I Feel The Ground Shifting A Blast From The Past From September 2018

*Okay, first a confession — when I said they’d go crazy, even I couldn’t foresee 2020. Dear Lord, I swear I never saw it coming. Though, you know, as bad as it was it might have been worse. (I don’t know how, but it might have had land sharks in it or something, okay??) The rest? Yeah. Okay, so, as a consequence of 2020 things look…. uh… “Dicey” (that’s the polite way to put it.) But even then, remember, most of your anxiety is probably not real. Maybe it’s why I sound slightly saner just now. After all, when the going gets weird, the weird go pro. Be not afraid – SAH*

I Feel The Ground Shifting A Blast From The Past From September 2018


Cats are more sensitive to noise than we are. When I was doing work with orphan kittens — most of your local shelters will take kittens any age. Most euthanize those under 8 weeks of age, which most state laws view as being too young to adopt. Some people like me volunteer to raise litters to 8 weeks of age, which is often 7 week stints of having infants, with all that entails. As my health got worse, I stopped doing it, so I haven’t done it in close to ten years. Might do it again, when some of our feline geriatrics go to their reward — one of the women in our support group said she’d been delivered a 2 week old kitten who was in shock. Someone had transported him in a tin bucket (lined with warm towels, mind) on the handle bar of a motorcycle. The person doing it, had found an almost-dead kitten, wanted to take him to a rescuer, and had not idea their hearing is far more acute than ours. (The kitten survived, btw.)

Posit a kitten whose mom gave birth under some piece of industrial machinery, with all the noise and clanging. If he doesn’t go deaf, he might adapt to a quiet life, as an adult, but he’ll probably still deal better with chaos and confusion than your average cat.

In a way I am this kitten. Due to things too hard to relate, and besides not mine to tell, things were already semi-unpredictable before the revolution. They hit full potato after in that I couldn’t predict what would be next. Like…School could start 1st of October or… whenever. One year it was January. Our curriculum was not what my brother and father had studied, not even in vague outlines. It could change, for that matter, at any time during the year, both courses (in Portugal you don’t select them. You get them assigned per-school year) and what courses taught. Your commute home could be fine, or there could be a sudden strike, and you had to walk home (if it was both bus and trains on strike.)

There was no rhythm, no pattern, no pathway to adulthood.

And then when things were stabilizing, both in the country and in my life, I moved overseas. It took me a while to realize all my assumptions — and therefore most of my actions — about how things worked were plain wrong. I’m sure there are some minor things I haven’t figured out yet, because they’re internalized when people are pre-verbal.

Though my new environment didn’t contain surprise strikes, or pitched street battles when you least expected them, it was completely unpredictable TO ME. (My misreading of real estate cost us dearly in our first house. But I came from a country where you bought a tiny home and it grew with you and you stayed there for life.)

Then we moved… well more or less every five years for the last thirty. We stayed in last house 13 years because most of it I felt too ill to move. But then we had six moves in a year and a half (some of them partial, some kids, but still disruptions.)

I’m as “adapted” as our kind can be to disruption and chaos. Which is still not very well. I still feel confused and upset when I can’t predict what the best path is, when I can’t make the “noise” and confusion stop.

Most people want tomorrow to be a little better than today, but not markedly different. They want to raise fat babies and fat, happy grandbabies, and predict what gets them there.

They get downright testy when the path to get there keeps changing and they have no clue where to go or what to do to get to that happy outcome.

Right now our disruption is mainly technical. “Mainly” but it soon flows out to the rest of the world. The French Revolution and probably WWI were convulsions from the big tech change of the industrial revolution. Because when people are unstable, things go nuts.

And we’re at the beginning of such a period. On and on it goes, where it stops nobody knows, but hell, the last echoes will probably resound 500 years from now, particularly if things keep changing.

Which means people are getting — to coin a phrase — their cheese moved all the time: jobs, politics, expectations, ways “things have always been done” within jobs and families. The inevitable is no longer inevitable. The impossible and unthinkable might be improbable, but they do happen. “Things fall apart. The center cannot hold.”

I’m not better at this than anyone else. I dearly love security and predictability, I just think a little clearer through the mess, because I’m the kitten who grew up in the machine shop.

So — some things I know you might want to think about:

1- You’re not crazy. You just feel that way. Our brains are wired for the neolithic (if that.) We don’t do well with fast changing situations.

