity and the lack of shock expressed by Separatists, Puritans, and other Calvinists when people behaved badly.

    3. The problem with pessimists is that they are often unable to take things for the better as a pleasant surprise. Instead, being stuck in a negative mindset, they discount the good bits and immediately focus on the problems now presented and possibly upcoming.

      Which is functionally the exact same thinking as being depressed, so why would we be surprised when the brain often goes ahead and stops with the happy-making chemicals? Think positive, refuse to lose your capacity for enjoyment of life?

  5. I spent last weekend at the New Braunfels FolkFest and thoroughly enjoyed the event – live music, a kiddie costume parade, a hay-ride, and lots of historical reenactors showing off their stuff. It was marvelous – real people, doing real enjoyable things with their families.
    Then I picked up take-out BBQ at Black’s in New Braunfels on the way home Sunday evening and enjoyed that two. Everything is NOT dreadful.
    And my garden is coming along nicely, too.

    1. It looks like Himself is using Murphy to help things this year. For the winter, we had about 14 inches of snow between Christmas and New Years, then nothing for January-March. Started to get the garden ready–the greenhouse raised beds got removed, along with several pounds worth of pine roots, and muck buckets are in place waiting for dirt. I do a 1:1:1 mix of SuperSoil, Manure (storebought + compost) and Just-Plain-Dirt for the pots. SS and Manure get tilled in the outside beds. Haven’t explored the root situation, just yet…

      All of the Just-Plain-Dirt is now dealing with Murphy’s contribution to Springtime. So far this week, we’ve had 6 inches of wet snow. The weathher-guessers think we won’t have a White Easter, but I’m not betting either way. We need the water (badly!), but this is just plain weird.

      Just another year in Flyover County.

      1. May 28th – I’ll be in Seguin for the Lone Star Book Festival that day – it’s set up around the courthouse square in downtown Seguin. I’ll be one of the ladies in 19th century costume.

  6. For me, Nature is the ultimate healing force…Spent 10 days last fall hiking in the rockies and it renewed me and my faith in the world…Globo-homo delenda est…

    1. That is a real thing. Our factory always had a small green space right around one of the main stairs. It was always nice talking a detour through that whenever the latest five alarm fire had gone bonkers on the floor.

  7. One of the benefits of being an engineer is you don’t care about whether the glass is half full or half empty. Rather, how can I fill that thing up again and again, how can I get a bigger glass, a cleaner glass, a self filling glass.

    We look at the is in order to understand how to better bring about the could be. Similar to how writing science fiction works I imagine.

    I couple that with my faith in Christ and am rarely depressed and then only at my own actions/inactions. Because He is good and He is love.

    Jer 29:11 ISV For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for well-being, and not for calamity, in order to give you a future and a hope.

    1. “The shrink put a glass half-full of water in front of me and asked if was a pessimist or an optimist. I drank it and said, ‘Problem solver’.”

      1. I find Terry Pratchett’s thing that while the vast majority of people think a glass is either half full or half empty, there is a segment who say, that’s not my glass. My glass was full and bigger explains much of the universe.

    2. And there I thought that every engineer knows that the true problem isn’t whether the glass is half-full or half-empty. The true problem is that Marketing specified a glass that was 2x too large! 😉

  8. Male Mormon with a Great Rack.

    Male – you’re evil
    Mormon – you’re evil
    Great Rack – you’re oppressed, but you have wrong-think
    Immigrant – you’re oppressed, oops you’re legal and you have wrong-think

    The left is based on envy and fear. That’s really all they have, but they turned it into enough power to rule. Only problem is that Americans aren’t ruled, we’re barely governable. And that only goes so far, see Prohibition, or the DMCA, or speed limits/stop signs, etc.) Individuals are willing to give lip service to idiocy, but when it comes right down to it we’re not going to follow it when we’re alone and it makes no real sense. Unfortunately the idiocy captures the business world, too.

    Our politicians are only interested in their next payday. Solving problems for the constituents isn’t a factor, just graft and paying back those that helped them get their position/payday. Otherwise they waste everyone’s time and money outlawing lynching, as if murder wasn’t already illegal everywhere. But now it’s illegalier! They’re Dean Wormer on steroids, just here to make our lives as miserable as possible because they’re miserable.

    1. I take that as an acknowledgement that they’re guilty as hell, and control the levers of legitimate redress.

      When the Wikileaks guy said that if we knew what our government did, we’d lynch 90+% of them, I thought it was laughable hyperbole.
      I think he was optimistic.

      1. “I take that as an acknowledgement that they’re guilty as hell, and control the levers of legitimate redress.”


      2. I used to rather despise Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Now, while I still have a lot of reservations about them, I’m wondering just how much of the criticisms of them are simply fabricated.

        It’s a sad state of affairs when your government can’t be truthful with you. It breaks you a little bit inside.

        1. Assange was a news media publisher owner and the U.S. government violated the Constitution going after him.

          Sure, Snowden broke the law, but as a whistleblower about illegal activities of the U.S. Government, that’s a nullifiable crime. Unfortunately, the U.S. Government has done a great job in setting a precedent violating people’s rights, especially when they’re doing so to point out the government wrongs. Which is why nobody trusts the courts or our representatives when it comes to reporting these incidents.

          1. Assange wasn’t a US citizen, so they had no jurisdiction over him, period…But thugs gonna thug…

          2. Made especially clear by the PATRIOT Act.
            I’m still pissed that I read the published bill and defended it from “conspiracy theorists”.
            Turns out, nearly all the stuff they were warning us about WAS actually in the bill, Just in a Classified portion that we weren’t allowed to see, and which was not acknowledged to exist.

