How is everyone doing? Holding on? Still standing? Not losing your minds?

Over the last year, year and a half we’ve lost a lot of regular commenters on this blog. Every time I reach out, I get something like “I am withdrawing from politics. I can’t take it.”

Even close friends of mine, who don’t comment here, but who used to discuss the blog with me, have withdrawn, from online, from social life, from even my blog.

I can’t. No, not just because I write here and on instapundit, but because I can’t turn my back on politics. And the more they worry me, the less I can turn my back.

However, weirdly, I’ve reached some sort of calm amid the storm. I’m checking the blogs less than I did even three years ago. I check in the morning, then at night, if I don’t have enough for instapundit. Call it an hour or two a day.

Am I sanguine? Well, I’ve seen signs we’re starting to win, the battle is starting to turn. Do I think we’re out of the woods? Oh, heck no. I’m not precisely stupid. The other side gets a vote. It gets a lot of control. And right now they can use that control to destroy significant parts of civilization and make everyone’s lives worse.

On the other hand, there’s very little I can do. Keep the fires burning here. Keep the lights on, as much and as long as I can.

BUT it’s a limited amount. To a certain extent we’re in the grip of events so large, I can barely influence them. Maybe a little, here and there.

But the dye is cast, and my input is tiny.

So…. since moving, I’m doing better than I’ve been in years. Part of it, I think is that I’m setting up the garden, so I spend at least an hour out in the sunshine every day. And that seems to help.

But I’ve caught a feeling that just about everyone else, particularly those of you who are in bad places — geographical, economic, health — are on edge, worried, living on nerves.

When people say things like “The lights are going off in the rest of the world” they’re not wrong, I just don’t think they’ll stay off. And I have a bit more insight into “the rest of the world.”

I am hopeful, resigned, trying to batten the hatches.

Angry? Yes, still angry, but it’s not as urgent as it’s been. Their plans are falling. They’re digging the pits they will fall into.

I’m…. better than I’ve been.

But how are you doing? How are you holding on?

At my times of absolute worst stress, I’ve developed a thing called “Mini-vacations.” I’d take an hour, and read, in the sun. Or go for a walk with my husband. Or close my eyes and listen to a favorite song.

Right now, I’m sitting on the sofa, near my husband, writing this. And when I’m done, I’m going to sit here, and finish watching a movie I’ve seen before.

Make time for yourself, and take the time. While you’re planning and preparing, take time to keep yourself as sane as possible. As happy as possible.

You’re walking the tight rope. The entire country, perhaps the entire world, is walking a tight rope.

In this moment, as things get worse, and before they get catastrophically bad, take a deep breath. keep yourself as sane and centered as possible. And remember who you are.

Later, perhaps you’ll have to forget yourself. Briefly or for a long time. But for now, remember who you are, and stay as well as you can.

In this moment, the cam before the storm, let’s enjoy it.

Soon enough the winds will blow and take us places we don’t want to go.

For now, let’s sit quietly in the moment and enjoy the calm while we have it.

339 thoughts on “Nerves

  1. To answer the questions in order:
    Poorly, No, No, and No.
    Been working a part time temp job trying to make ends meet. But those danged ropes! the harder I pull on them the further away they seem to get. Was informed yesterday that an opportunity to get made permanent (hired) went to someone else who doesn’t work there at all… More working experience in the industry, (yeah, and not 63 and 3/4 i bet either.) but no mention of person’s IT chops. No matter. Book 2 is off the blocks and book One is finished …except for those niggling worries about chapter 27. Oh, and my cover artist going AWOL.
    And being weeks late planting corn and beans.
    And the feeder pigs – Aptly named! – are feeding me into the poor house.
    And the chickens who would like to eat me for lunch, given an opportunity.
    And the truck perma-broke with likely needing a diesel motor -not affordable.
    And it ain’t even lunch yet.

    1. The frustration is that you, at 63, are a far superior employee to virtually anyone the organization could hire. And that’s giving some genius 20 something the benefit of the doubt.
      It can be devastating to find out, for the four hundredth time, that you weren’t even considered. It’s what got me working at Walmart–I couldn’t take the series of “nope nope nope.”
      Please know you’re not alone, even if that doesn’t make things any easier.

        1. I have long considered the idea. That’s part of my plan with my soap business once it gets to that point.

      1. Don’t be silly; the bean counters that run many companies know that it’s better to hire a newbie than someone who costs 2-3 times as much and provides 5-10 times the benefit to the company. It says so right there on the bottom line for quarterly expenses! /sarc

    2. Been there done that. At 48 was a “Has been” in computer software (non-gaming version … don’t play them, shouldn’t be writing them). Did finally find a software writing/support (it was a small firm) where I stayed until retirement. But dang it. Heard everything under the sun other than “you are too old”. But the code words were there:

      “Going another direction.”
      “You have too much experience for the salary.”
      “We can’t pay what you are worth.”
      “Looking for novice to train up.”
      “If our first choice says no.” (Or being the maid of honor and not the bride syndrome.)
      “This is an entry level position.” (Quickly followed from me of “I know.” This is the job I got.)

      It has been over 15 years since those long, long, 17 months. I’m sure I forgot a few. Not that the above list wasn’t used multiple times by different prospects, and even at that the multitude of in person interviews. Often all day, or multiple interviews, before the brush off.

      1. So far the ones that burn the longest are those that send you an email afterwards with something like “Wow, sure was great to connect! You are so fun and so talented! And we gave the job to…. x, y, or z.”

      2. Heck, I was a has-been in spades, after retiring from the military, where that experience as a broadcaster/public affairs professional meant practically nothing. I did better working as an executive secretary, and as a temp in that capacity, after a couple of companies folded under me, and I got fired from one …
        Went full-on as an indy writer and publisher, and it’s been erratic at times … but I’ve held on to the house and a standard of living. I’ve been able to batten down the hatches, done necessary work to the house to assure continued shelter for my daughter and Wee Jamie the Wonder Grandson.
        As my daughter says, with a chuckle – we’re ‘old poor’. We know all the ropes and stratagems that the ‘new poor’ are just now having to discover.

        1. I hear you. I hated looking for work. Only left one company voluntarily, and that one I retired from. The others left me, one way or another.

          Hate looking for work so much, it is the one reason I never went out on my own, which was “the thing to do” back in the early ’80s and ’90s. Tried it for all of two weeks. Nope. Too much work.

  2. Thank you for plowing on. There is an old Mississippi saying “Hang in there like a hair in a biscuit.” Not very appetizing but makes the point.

    I am 82 years old and thrive on Hoyt. Hang in there. Larry


  3. I’ve not been avoiding y’all, just been busy. Some of it posted in Huns on mewe. Fostering mama cat and her 5 kittens because the truck is still inop. Driveshaft at place in G.B. waiting for another center bearing. The guy working on it hopes for Friday completion. Got the replacement trans in, transfer case next. 2 more tires to mount. Work is even more stupid.
    You know, the usual.

  4. San Francisco recalled Boudin. What can’t go on, won’t. It’s just a matter of time.

    1. And someone on Twitter yesterday lamented he couldn’t see “a way forward,” for progressive programs in SF. Due in part (of course) to the notorious short-sightedness of the public and their inability to endure short term pain for long-term benefits. I haven’t checked to see if I got any esponse to my comment that having someone threaten to cut out your liver does tend to make you focus on the short term.

      1. Oy… this is how I know I’m severely undercaffeinated this morning: I had to re-read that three times before I figured out that “SF” means “San Francisco” and not “Science Fiction.

      2. The Progs always insist that Utopia is just around the corner. Just a little longer… Just a little more pain…

        What’s even worse is that most of them really do believe it.

        1. Because…..real.socialism/communism hasn’t been tried. Next.time.they are going to get it.right.

          They do.actually believe that.

          1. Because “real” doesn’t mean “as it exists in reality” but “as it exists in fantasy”!

      3. Well, there was an article that alleged that Frisco’s problems were due to the extreme right-wing influence over its pollitics. I have no idea what that person ingested, but don’t want to be within blast radius when his head explodes.

        Might be the same person. One can hope.

        1. There are people in media ( ok, MSNBC) seriously talking about the menace to democracy caused by the overwhelming slant to the right in the media.

          1. Before my wife took the red pill (somewhere around the ’08 campaign), she thought that the press was right-leaning. Never saw how she could have had that perception, though at one time (historical), some of the big newspapers were owned and actually run by strong conservatives. (Colonel McCormick and the pre-woke Chicago Tribune, RIP, for one.)

          2. They are also having a public freakout that places like Dailywire are getting better engagement online that the major networks.

            1. Places like Insty, Ace of Spades, Legal Insurrection and Powerline, too.
              Not to mention all the interesting providers of varied content on Tube of Ewe, who have amazing numbers of viewers and subscribers. (I am addicted to a couple of restoration series – one is, IIRC, in France, another from Czechoslovakia. And a Victorian home reno series done by a couple from Arkansas. Seriously, there are series by YouTubers that I would rather watch, than some professional reality TV series on broadcast or streaming channels.

          3. By “overwhelming slant to the right,” they just mean they’re counting everything right of aoc as “right.” If it’s right of Bernie, it’s “far right.”

            Honestly, I’ve seen discussions in which aoc is far right.

        2. WTF are they smoking, and where can I… actually, no, scratch that. I don’t want to fry my brains to the point of perpetual short-circuiting like they apparently have.

        3. Well, I heard someone write once that Stalin and all the people who took over Communist regimes were right-wingers and that’s where the murder came from. The Communists were pure and innocent. . . .

          Except of course for setting up the situation that leftists took over — but she didn’t mention that!

      4. Heh. Long term benefits my left little toe. The only long term benefit Boudin was looking for was a big fat early retirement after serving at the federal level.

    2. And that is encouraging, make no mistake.

      Of course, you have to look at what kind of literal shithole SF had to turn into to slap some sense into the skulls of the parlor pinks out there, extrapolate that to what the country will look like after it happens nationwide…… and try not to look at the number of good eggs that will have to smash to make that omelet for us.

      1. I fear that like the proverbial bird and the drainspout the idiot liberal tranzi b*stards (but I repeat myself) of SF will be given another slightly less obviously useless Soros supported prosecutor to vote for and will build their nest in the drainspout once again using the needles and droppings from the streets and shoplifted contents from the remaining Walgreens and CVS. Its a darn shame SF is really quite a pretty city.

      2. Yeah, but San Francisco is the belly of the beast, if it can happen there it can happen anywhere. Boudin blamed it on right wing billionaires, in San Francisco yet.

      3. I’d have to go digging, but my understanding is the poop on the streets was post Boudin. Prior it was just the slow death of bureaucratic red tape. So it’s more indicative of how quickly things can unravel.

        What is striking is how hard it was to find his margin of defeat. It appears his recall was 60% to 40%.

        I am hoping this serves as a warning to other public servants that you can only ignore the will of the people so long before there will be repercussions. I did, just yesterday, call up both of my senators to advise them if they supported the gun control push going through right now, I would have to see them recalled from office, even though that also involves changing state law to allow the recall of senators.

        Maybe they’ll actually get the message?

        (Technically it was calling one of them to advise them, if they do this I’ll see them recalled, and the other one was, please advise your colleague that if they do this, I’ll see them recalled. Everybody’s phone banks were down…)

        1. All his support was coming from wealthy white neighborhoods, said one source on Twitter.

          1. I honestly have no idea. It could just as easily be their constituents melting the phone banks, or a case of not wanting to pick up the phone.