2- Most of the anxiety you feel is not real. Look, when you were a neolithic farmer, and a lot of things started changing, it was sure as shooting some bad invaders would raid your farm one night. So you had to be alert and paranoid all the time.
Sure. I don’t want you to do things like ignoring your surroundings, but I also don’t want you to die of stress. Take a deep breath. Yeah, it’s crazy, but you don’t believe in a deterministic future and the inevitable arrow of history. Your world is being rocked, but not jack-hammered into the ground. Chances are good you’ll be fine. You got this.

3- Our friends and neighbors who believe in a deterministic future and the inevitable arrow of history? Their world is getting jackhammered. Worse, their ways of reacting that always served them well are doing worse than backfiring. They’re not doing anything. Worse, they’re used to being in power, and in having “privilege” for having “the correct opinions.” That’s not really paying off anymore. Even in publishing where the establishment abides, there’s less and less cheese to go around, which means the other rats are turning on you.
I’m not saying you should pity them. Oh, heck, you should, yes, but considering what has gone on in the past, most of us aren’t that saintly.
Just understand the crazy stuff they do and say is because they lost their moorings, not because “they were always inherently bad people.” (Though some, of course, were. People will be people.) They’re really really scared, and scared people do crazy stuff.

4- So, you, stop being scared. Yes, there’s a possibility this all goes to buckets of blood, but I can guarantee those who see a boot stomping on a human face forever in our future are not taking in account a bazillion factors. That type of thing works in fiction. Reality is more complex and frankly the boots haven’t been permanently successful anywhere, even the parts with the worst record in that regard in human history.
Take a deep breath. Half of what you’re feeling is due to perceived chaos and instability and the people for whom the chaos and instability threaten fundamental beliefs. You’ve got this. Most of us will be fine.

5- This is no time to run around with your head on fire. Conversely it’s no time for a nice nap either. Roughly half the population (not all of them hard left, or even left) is out of their minds with panic. Roughly 90% are somewhat scared. All over the civilized world and some of the semi-civilized. Scared people do crazy things. Be aware of your surroundings, particularly when traveling abroad, but in our fair land, too. Have a plan of escape/survival if things go strange, at all times. Just don’t obsess on it. Having the plan will help you feel less anxious, and increase your chances of survival should things go wrong. Think of it as the spiel on emergencies when you board a plane. Chances are things will be fine where you are, at that time. But there will be rough patches. To survive the rough patches, your back brain needs to know what to do.

6- Think about the specific change around you and in your field. The way changes are trending is not always obvious — in publishing right now I swear things change every six months — but they can be guessed if you think about it. Nothing trad pub has done so far has really surprised me (except perhaps for how long they’re taking on the way down, but I know non-fic is still profitable, and there’s parent companies and stuff. So my surmise of how fast it would all go South has always been broad “two to ten years” say.) Some turns Indie has taken have shocked me because they’re due to Amazon changes, and I can’t anticipate those.
You don’t have to foresee ten years in the future, and thank heavens, no one needs to foresee 100 (unless you’re an immortal.) Even science fiction is less forecasting than “what would be cool” and “what would make my story more fun” and then finding a plausible way to get there.
BUT if you’re a few months ahead of the rest of your field, your town, your business, you’ll do very well. It’s like surfing on the crest of change, without getting pulled under.

7- That’s it. Take a deep breath. You’ll do fine. You got this. Reports of our demise are greatly exaggerated. Be not afraid.

95 thoughts on “I Feel The Ground Shifting A Blast From The Past From September 2018

  1. It still seems relevant nearly four years later. To me, it’s looking more and more like we’ll see a reckoning soon. Like maybe yet this year. Peter Grant’s post yesterday with the various links pretty much sums up how I’m feeling as well. If not this year, surely by next fall there will be huge worldwide changes.

    Mother Mary, pray for us poor sinners.

  2. Inflation is really hitting here. Unless I’m missing something, there aren’t any refineries in Oregon, so we’re “blessed” with either California or Washington product. The only good news is that we don’t have quite as awful gas taxes as Cali, but today’s price point is $4.99 a gallon. (Three weeks ago, it was $4.39. I’m trying to avoid thinking “hyperinflation”, but it’s getting to be a challenge.)

    We’re fairly well placed for vehicles, though it’s sobering to calculate the difference in cost between using the cute-ute (33 mpg) vs the pickup (22 mpg). A normal shopping trip is 90 miles, so the difference is close to $7 in gas alone.

    Appeals to Despicable Kate Brown to waive gas taxes or do other regulatory relief have fallen on deaf ears. She’s in the “you need an electric car” mode. Not sure what’s going to power those charging stations, though a couple of NSFW suggestions come to mind.