            But the [bill was] on display…”
            “On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
            “That’s the display department.”
            “With a flashlight.”
            “Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
            “So had the stairs.”
            “But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
            “Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.

            —Douglas Adams

        2. Keep in mind that their revelations are also likely to be tilted, strategically incomplete, or likewise simply fabricated.

          The criticism that I care about is that they released information which gave no possible benefit except for helping people who were in danger from trying to save others, and shortly thereafter those people were dead.

          Right down there with someone who went searching for folks hiding from the Nazis, or the Soviets, and then revealed them.

        3. Almost with you on Assange. I saw value in what he was doing, but “muckraker” isn’t really an honorable profession.

          But not with Snowden. He put himself at personal risk to expose the government flagrantly violating our rights.
          That man should never have to pay for a beer as long as he lives.

          1. While Snowden did some good, I won’t ever go so far as to think he himself had good motives, because of how he went running straight to Russia to shelter him. Anyone getting shelter from Vladimir Putin, I will always question the motives of.

            (If my recollection is wrong, please correct my mistake, BTW.)

  9. Looking out my office window at blizzardy conditions. Not enough for them to let out school early but enough to really bum me out.

    If I didn’t have a job I probably would still be moping around in bed muttering about always winter and never Christmas.

    I need to see some spring.

    But, as bad as it may be out there now, I know spring will come and winter will finally pass.

    All the horribleness of the current political evilness will also pass. Like a much too long winter it will finally go and so I need to be ready to do the work that needs to be done after this horrible winter of darkness and death so that spring can be as glorious as I remember.

    Don’t forget how awesome the economy was after only a year or so of not as evil government. That will happen again and the wailing and gnashing of teeth from those who thought they could destroy it all will be quite satisfying I should think. They think they have us right where they want us. But they are very stupid and do not recognize a briar patch when they see one.

    A lot of people are waking up to the fact that they can’t count on government to do the right thing. World wide. And they are reassessing what they need to do for families and neighbors, themselves. TPTB will not be able to come back from that so easily.

        1. Speaking of questioning authority, I am interested to see how their twisting of congressional rules to host the January 6th hearings will work out for them in the long run.

          Not as well as they think it will I’d bet.

          They are stupid and NEVER consider that what goes around, comes around.

          Hard rains are going to come and they have paper umbrellas.

          1. If the Republicans have any wits (yes, I know), they will investigate. Specifically, they will investigate the FBI’s involvement in instigating unlawful activity, the actions of the Department of Justice in overcharging, and violation of the civil rights of the accused.

            Go look up “Church Commission”. Senator Frank Church chaired a committee that investigated the FBI and CIA around 1974…and found that they were engaged in wholesale domestic spying, etc.

            1. Most of the results of that investigation are still classified.

              And I recall from my youth the election in which Church was defeated. I lived in his district. Even as a kid, I caught the edges of whisper campaigns, and could see arms being twisted by both National parties to get him out.

              (Then got to the North end of the state in time to see a similar effort made against Helen Chenoweth.)

          2. Nah, more like Wile E Coyote with an umbrella to block whatever object of self-inflicted doom is headed his way. 😀

  10. Sarah, this is crazy. Check this out.
    I gave myself a 30-day challenge: write a short missive every morning that is uplifting, encouraging, rosy, but legitimately so.
    Yesterday’s writing was all about doing things that make you feel better, doing things that “help”: putting a string of firecrackers under a cardboard box and lighting them; shaking a soda can then pointing it outward and punching a hole in the bottom with a big nail….

    Himself is at work. Aslan is on the move.

  11. And it’s going to be GREAT on the other side. I won’t live to see it, not in this body anyways, and you might not either. But it’s coming, and these are the beginning of birthing pains. I was vouchsafed a vision, decades ago; it’s going to be great.

    1. To steal from Simeon the prophet (Luke 2:29-32 sometimes referred to as Nunc Dimittus, how it starts in the Vulgate)
      “Now, according to your word, Sovereign Lord, permit[ your servant to depart in peace.
      For my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples:
      a light, for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”

      Maybe Like Moses we don’t get to go in, but the Author promised it would come and He keeps his promises (Althought in His own good time)

    2. I agree..the time is coming for a return to community, tradition and our spiritual roots…That will be my next life…

  12. It is my observation that perceptive persons with a strong sense of right and wrong tend to get depressed. Irresponsible oblivions seem to be resistant to it.

    I find a good remedy is to buy a small can of premium dog food and personally serve it to your neighbor’s dog.

  13. Yesterday, I took my pixie for a walk down in our pasture (down to the pond, at least–we couldn’t go further because it has overflowed its banks). Lots of teensy flowers hiding in the grass, a lot of which are potential food sources, at need.

    We are not at need. I keep reminding myself of that: we are not needing to forage, nor hunt for the dinner table (we can–we’ve got massive squirrels, and rabbits all over the place). It’s good to know that these possibilities are there, but that we don’t need them.

    I have seeds to start when we’re past frost/freeze warnings (have one for tonight/tomorrow, and no telling when they’ll be done. Might actually start them now, though. I’ve got paperboard starter pots that we can just put in the ground.)

    I’m strongly considering chickens…the kids would probably enjoy helping out with that. And it would be good for them.

    1. I set out rain barrels last week when it was nearing 80 degrees and rain was forecast. There’s “water” in the barrel, but right now it’s in ice form.