            Really don’t know. Figure we’ll have to see what they actually do to know for real.

            1. my point is, i wouldn’t put it past anti-gun groups to have a setup like that.

              1. Oh definitely. They’re pulling out all the stops on this one to pressure senators into flipping.

                I’m just suspecting this has also set constituents off in vast numbers too. Even I don’t normally call my senators over politics.

                  1. Last three times. The US Revolution, the Texas, and the civil war started with someone decided it would be a great idea to compel their opponents to disarm.

                    I strongly suspect had the Confederates not fired on Fort Sumpter, they could have negotiated a separation.

        2. The Democrats/left response is to try and radically change the way elections are conducted so that they become essentially meaningless:

          Yes, they are trying to use J6 to get rid of the electoral college and “:fundamentally transform” elections.

          The more they do stuff like this, the more it is clear that the Democrats have intended all along for J6 to be their Reichstag fire in their quest to seize perpetual absolute power: For people who spend so much time calling other people Nazis, they sure are running the same game plan in their pursuit of power right down to extolling or demonizing people based on their racial/ethnic identity group membership.

          They may be incompetent, but they certainly don’t like desire.

        3. You already saw my response on gun control I sent to Senator Hassan. Squishy Shaheen has been remarkably silent on that issue, and trying to kiss up to Vets atm.

    3. I worry such replacement is just playing whack-a-mole.

      At this point, I think entire institutions have to be torn down, like most if not all of the criminal justice system, to stop the progs. Then they’ll need to be rebuilt all over again.

    4. Just voted yesterday, and apart from the rumblings in SF, nothing has changed. I count myself lucky if one or two of my votes ends up on the success part of the ledger. Maybe I’m despairing somewhat. I didn’t bother to look at the ballot until last weekend. But I will vote damnit!

    5. Was listening to a talk show out of Seattle, where the guy is incredibly impressed by that as well.

      For folks not familiar, that’s the guy whose campaign was quite literally based on “it isn’t fair that my parents were put in jail for a murder they definitely committed, vote me for your crime reform!”

    6. The Reader concluded a while back that the Soros recruited DA’s were on a political ‘suicide’ mission. Eventually folks would catch on and say Enough! The question in his mind is what is the next piece of societal destruction Soros will fund that will go unnoticed until damage is done? There were warnings about the DAs going back to 2016 but the Karens didn’t listen.

  5. We’re on the road, doing a project in Tulsa (because we like Tulsa, but it’s getting strange and the signs of deterioration are here, too). We’re pretty much in the same place, we’ve done what we can. (Right now, it’s doing upkeep on a home for single mothers).
    Oh, and that Tulsa shooting last week, four dead incouding the shooter at a hospital? The shooter was black. He shot the black surgeon who had just done back surgery on him and shot three others, then shot himself. Does not appear to be political at all. A sad and bad thing, but the cynic in me notes how quickly it fell out of the news.

    1. And his wife was an MD. And from a noe-dissapeared news item, “she and her teenaged daughter were just victims of a bomb threat ”
      “Just White supeemacists again, nothing to see here, move along.”
      John in Indy

    2. “Does not appear to be political at all. ”

      Laughs in the political solution of treating illegal opioids by refusing to treat pain adequately of legal patients. I guarantee that will be swept under the rug…

      1. White shooters who kill people who matter (ie, not white conservatives).

        White shooters who shoot GOP Congressmen don’t matter either.

        1. That’s because they’re not white white. Your average lefty isn’t white because white is a statement of power not a race. That they’re the power escapes them as they are people of very little brain. Alas, that’s the way they think, it’s almost like the inverse of that’s very white of you, which had nothing to do with color.

          1. Yep…they’re not the power, but Joe the Plumber is.

            At least, that appears to be what they earnestly believe.

            1. “Pooh is smarter…”

              I’m trying to figure out how a simple typo could result in an “h” where a “p” belongs…

    3. Regarding the Tulsa shooting, my friend, who had back surgery some years ago, said that she did a lot of research before deciding on a provider, and noticed that most of the unhappy and still in pain patients had gone to an orthopedic surgeon. Forewarned, she chose a neurosurgeon.

      When she read about the shooting, she wondered if this was someone maddened by years of chronic pain into a murder/ suicide, and was not surprised to learn that the doctor was an orthopedic surgeon. (She hastily added that the shooting wasn’t justified, but it might be explained, if the shooter had been in severe and chronic pain made worse after surgery. )

  6. I’m doing… okay. WAY better than I was a few months back. Turns out that unknowingly taking extremely high amounts of Vitamin B Complex and Biotin can SERIOUSLY mess with your system, especially your head. Who knew, right?

    That said… I still have good days and bad days. Some days I have confidence that we will win peaceably, other days I’m overcome with… not grief, not dread, but a depressing certainty that the fix is in, we’re all screwed, and that there’s no way out except Going Hot, and there aren’t enough people willing to Go Hot to make a difference so we’ll be squished like a bug, and even if we did have enough the resulting conflagration would make Sarajevo and Srebrenica look like sesame street.

    1. Wow…how did you accidentally take high amounts?

      Back to our hostess’s note about being outside making it better. I think the Vitamin D benefits of being outdoors are underestimated in terms of mental well-being based on how many people say “more outside time means better mood control”.

      1. Long story short, I wasn’t paying attention to the % Recommended Daily Values on the bottles. Trader Joe’s stopped carrying the regular B Complex that I used to take, so I bought the “extended release” version instead. And Biotin is supposed to stop hair loss, so I started taking that…. not realizing that a) the B-Complex already had Biotin in it and b) the levels of EVERYTHING, as in everything in the B-Complex and the Biotin supplement were, at minimum, several times the Recommended Daily Value. So I was taking several THOUSAND percent of the RDV every day for several months.

        That wound up messing with, among other things, insulin release and intake, and my endocrine system. I was hyper-anxious to the point where it felt like I was stuck in a never-ending panic attack, and I had terrible insomnia, which just made my anxiety worse.

        Scary part is that we caught it by complete accident: the Nurse Practitioner I saw thought I might be hyperthyroidal (since that’s what my symptoms mirrored) and ordered bloodwork, but told me to stop taking the Vitamin B and Biotin for at least 48 hours before getting the tests since those can skew the test results. I stopped and my system was back to normal in 48 hours. And the blood work subsequently came back perfectly normal. Mama Raptor did some research, I looked at the nutritional information on the supplements, and that’s how we figured out what was going in.

        1. It’s like ALL the B supplements think that you want thousands of times. After all it’s water soluble!

          (It can do harm before it leaves.)

  7. <

    blockquote>No, not just because I write here and on instapundit, but because I can’t turn my back on politics.
    “You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you.” That goes back to ancient Athens, Pericles, I think. One ignores politics at one’s peril.

    OTOH, I find that the more politically aware I’ve become, the “gothier” I’ve grown. One had better appreciate the dark, because there’s definitely a lot of it.

    1. You can laugh at “Yes, Minister” and the real world that inspired it, or you can cry at it. I prefer to laugh.

        1. One of the best parts of Ricky Gervais’ Golden Globe speech was watching former Marine Adam Driver laugh his head off while the rest of the Hollywood types sat in horror.

        2. Not likely anymore. Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children have been gutted.

          Combined arms, the NCO corps, esprit de corp, and close air support have all been hammered by “reforms”

          But their pronouns are perfect. (Spits)

          It’s not going to get better until the perfume princes are defenestrated.

          1. and their armor is gone, which means the next time they need to actually do something they’rre going to have to borrow tanks from the army

            i hope when that happens, the Army sends them the (company? battalion? not sure which) that moved over largely intact.

      1. Mister Palfrey of Westminster is similar–the cynicism is dark and hilarious, if you’re in the mood for it. It makes me laugh.

  8. I am doing oddly ok — the contract in Saipan came to an end, but I managed to land on my feet back in my hometown. Still working as Leviathan’s Kidney Stone, though for a smaller leviathan, even though my PSLF came through. (For those who would admonish me for taking it, the forgiveness of the loans for a decade of work at far below market pay was a term when they were offered, and the public has benefitted far more in real dollars from my being here than the cost of paying them off).

    Now its sorting out the house and the car, getting the shipment from Saipan, and a half dozen other things that are more expensive or difficult than I remember. But I have a sword to wield, a foe to fight, and a song to sing, so like I said — doing oddly well.

    1. Congratulations on the PSLF!

      I’m genuinely surprised that it worked for someone. I honestly thought it was a government scam.

      1. Thanks! I’ll admit that I was half expecting a “ha, ha, you idiot — you believed us!” at the end.
        Certainly, they slow-walked things, changed requirements, and made it unpleasant enough that I expect some portion just gave up on it.

        1. atulations! You are the second person I know to make it all the way through all the hoops and the slow walking to achieve that!

          1. WordPress Delenda Est!… that was Congratulations when I typed it…

        2. Congratulations on successfully navigating PSLF! I am still waiting to hear. I am one of those who never thought I would take advantage of such a thing. However, when Obamacare came in, took over my loans and raised the interest rate from 4% that I signed up for to 6.5 % that I did not, caused our insurance and our of pocket rates for our seriously ill youngest son to increase by a factor of 10, I decided I couldn’t afford to be all high and mighty about it.
          I’ve been working my tail off to try to pay all this off for over a decade. But what I still owe now is NOT of my doing, so to heck with it all and I applied for PSFL early this year. I have been thinking it was a scam too since it has been literally months without resolution, so I am encouraged.

          Meanwhile, I found morels growing in my yard today and so I am feeling very much better about our very late spring. It almost makes up for the foot of snow in May that destroyed the asparagus and killed the hydrangeas.

          I have given up on looking at any news or really any blogs but this one and a couple of others when I am stuck in the car waiting for hubby or something. Since I’m off school until the end of August, I am working hard on my food forest and doing what I can to prepare for the worst. The fact that politics are impinging on my life here in my little forest community annoys me greatly. And with my health issues, I can’t afford to get all hot and bothered about it and still expect to be a contributing member of society.
          So I pray a lot, work in the garden as I am able ,
          help who comes my way, and try to fit in a little housework.

    2. I won’t criticize people for taking a PSLF. I do criticize the idea of the program, but I will not criticize people for taking advantage of legal programs. Self-harm is immortal and at this point not taking a PSLF comes close to bleeding yourself to prove how moral you are.

      1. Yeah, like I always say when somebody whines “The Rich don’t pay their Fair Share!! REEEE!!” — ‘The Rich’ aren’t breaking any laws. If there was some way YOU could legally get out of paying any taxes, don’t pretend you wouldn’t use it.

        Now if you’re going to say the tax laws are royally Fked up, you’re right. Most of The Rich had nothing to do with Fcking them up, though. Blame your corrupt politicians and their ‘donors’.
        The one thing we need more of from the government is LESS!!

      2. I have mixed feelings about the program, even as someone who used it. On the one hand, I see how it looks like it’s making a favored class of government and public interest employees, and I absolutely agree that we shouldn’t be: there’s very little as effective at teaching the failings and inadequacies of government than being a part of it.

        On the other hand, I think there’s a moral case for it, or other forms of loan payment assistance for government employees. To use lawyers as an example, since I’m most familiar with them — we want the government to follow the law, which means we need government employees to understand it, which means we need lawyers to explain it to them. Likewise, we don’t want it to be easy for people to cheat or defraud the government, because the government is funded by taxes, which means the entirety of the populace bears the burden of said cheats and frauds, so we need lawyers to defend against those. Ideally, we want skilled lawyers, because they are more likely to be successful, efficient, and ethical in carrying out their duties.