    We’re back to trying full gardening this year. (We did tomato pots last year and three storebought squash plants that really didn’t like the microclimate.) The tomato seeds seem to be a bit underwhelming, with the best results so far coming from the Siberians. The irony isn’t lost… (I wonder how much the 2021 labor issues and supply chain fiasco is affecting seed preparation/production. The Siberians are the only heirloom tomato we’re doing this year. Summer squash will be heirlooms, too.)

    1. Houston has or is near several refineries and the gas is at $4.19/gal at a place that is usually pretty cheap. 😮

      1. $4.19 a gallon at the Walmart in small town Gulf-coast Mississippi, too. Ridiculously outrageous and unsustainable.

      2. $3.99 up here (went up Mon/Tue night). Houston may have to use a special blend because of the EPA air quality rules.

    2. Last Monday it was $4.29, lowest (cash) in Eugene. Fred Meyers jumped three times in the last 3 days. Yesterday it was $4.99. Costco, yesterday, morning (mom filled) it was $4.69. Yesterday afternoon it was $4.72. Gas Buddy today has the same price. Gas lines are starting to form to get lowest price possible.

      Dang it people … stop channeling the ’70s!

      1. In the ’70s people were screaming because gas was 55¢ a gallon.

        Gas going up 3¢ a day, or 5¢, is not hyperinflation. Gas going up $2.00 a day, every day, THAT would be hyperinflation. ‘Progressives’ would faint from sheer ecstasy.
        The government can mandate stupidity, but they can’t make it not be stupid.

        1. ‘Progressives’ would faint from sheer ecstasy.

          Yes. Yes they would.

          Not saying gas is on hyper inflation. I just pointed out it was lower per gallon two years ago.

          Yes. People were screaming at $0.55/gal in the ’70s. They were used to $0.15 to $0.25/gal. On incomes that were $2.50, or less an hour.

          Will admit perspective then VS now is way different. Not the price of fuel. But how can we afford it. I know what it is like to bend and stretch a penny until it screams. Been there. Done that. Was afraid would always be like that, until it wasn’t. Do not plan on going back. Been Poor. Been Better Off. Better Off is easier.

          1. On that note, according to usinflationcalculator 0.55c gas in 1970 is equivalent to $4.10 gas today.

            I think locally we’re at $4.15 right now for the cheap places

            1. Did a similar calculation, 1981 gas at $1.09, Paid in Worcester, Ma ~Septmeber. Remember it because it was first time I saw 3 digits for the price and had my 1974 Duster at school for the first time. That date and price yields $3.47 (same calculator I think https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/, yields 4.10 for .55 in 1970). .55 for Gas in 1970 seems high, that’s First term of Nixon, Second term I remember Dad and other folks screaming about gas going up under the wage and price controls to .59/Gal

              1. The funny thing is I remember people arguing that we were going to war in Iraq for $1.50 a gallon gas. Even with inflation, that’s only around 2.39 today.

                I think the only time I’ve seen those sorts of prices was during peak lockdown when no-one was going anywhere…

                1. Here in North Shore Massachusetts I think the lowest I saw was $2.19 in April of 2020 (that’s regular). Last I saw same gas station (cheapest in town) it was at $4.69. Diesel was $6.35, that is going to make a mess as EVERYTHING moves with diesel (Trucks, trains, ships and farm equipment). Already the Local Ice Cream joint (which has its own herd of 300+ cows) has been sending ice cream up as the diesel hits them hard as they grow grain and need to move Milk/cream/ice cream around. And I don’t want to think about winter, Fuel Oil is just #2 diesel and probably 50%+ of New England homes have oil fired heating. January/February were already getting pricey for heat and fuel oil was only $4.09 a gallon.

                  1. Ships tend to use “Bunker”, which is sometimes a thick thing or closer to Fuel Oil depending on use, but nevertheless it too is going up as the oil needs refining to make the stuff, oh and the fuel oil version cuts into Diesel so you make one or the other, not both from the process.

                    1. Interesting note: One reason the Dutch Eastt Indies were a prize for the Japanese was that you could pump oil from there directly from the ground into your ships. However, If it wasn’t refined, it was more flammable.

                    2. Also explains why some of the ships went up so nicely when hit, though with AvGas for the planes aboard many as well, more flammable bunker was a low order worry

                    3. The US submarines loved it, because tankers are hard to actually sink with 500 pound torpedo warheads. But setting them on fire works just as well.

              2. I bought a thoroughly disreputable MGB in the spring of 1972. Gasoline was running $0.29 to $0.35 until the Yom Kippur war in Sept ’73. At year’s end, I got a somewhat less disreputable VW, and OPEC-boycott prices were around $0.63 a gallon. I don’t think I saw gas over $1.00 a gallon until I took the scenic route to get to my shiny new job in California–the high price was in Fort Bragg on coastal SR-1, about as inaccessible as you can get while being on a tourist-friendly route.