      Flyover County Seasons:

      Almost Winter
      Still Winter

      1. Winter
        Fire and Still Cold
        Tornado Warning
        Fire and Hot as the Hinges of Hades
        Beautiful Autumn (which will be from October 12-14 this year)

        1. Freezing (About 3 Weeks)
          See-sawing Cold and Okay
          Damn Hot Plus Hurricanes
          Seatbelt Sizzle, More Hurricanes
          Still Hot, Even More Hurricanes
          Nice (But Still Hurricanes)

          …Tornadoes possible during any of the above.

          1. Feckin’ cold with chance of warm.
            Blizzard or dusting of snow.
            Rain. More rain.
            Flooding with chance of cold but sunny.
            Windy and sunny.
            Pollen apocalypse. Everything is yellow. Himself help you if you have allergies.
            Hot and discovering if there is a chance of 110% humidity. Scientific experiments on whether or not sweat can boil in open air.
            Slightly less inside-of-oven-with-soup.
            Warm days. Cold at night. Just about right. For about four days.
            Cool days. Slightly above or slightly below freezing with a chance of warm.
            Chilly. Getting cold. Might need a jacket soon.
            OMFB ITS COLD.
            Your blood needs antifreeze. Pipes burst, frost freezes locks, mustaches grow icicles.

            Technically we’re a microclimate, so there has been snow in May and 70 degree days in January before. But there have also been twenty below zero days in February and 110 degree days in August. Humidity is the only constant. Not roofing in Alabama in July humid, or tropical island humid, but pretty darned close.

            1. Fall (about 2 weeks in Anchorage, about 48 hours in Fairbanks)
              Early Winter
              Still Winter
              Winter With Cabin fever (including Fur Rondy & Iditarod)
              Breakup (ice and mud, not a speck of green. Some mosquitos who freeze overwinter and thaw out inthe spring. yes, that’s a thing in Alaska)
              Spring (about 2 weeks in Anchorage, 48 hours in Fairbanks)
              Tourist/Construction (Also called Summer)

              1. I’m impressed by fire season in Alaska. I’ve seen where the fires in the state outsize the rest of the country, combined. Hell, any state that can actually use a 747 tanker for fire suppression gets my profound respect. And a desire to be absent during a fire…

                Our 400,000 acre fire only rated a 757 or similar. C130s and P3s are more common for the smaller ones, though. California gets DC-10 tankers for their more enthusiastic fires. No idea what they used on the million-acre Dixie fire.

                1. Cold (currently in the ’50s and dropping like a stone, it’ll probably get as cold as the high ’30s at night, low ’60s in the day time).
                  Wet (they’re saying we’ll have at least one day of rain rain, one day of on and off showers, and two to three days of intermittent showers).
                  Windy (seriously windy, had a few flags torn off their poles).

                  …this is not normal April weather for us.

                2. “No idea what they used on the million-acre Dixie fire.”

                  Everything they could. And BSA Camp Lassen was evacuated, fireline built on the road into camp… and the firefighters stationed right outside vowed to save it. And Lassen still stands.

                  (Boy, was that a mess to clean up later, though. Including a bear getting into the kitchen.)

                  1. Camp Melakwa got scorched around the edges by the Scott Lake Fire. Luckily the fire occurred after both camp programs (used by Oregon Trail Council summer camp, and a Church camp two weeks after last BSA camp week) and the camp had been shutdown for the season. Council could not get into the area until next spring to assess any damages or safety threats. The council report was minimal on fire damage. Essentially scorched around the edges. List of what was lost, minimal. What was needed for Spring Beaver Day (camp clean up and setup) to address safety issues due to the fire, and not just prior winter snow fall. Then a long statement on why the camp fire safety evacuation procedures were so critical. Also noted that the backdoor evacuation route, to Scott Lake was what burned (there is one USFS logging road in and out, Scott Lake route is hiked out, not driven).

          2. Are you in Florida? Because I don’t think the rest of the US gets that many hurricanes.

            1. Blinks

              …You should look at North and South Carolina’s historical hurricane tracks. Not to mention the whole Gulf Coast, ’cause any time a storm hits the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula it’s anyone’s guess where it’s gonna hit. Amused

        2. We’re actually having something resembling spring. Of course, the trees are fornicating like crazy and there’s a line of severe thunderstorms headed our way, but nothing is perfect.

      2. I live in the part of flyover country that routinely floods instead of catches fire. Oh, and tornadoes. Yearly tornadoes (I eagerly anticipate this year’s tornado season. It’ll be…fun…to see what that does to the windmills). Otherwise…yeah.

      3. Jeeze, we’ve got:
        Winter with occasional outbreaks of spring or fall,
        Spring which every couple of years will be spring by averages (few days of summer, few days of winter, week of spring, repeat)
        Summer, which is nicely warm, not too humid, working in the sun at high noon will be flat HOT
        Fall looks like it’s stolen from movies, with occasional frantic “how many days has it been since you slept?” harvesting activity
        Back to winter, which starts out with being too warm for snow to stick until it’s nearly Christmas, but too cold for bugs.

        Occasional tornadoes, but mostly thunder lightning storms.
        (What? Thunderstorms back in the north west, you’d hear a lot more lightning than you saw. Last night, sat there for like twenty minutes watching the lightning– heard MAYBE three thunders! Only one was one of those “holy cow the thunder is just going and going and going, should I worry?” rather than a roll. It’s a lightning storm, courtesy of No Freaking Mountains!)

        1. We used to watch the lightening storm go up the river in the morning, down the river in the late afternoon into the evening. Columbia River. Sitting in Longview at the log export docks. Shutdown while storms were in progress. Wind blew off the ocean, up river toward the gorge in the morning, down river from the gorge, to the coast in the afternoon.