        However, even an unskilled attorney can double what a government can afford to pay if in private practice. The more skilled the attorney, the greater the multiplier. Thus, to attract and retain them, you need to provide benefits — and loan assistance / forgiveness work out to be relatively cheap ways of doing so, considering the cost of a law degree.

        Obviously, the analysis falls apart in the absence of over-inflated prices for college, government as a lender (contributing to the same), etc., and I’ll acknowledge unscrupulous pols (BIRM) abusing the program and expanding it unreasonably. But, in the abstract, I can see how someone might have concieved it as a way of lowering the public cost of securing quality workers, to lessen the burdens of government on the populace.

        1. The real solution is two fold:

          Limit how much of life government is involved in. The less it does the less it needs to get “cheaper than the free market” expertise.
          Move public service as a reward for an extemporary or even decent career in the private sector. Instead of people with little life experience becoming government “experts” from teaching to regulation. Instead of adding hoops for a older programmer who’d like to teach high school math we should be telling them in college/apprenticeship if they want to “pay back what we got” at the end of their career go and pay it forward by teaching the upcoming generation.

      3. One is foolish not to play the game by the rules on the table even if one thinks the rules should be elsewhere. If the rules at the table is Texas Hold ‘Em, you play Texas Hold ‘Em regardless of how much you’d prefer five card draw.

          1. The problem, of course, is when the dealer is playing 5 card draw but insists you play Texas Holdem.

            Prime example: the disparate and unconstitutional treatment given the J6 protesters vs SturmAntifa…. with acquiescence or enthusiastic participation by those who swore not to follow unlawful orders.


            “”You may ask why would people take a plea if they are innocent? Innocent has nothing to do with this as my lawyer has told over and over again. This is payback. There are only a handful of representatives in DC that care about us. The vast majority couldn’t care less.”

            Never forget.

            1. That’s because we no longer really have laws, we have the open exercise of power.
              Yes, raw power overrides law in some cases, but when things are working people at least make noises about not allowing it and shoot for the idea. Now those in power don’t even pretend.

            2. News you can use: Judges aren’t required to honor the plea deal your useless defense lawyer worked out with the prosecuting attorney, and if you do plead guilty it cuts off a whole bunch of your legal recourse WRT appeals.

              But it looks good in the prosecutor’s performance evaluations.

              1. Which is why these cases are being tried in DC, so that DC juries will be your peers, Hilary donors welcome.

  9. How is everyone doing? Not good, but okay.
    Holding on? Yes
    Still standing? So far.
    Not losing your minds? No.

    I broke in March 2021. Since then, clawing my way back, partially through helping with grandson, partially through picking up writing again that I had stopped due to life in 2011. Big boost through finding other writers who also think I’m a writer.

    Your blog helps. Nice to know that what looks like crazy really is crazy and the rules of physics and human nature didn’t suddenly change a few years ago. [I guess the crazy has been going on for much longer, but I didn’t notice it before.]

  10. I sometimes feel like we’re all Short Round, calling out to Willie: “Hang on lady, we’re gonna take a ride.” We can see the ropes being cut one by one, and we’re positioning our grip and our supports for the fall, and why doesn’t everyone see it?

    There’s no point in screaming, I guess. Just call out warnings, and hold on tight.

  11. The garden is all in. I’m expanding into another part of the lawn area for some experiments in viability of left over seeds from 2 years ago. Biggest problem is de-rocking it from the stuff dumped there 20,000 years ago by the giant ice bulldozer.

    The battle for this country isn’t over by a long shot. 5 months to elections; and I don’t see anything to prevent the fraud team from stealing the ball, and popping a fake one up on the goal line again. Not that we’ve had any evidence of fraud in our town elections (other than same day registration.) We’ve got people locally in town signing up to watch, but there are still gaps in chain of custody and oversight.

    It’s true that most Presidential Administrations inherit the mistakes of their predecessors; and it takes 6 months to a year or two to turn those around. But the thing with Biden is, he inherited a government with mostly working policies. If it hadn’t been for the illegal development and release of the COVID19 biowarfare agent, things would have been very good, and Trump would have been able to start working on our deficit spending and debt. Trump’s momentum even carried us 6 months into Biden before the Dimwit’s Demented Decisions started really putting the screws to us and destroying the gains we had made. We’ll be lucky if we can fix the damage in 2 years. The thing is, we will all be feeling the effects of this decades down the road due to lost opportunities.

    1. Even with SARS-2, the economy was already starting to recover during the 2020 election, iirc. I don’t know how the Trump administration would have dealt with the logistical mess, but it couldn’t have been worse than how the Biden administration has mishandled it (I’m not even sure what they’re doing, other than blaming it on Putin). And everything else was getting better. Biden knee-jerk rescinded virtually everything Trump had done the moment he was sworn in, and this mess is the result.

      1. They aren’t doing anything. Sarah made a comment on Instapundit a night or so ago that describes what they are doing. They are conducting “A War Against Prosperity”. I think she nailed it.

    2. One of the things that has made moving away from politics is watching Canada and a variety things here prove we’re well past voting our way out of this, SF results yesterday not withstanding.

        1. The only plans I have is working on a versioning and journaling file system for MMURTL, maybe build a retro PC, and do #75HARD starting the day after LibertyCon.

          Only the last could even be construed as dangerously right wing.

  12. Nerves? Needing months of chemo, radiation, and four surgeries to be cancer-free took care of my anxiety issues. 5-years cancer-free as of today, calendar-wise, by the grace of Our Lord.

    No, we alternate between bored and angry; but still very much eager to continue. All of life is politics, to badly paraphrase Aristotle. And it’s not given to us to deal the cards, just to play what we’re dealt.

    And that is how we will win.

    1. Yep, fighting cancer takes something out of a person…I’m tired a lot more often than I used to be, and our politics just makes it that much worse….But I’m lucky enough not to have to go back to work..and I feel great sorrow for those who do in this horrible climate….

      1. Everybody has to fight. Humans are not built to survive without aome type of conflict. Let’s you and me strengthen the resolve of the others who love America.

        1. And me, too.
          I’m honest on this blog, and it scares me a little, but I’m not quitting, giving up, or anything like.
          We fight.

          1. Amen. They can kill our earthsuit—which has an expiration date anyway—but they cannot control our minds unless we fear the gormless, feckless, pusillanimous scoundrels and knaves.

    2. Congratulations on 5 years cancer free!

      Mine is incurable but manageable and I am told I have 20 years for sure before it gets seriously bad.

      You are my hero.

      1. Susan, please never give up. New cures are found every month. And thank you for the nice sentiment. It means a lot, even though God did all the heavy lifting.

  13. I’ve never been a loquacious poster, here or elsewhere, but I do notice that I’ve drawn back a bit myself. In part that’s due to increased work for the Interstellar Research Group (, but it’s also been a personal withdrawal from contentious discussions whenever possible. I tend to discuss music with people I meet over the internet, perhaps some other less political topics occasionally, and gardening and around-the-house work with our neighbors. Luckily for us, here in east Tennessee the most egregious of the leftist insanity is muted or non(obviously)-existent. That makes it easier to live life enjoyably and properly.

    1. I miss you when you don’t post. Glad to see you put a note here. 🙂

  14. Thanks for asking Sarah! I am doing great! I am not withdrawing from the world so much as staying away from the “we are all doomed” crowd. You are one of the few people I read on a regular basis. Why? Because you are realistic and yet remain an optimist. I believe America (and much of the world) is in a period of spiritual renewal. I see it all around me. Yes, things can and will get ugly as we go through this transformation. Yes, I may suffer great pain or even death in the transition. But, things are getting better; people are awakening to the pure evil of socialism. The elite won’t go down without a fight but the change will come suddenly – like a thief in the night. The USSR was all powerful and then in one night the wall fell. So I keep my eyes open, pray, and avoid the agents of doom because they are a waste of time!

    1. This! I’ve found myself over the last several years stepping back a great deal from a number of platforms, people, etc., who can’t seem to see anything but doom and gloom without a shred of hope. The thing is, in person, they aren’t like this (at least not on the whole). But their online personas have picked this niche and bang it long and loud and I only have so many spoons to give. I’ve also taken to reading certain blogs but not commenting often because I simply don’t have the time to keep checking back for comments and responses. That’s on me and I know I need to be more active on places like here for my own sanity if nothing else.

      Now add in real life demands, an aging parent, working 16 hours a day or more to keep my head above water and, well, something had to give and it’s been my online presence for most anything but work. But it’s shown me something else. It’s shown me how many of those I used to interact regularly with haven’t bothered to reach out to see if everything’s okay. Instead, they keep pounding the doom drum and waiting for the end instead of fighting to prevent it from happening. I’d rather fight. At least then I can say I actually tried to prevent what they see as the inevitable.

    2. I don’t mind the doom and gloom so much as the giving up as a necessary corollary. Inshallah my Aunt Fanny.

      Die with a song in your heart and your teeth in their ankles if that’s all you can reach.

      As for the state of the artist, it’s mostly stalled in the water. Scared, sad, frightened, angry but we ain’t’nt dead yet .

      Grateful and at peace from time to time as well.

      God is good.

      1. “And they sang as they slew.”
        Good for the Rohirrim, good for Kathy.

  15. No nerves at all, I guess because I spend my time prepping, staying on top of all real news that fortunately one can still find ( so far ), and actively living the rest of the time- playing with grandkids, relaxation reading, lots of exercise, etc. At this point, I believe me and mine can survive this, and we are all purebloods.
    That one issue, more than any other, is why no nerves- we all dodged that bullet.
    Now, why other folks going AWOL?? Many possible reasons, one of which may be the most typical. Firstly, I agree the evil ones screwed their pooch, and their plans are unraveling on them, and their reactionary recent responses seem very, if not panicky, downright stupid in that the veil is dropping so fast, even Normie McBaa is slowly getting clues in.
    And, you know, this had to happen, for us to have a chance to throw of the yokes. The global corruption and the purveyors of such, had gotten so pervasive, so ingrained, we needed and continue to need enough true pain to rise up finally. In the aggregate, mankind really has gotten way too soft, way too lazy, way too used to creature comforts and easy living, and here we are.

  16. I have pretty much stopped my own weekly blog. Not because I have nothing to say, but because it would be all political now. In order to keep readers and friends on both sides, I always try to find a middle ground of underlying values that we can all agree on. But that ground is vanishing under my feet. The nut, the hard place, the splitting of the knot, is very close.

  17. “How is everyone doing? Holding on? Still standing? Not losing your minds?”

    The Reader responds with:
    1. Meh (the Reader’s son’s favorite expression)
    2. By fingernails
    3. Standing again after a week of being seriously sick with Covid and 2 weeks of physical exhaustion and mental fuzziness afterward. Still a little shaky though.
    4. The Reader’s mind was being lost to the black dog before Covid. Recovery actually helped pull him back

    The Reader is reassessing the family plan made 15 months ago to flee the purple area we reside in and set up somewhere safer. Over the past 15 months we have looked at targeted property in 2 different states to build on (we need to build for reasons far too long to go into here) and found nothing suitable. At the moment the Reader and family are reconsidering the implications of staying here given changed circumstances.

    The Reader follows politics because as was noted above ‘politics is interested in you’. He doesn’t like it much though.