                Gasbuddy says the prices are $4.99 here, though I just looked at San Jose–Costco, $5.55 a gallon. Sucks to live there now.

                The big change is now nonessential trips are out. I was planning on doing some work, but the glue I had turned into jelled crud. When it costs 2X to get there and back than to buy what I need, nope.

    3. The station closest to my house, which by coincidence has some of the least outrageous gas prices in the area, has regular (cash) at $5.60, up 5¢ from last Friday. Two years ago, it was $3.45. F U Biden!

      Although it’s not actually the FICUS. Biden hasn’t made a decision in almost three years, from which socks to wear to the decision to ‘run’ for President from his basement. We’re seeing the results of half a dozen ventriloquists squabbling over the same dummy.
      If a business tries something and it doesn’t work, they either stop doing it or they will go broke. If the government tries something that doesn’t work, they just keep shoveling our money into it forever.

      1. Two Years Ago it was < $1.90, locally. Plus, we were paying even less in West Yellowstone, MT or Jackson, WY, and at the pumps in Yellowstone, which, until then, was unheard of. (Okay. Per Gas Buddy, right now, still less in West Yellowstone, $4.54.)

        1. it was $1.85 or so here, both sides, then the Whitless side the border got a tax increase, and the Wisconsin side now runs enough less it is worth driving to the stations that side the river. is lurking at the $4.29 range this morning in Marinette, with Michigan above $4.50, but I’ll have to look later today.

          1. Still $4.99 at Fred Meyers on Division. But Springfield and W 11th Fred Meyers have it at $5.08.

            Don’t normally go near either but had to go to Springfield to pickup mom’s prescription as her Division Fred Meyer’s was out of stock. We picked it up and requested they add to the text Which site filled the prescription, in light of supply issues (hopefully shorter term, but not counting on it). In our case, that is really going to be a problem, Costco only has one store, next nearest is Albany.

  3. We have two events this year. One scheduled, one unscheduled.

    The 2022 elections are the scheduled one. What kind of crazy is going to come out of that, and how much fraud, is totally up in the air. I expect all kinds of fraud at local levels trying to stamp down the predicted Red Wave. And since nothing was done to change voting in the past 2 years, due to denial of fraud, it’s going to get INTERESTING.

    The unscheduled one is the impending Roe versus Wade declaration by the SCOTUS. The pro-murder, err abortion, whack jobs are already getting on the edge of violence, and I expect they’ll explode when the Justices release their ‘new’ opinions. I expect serious attempts on the lives of at least a couple of the justices; and who knows how many neighborhoods smashed and torched.

      1. I love that crazy little ship. It’s kind of impressive that it has likely got people on its support crew who started after it was launched and have worked their entire careers in keeping it going, and been sending back cool stuff the entire time

        1. It’s quite possible it has people on its support crew who were BORN after it was launched and have worked their entire careers (possibly a 15-20 year period at this point) keeping it going.

          1. I thought V’Ger was feminine … Oh, wait, they are canceling us females … Never mind …


            That is what is going to be my answer “I refuse to be erased” when I misgender (guarantied) someone.

    1. Free preview:


      I mean, I know it’s Oregon, but look for more of this. And try and find out the process for being picked in your area.

      “The process will involve two people from differing political parties pairing up and transferring each smudged ballot’s votes onto a new ballot that can be read by a vote-counting machine.”

      Who does the picking? Nothing to see here…….

      1. Clackamas county isn’t quite as screwed up as Multnomah (Portland), but it’s in the same metro area. Meanwhile, back at the other end of the state, we seem to have competent people in our county clerk’s office. Alas, the RINO we got in 2020 when Walden retired got re-nominated. No likelihood of a Donk getting the election, though.

    2. The good news is that people might not put up with neighborhoods smashed and torched this time around. It was one thing when the rioters could shriek “Black Lives Matter!” and claim that it was all about protecting minorities from racist cops. And even then, I’ve heard third-hand that many of the gangs in LA County told Antifa to get out when it became clear that the “protests” would involve burning down the neighborhoods.

      Burning down neighborhoods in support of abortion at nine months – which has tenuous support at most – is not going to go over nearly as well with the general public.