    2. If it really came down to hunt or starve for me, well, I may be in the ‘burbs, but there’s deer in the woods of the park within walking distance and I’m pretty sure I could figure out how to butcher a deer.

      Between the bow and arrows (hmm, need some broadheads first) and the freedom seed dispensers I’m pretty sure I could bag one.

        1. The Staten Island dump in NYC has the dreaded “dump deer”. They swam across the Kill van Kull from NJ and have overrun NY’s most bucolic borough. Given what’s in the Kill van Kull, never mind the dump, these deer would be a true test for sportsmen. While you’re at it, you could take one of the flightless seagulls who have become so fat on dump detritus that they no longer fly or the dreaded dump rat, which is to normal NYC rats as a tiger is to a tabby.

          1. Couple dozen twelve year olds with .22s and some good safety instruction could put a significant dent in those populations, assuming the price of ammo ever comes back down to Earth.

            1. You could hunt them at night since there’s so much crazy stuff there that they glow in the dark.

      1. Heart/lung shot will do. Deer ain’t particularly smart critters. Wound one enough, you can track it down once it bleeds out. I prefer not to do that, though. A quick death is merciful. Pick out the old or the sick ones. Don’t nick the large intestine when gutting, that’s messy.

        Cool down the meat quick once you butcher it and it will last longer and taste better. Chances are good you can get lessons from a more experienced hunter in your area sometime if you like. Most hunters don’t mind teaching the newbies. Extra hands when cleaning the kill are always nice.

      2. We have a herd of deer. A big one. With really big deer–the oldest doe is the size of a small cow. They love my five acre pasture.

        1. The local herd saunters down the alley behind my house in the evening. I counted a dozen before rolling my eyes and giving up. I have no idea where they are during the day. During the holidays, I drove past a lit up house and thought to myself, “what a large reindeer display”; then they started moving.
          I don’t need a gun or a bow, a k-bar would do (although I’m probably not that spry, it makes a good visual).

      3. My vision does not allow me to down deer by any means other than 1) sheer luck or 2) vehicular cervicide. But I learned how to butcher deer from YouTube and was pleased with the results. Rumble probably works as well or better. Just sayin’.

    3. Re: The chickens – I suppose it depends on the scale. We (Dad) decided to do chickens one year on the farm. 50 of the peckers, and Bob ‘got’ to be in charge. Best day of that year was the day we butchered the @ 30 remaining of the flock at the end of the summer.

      1. Honestly? Victory Garden advice (one laying hen per member of the family plus one) was sort of what I was planning. Between half a dozen and a dozen. I’ve seen what happens when the flock gets TOO big. Grandma had several dozen, and in flocks that size, they remember that they once were dinosaurs…

        1. Bloody Mary – the hen that taught me revenge is a dish best served hot! Not cold! Using a pressure cooker to reduce her scrawny old self to soup, and with a side of garlic bread!

    4. I’m looking at a rain barrel, especially as we’re heading into drought, and a victory garden, square foot verson. Chickens, not so much. Fortunately, I have a neighbor who does chickens, for slaughter, and eggs are a delicious byproduct, if of uncertain numbers each week. I am now saving kitchen scraps for chickens, instead of the compost bin… Which does produce questions to friends like “chicken people? Are eggshells okay? What about onion tops? Moldy cheese?”

      1. I saved eggshells and toasted them then ground them and sprinkled that on top of feed when I was trying to be thrifty. Eggshells aren’t bad per what I saw, but they teach the hen to eat eggs which is counter productive.

      2. My grandma used to feed crushed eggshells back to her chickens. Doing that meant she didn’t have to buy the special feed for the layers that helps their bodies build the eggshells.

        1. We did the same thing. Ground it up and then mixed it with their mash. Really helped make thick shelled eggs. Not so fragile.

  14. Meanwhile rack at the branch: I hadn’t thought about it but I guess personally and family (family, as there’s no such word as familically.) I’m an optimist, I/we got through yesterday, and today’s a good day. Oddly enough that’s the way most todays are.

    The Big Picture, not pessimistic but definitely stoic; pestilence, famine, war, politicians, heat death of the universe, -can’t stop it. None the less I can throw another log on the fire, brew some more White Nights Stout and give my savage teenage granddaughter another ballistics lesson. Sitting up here on top of the world I can’t really complain.

    Not necessarily germane, but I watched a moose doing a great job of trimming my lilac bushes for me last night.

    1. One of the high points of our time in Alaska was looking out the trailer window around 11:00 one night and watching a moose leisurely come out of the woods to graze by the parking lot. And he really did have a great rack!

  15. “If you find yourself waiting for the inevitable doom, go out and do something.”
    This, a thousand times this. The greatest revenge we can have on these people is surviving what is coming, and making sure the next generation is informed and prepared as much as possible. That won’t happen by laying down and waiting for what comes. Nothing good comes from passively floating downstream; if you don’t take control, somebody else will.
    Unfortunately, I have a fascination with history and a very active imagination. I realize it won’t be as bad as I think, but that’s not a lot of comfort.
    And I might not be pessimistic enough. That’s what keeps me up at night.

    1. So true. I am an optimistic pessimist. I think that RAH had it right Optimist in outlook, pessimist in action. I taught my kids that outlook to good effect. They prepare well and work for the best possible outcome.

      I to have come to see that it may in some ways be not as bad as the fears that keep me up at night. But i am seeing that it is going to be bad in unexpected ways. The resilience that is America shows surprising vulnerabilities. Surprising to me at least. What strikes me is that I start to get a glimmer of second and third order effects that seem out of place and take a reexamination of my assumptions. There are no coincidences,if you observe such question your starting assumptions.