    1. If you’re looking for property to build on, have you considered inland along the Gulf Coast? Especially in Florida and Alabama, once you get a few miles away from the coast the price drops considerably and it is farmable land.

      1. The Reader’s better half cannot deal with the insects in those environments. As in inflammatory reaction to a few bites, not mere itching. It was one of the constraints that settled us on the areas we have been looking at.

        1. Yeah, the whole South is off-limits to us due to climate reasons. Climate and pollen, to be exact, but having a space is no good if you’re sneezing your head off and then melting into a puddle.

        2. Son & I have the same insect bite problem. “Inflammatory reaction” accompanied by cellulitis infection, as often as not.

    2. I’m thinking it is time to have the sitdown with C and plan to move to Texas closer to the niecfews.

      I know her dad is here, but even “here” he is over 2 hours away. I’m not sure emergency arrival times matter much when between 2 and 20 hours.

        1. Oh, I know Texas. I’ve lived in four sections at various times: Port Arthur 5th grade through start of 7th, El Paso for HS and after dropping out of college before shipping to boot, San Antonio for one year of college (85-86) and then College Station for the second half of the aughts.

          After my father passed my mother moved to CS where my sister, her husband, and (crucially) five children live.

          Maybe not BCS directly, but I’d like to live less than an hour away so either BCS or Navasota, Hearne (which used to have a dinner that served country fried bacon…image a slab of pork belly cooked like country fried steak), or Caldwell.

  18. Sorry about the blank reply earlier.Computer personality disorder.I am truly glad to read your positive believing blog.As a christian who has actually studied the bible rather than parrot the preacher I understand believing (or faith … same diff) and I understand that God is a respecter of believing not works or persons. I also believe that the “other” side will loose, and indeed has already lost. Have a blessed day.

  19. Still hanging in here.

    While I’m not posting much in your more political threads, I have reading some of the “comments”.

    I completely quit one blog after some idiot Brit played the “Europeans Are So Much Wiser Than Americans” card and called the Jan 6th event “A Storming Of The Seat Of Government”.

    There are other problems in my life including a landlord who has really pissed me off.

    Oh, one minor problem, my Beagle Lilly keeps “wanting my attention” while I’m trying to relax. 😉

    1. BEAGLE!!!
      We took on a ‘rescue’ Beagle about 3 months ago. Not abused, but owner lost her job and was working 12 to 16 daily as a slave to Walmart. Bea, as we call her was living in a wire cage. Of course she showed up already warmed up and promptly hooked up with Charlie, our Hell Hound. (Long story) So we now also have 4 butterballs to give away.
      This of course allows me to tell my favorite Bea-girl story.
      Under that mild-mannered Beagle exterior, we have a super-hero: BEA-Girl! He Beagle powers allow her to send miscreants to that special place, Dogpatch! With a glare-afixed, she focuses on the evil-doers and yells, BEAG-GONE!

    2. I think Cole The kitten, knows when I want to do something and does “The Sleep Of The Dead” on my chest to anchor me in place, and attempting at forcing me to relax

    3. Kat the year-old Border Collie is proving to be a handful. We think she’ll be happier when she’s allowed to run around, so once the seedlings are planted, I need to crawl-proof the fence between our place and the very senior horse next door. Shouldn’t take long, and I suspect Kat will try to stay close to us.

      We’re realizing just how lucky we were with Angie, her predecessor BC. Sara the Lab-Aussie was two years older and taught Angie the ropes. We lost Sara a couple of weeks before we got Kat, and trying to raise Kat without a mentor is a challenge.

      OTOH, when she wants to be, she’s really sweet. Not quite often enough just now.

      1. I remember when “puppy” was both a swear word, and a prayer. Couldn’t wait for it to be over. Didn’t want it to fly by. Puppies the source of contradictory enjoyment.

  20. I’m hanging in and holding on. I lost my mind a long time ago. As I said above, I’ve pulled back from a lot of blogs and other social media platforms because I’ve grown tired of those who bang the doom and gloom drum but do nothing to stop what they see as the inevitable. I’ve also grown tired of platforms that are nothing but echo chambers. And don’t get me started on FB, Twitter and some of the others.

    Honestly, a lot of the reason I’ve pulled back online–and why a lot of others I’ve spoken with have–is time. It is too easy to go down the sinkhole instead of doing the things that need to be done. But I do keep up with certain sites, like here, and raise my head up on occasion to comment. Shrug.

  21. Making the occasional comments mostly to vent and because you fuss at me if I go silent for more than a few days. Have been somewhat circumspect in the content of my remarks since nothing electronic is secure, so trying not to create potential problems for myself.
    Looks like we will see each other in meatspace in a couple of weeks so I’ll fill you in on a few things then.
    Mostly about prepper stuff and my ongoing efforts to preach the gospel of RAH.
    Funny thing is that stuff I hesitated to bring up months ago is now getting said to me by any number of what I assumed were middle of the road associates.

  22. But the dye is cast, and my input is tiny.

    A curious, but perhaps prescient typo.

    Over the last year, year and a half we’ve lost a lot of regular commenters on this blog. Every time I reach out, I get something like “I am withdrawing from politics. I can’t take it.”

    I am. I go whole days without checking Indy and watch fewer and fewer cultural and political YouTubers.

    My breaking point was the truckers in Canada. I was on edge about some personal items as well. Not just what happened but reactions to it made me rethink a lot. Not just the level of political involvement but the value/sustainability of Internet friendships, especially ones built on politics. I distrust too easily and too well for non-face-to-face to work well.

    I wasn’t active on the Diner but some days I do miss the Discord. I even think about asking for an invite back then don’t.

    But how are you doing? How are you holding on?

    Everything is thriving except the poblano which didn’t make it. Pessimistic me thinks “of course, the pepper I used the most”. Optimistic me think “the rest seem to be thriving.” At this point, I’m not sure why it died. Torn about going to Home Depot and seeing if they still have any this late.

    Writing is as moribund as ever. I’m not sure it can survive my distrust and sensitivity to rejection.

    I moved up the start date from the podcast/YouTube channel so I can participate in GarbAugust with other BookTubers. Instead of Labor Day dropping four videos each of the last two Mondays in July will see two.

    1. I’ve been missing you a bit.

      I still don’t have sense to feel I can make any promises about social contact. I’m trying to make myself focus offline for something due in a bit under two weeks. The social anxiety when it comes to social commitment feels like it will be very difficult to manage for the online case, when considered with how the work goal is hitting me. (I’m meeting someone offline to take a measurement later today, and have butterflies despite a bunch of things going on that make the social side easier for me. It is going to be all right, things will get done, and then I can call my part done.)

      I was nervous about trying to contact you independently about following up on the game. It seems like you are in a better frame of mind now?

      1. If you mean the C&S game, I suspect it is dead on in the person issue.

        If you are in Atlanta metro I’m looking to start an open table game with the focus on Thursday evenings after 9:30pm at The Tin Roof Cafe.

  23. In good news, I just found out has this and it is downloadable: VMS File System Internals.

    Should get my MMURTL book out and start playing with it again. A versioning file system was the biggest thing I’d like to change.

    1. The Reader thanks you for the pointer. He thinks he’ll spend a little time and see how this relates to the early versions of Win NT. Turns out NT started life at Microsoft when Gates and company hired a group of VMS folks from DEC who were frustrated and DEC’s unwillingness to port VMS to the Intel architecture.

      1. Yep…they hired the Prism team after the project was cancelled including Dave Cutler who had been head of VMS development on the original VAX team.

        Rumor says that the reason Alpha maintained NT support long after MIPS, SPARC, PowerPC lost it is because the settlement MS made with DEC about supposed technology theft via those hirings was maintaining Alpha NT support.

  24. I echo Reader’s “Meh.” Bills are paid, just barely, but my margin for emergencies is… slim. And growing own food is dicey at best, with not enough room for much.
    Fingernails. Maybe toes too.
    My feet hurt, but yes.
    Mind? What mind? It went wandering off after my eyes….

    Ahem. I’ve pretty much quit watching TV news for my own sanity, though I keep an eye on the weather and poke various blogs. Getting anything creative done is a struggle (job pays bills but sucks energy like whoa), but I just got Oni the Lonely rough-formatted for paperback and e-version. Multiple steps still to go to publishing-ready. Noting them as checklist, given energy levels.

    I’m hoping my writing block on book 2 is of the nature of “but book 1 is not Finished yet!” Can’t trick my brain into getting past the outline on that, yet.

    I’m really, really hoping the idiots in D.C. won’t follow through on upping the ethanol level in gasoline, because I have a much older car and CANNOT afford to get new transportation. Argh.

    1. I have a much older car and CANNOT afford to get new transportation

      Same. And if I have to spring for ethanol free, I’m going to have to halve the number of weekends I go to my parents’ to help build their house.

      Which will slow what gets done, and virtually guarantee that they won’t be in by winter. Again.

    2. Bills are paid, but in doing so I can’t give my sister, brother-in-law, and (most importantly) five niecfews what I did even three months ago. At this rate my every paycheck deposit to theirs will be zeroed out.

      I don’t like that. I worked hard to get here and don’t like not being able to use here as intended.

  25. No, no, no. Never turn your back on politics.

    A. Politics won’t turn its back on you.

    B. That would be like turning your back on a room full of two-year-olds and plugged-in power tools.

    You might not be able to do much about what our political two-year-olds get up to, but you can at least see the shape of the impending disaster.
    Please try to remain calm. You can panic if you want to, but it won’t help.

  26. Hi Sarah, I’ve read your emails and your posts on insta for years, but this is my first time commenting. Today’s email was absolutely on target. My husband and I moved from San Diego County (formerly known as paradise) to the suburbs of Dallas in Jan ’21.No regrets. Since moving, I have become obsessed with my garden. Weather permitting, I read my prayer book in the garden, and I check on my “babies” several times a day. Our Anglican church here is warm and fully functioning. As of today, there is a wonderful classical music station that I turn on first thing in the morning and turn off last thing at night. (The awful Dallas City Council might vote to kill it next week. There’s no escaping the destructive forces.) Thank you for hanging in there.

    Judith L.

  27. Things feel … like a local equilibrium at the Schleyhaus. The Charlotte house sold Friday, so the imminent housing market collapse is no longer a worry, and we’re in a much better financial position. (The difference between what we paid and what we sold was almost exactly the amount of the mortgage and closing costs.)

    If there’s any downside, it’s that knowing we would soon have this much cash in the bank has reduced the urgency of finding better jobs. We have enough to keep on keeping on, but we really could do better in terms of benefits for me and working conditions for him.

    Baby boy seems to be fine. I’ve only gained about five pounds since conception, but I’m noticing a definite shift of Amy weight to baby weight. Appointment on Friday will provide more insight. My lower back is really hurting, but I’m not sure if it’s poor posture from slouching on the couch to cross-stitch, poor posture while standing or walking because baby is shifting my center of balance, or too many and too long of naps on the couch because baby is rather demanding on that front.

    As for the rest of the world, I keep a weather eye on politics and world events. I can’t do a whole hell of a lot about any of it, so all I really need to know is what might affect me. e.g. Agricultural futures, not whatever spat WaPo reporters are getting into. Otherwise, I just want to talk to folks.

    1. It’s good to hear that your family is doing well. Take care of yourself and the Mr.!

    1. The post-trial attempts by the press to brazenly claim that only misogynists didn’t support Heard is both amusing and sad at the same time.