      1. Maybe a few will practice abortion at [fill in the age of the rioter]. After all, if it’s good enough for Mom…

  4. We moved 1700+ miles with no jobs. Bit frightening, but we did it. Job in hand now, and although inflation is getting uglier, we’re okay. We’re both pretty flexible and can handle change. Okay, so maybe I panic for a week or so (or a month), but I will figure it out and I will keep going. Hopefully we’ll be able to buy a house next year. Might be ugly, but we’ll figure it out.

    1. Well done!
      Let me recommend the Wim Hof breathing/cold/meditation for good physical and mental health. Really helps the anxiety!

      1. The cover-up is always worse than the crime.

        If someone did the crime in the first place, why would they ball at doing something equally bad to cover it up? So they’ll almost always go further.

        So we do need to consider the scale of how much the gov’t has screwed things up to get the scale of how far they will go to avoid being accountable for it.

  5. One of the absolute best things I did in college was to join the improv club. Not only was it fun, it was full of life skills… and one of them was learning to deal instantly with new circumstances, or circumstances you did not pick.

    I honestly have no idea how much that has benefitted me, in that I don’t waste time with “it’s not supposed to be that way,” and instead MOVE instantly when it’s warranted. Yes, I still have plans in the back of my mind for what I would do in the event of an emergency, but there’s also a lot of “assess, then do” in my skillset now.

  6. “You don’t have to foresee ten years in the future, and thank heavens, no one needs to foresee 100 (unless you’re an immortal.)” Personally, no. I will likely make it another ten years, but twenty-five years? Not unless there are unexpected developments in human longevity. BUT – I am patriarch of a family, which hopefully will be around in 100 years, and could be effectively immortal. How we handle the challenges coming up depends on policy choices made peering at the future through a smoky, scratched glass. Tough to do. But it’s my job. And I love my work.

    1. I’m not immortal, nor dwarven, nor elvish. But I do need to foresee 100 years or more into the future. It’s our jobs to be the visionaries, and the planners and builders of a better future. One thing we have learned, unfortunately by experience, is that building a better future does NOT mean giving children a stress-free life of ease and complete lack of want while growing up.

      1. Not Ent Either? I remember that Treebeard kind of thought that Elrond at 3500+ years was kind of a whippersnapper.

  7. High School debate team was a massive life skill builder for me. I learned to follow a flow chart of an argument, how to pick actual evidence out of a document, what evidence IS as opposed to emotional appeal and how to judge sources as either trustworthy or not. I learned to deal with people disagreeing with me and how to lose an argument with grace or consider a side of an issue I had not thought of myself and judge whether the evidence should lead me to a change of opinion.

    I also learned to spot a bullshitter who has no evidence to back up anything they say but talks fast and uses big words (often incorrectly).

    1. Back in the day, rhetoric/argumentation was THE basis of education. Everyone learned it. Then they reduced it, step by step, to English composition, then to part of language arts — whatever that means — and now to feels, if that. Funny enough, elite schools still teach some of the skills, but the common schools none to speak of. Wonder why that might be?

      We taught our kids ourselves. They went to private schools, but it’s still impoverished from what I got and if you pull up what my grandparents got …. Heads, pikes.

  8. We fostered kittens for the local Humane Society for a couple years. Well, “we” is mostly my wife. I helped out from time to time and visited teh kittehs to play. It was sometimes a little bit heartbreaking, as you can’t help but get attached to the little guys, and tears were shed over one that didn’t live long enough to leave and a few that we almost couldn’t bear to let go — but also very rewarding. We’re still in contact with a handful of people that adopted our foster cats. There’s only one we (actually, I) couldn’t let go: a part Maine Coon cat who was sick when he arrived and has been with us for 3 very healthy years now. He’s one of only two pets I’ve ever had that had better be waiting for me at the pearly gates when I die, or I ain’t going in.

    Anyway…what does this have to do with today’s subject, other than “hey, me too”? Not sure.

    Maybe it’s just a reminder that there’s fundamental goodness in the human race, because people of all sorts, with all sorts of contradictory belief systems, will voluntarily do things like this for helpless creatures that bring them no economic, political, or social benefit, and in fact can cost quite a bit in time, money, and emotional labor.

    It’s also a reminder that Marxism is an evil mind virus that hijacks empathy and altruism, twisting them into envy and resentment, and bending them to an ideology that is parasitic at best and causes mass immiseration and death in its virulent form.

    1. We “foster” too. Problem is we foster fail. Every. Single. Time. (We find them. They aren’t coming through shelters or rescues.) We’re due a couple of kittens again. It is kitten season, we’ll see what gets put in our path.

      Agree. If the Rainbow Bridge at Heaven’s Gate is a lie, and the preceding fur babies are not waiting to escort me, I’m not going. I’m going where the fur babies are waiting. Escort currently is 20 (7 dogs, 13 cats, including animals back through childhood, only 15 since creating own home) and counting.