      Oh well, keep building and prepare minds and hearts to the task of rebuilding this grand experiment.

  16. You’ve cheered me up. Now I can contemplate the fact that it’s too late for me to become prematurely aged.

  17. There are growing numbers of dissidents among us. At the same time, the number of actual Leftist authoritarians is not overwhelmingly large, Bolshevik ‘yes’, large ‘no.’

    Chief Superintendent Reginald Bright : “A moment’s courage or a lifetime of regret – that’s always the choice.”

    Their goons will threaten to torch every city of size and cancel all dissidents, we cannot allow that to happen.

  18. I hate to think how much time and energy I’ve wasted dreading upcoming events in my life, envisioning the worst case scenario… and it never comes to pass. It NEVER does. Not saying it’s all flowers and unicorns, but never as bad as I anticipate. I still do it but I’ve learned to tell my mind to shut up. Exercise helps.

    1. As Mark Twain put it (or so I’m told), most of the bad things that happen to us never happened.

      1. I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.
        Mark Twain

  19. “In the seventies, they convinced us we were plain running out of gas. Now we know they’re playing keep away with gas.”

    Back in the bad old days of middle school, assorted jerks and bullies would sneak up on people, snatch some personal item, and then play keep-away with it, laughing as their hapless victim ran uselessly back and forth. It was infuriating to watch, and as someone who was frequently picked on, I dreaded being chosen for that “game.”

    But I noticed that unlike other bullying tactics, this one was very vulnerable to disruption. I resolved not to play their game — instead, I planned to turn it into my own personal game of (the very insensitively named) smear-the-queer. Now, I wasn’t an imposing specimen back in those days; tall, but skin-and-bones, shy and nerdy. So my plan was to identify the weakest one in the group — and instead of grabbing for the stolen item as expected, hit that mf’er as hard as I could and rub his face in the dirt. And do it again and again, until they either quit “playing” or I had to run away.

    Luckily, I never had to put that plan into action back in the school days. Later, in my mid 20s — 80 pounds of muscle later — some idiot former jock, who routinely did this kind of thing to all our other coworkers, thought he had a license to pull the same kind of shit on me. The old plan came in pretty handy. He thought I was going to grab for what he’d taken (it was just a crappy, replaceable pen, but it was MY pen), but instead, in one move, I grabbed his shirt front, twisted it around his neck, and pinned him against a wall with my fist on his Adam’s apple. Game over. He was a toxic piece of shit, so he found other small ways to mess with me, but he never tried that humiliation ritual again — with me or anyone else at that job.

    Now, how does this apply to the present situation? Not really sure. It just feels very similar. They’re playing keep-away, and they think they can do it until we just get tired of it and they get what they want. Which is mostly just our humiliation as we attempt to win this rigged game they’ve set up by basically mugging us in the hallway.

    So there’s two ways out. One is for the picked-on nerds to realize that they outnumber the bullies, and that if they just stick together the assholes have no chance. Another is to counterattack. Pick a weak link and whatever or whoever it is, fucking DESTROY it. Now what would that weak link be? I don’t know. I am a bit smarter than the average bear (not here, but elsewhere/in general), but I’m no genius, nor am I any kind of leader; I’m just an introverted nerd who thinks and dreams about things and doesn’t understand people very well.

    1. It has occurred to me just now that many people were not bullied enough in middle school.

      If they had been, they might have developed more of a sceptical disregard for the opinions of those who think they are hot stuff.

      I watch the insufferable smugness on news readers of the day and I find myself refusing to care one teensy bit about what they think.

      Show me facts and graphs and I will make my own mind up about it, thank you very much. But you can’t MAKE me agree with you and your bully posse and your two minute hate casts.

      1. Nah, all they can manage is a Ten Second Hate. They lack the attention span for a proper Two Minute Hate.
        “They were the bad guys, as you say, we were the good guys, and they made a very satisfying THUMP when they hit the floor!”

      2. I think I made my quota (wry smile).
        Although it means I can claim victim points as a “victim of homophobia.” I couldn’t understand why the two guys jumping me in isolated corners of school kept calling me “a” queer. If they’d just said “queer,” it would have made more sense. (I had a sheltered childhood).

      3. They were bullied– they just didn’t have anybody saying “no, this is wrong.”

        So they internalized it, and became even better victims.


    2. I only saw that “game” once or twice.

      Probably because my response was to disrupt it, alright– by walking into the middle of it and catching the stolen item, with much loud “stop that, it’s a jerk move” type talking.

      That, of course, got someone to try to snatch my backpack.

      …turns out that a 45lb backpack isn’t very sprintable, especially when someone can and will get up, sprint after, and then plant her feet when she grabs the straps.

      1. And then kicking the jerks where it hurt. Yep. Fact I was larger than most males my age stopped that cold.
        HOWEVER my older cousins liked to play this with me….

  20. I’m seeing signs such as the comments on Not Always Right not automatically praising people who are being rude to people who can’t wear masks. (They still are mostly for the masks, though.).

    My liberal friend has been mostly silent on her blog, strangely. Though she did recently post something about everyone needing more empathy. And somehow she didn’t understand what he meant when Drak basically told her “You first.” It always amazes me what she doesn’t understand.

    1. So many on the left seem to believe they are the Good People, whose opinions are universally correct, and since they are correct, it would be wrong to compromise on any issue.

      1. Indeed, they do see themselves as Good People and what works for them, has to work for everyone. I have enough humility to realize that what is good for me, might destroy someone else.