  28. We know who they are! They are modern American Jacobins, they are Leftists, Progressives, Democrats, and Liberals of like-minded ilk. They don’t seek to rule based on reason but by fear and intimidation. Mr. Biden is the poster boy for coercive government. The administrative state seeks to regulation all facets of everyday life. These people are wrong-headed and evil!

    The tide is turning on these megalomaniacs. Naked and isolated, the left-spectrum will garner fewer and fewer friends and supporters. Screw ‘em all! They deserve an intellectual desert.

      1. Trump actually believes in the system, that if he hired the most qualified candidates that they would do their best to succeed as he experienced in business.
        But what happened was.that the “qualified candidates” who didn’t agree with what he tried to do in an organizational basis worked to sabotage every thing he tried to do.

        Look at Don Douche He was a big Trump buddy, working with him in one apprentice sezson.
        But the moment Trump ran for.President and wouldn’t play ball with the WEF NWO types, Douche attacked him in a daily basis on MSDNC.

        1. Yes. Trump, an honest man, had no idea how dishonest people think or act.

          I hope he gets better advice next time ehether he runs or not.

          1. Honestly, I’m a little surprised at how much Trump was blindsided by DC when he got in, he’d survived in New York (where they hate him because he kissed very little ass and wanted the respect of coming in the front door and not the side door). Then, I realized that no matter how much the people in New York hated him, he made all of the right people money and lots of it, and that’s all they cared about.

            When he became President, he wasn’t making those people money, so…

                1. And different rules between CEO/employee and President/civil service.

                  Start with being allowed to hire and fire without obstacles.

                2. Yes. For a long time the dems wanted power purely for the graft. It’s only recently that they’ve revealed the actual goal is to destroy us.

                  Dems would rather create a Hell that they can rule absolutely than be public servants in an earthly paradise.

                  1. I think that the older generation of Democrats were the true “conservatives” a’la “I don’t want thinks to change because that would eliminate my source of graft.” And “it’s good to be the ruling nobility, and that shouldn’t change.”

                    The newest generation of Democrats, from the early ’60s onward, want to tear it all down because they’re religious fanatics. Or perhaps “cultists” is a better term. They want power to impose their faith on the world, and that’s what they want.

                    Oh, and to make a profit as well.

      2. We’re going to get the other one at the rate things are going, because these idiots are going to make Big Bad Harv look like the only real option we have left.

  29. I’m doing OK. Some of my relationships are getting rather strained though. I’m trying to find a new balance. This is one of the few places where I can get political views that aren’t too far out. I’m glad you’re still posting.

  30. I’m a Frequent Lurker here. Hanging on by my fingernails. I also lost my mind in 2021, but politics and the economy were the after- dinner mints for a meal of medical melodrama and being caregiver to a husband who barely tries to get better and has to be reminded, nagged, threatened, and deprived of cable / wifi to take his meds.

    I’m also a lifelong believer. Like a fish, i didn’t know I was wet until i learned the concept of DRY.

    Taking things one day at a time. Telling the Author that I would really like my life to return to its sitcom status, as having a weekly Very Special Episode is exhausting.

  31. How is everyone doing? So-so
    Holding on? Yes though there’s a lot of strain, my husband is feeling it more than I am at the moment.
    Still standing? Mostly
    Not losing your minds? If all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most… On the other hand I lost it at least a decade ago so I’m mostly good there, too.

    Things are slowly progressing. It’s not much of a garden and I’m hoping to make it more. Right now 2 tomatoes, potatoes, and the spearmint are still standing. I’m going to be seeding rye into the back pasture, to see if we can get the soil recovering back there. At least once the rain stops. Bearskin is finally progressing in edits and House Upon the Hill is getting written. Slower than I’d like, but written.

  32. “How is everyone doing? Holding on? Still standing? Not losing your minds?”

    Some good, some bad, about normal, maybe looking up. Busy.
    Not sure. I’ve got some timelines of stuff I ought to get done. I’m not sure if the ones I know I’m on profile for are the important ones.
    Oddly enough, I’ve had a few times where the legs seemed uncertain. I think this is probably ordinary level of usual concerns for me.
    Well, I’ve never been all the way sane. I’m not sure how to summarize recent trends in my sanity levels. Some good, some bad. Some of the stuff the Dems are pushing is freaky as all. And, I’ve been a bit better at managing my in person social contact, and at regularly getting stuff done.

  33. Pop always said “Never bet on anything you can’t fix”. So to hedge my bets, I’ve been laying in guns, ammo, bug out gear. But I’ve also continued my “normal life” – the reading, the dog, my friends – as much as possible, consoled by the possibility that ‘this too shall pass’.

  34. Writing is in a bit of a stuck spot for me at the moment as well. Part of it is a lot of stuff. Part of it is I’ve been at it long enough now (since November) that it’s shifting into the work side of things. Part of it is there are things not quite working in the part I’m working on.

    For example, last week I realized part of the problem was one of the characters didn’t have an established character anymore. (They were built around another character, who as I worked with them turned out to be significantly different that I had thought they were at the start, and I’d never gone back and thought through what that meant for the other character.) Worked through that, and now they fit,

    Yesterday I realized that character is actually the protagonist of the part I’m struggling with. Which explains why story wasn’t happening. I wasn’t actually writing about the story. So now I’m figuring out what the core conflict is, and how it fits.

    The weird thing is, the major events aren’t really changing that much, it’s more whose head am I living in, why are they doing what they are doing what they’re doing, and why does it matter to them?

    And, where I’m actually starting the story off, too. I’m already on the second intro, and based on what I’m seeing, I may actually move the start point again.

    Learning experience.

  35. I broke in 2012. After recovering, I’ve been fine since. I find myself in a curious spot that I find hard to explain – a mix of both fatalism and confidence in a batter future.


    The world will do its thing. I will do my thing. I do my part to bring others closer to my way of thinking so that the end of California’s current messes will come sooner.

  36. Other Half is stressed–mostly about work, I think–so I’d been dragging him off on long meanders through the pasture (5 acres of pasture, 1 acre of yard…and lots of huge, mature trees, so not really any place for a good garden…and nowhere I can put one in without feeding the damn deer).

    Well. I forgot that my body hates me. Two long meanders (Sunday evening and Monday evening), and I spent yesterday paying for it. Hard. Still paying for it today.

    I’ve been barely paying attention to politics, lately–I don’t have the energy for that much rage. I’m hunkering down, refusing to spend more than the bare minimum, and praying. A lot. I have a thirteen year old and an eleven year old.

  37. Not suggesting what’ll work for anyone else, but I’ve, based on over eight decades of experience, found I am just fine as long as I don’t take the happenings around me too seriously nor, more importantly, far more importantly, take myself too seriously.

  38. Feeling battered here. (And no, not in preparation for deep-frying, though given it’s summer in Texas that is always a possibility.) Staying away from political blogs (apart from yours) isn’t enough, not when services I depend upon beat me up with woke messages. Bookbub wants me to read/recommend “diverse” authors, Amazon insisted on showing me a page full of rainbow-covered books for Gay Pride month, Scribd just sent me an unrequested list of audiobooks so woke I wouldn’t listen to them with somebody else’s ears. (Really, Scribd. The last three books I borrowed from your service were The Letters of Ogier de Busbecq, Spy Chiefs of Renaissance Venice, and Science and the Secrets of Nature: Books of Secrets in Medieval and Early Modern Culture. Whatever gave you the idea that I’d be interested in “an ode to queer afrofuturism”?)

    I used to be able to walk off the darkness induced by this kind of thing, or distract myself by cooking an elaborate meal or designing and creating a quilt. Now that my knees hurt so much that most activity is out, I’m pretty well stuck with living inside my head, and that’s not always a good place to be.

    In sixteen days I’ll be having an experimental procedure aimed at reducing the pain by jolting the relevant nerves with electricity, and I’m terrified. Not of the procedure, but that it may not work, and it’s my last chance. If this fails I’ll be left with the choice of pain or opiates, and I’m not sure how long I can keep refusing the opiates.

    1. If you do not have a marijuana allergy (yes, I know a family with marijuana allergies), I would highly suggest CBD products as a thing to try for pain management. They don’t have the THC, so no high, but the folk I know who have used them find them far more effective than NSAIDs or opioids, with fewer long-term side effects.

      One of those people is my husband, and oddly enough, he got off most of the pain management when he got a CPAP machine. I guess getting enough oxygen when you sleep helps heal up some of the issues.

      1. Dad was using it for neuropathy due to having been badly burned as a kid. Gas tank exploded and blew flames up his pants-legs.

      2. So there are others. The Reader is allergic to marijuana. Made life miserable in the late 60s into the 70s. Concerts and other mass gatherings were off limits.

        The Reader’s son is not. His rare form of cerebral palsy has him using small doses of opioids for pain management along with valium for spasm management. He has tried CBD extensively at the encouragement of his pain management doctor and did not receive any benefit although he and the Reader know others who have. Your mileage may vary.

      3. When I was an undergrad, I would sometimes get an intense headaches at irregular times…coinciding with a strange smell. It was like a red-hot point source, just behind the right side of my forehead. Someone finally informed me I was smelling pot smoke. So, I have a pretty good organic detector…

        I get the same kind of point-source headache, to a much lesser degree, when I smell cigarette smoke. Oddly enough, cigar and pipe smoke don’t do it.

        1. You aren’t the only one. Pot, cigarette, cigar, but not pipe smoke, and the residuals. Strong perfume or aftershave. Nail salons. Candle, Bath soap, stores. All just walking by. (Not like I hang out with smokers.) Lord help if the designated pet room is also the designated smoking room (Oh. Hell. No.) All = OMG Migraines. The only difference between now and before, say ’00’s (maybe ’90s), it is acceptable to complain.

      4. Thanks for the suggestion, but I’ve tried a couple of CBD products without noticeable results.

    2. Ms Ball, obviously I don’t know the details of your knee issues, but my wife Em has osteoarthritis in both her knees, and she’s been helped by a periodic injection of basically a gel cartilage replacement. She started getting them over a year ago and they seem to be working.

      1. Thank you, I’ll ask the doctor about that. Though it may not be something that’s available after knee replacement.

        1. No, it’s what they are using to put off having to do her knee replacement.

                1. Sarah, in that case, he might want to ask about the gel treatment Em got.

                    1. That’s basically what the orthopedic surgeon told Em, that it would work for a while, but they couldn’t say how long.

              1. BIL had both knees replaced. Now working on his hips. Hubby has had both hips done. So far knees are okay-ish.

  39. I’m suddenly in (more) debt and it doesn’t feel good.

    The student loan debt is tolerable, and I was making good progress. Still paying twice the minimum every month on the very last loan, so that’s alright.
    The credit card debt from paying last year’s taxes was painful, but expected, and I had 2/3rds of it saved up any way. I also fixed my tax withholding, so that I won’t have to pay them multiple hundreds of dollars after filing.
    The new tires for my rig… they needed to happen sooner or later, so I opted for sooner. But it’ll be a while until I’m out from under that.

    But I’m not used to having credit card balances that I can’t completely pay off with the next paycheck. Getting less take-home pay (thanks to the adjusted withholding) only adds to the problem.

    And y’know what, burying yourself in webnovels every evening after work Does Not Help in the “get critical home projects done, that you should have finished over the winter” department.

    My poor potatoes desperately need to be planted outside, so that they can grow something other than the bizarre leafless stalks they are currently sending out of the pot into the dark living room.