        1. If the cat farm four blocks over was still in operation, I’d happily snag one and a spare and send them. (I kid you not, the family had at least two fertile females, a few males, and was the source of at least 20 wandering tabbies. I saw the colony out basking or playing in the sun one morning. Ye gads.)

            1. Husband will be with me, so he’d need to be the point of attack. Note our last three cats he got, but he’s the one who doesn’t want any more cats. 😀

              1. I remember bring home our third stray, I thought wouldn’t be able to keep her. As it turned out one of the prior two disappeared that day (didn’t find out for months what happened, the two weren’t quite “ours” yet). Hubby is worse than I am. We have 4, current youngest is a year, but didn’t come “home” as a tiny kitten. He wants two more (must get in pairs don’t you know?)

                1. I only take in friendly strays, and even then I usually have two cats at any given time. If I went around looking for more I’d end up a bearded version of the crazy cat lady. Oddly, I I rarely have MORE than two for long either.

                  Now if I could just get two that actually LIKE each other…

                    1. Define “friendly”. Define “feral”. Technically all our cats have been from feral moms. Only two truly feral acting.

                      1 – The first two, the male showed up on our front porch (probably dumped in the area). We fed him. That night, he had his sister with him. He disappeared about 4 months later.
                      2 – The third was found in a hallow log in a log yard with her siblings. Log had been moved and would be moved again to the reman (cut off hollow end). Kittens were maybe two weeks. We eye drop feed her. (Feral colony).
                      3 – Fourth was another neighborhood stray (also probably dumped), kids brought him around to see if anyone owned him, but they couldn’t keep him. We kept him for the night on the grounds they’d keep trying Saturday. They did. Did not find a home. We kept him.
                      4 – A year later the 5th kitten, found same log yard (feral colony), only this time in the reman area, one of my coworkers almost stepped on him, black kitten, eyes not even open in 2 inches of mud, it was raining. We could hear him crying. Found him right next to co-workers boot (lugged boots). Picked him up, put him in my pocket, finished making rounds. One eye open by the time we got back to the shack. We used a straw and got water into him. Stopped on the way home for bottle and KRF. Fed him immediately when got home, got him to poop and pee, cleaned him up. The water ran red. One can guess what happen to the rest of his siblings. The crews working with the reman saws do pull kittens out of logs when they see them, but they don’t catch all of them.
                      5 – Sixth one was crying outside the house one rainy stormy night (dumped?).
                      6 – Seventh rehomed himself from the neighbor (or the two cats there ran him off, or we stole him, depending on how the story is told, all are “truth”).
                      7 – Next two (8 & 9) were feral bothers from under a coworker’s deck (colony or mom dumped?).
                      8 – Next (10) one was a feral from under the daycare house (mom dumped?).
                      9 – Next one (11) last of 4 neighbors rescued (mom abandoned? No colony, yet.)
                      10 – Next one (12) found by dog in bushes outside groomer’s, he was 3 weeks, maybe (dumped or feral mom left kitten behind?).
                      11 – Next two (13, 14) 5 weeks old feral rescued in neighborhood (colony?).
                      12 – Next one (15) inlaws rescued off freeway (dumped). Her name is Freeway. She should have been full on feral for as old as she was. She is so not. Plus, “Go outside? Are you nuts?” is 100% her attitude. She is 100% “Been there. Done that. Nope. It is time to visit under the bed.”

                      Note, since we moved here, we cannot rely on kittens getting to our door on their own. We are surrounded by cat people. Kittens show up in the neighborhood, other neighbors adopt them first. I haven’t worked in log yards since ’81. OTOH we’ve never gone to shelters either.

                      We currently have 4, #’s 11, 13, 14, and #15. Only two of the 15 started as truly feral because they were over 12 weeks old by the time they were trapped. But they integrated in, eventually (though we did do a lot of “kitten fishing” as part of the process). We’ve lost 3 “young”, two to sudden unknown couldn’t be diagnosed illnesses, and the first one, technically he wasn’t “officially” ours. (Weren’t suppose to have the cats at the rental. We were feeding them, but not letting them stay inside. The day I brought the one home from the log yard, and lease be dang, was the day he wasn’t at the house when got home. Sis was, he wasn’t.) Rest we’ve had live to be 17, or older, oldest was 21, when she passed away. Only one cat to cat “grouch” and at age 9, she is finally starting to come around. But she won’t kitty pile with the other three. Otherwise no matter when they were integrated, or what the difference in ages they were. Until Bits (#11), we hadn’t had a kitten fail to immediately integrate into the cat portion of the household. No special process. Just bring in new kitten. Bits attitude was a surprise.