    2. The really sad part about her post is that she was whining about a person with “immune problems” and that person couldn’t leave “his” home because people in Florida weren’t wearing the so-called anti-China Flu masks.

      My thought was “would the common cold harm that person and should everybody wear masks to prevent the spread of the common cold”. 😦

      1. Of course they should! Colds and flu kill thousands of people every year and always have, we just never panicked about it before. Never mind that cheap paper and cloth masks are useless to prevent the spread of viruses, make everybody wear them anyway! Because it might make a few infantile neurotics feel better.

        I still see the stupid masks everywhere. Idiots wear them while driving in their cars with all the windows rolled up tight. They cross the street to avoid anybody not wearing one.

        Masks are a lie!

        The mask quickly fills up with dust, bacteria, mold spores and exhaled water vapor. Within half an hour it becomes a paper petri dish strapped to your face. How many people have gotten sick, even died, from diseases they got from the stupid masks?

        1. Don’t encourage me. 😉

          I can think of a much bigger rant that I could make on that blog.

          Unfortunately, doing so would make me feel like I’m kicking a poor little puppy dog that can’t know better. 😦

            1. There’s a difference between “kicking the puppy” and “rubbing the puppy’s nose in it”. 😉

              I might have the patience to train a puppy but I lack the patience to “train the blogger”. 😦

        2. Of course they should! Colds and flu kill thousands of people every year and always have, we just never panicked about it before.

          Back when we were racists for going “China is having a nasty respiratory disease outbreak, it’s OK for folks to think maybe they should avoid places with a risk of transmission, and oh yes, folks from China can and do visit China for major festivals, sometimes” I was informed that not only did nobody avoid the flu/cold, but it was evil to do so and nobody SHOULD avoid the flu.



      2. I wondered what she thought she could do even if she were in Florida to help him. It’s not like he’d let her in.

        1. Liberal “empathy” like Liberal “compassion” consists of telling other people what to do. 😦

          1. We are beneath them. To empathize with us would be an abomination for the communists. Their empathy is reserved for those they consider peers.

          2. I have literally seen one of them ranting that the Republicans have brainwashed people into not supporting the compassionate people.

            1. Related to that is their apparent belief in Evil People preventing them from Gaining The Support Of The People.

              They focus on prominent people as the Evil-Masterminds who are “responsible” for the People not supporting them.

              Look how they viewed Rush Limbaugh for example. Some of them apparently believed that Rush controlled the Republican Party.

              Of course, this “explains” why they are still “trying to get” Trump. He became (in their “minds”) the great enemy that prevented their Great Victory.

              They can’t just kill him. They have to find some Great Crime that he committed in order to “dishearten” the “foolish” ones who look to Trump as a Great One. Needless to say, Trump didn’t create the hatred toward them. They created it themselves. 😈

              1. This is how the gulags were always full. Since the Glorious Future had not arrived, it must been the kulaks! (Because it had to be willful, everything that had no choice was in support.)

    3. Peter Whittle on the “So What You’re Saying Is” podcast yesterday noted that the pro-trans activists who always say “Be Kind” are never ever kind to anyone else.

  21. I mentioned Spider Robinson yesterday. As I said I feel sorry for him, but I remember one comment from another Callahan’s Bar story: that many deliberately funny people are wrapped around a core of pain. I’ve seen the truth of that in my life and the life of people close to me. It’s probably true for a lot more of us here, too.

    1. Pain becomes less serious when you can laugh about it. There has to be something beyond pain, else those afflicted would just give up and die.

      So yes, a person who is hurting feels that pain. But there has to be something more important than the pain. It’s the same way with addiction. There has to be something more important than the high.

      Some people get it from religion. Not a thing wrong with that, so long as it harms none. Others, love and family. Those are big supports for someone dealing with that stuff. Heck, it could be a pet even. People are a lot more conscientious about giving their cat his medicine than they are about taking their own medicine.

      Humor and laughter, sharing that with others and seeing them receive honest enjoyment from the joke, that fills a hole inside a person’s soul. If one is not naturally socially gifted, humor is one safe outlet to getting that social interaction that all of us, even extreme introverts, need at least a bit of.

      Seeing beyond the laughter and pain can be hard sometimes. But there’s a real world out there. You’ve got to be in it to appreciate it.

    2. Humor, definitely. I can even see the rationale: proper rephrasing of your pain makes it easier to cope with. My hunch is that many, many consistently creative people are fueled by pain of one sort or another, but that may just be because I grew up surrounded by dysfunctional creatives. 🙂

    3. He lost both his wife and his daughter in a short period of time, and he’s always been agnostic/atheist, so he didn’t really have a bolster when they died. In 2018 he had been away from fandom for years in the wake of their deaths, so he didn’t have that support either.

      “Core of pain” is a pretty good description.

      1. I noticed Margaret the AI had a very short shelf life. And I just this second realized the significance of her name.
        So I’m slow.

    1. And all I can think of is my maternal grandfather, whenever any of us grandkids would complain about rain he’d say, “You’re neither sh*t nor sugar you’re not going to melt”. Drove maternal grandmother insane as she did not use such language, nor tolerate it. Although obscenity just got your hand spatted, using the Lords name in vain would get Grandad to take the belt off. Even at his most incensed (usually talking about FDR) I NEVER heard him use profanity or take the lords name in vain, statements that might make a sailor blush yes, but profanity no.

  22. Yeah, my post raving processing pointed out something to me.

    I’ve actually drastically over predicted the amount of malicious insanity in explaining certain indicators.

    There is no way that we could actually have that many around. If the death stats are at all reliable, we aren’t seeing enough of the right sort of deaths to match to the wrong theoretical model of mine.