      1. Yeah, that’s how we did my previous set.

        Unfortunately, the shop and the free mechanic for whom I can play greasemonkey are all occupied with building material and house construction.

        So, Les Schwab it was. At this point, I feel kind of lucky that they had the tires in stock…

        1. The bubble on my balancer went, but I am trying beads this time. They work well in my bike tires, so, we’ll see. I got the machine and balancer when I was doing route sales for a jobber parts house. Machine was in an old Esso station turned Conoco that was closing as the owner was retiring. Balancer was from another customer who had several other styles, and needed space more than back-up to his back-ups.

    1. And y’know what, burying yourself in webnovels every evening after work Does Not Help in the “get critical home projects done, that you should have finished over the winter” department.

      Why, yes, I did know that. The contractors are catching up; time to get moving on my portion of the work. May seemed so far away…

  40. How am I doing? a sense not as good as before they stole the election. I don’t think I will.ever.regain my faith in the system..And.I didn’t have much faith in it to begin w.
    Same thing with the Medical Industrial Complex. I have been losing trust in it since they closet all the small.local hospitals, merged others and set up HMOs.
    But now the only medical doctors I trust are Veterinarians.
    Besides that I’m great. Well.except that I anticipate that because of Brandon’s incompetence and the demons that control him we are going into a.very.dark.era,
    Food system and supply chain collapse. Personal transport about to be unaffordable,.And the ramifications from.the injections commonly referred to as vaccines.
    O and millions of.illegal immigrants pouring in to the country who are going to be royally screwed and pissed off.when they come to the realization that they are in worse shape than they would have been if they had stayed home.
    And of course the.folks who burnt down the cities in the USAs 2020 color revolution are still out there waiting and watching to burn more.better.
    Other than that, yea I’m doing great.

  41. I actually feel pretty good. Yes, there are perils here and to come, but the enemy has stepped out in the open when we can see how small and ridiculous they are. I’m fully hedged economically, the pantry is full, the house is paid for, the children are grown, college is paid for, they’re good, solid, sensible young adults, the other people in their life are the same, and I’ve cut waaay back on my political reading. There’s really no point in it after all, why upset myself listening to a bunch of barking seals and flying monkeys.

    I wrote before that this site saved me from going under back in March/April 2020 when I stopped lurking. Then, we had something to fear, now … am I supposed to be afraid of Nancy Palsy, Chuck the cuck, Pencil Neck Schiff, and Jerry Nads? Really? As for the three letter agencies, they care only about their career, change who can promote or retard that and their behavior will change.

    The totalitarian’s great weapon is isolation. Even though I live here by NYC, the belly of the beast, I know I’m not alone and in any case, I will fear no evil, for He is with me, with his rod and staff he comforts me.

    Noli Timere

  42. Honestly, I’m feeling hopeful. The public is getting fed up with the current crap. They’re angry about kids dancing for drag queens (and vice versa). They’re angry about runaway inflation. They’re fed up with COVID nonsense. They’re tired of their cities burning every summer. They’re tired of literal daylight robbery. They’re tired of supply chain problems. They’re tired of cancel culture. The backlash is going to be staggering.

  43. Although I do keep an eye on politics, it’s not the center of my world. I can’t do much about the atheist-media-political complex, except note that it’s not as all-powerful as it thinks it is. I see reasons for hope. This year (since November) hasn’t been very good to me, but I’ve been in worse places. Still slogging along.

  44. “I’m hanging by a thread, but it is of Christ’s spinning” is a phrase an old Scots pastor used to use. I know now what he meant.

    Feeling… ok. Health is good. North Idaho fits me like a glove.
    Finances are utter shite, but I’m at least working now and can pay my bills and have a few hundred for savings and future projects.
    Starting the soap business has slowed to a distressing crawl, and it triggers a deep, DEEP fear that I will never amount to anything.

    Yesterday a woman brought her tribe into the store. One kid was mentally challenged, carrying a dog in his arms. Brother took the dog, who started to shriek (chihuahua-like beastie). Of course, then mama decided she needed help with her self-scan station. Child thought it was really fun to put dog next to my head, and have the dog shriek repeatedly while I’m leaning over the machine. Told child to move away from me. Mama loses her shite, seems the beastie is an “emotional support animal,” and blah blah blah.

    I could have knocked her into next week when she turned on me and told me to get away and don’t talk to her son that way….

    My hair trigger anger is what clues me in to the fact that I’m overwhelmed. That and the fact that typing this makes me emotional. I’m not used to not doing so well for long periods of time.

    This blog is manna from heaven for me.

    1. Not that it will probably help, because I suspect your managers won’t back you. I avoid Walmart like it is a plague because Walmart will not enforce the ADA properly.

      But legally you have the right to ask a handler to remove a dog, service dog or not, that is being disruptive. Dog shrieking qualifies. Heck in the service dog community there is a huge debate on allowing a bark (a single bark) as a valid alert process. Let alone shrieking.

      Also. A Emotional Support Animal is NOT a Service Dog. Handlers with an Emotional Support Animal do NOT have the right to bring their animal into places that pets are not allowed. While Service Dogs also often are emotional support, Emotional Support are not service dogs.

      Two allowed questions are allowed, if not plain:
      “Is that a Service Dog?”
      “What task does your Service Dog perform?”

      Even if properly answered. A service dog who is being disruptive (barking, lunging, misbehaving) and handler cannot bring under control, it is legal to ask the handler to remove the dog (service dogs are dogs and they do have off days). Then handler can return to do whatever was planned without the service dog, or not.

      I double guaranty all legit handler who will 100% applaud the above if witnessed. Walmart stores are too often the site of too many fake handler dog attacks on service dogs. It is often a long costly process work a service dog who has been attacked out of the reactivity it causes, if it is even possible.

      1. depends on the state. emotional support animals are classified as service animals in several states.

        1. emotional support animals are classified as service animals in several states

          Wags hands. Not really. Lot of people confuse PSTD or Autistic SD as Just emotional support animals. They are not. They often have specific tasks from grounding, to guiding, or alerting another person to the unfolding episode, along with a multitude of other possible tasks. Difference between emotional service and service dog is training, and defined task. The former does not have to have either, the latter does. Yes, even handlers, when overwhelmed will misstate. A lot of times states will specifically add either as special categories of emotional support animals that are the same as service dogs. Not sure it helps handlers. Because it is training that makes the difference. Note, not professional training, just training.

          But you will also note, when addressing the actual problem, did not say the dog shrieking was not a service animal. But having a bad day. Still legal to ask for the animal to be removed. Also I know that Walmart will do nothing to protect service dog and their handlers who are NOT having a bad day from those that are (as in having their dog attacked by another dog).

          FYI. I have been known more than once to make a remark to my SD “Will you at least pretend a little to act like you’ve been trained?” on an off day. I guaranty she was not shrieking, lunging, or paying attention to another dog. More likely her response to a kid who wants to pet her. Sigh.

        2. Apparently not in Idaho – my boss told her to get the dog out and don’t bring it back.

      2. I used to work for Walmart myself so I can confirm it’s a place where any Karen who wants can do anything short of physically harming you and management will take their side, not yours. Sadly they’re the only place I can find some things and one is very conveniently located near my house but I don’t take any joy in spending money there. Good advice regardless, though, and I hope it helps, Kathy!

        1. It helps a lot!
          I won’t be here any longer than I have to.
          I lost the energy to look for work but now that I have at least some income I’m looking again.
          Your empathy for this situation really does ease my angst.

      3. Brilliant information, thanks so much.
        I am forearmed, now, and won’t even approach a herd like that one.
        Turns out, my boss made her mad because he told her to get the animal out of the store–we don’t allow emotional support animals.

  45. And I miss balczac (spelling isn’t right but you all know who I mean.)

    1. Was just thinking about how I hadn’t seen anything from him for a while. Hoping he’s okay and will return.

      1. Me, too.
        He lives deep inside the Heart of Darkness (Seattle), and that makes me worry about him more than I probably ought to.

    2. We were just wondering about him on Discord ourselves and hope all’s well with him too. Or at least as well as can be for any of us right now.

      1. I hoped I wasn’t the only one who was looking around for him.
        I think Sarah can get ahold of him if she needs to.

  46. I mostly lurk here, and occasionally comment. I’m in a comfortable spot as far as life and living goes, so mainly I just try to keep enough of an eye on the politics to be warned if it looks like something is going to specifically affect me. Knowing that, big or small, not much of what I can do can have an effect on the overall situation just has me mainly looking for small things I can do that will help nudge things to a better place. So I volunteer at an air museum and work at helping them improve. In the grand span of the world it’s not much, but it makes things better where I am and very few people can hope to do more than that.

  47. Still here. Still… well now.
    That saying, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro”?
    Either I ain’t all that weird after all, the going isn’t that weird yet, or the pro requirements aren’t as thought. I have no idea what going pro might be, nor the payment setup for it.
    On the other hoof, I have yet to see a “Sorry, not interested” notice regarding such things, either. Hrmm.

    And, no, I do not see ‘weird pro’ as anything with violence. The results should be MUCH stranger than something so simple and so stupid. Think devastating, but somehow painfully legal.

    1. Well, Ox’s humor does help a lot of us so that counts for something! 🙂

  48. I’m doing okay, though I am exhausted from the trip I unexpectedly took with a group of students to D.C. and NYC. One of the parents’ fitness trackers measured 46 miles over six days, and that seems about right. (My legs are fine. Hiking is one of the things I do. But changes in climate and dry hotel rooms and airplanes and six-hour flight times plus three time zones… I’m wiped out.)

    Some things I noticed: Souvenir stores in D.C. are selling MAGA hats and Trump 2024 hats as well as the Biden/Harris merch. They are definitely on the Mercantile Party. The tour guide pointed out (to the adults) the softball area where Scalise and other Republican Party members were shot, and I was surprised, because most softball/baseball areas in my part of the country have a low or high fence around them, and this was literally just a backstop on flat park grass with a road right next to it. (And it’s right in the memorial areas, too, so plenty of tourists around.) Definitely fences around the Supreme Court, no protesters at the moment. The tour guide did say the tour company keeps an eye on the political weather and will change schedules depending on hazards for kids. (I mean, they changed them around as needed for access or people being exhausted, so that’s hardly surprising.)

    People didn’t seem stressed. It’s obviously tourist season (we even ran into a group from the nearest middle school to ours!), but I didn’t see any locals acting wound up.

    Give me some time to process and it should be all good. Someday I need to go back to D.C., because 45 minutes in the Museum of American History is damned near criminally short.

  49. Two secrets: Joy and gratitude. Practice daily.
    Also, have those to walk with you. Going off today to have lunch with a long time friend.

    Being aware of how awful the results of the civil war will be, (2-3 billion dead), I am grateful our problems are still so small. One practice is to ask myself if what had happened was the worst thing that was going to happen this week? Usually I would have to say, I should be overjoyed, if that is the worst. So good practices to help stay “sane?”

  50. How is everyone doing?
    I’m good.

    Holding on?
    Yes. For now.

    Still standing?
    Yes. On my [looks down and counts] two feet.

    Not losing your minds?
    I don’t think I can lose what I never had to begin with.

    Things are going OK. I’m working and making good money at it right now, though it comes at a cost. But I chose to pay that price, so it’s alright.

    I’m trying to stay out of politics and political discussions, cutting back on most social media, and keeping my head down. I probably only have one shot and I’m holding it for when it’s absolutely needed. Or preserving myself to rebuild my area of influence after it all crashes. I just have to trust that God will preserve me and mine in the midst of the coming storm.