                      Hubby wants another kitten, preferably two, because they would play. Though I suspect the two and one year old, will just pull in a single kitten to play with. The three inseparable musketeers that they are. Me? We can wait a bit.

    2. If Greebo ain’t there, I ain’t going.
      I hope Pete and Pixel and Calimero and Tareco and Lord are there to visit after I get through, but they were other people’s.

      1. I’m guessing they can be with multiple people at once. Technically 3 would have escorted my inlaws, and will my husband when he comes, or at least one. Four escorted my dad. Then all the ones we’ve adopted since we married, including the baby I had when we married will escort hubby, and be still waiting for me (or rare chance maybe me first). Then they will wait for our son. Hubby may be dad, but I am mom, and our child is either little or big brother, depending on which fur baby discussing.

  9. There’s an old movie called “Das Boot” that I really love. The story follows a German U boat crew during WWII, in a diesel submarine. It’s sad and horrific and beautiful too. In one scene, a crew member just loses it during a storm. He’s on the command tower and he’s laughing wildly, leaning into these gigantic waves, and after they break over him, he hoots and screams in joy and leans in again to the next wave. Two other crew members pop up and haul him below before he ends up swept off the ship.

    Today, preparing my garden for a blizzard in Colorado, I’m feeling just like that guy. Bring it on, Nature. The commies aren’t going to break me, and neither are you.

    1. I did a double take at Das Boot and old movie in the same sentence, but it’s from 1981 so its 41 years old. First time I saw Wizard of Oz as a kid was 1967 (on TV), and that I considered an old movie and it was only 29 years old a mere pup compared to what Das Boot is now. Das Boot is a good movie but very hard to watch. The book is even harder to get through though excellent.

      1. Agreed. I got the book while I was in Germany, after having watched the film. I can’t watch the film a second time. The first time was too hard on me.

          1. We left town last Friday to attend our daughter’s college graduation from Hofstra University in Long Island. So we covered all the veggies with buckets and tarps, said a prayer, and headed for the airport.

            Our family and friends sent photos of broken branches and 8-10 inches of snow. It melted by Sunday afternoon, as these storms often do, and we returned yesterday to find that all of our plants had survived. Each bucket, removed, revealed a green little plant, tomatoes and peppers and potatoes. Life is good. And whew.

  10. :at the concept of looking “Dicey” instantly pictures a smoking crater in the back yard, and a cat that is traumatized through all 8 remaining lives:

    1. So, Sarah’s #2 son goes back to blowing craters in her yard? Interesting vision.

  11. I need to get writing regularly again. Just feels like there’s very little real I can do to prepare beyond watching and waiting for the shoes to drop.

    Not sure if the writing is just escapism right now or actually productive, but I’ve somehow ended up with the back halves of two different short stories, that I need to figure out how they get to the middle from. (Why and how did they find the beach of the selkie? And what was doing spirit harvesting and why did it pick him?)

    Something to think about aside from the current Impeding Dume…

    1. Writing is really important. I think of how much influence C. S. Lewis and Tolkien and Shakespeare have had on my way of thinking about the world. I also contrast that with how little I know about the politicians of their time. To write is to be able to be a father or mother to young and old for as long as your writing is read.

      Go and write and know that your writing could be the water that wears at the stone until the world is remade with your wisdom. No pressure. 🙃

  12. “Most of the anxiety you feel is not real.” I finally figured that out 10-12 years ago. Now, when I wake up, heart hammering, I don’t assume my anxious thoughts caused me to wake up; I check to see if I’m hot and my body is using anxious thoughts to wake me up out of a deep sleep. Most times, that’s the reason. When I couldn’t tell the difference, I was always second guessing myself. What had I missed? What had I missed?

    It’s the same thing with the world outside my control. When I feel the dread creeping up on me, I check to see if I’ve been imbibing too much news and my body is using anxious thoughts to get me out that uncomfortable situation. Again, most times, that’s the reason. When it’s not, when it’s actually my subconscious letting me know I’ve missed something, I can identify and take care of the problem.

  13. Hebrews 13:5-6… if you believe that old book…

    In the meantime, do what you can to lift up someone else and give them hope.

  14. The anxiety must be real, and also we are doomy doom doom doomed.

    Or I need to go to the bathroom.

    Or have a drink of water.

    Or go to bed.

  15. but you don’t believe in a deterministic future and the inevitable arrow of history.