  23. So, now it’s done in the open. In full view.

    Believe it or not, this is better. Even people like my husband who “hate politics” but have an innate sense of fairness can see it now.

    And just like “Believe All Women” slapped back and hit the wrong side– the folks defending it by saying that it’s always been just like this, only fools thought otherwise, and all the other variations of everybody does it run up against folks who know it wasn’t done normally, that there was a reason they were more careful about choosing their targets– and they notice how overwhelmingly one sided it is.

      1. That fits with what I’ve seen, when I try to dig into “is there a good reason for this” type research.

        I did find both sides had justifiable instances.
        I didn’t find “fired because left wing.” I found “left wing, but fired because did thing which got right wing guy fired, too.”

  24. Speaking of domestic enemies, the self-proclaimed trained communists who run BLM organization are angry they have to make the financial disclosures that all such organizations are required to make, and want to keep their theft of funds donated to them for personal use secret and above scrutiny. Like all commies, they believe that they are above the law.

    In a rational world, they all face criminal RICO charges along with embezzlement, fraud, wire fraud, etc. Democrats and the rest of the usual leftist crowd will attempt to prevent any effort to hold these criminal communist revolutionaries accountable.

  25. Just found this on Twitter, let’s see if I can copy:

    “The Mountain”
    If the mountain seems too big today
    then climb a hill instead.
    If the morning brings you sadness
    It’s OK to stay in bed.
    If the day ahead weighs heavy
    and your plans feel like a curse,
    there’s no shame in rearranging,
    don’t make yourself feel worse.
    If a shower stings like needles
    and a bath feels like you’ll drown,
    If you haven’t washed your hair for days
    don’t throw away your crown.
    A day is not a lifetime
    a rest is not defeat,
    don’t think of it as failure,
    just a quiet, kind retreat.
    It’s OK to take a moment
    from an anxious, fractured mind,
    the world will not stop turning
    while you get realigned.
    The Mountain will still be there
    when you want to try again,
    you can climb it in your own time,
    just love yourself ’till then.
    –Laura Ding-Edwards

    Found in a thread on alcoholism.

  26. Speaking of “prematurely aged”, has anyone else noticed all the headlines and tweets from Ukraine that look like:

    [picture of wrinkly white-haired old woman standing in rubble]
    Caption: Maria, 57 [!!!] something something

    We Americans are in astonishingly good health well into late middle age and elderhood, even counting the obese/diabetic/whatever contingent.

      1. It was something like this in the Vorkosigan series, wasn’t it – that several characters noticed how battered and old native Barrayarans looked, compared to galactic citizens of the same age.

    1. I just turned 45 and while the darker circles under my eyes don’t seem to be going away, I only have a hint of crow’s feet at the corners. Really, the major hit is to my metabolism. (I would DEARLY LOVE for my body to work on a principle of “if you aren’t getting food, burn some of that fat you’ve been gathering for that purpose!” That’s less for the weight-loss reason and more for the fact that I would love to not turn into a hangry lunatic if I miss a meal or two.)

      1. “if you aren’t getting food, burn some of that fat you’ve been gathering for that purpose!”

        You too? I swear miss a meal or two and my body goes “Starvation! Must grab on and hold onto every molecular fat making material for survival!” I gain weight! I don’t binge because that just makes me sick. Dang it.

  27. Petting the cats, dogs (or I suppose parrots, hamsters, guinea pigs or hedgehogs) helps.

    But do not pet the porcupine.

  28. Honestly? I think they believe everyone who were old enough to remember what was touted as fact in mid-70’s is suppose to be dead, except them. I can be forgiven for believing them then, I was 15 … Now? Fool me once, shame on you. Try to fool me again? I cry “Get a shovel the BS is getting deep.”

  29. What you say about the whisper network is why I grind my teeth when young’ens start blabbing about how conservatives gave up the arts and that’s why things in pop culture are the way they are. No, we weren’t allowed into it, no matter how talented. I never hid my conservative leanings. I couldn’t, because I wasn’t going to ignore my principles just to be accepted into some gross artistic/creator clique.

    And due to that, my art went from being fantastic to junk. Gigs dried up, and there wasn’t an option at the time of going around the gate keepers. So instead, I did a 180 and went into another career. And now? Now all those artistic skills are dried up.

    But, yes, I grind my teeth, when I hear some millennial talk about how conservatives just weren’t interested in creating, or worse, state conservatives aren’t creative or else they’d be in the creative arts.

    1. Additional rage factor:
      They ABSOLUTELY FREAKING IGNORE all the places that it worked– like Western associated stuff surviving by going from fair to rodeo to “whatever big group was willing to invite me.”

      I tend to look at Baxter Black (because his poetry is AWESOME, look up a Vegetarian’s Nightmare), but there’s also folks like Chris LeDoux who became broadly known when they were mentioned by song writers who were actually familiar with the sub-culture– Garth Brooks mentioned one of his characters having well-worn cassettes of Chris LeDoux in Much too young to feel this da*n old because that’s what rodeo cowboys HAD, at least regionally, and then folks wanted to hear this guy.

      1. I gather that Garth “borrowed” much of Chris LeDoux’s onstage act. Sadly, only a little of LeDoux’s work turns up on the radio, “Stampede” being the only one I can think of.