  51. I’ve been aware for over a decade that the whole shootin’ works is sliding towards collapse. Didn’t think then and don’t think now that I can do anything material to stop it, just maybe cushion a fragment here and there. I’ve been more focused on trying to lay a bit of foundation on which a post collapse world might rebuild.

    Other than my financial situation I am not worried, despite living in deepest, darkest Shaky Town. I have done all I can with available resources. Psalm 91 sustains me. Scripture tells us that strength is perfected in weakness. Good news and bad news: we got weakness.

  52. I’m more withdrawn and think that’s prudent. I have much in common with the “doom-and-gloomers” who I think are more accurately described as Cassandras.

    1. I strongly disagree. Cassandra told the truth, but nobody believed her, that was her curse. Doom and gloomers see the worst of everything and none of the hope. If all you’re looking for is bad news then that’s all you’re going to see. I try to take the Mr. Rogers view and look for the things that are going right in the midst of the bad. So, Boudin gets recalled 60%-40%; Biden’s approval numbers are somewhere below 30% and falling; more and more people are starting to push back against arrogant school boards and teachers. Look for those sorts of things. Yes, right now there appears to be more bad news than good, but you have to remember that the good news (good from our point of view) does not get reported because it harshes the narrative that the elites are pushing. Stop swallowing their swill.

  53. Somebody tried to assassinate Justice Kavanaugh today:

    This is EXACTLY what Democrats want and why they have been encouraging and supporting threats of violence against the Supreme Court Justices who Democrats believe are thwarting their ability to achieve socialist paradise through abortion on demand, the end of private gun ownership, and government control of speech. If they can’t pack the Supreme Court they will just get their whack-job activists and paramilitary arm to change the composition of the court for them.

    1. Been seeing a lot of posts by lefties reassuring the poor little harlots that there are plenty of angel-maker pills stocked up until “we can fix this.”

      I guess this was their latest attempt at “fixing” it.

      But remember: they’re the victims. Always and forever the victims. Always and forever justified in everything.

      Also seeing plenty of posts about “camping trips” organizing for pro-abortion states. It’s a regular Underground Female-road, right out of the Handmaid’s High Castle!

      The transexuals get to cosplay as minstrels, now these gals get to play oppressed too:

      1. “posts by lefties reassuring other lefties that there are plenty of poor litle harlots that want their help.”

        There, I fixed it for you.

        After all, if it turns out that the client base for abortions is lefties with mommy and daddy’s credit cards, car keys, and no sense of personal responsibility, as well as victims of incest and rape being pressured by their abuser into getting rid of the evidence… Well, now, that wouldn’t feel near as justified, now would it?

        1. And remember, any group of people willing to resort to murdering Supreme Court justices in order to get their way, would have had and will never have any qualms about committing election fraud and otherwise doing their utmost to rig elections so that they win.

            1. Sometimes its important to say the obvious out loud, just a reminder of how nefarious the Democrats/left are

            1. But come now, surely you must see it had to be done? For four years the carrion eaters had been denied their meal. The vultures circled the once-proud lion and the hyenas dared the occasional nip, but they have so longed for the main course.

              And then it seemed to noble beast might – gasp! – recover? The outrage! The betrayal! The carrion eaters’ shrieks of fury resounded through the jungle!

              The lion HAD to be brought down, shaved and humiliated (but only for sanitary reasons don’t you know, it’s healthy, gotta make sure he don’t get sick!) and broken, tied to the stone table and dismembered with glee and relish! And a reminder to all the troublemakers that there will never be a dawn, never an end of winter, and they risk being petrified in perpetual stone should they voice otherwise.

  54. It is increasingly clear to me that without a major rollback of the administrative state, there’s very little we can do to save the Republic. So I, too, am not worrying as much as I used to. I do a little more disaster prep than I used to, here and there, but I see no high likelihood path that the administrative state will in fact be rolled back. It was restrained, in part and temporarily, under the last administration — and is now making up for lost time. We need a major reform, and no one I get the chance to vote for is a proponent of same. A convention of states could do it, but that is the longest of long shots.

    So, to borrow from Candide, I try not to stress about whether this is the best or worst of all possible worlds, I just do the work I’ve appointed myself to do, and try to work on getting in to better shape so as to be ready for whatever might come.

  55. I almost feel guilty. I do feel blessed.
    Retired, pretty healthy, happy, busy. I’m sure living in a sane State (Florida) and summering in the sane part (Elise Stefanik territory) of upstate NY helps us a lot. Having retired before Covid I never got pressured to get the jab. Have a family reunion coming up in a few weeks. Our life was far less affected by the events of the last few years than most of the commenters here.
    Yes I get angry at some of the news but don’t dwell on what I can’t control. I don’t waste much time anymore arguing with those who are unreachable – it just upsets me and doesn’t help anybody else. I know harder times are likely coming but am pretty sure we’ll make it through.

  56. How is everyone doing?
    I’m doing good.

    Holding on?
    Yes. For now and just waiting for the next ‘shoe’ to drop

    Still standing?
    Yup… in a slightly bladed fashion with dominate hand hovering over the holster

    Not losing your minds?
    Eh, may be lost but I hope somebody with a good home took it in.

    Overall it is a holding pattern right now for me. Back in 2019 I was fed up and disgusted which caused me and the ever delightful Mrs. to ‘run the numbers’ and came up with a better idea – I retired! Since then life has become much more manageable and simple. However, along came covid, goofy elections, goofy society, the current insanity of bureaucrats and politics and just plain crazy. I’ll skim the blogs and some news sites every day to stay current with what specific nutso stuff is happening but don’t really worry about it as for the most part it does not impact us directly or even indirectly. When/if it does, we adapt.

    For now, we take it a day or two at a time and quietly prepare for the tough times to come. We have no family close by and consider ourselves on our own. I’m thankful for our host and all the folks that comment here as it really is helpful and allows me to have a virtual community to which I can proudly belong. I have lost faith in the legal process, election process, the government overall and what is referred to as society which leaves me only my fellow wanders to be with. Thanks! If ya need something, just ask – I’m the quiet crazy guy over in the corner saying: “Anybody see my mind around here?”

  57. I’ve been finding my respite by following a chapter-by-chapter analysis of Gene Wolfe’s The Wizard Knight that’s shed new light on the book. A brilliant interpretation. I recommend anyone interested in trying out Gene Wolfe to give this guy’s vids a view!

  58. I am Still alive. The cake is not a lie; I made an einkorn spice cake as a dump cake over some dried plums rehydrated in pear brandy for 6 months, as well as some previously-frozen cherries. It was wonderful, though it took longer to bake than expected.

    Still alive!

    I planted things too late, but while the farmers at the farmer’s market have lots of produce, I have achieved my first tiny green tomato, and the basil is doing well, the dill is trying to bolt, and the yellow summer squash has a few flower buds. The oregano is amazing, and the tarragon is trying to take over the world. (Normally the mint’s job, Not that they’ve been named Pinky and Brain, or anything.(Which one was the genius, and which one was insane?))

    I don’t have a lot of spare space for drama, including political, because talking to people every day from all over the world at work… People are getting very… brittle. It’s a high-stress failure-intolerant industry in the first place, and the people are reflecting the strain.

    Besides, the more time and attenion I spend online, the less I have for the drama between my ears. Which would be great if I weren’t trying to finish not one, but two stories that are tag-teaming my muse. So I spend more time on the back porch watching the wind in the leaves and the clouds, and less commenting.

    1. The cake mix is… indicative.
      Store brand had been $0.99 for ages. Even when ‘on sale’ the sale price was… $0.99. Some time ago (a few months?) it went up to $1.08 and then $1.18 (the store only ever has stuff at even dollar amounts if it’s a special sale or the item is being discontinued.) Recently it jumped to $1.49… and then went down again for a few days.. then back up to $1.49 – except for yellow, white, and I think devil’s food. Now it’s all the same $1.49. And the other mixes have had their prices changed as well. For a while, some of the Betty Crocker mixes were more, but some were $1.28. So.. inflation and supply chain nonsense mixed together. This is merely one little that I’v e actually noticed. Likely there are many others.

      1. Betty Crockers are shrinking, too.

        I keep a shelf full of cake mixes, bought on sale– the stuff from two years ago is significantly bigger.

        Now they’ve got “cupcake mixes” which are cake mix but sized for 6 cupcakes.

  59. Nice blog. I understand both sides, but I can’t fully disconnect. I’ve had to for physical health this time…turns out my pancreas has decided to only work part time so I have to get it under control so I can get some nutrition in my body. OTOH, I’ve lost 11 lbs. AND we are finally shaking the dust of Colorado. We’re going back home to Texas. And it turns out husband had been thinking that way for a while. If I’d known he was thinking this a year ago, we could have saved us ALL a lot of money & heartache, although youngest wouldn’t have started dating her BF & our probably future SIL!

    Good luck on the garden, we’ll have one next year & maybe a fall one.

    Thanks for all you do to encourage us.

    Susan Wiederhold

  60. Things are good here. I have a floor installation debacle that I’m dealing with, but it’s just a floor – a very expensive, absolute crap floor (hence “debacle”), but still just a floor.
    I don’t want to sound like an advertisement, but I highly recommend listening to and/or reading Peter Zeihan. He’s got a good perspective on why the world appears to be going insane. To overly summarize: Bretton Woods is ending and everyone is scared out of their minds. Granted, most people don’t know what “Bretton Woods is ending” means (I didn’t), but when the (self described) elites panic, it trickles down. He has plausible (if not necessarily completely correct) reasons for why things are happening now. Why did Russia invade Ukraine, now? Why is China going insane, now? Why is Poland a “thing”, now? Why have the Davos folks turned into cartoon villains, now? (where “now” is plus/minus a few years; this has been going on for a while; he predicted the Ukraine war in his 2014 book.)
    Transitions are painful. Ask the French and British how they felt about the Suez Crisis at the start (first real test, at least) of Bretton Woods.
    I feel much calmer knowing that America will be fine – outstanding, even, in comparison with the rest of the world. Domestically, we’re a mess, but there are signs of peak Left. I feel as if the 2024 election will be the watershed, one way or another. Meanwhile, I shall wait. (And be one of the fifteen South Dakotans voting against incumbents; did you see the margins?!?!)
    It’s very helpful to not have a television.

    1. What floor is it?

      I’m in the market for something to go over my basement concrete, and always ready to hear about products to avoid.

      1. Same. Need to tear out carpet and put in something better…but what? It’s all expensive, and I can’t afford to put in the wrong thing. Solid evidence and people with firsthand experience are hard to find.

      2. It’s a Karndean “luxury” vinyl tile that’s fake travertine. I find the variation too strong – it creates drastic brightness (not just color) discontinuities where the tiles meet. The installer is going to (try to) fix the harsh lines spanning multiple tiles, but nothing can be done about the general situation.

        It’s not dreadful and I was warned of variation, so there’s very little I can do about it (other than eat the thousands of dollars). My told-to-installer plan is to publish an “after” picture of the entire project giving credit to all involved. If the installer thinks the floor is acceptable, they should have no problem with that.

        I give the installer some credit for trying to make it better. At least they admitted the runs of discontinuity are an installation problem.

        The Karndean rep is, of course, all “but that’s how travertine looks”. True or not, if I had wanted actual travertine, I would have paid the extra $2 sq/ft to get actual travertine.