    I think of a lot of readers here do, at least an inevitable endpoint of history. That implies a degree of determinism and an arrow.

    What they don’t believe is the speed we reach that future or its nature are under direct human control. While I think there are things humans will do that move us from stage to stage they aren’t plannable by the Politburo or even fully knowable by anyone (for example, I’ve been drifting to the opinion that when the last believer dies that is the trigger for the End Times…human, by embracing or rejecting to the Word and by evangelizing or not evangelizing, can control when that happens but not like Leftists think).

    1. History never ends, it just goes on, and will go on, as long as intelligent life exists. We determine whether that history sucks, or not. So far, every attempt to implement societies based on despotism, tyranny, communism, fascism and socialism has made history suck horribly. Other societies, based on individual rights, economic freedom and the rule of mutually agreed-upon laws, have made history suck much less.
      Governments can’t create prosperity; at best, they can refrain from destroying it.

      1. He is talking Christian ideas about the end times.

        Omniscience breaks some elements of probability theory, and may break others. Forex, the idea that you can replace missing information using a probabilistic estimate, and mostly it will work out okay if you do not screw up very badly. This does not apply if there is no missing information.

        Omniscience versus free will, and omnipotence versus free will, how do they even work?

        We can likewise ask how God relates to physical phenomena that appear to be genuinely statistical/stochastic. There is a reason for believers to have doubts about God’s ability to explain turbulent flow. (Though, turbulent flow is partly confusing because we use continuum assumptions. God can look at every atom and molecule, and I do not know if at that point turbulent flow reduces to a deterministic missing information problem.)

        My assertations about human behavior having limits of predictability, about history not being deterministic, and about potential lack of foreseeability, those are strictly from a purely human perspective.

        If Christians have a correct idea about the end times, that is not our own purely human ability. That is a result of God using His abilities, and making a careful, constrained, and specific loan of them to us.

        So, yes, it is a problem with my formulation of that argument. Because I usually leave some of my assumptions unspecified, because I feel them easily seen by everyone.

    2. WHY would you believe in an end point of history Herb?
      It’s like believing in the great Pumpkin.
      Such a thing has never happened, before and is unlikely to happen ever.
      The world ends, one at a time, for each of us.
      If Himself ever wipes out the universe and starts again, it won’t be according to the petty little things WE see.

      1. “WHY would you believe in an end point of history?”

        Possibly because I’ve read the Bible and believe in the Second Coming. It WILL happen, we just don’t know when.

        1. sigh. That’s not “end point to history” That’s “end of the universe.” End point to history is a Commie thing.
          When the universe ends, it will end. We might have been given signs, but we suck at reading them,b ecause we don’t think in HIS scale.

        2. I’ve narrowed it down to two times: while I’m alive or after I’m dead.

      2. Apparently my point didn’t cover.

        The end point of history, beyond human control, is the end of this World and the creation of the World to come, a common theme in all three Abrahamic religions.

        That’s why Marxism, as a Christian Heresy has an arrow of history and an end of history. But having made Man God in their theology they are forced to take the creation of the World to come out of God’s hands and place it in their hands.

    3. “Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed”

      “Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep.”

      1. Ah, yes…thankfully one person understood what I was referring to in terms of some regulars here believing in the end of history and a point it is running towards.

  16. It is also how we are so sure we know. I have many old science books. One Physics text from 1911 is of particular interest. It was used at UC Berkeley, but while this is 5 years past Einstein’s 1905 relativity realization, his name is not mentioned. A very dense physics book that could be used for 90% of a current college text to teach physics. The other 10% for the humor. Not having seen current physics texts, perhaps this would be an improvement.

    Another book of general science interest called “The Universe, Earth and Man”, from 1962. Its two page spread of the geologic past sums up everything Precambrian as:
    “Formation of oldest accessible rocks which have been greatly altered by metamorphism. Intermittent volcanic activity followed by periods of erosion and deposition. Possible existence of rudimentary life.” That sums up our knowledge only 7 years before we landed on the moon. What are we so sure we know today, that will be proved wrong? We have learned much, but don’t know what we don’t know.

    Regarding the visions at the end of the BOOK. What I find amazing, and a scary is the description of the crash of a dinosaur killing sized asteroid hitting the earth. “Something like a mountain on fire being hurled into the sea”. This is impossible for someone 2,000 years ago to have known. They didn’t know about asteroids. Darkness, death and plague the result. We now have at Tanis direct evidence of how lethal a strike is 2,000 miles from the crater. This has always made me wonder about our future space defense. Will we be just as dead as the dinosaurs, only different in being able to see our doom coming? Our inadequate defense realized only too late.

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