    2. Or “Conservatives don’t write science fiction and fantasy” when they’ve been locked out of publishing. Fortunately, that’s being brought to an end. Nobody wants to read conservative writers, either — aside from the 200,000 people who donated $40 million to Brandon Sanderson, anyway…or the fans who bought enough of Larry Correia’s books to fund his Mountain Lair…yeah, just those few…

      1. Point. I hadn’t written anything of substance in nearly twenty years before I started dabbling at it again here. I haven’t sketched anything in nearly thirty, but I know it’s still there. I used to doodle cartoons on Christmas cards. I learned from things my grandfather let behind- he wrote a book on, basically, “how to art” that was never published.

        Skills atrophy. This is true. But, you can pick them back up a heck of a lot faster than learning from scratch the first time. If I can go from absolutely zip, zero, nada writing for two decades and all the crazy crap that went on in those years (to include having to relearn how to talk), y’all can too.

        The thing is, I think the writing/creative side doesn’t slide quite like, say, shooting skill does. The creative brain doesn’t stop completely. It may hide for a time. It may be underutilized. But it’s still there.

        1. I suspect that’s because shooting skill also depends on muscle memory. If you keep shooting, the muscles are trained, and any changes in their response is gradual, allowing you to adjust. Come back in 20 years and your muscles/nerves/etc. are effectively starting from 0, even if you still remember all the theoretical steps.

          1. On the other side of the coin, bad habits can atrophy. My .45 shooting was a lot better after a long hiatus, because I lost the tendency to anticipate the recoil, thus shooting low. On the gripping hand, I need to do a lot of range work. If I can find where the relevant pieces tragically sank. Damned canoe.

          2. Shooting actually comes back pretty quickly.
            At least to competent levels.
            (Mastery is something else.)

            You’re trying to use your muscles as little as possible to achieve your natural point of aim, so muscle memory is, in large part, cheating on the fundamentals.
            Ignoring most everything else while repeating the mantra “natural point of aim, clear front sight tip, slow steady squeeze” does wonders.

      2. This this this.
        I was so scared to learn to draw I threw up.
        I keep two pieces hanging on my door – they are pretty good, and though I still get nauseated when I take up my pencil, I know that’s the enemy of souls.
        Do your work, artist. Do your work. Do your work.

        1. I guess I’m not so much scared to draw, as realizing no one will see it. That means, what’s the point of trying to learn back skills that have no ROI. My days of doing art I don’t enjoy for free hoping to get acceptance are over. The few things I do put up on deviant art get very few views. All I’ve ever gotten from locals I know are “You’re art is really good. Can you draw my vague idea for a comic book for free? It’ll get you exposure!” One was an actual professional author, who should have known better! I responded back with the industry standard page rate, and I’m open to negotiation….and if it were a cartoon, there would be speed lines as they ran away.

            1. Ahh, Thank you! I appreciate you going to check it out. =) The stuff I did with Daz which are really hard to tell if it’s real or memorex, deviant are won’t let me upload as I don’t have a model release!

              I’m still learning covers for my own stuff.

              I used to do comic books/sequential art, which is a LOT more work and going rate at the time was ~$100 per page for pencils….and inking was extra. I used to use ClipStudio, and was willing to negotiate. Heck, for the professional author, I was willing to negotiate a trade in services, but nope.

              1. The stuff I did with Daz which are really hard to tell if it’s real or memorex, deviant are won’t let me upload as I don’t have a model release!

                K, that’s annoying, but… also funny.

      3. And I’m talking today, recently, within the last six months. This isn’t “oh, I was twelve, and so stuck, and then voila!” Nope. 62 and facing it.

  30. “…as you throw things at me and tell me how blue-sky optimistic I am…”

    This is why I keep exhorting you to cheer up. Too many people suffer from Battered Conservative Syndrome. They are so used to being cheated that they start to give up. No. My own mindset is that I’m waiting for the right moment for the counterattack. Let the enemy overextend himself…then charge.

    And that moment is very near to hand.

    1. This helped.
      I’m so weary of all this shite.
      I have so much to do in my life, it’s messing everything up, all the weariness and pessimism. It’s not natural to me.

  31. I have to remind myself that these people “win” on the basis of us giving up.

    It’s been rough. I’ve been working effectively four jobs, one and a half I hate, since the first of the year to get my degree done. Just got to make it to the end of May without going crazy, one way or another. (And, if I have to hear one more thing about homework equity and the unfairness of a lot of things, I’m going to go nuts.) Then, I have…two and a half jobs. A half of which I hate.

    And, I’ve long ago come the conclusion that I may never find joy in this life. But, a well-honed sense of spite and making it brutally clear to God that if He wants me, he’s going to have to come here Himself and get me works…about as well.

  32. Thanks for these posts as always. It’s safe to say it helped this multi-day weather, work, and escape delay slump start to burn out. Along with the fuzzies, of course, with L being a wonderful photography subject and R and C being their demanding snugglebug selves – C in particular right now! Hopefully things will get back on track soon personally. And for the bigger picture, as soon as the time hits.

  33. Fingers crossed, ill finish a project of mine soon. My own bit of “writing”: a piece of software. If i finish it and can get set up with a seller, it might be of interest to sci fi types. If so, may i advertise it here, perhaps during you weekly promotional post?

  34. I think even very leftist people are starting to get tired of it. Hugh Laurie just produced a three-part “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?” for BritBox, and it’s a pretty straightforward Christie adaptation. But he got tons of stars to participate, because they wanted normal too. And even the Radio Times reviewer, who was anxious to say that of course he/she liked the stunning and brave Dark Phelps Versions of Agatha Christie, admitted that the straightforward version was pretty darned good, and that most people would like it better.

  35. I try to remember that anyone who wants me demoralized is my enemy and keep my spirits up out of spite if nothing else. Seriously, though, my hope is in Christ.

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