        It’s an expectation management problem. For a weekend DIY, big-box hardware store stick-on floor, it looks fine (although I’ve done better with stick-on tile). For a luxury tile – at $11 sq/ft – professionally installed floor, it looks like crap.

      3. So we recently replaced the last carpet in our house with vinyl wood flooring. The wood floor that we used in the rest of the house had been discontinued several years ago.

        We ended up using a Floor and Decor Nucore brand planking. I thing their Augustine Wall plank. It’s got a cork backing donut has a bit of give even on concrete, and I like that the texture is a bit grippier than glossy wood floors.

        However, I am given to understand the glossy versions do show scratches, and apparently the fruit lines stain fairly easily.

        Still, it should be more comfortable that straight tile or real hardwood, and should be more water tolerating than hard wood.

        Our folks did vinyl tile in the kitchen, and it ended up being a bit weird. It looked like tile, but did not feel like tile. The vinyl plank looks like wood, and feels a lot more like wood floors do on a pier and beam foundation, so I’m a lot happier with it.

        1. We also went with wood-look luxury vinyl. Dan fell in love with a set of planks where they seem to be reclaimed: there’s some paint, the others are a variety of colors. He said it reminded him of old New England (he was born and spent part of his childhood in Norwalk CT) houses, with floors made of recycled boat boards. Fine. I didn’t mind it, and I was kind of out of it.
          I’ve since had reason to bless our choice. And it;s been less than a year. Older son thinks it’s busy, and it might be, but let me tell you: it resists pet accidents and it hides dirt really well. So I don’t live with a mop in my hand.
          So I’m really happy so far. And yes, the foot-feel is wood. If I didn’t know, I’d never guess.

          1. In this house the whole upstairs except the three bedrooms is done in an engineered vinyl grey-tone wood-plank design that I absolutely LOVE! And it saved us so much grief when the furnace melted and deposited a thick layer of oily black soot all over said floor. I was able to mop it clean using multiple buckets of hot PineSol water and a sponge mop. Had it been a real wood floor we might not have been able to get it cleaned at all.

            I agree with you – the foot-feel is wood, but with no splinters! 😉

    2. I voted against the incumbents too!! Every single stinking one.

      I was more shocked then t should have been at how few of us there were. I mean, look how long it took to get Daschle pried loose from the levels of power.

  61. I too keep trying to withdraw from politics, but “the more the worry me, the less I can turn my back.” Or, more like, I don’t dare turn my back on them.

    That really sucks.

  62. The worst, so far, for me is past. 2020 was a hellspawn of a year: my youngest son died, < 1week after his funeral the university shut down for covid and WFH 3+ months. All I could think about at home and see was his face everywhere. I begged my boss the whole time to let me go in the lab to work. Plus the church closed and pastor started preaching woke online. Very rough time.

    Got through by the grace of God. I still read my news/commentary sites, meet up with old friends once a week, love my wife kids and grandkids. Stocked up on emergency food and keep praying pretty simple prayers: Lord save my family, save this nation, save this people; and break the jaws of these wicked people in power.

    Oh and giving undivided attention to the dog and cat!

  63. I am one of those who seldom comment but always read and enjoy your posts; I cannot imagine anyone not following your posts unless they are simply overwhelmed with too many things to read and digest each day. That can certainly happen. I am enjoying your fairy tales ( got the ebook from Amazon) but I am STILL waiting- patiently and without giving up hope – for the day you will put many of your superb essays and observations into a book form, in whatever form you might choose. I do prefer paper books, but understand sometimes financial demands restrict publishing to electronic formats. In any case, all best wishes to you and your loved ones, including moose and squirrel :o)

  64. Mixed bag for me. Work’s been crazy, we cannot keep a full staff of truck drivers. I’ve been tempted to jump myself, but since I haul bread, which is going to move even if I need a State Police escort, (which has happened after hurricanes down here in Florida) I’m hesitant to jump to something with less of a guarantee of a paycheck.

    Found some ammo two weeks ago, that’s a good thing finally. Can feed baby and bigger AR’s now, that’s a good thing.

    Found what’s shaping up to be a great romantic partner, we’re talking about getting her house fixed up and on the market, hopefully before the market crashes again. Once that happens we’re dreaming about a couple-five acres, maybe have some travel trailers on it for visitors.

    Oh, and she runs a small town library. I’m wondering if Our Esteemed Hostess has any hardcovers for sale I can sneak onto her shelves?

    1. When you do, make sure it’s displayed back first.

      The front cover says what it is. The back cover makes you ask, “Why is the frog drinking coffee?”

      That back cover is glorious.

      Q: Why so the frog drinking coffee?
      A: Because he is an accountant.
      Q: …Now I have more questions…

  65. My nerves are way frayed, but I might finally be on to a lucky streak with a new job despite the world going to Hell in a handbasket. If many things that can go wrong don’t go wrong over the next two weeks, I might finally be in a better situation to ride out the chaos to come, and even have time to get back into writing. I still read this blog pretty much everyday, but I’m more of a lurker and don’t comment much.

  66. I know I haven’t been commenting here much since Discord is the main way I’ve been keeping up with most of the Huns (and, increasingly sporadically, MeWe). Still dealing with one form of work crap or another and working on the house but I’ve had a feeling that things are in the process of coming together on the escape. I hope it’s not just wishful thinking on my part but most of the things my friends and I can handle are done so then it’s on to selling the profitable clutter, not getting killed by my family when I tell them what I’m up to, contractor work, and hoping I can cash in well and finally take you up on the mutual cat sitting offer! Keeping up with things has definitely been draining, too, with a lot of black dog food out there, some of which is coming from people I could always count on for sanity checks in the past. Thanks again for these posts and the community! R says thanks, too, since he’s on the desk right now!

      1. Thanks, Professor! Hopefully things will work out the way I want them to and when it’s done I’m definitely going to have to drop in on you one free weekend!

  67. We are doing good. In the last 44 years this is the first financial crisis that we are outside of. We pulled it off. So far anyway. Can they mess us up? Not taking that bet. Do not think they will. But they could.

    We are both retired. Health decent. I still need to lose weight and get in better shape.

    The kid is working. Just changed jobs/company, and got off of swing. A lateral move. A week and he says already less stress and better environment.

    Pets are healthy (we don’t have any elderly cats currently). Pepper, the dog, I’m probably pulling from Agility. She doesn’t seem to be having as much fun at it.

    Getting really tired of people saying “’70s weren’t so bad. Gas only went up to $1.” Hmm. 35% raise is 35% a raise whether it is from $0.35 to $0.95 or $1.85 to $5.29. Just now no gas lines … yet. We weren’t making 3 gallons/hour minimum wage, either. Perspective does matter. Then I was raiding the piggy bank for change for gas. Now? I’m not.

    We’d like to get out of town. That is a scary prospect. Really don’t want to be somewhere, need gas to get home, then suddenly discover we can’t get it, at any price.

    Yellowstone and Tetons are reporting visitation is down so far this year. But is that fuel? Or because of the weather this year? Roads keep closing because of snowfall. Beartooth pass from Red Lodge to east entrance is still closed.

      1. Happens all the time IRL. It’s not a big deal; it’s just that a lot of people don’t think about moving money into their debit card account until they actually know how much money they need. Happens with items that haven’t changed price, too.

  68. But how are you doing? How are you holding on?

    I’m OK.

    Pissed about the stuff going on around us, but with little I can constructively do about it. (Say five Serenities…)

    A bit beleaguered on the homefront. My wife’s chronic illness is flaring, and she’s currently in a headspace where her disappointments in life are my fault. My eldest remains autistic, and my youngers have issues with mental/emotional regulation. (But it’s been two months since either destroyed anything, and over a year since the last maiming attempt, so, “winning”.)

    I’m teaching myself to play guitar, I actually got to read a book earlier this week, the jasmine and roses smell beautiful, my dogs love me, and I saved a bluebird that fell down the chimney into the ductwork.
    It’s the little things.

  69. Financially, physically, or personally? Finances are OK. Right leg is injured – clogged veins, plus a torn knee cartilage that makes sleeping rather painful. A weight loss miracle would be welcome.

    Personally, the BIG frustration is that I’m trying to get the razor edge honed for the World Muzzle-Loading Championships…and am shooting about 4 points below where I should be. I’ve got 60 days to get this straightened out.

    But I’m pumped about crushing the Liberals, seeing Dems driven before us, and hearing the lamentation of the media. 🙂

  70. Reading a lot.

    Writing less than I ought to but some every day.

    Keeping my blog going and strictly non-political.


    Gardening. Particularly gardening. I need to remember to do something for some time to give it a chance to grow into ground cover.

  71. My earlier post went into the ether. I said unkind things about some Democrat politicians.

    Everyone should have it as bad as me. I have my health, I’m in good shape financially, I’m still married to the same woman, the house is paid for, college is paid for. The only real shadow is the barking seals and flying monkeys and I’m pretty sure that they’re coming unstuck as we sit here. Who could be afraid of Jerry nads? As for the three letter agencies and administrative state, they care only for their career, make the sweep big enough and they’ll fold up like a cheap tent.

    I’m grateful this site exists, it kept me going back in 2020 when the world went mad and it reminds me I’m not alone. Isolation is the totalitarian’s main weapon.

    Noli Timere.

    1. Yep. I think I’ve become more active here because most of the other areas I find interaction with like-minded individuals have mostly gone into shutdown mode.

      This place more or less has survived intact.

  72. We’re doing pretty well. Husband has a good job that he likes, we’re living in a place we really like and feel better about the future because of that. We’ve also managed to do some prepping (but no garden). I got a book out in April and I’m working on two more. Hopefully those will be out this year.

    I know I was stressed and still am a bit because I’ve been binge reading cozy paranormal mysteries and not going on line. I’ve been paying attention to politics, but not writing about it. That will probably start up again soon.

    We’re both healthy and so is the cat. My cousin was here in May and I haven’t seen her in four years so I am very grateful for that visit. Hopefully we’ll get to visit husband’s family (elderly parents) as soon as he and his siblings can all coordinate things. I haven’t seen my brother since 2019 but hopefully that will come about next year.

    All in all, pretty good. And like many others have said, I appreciate this blog for the conversations and people.

  73. I have to say, I don’t see why you would think things will get better. We’ve seen this movie before: GOP captures Congress, doesn’t do a damned thing to undo damage, Democrats get reelected.

    1. Hey, poop head!
      If you remove your head from your ass you’ll see better.
      THIS HAS NOTHING to do with the GOP. It has to do with the American people. They’re waking up, and boy are they pissed.
      Keep stirring the pot. You won’t like what you get.

      1. It also requires ignoring everything that did go well– because anytime something such doomers want does happen, it is just a belated entitlement, not some kind of a win.

        It’s not charming coming from the left, I see no reason to indulge it from the right.

  74. How is everyone doing?
    I’ve been better, I’ve also been worse. Whatever the spiritual equivalent of physical fitness is, that’s what I need to pursue.

    Holding on?
    Thanks to the Lord God and my family, yes.

    Still standing?
    Yes, even moving forward although there are definite times when it’s one step forward, two steps back.

    Not losing your minds?
    I used to joke about being crazy but I think I need to cut that out. The world being crazy doesn’t mean I am and quite frankly, I’ve got a better grasp on reality than most of the left and their NPC followers.

  75. Been driving on… Here in Minnesocold the number of GOP delegates for the Gub primary doubled from 1K to 2K; the new 1K are 1st time delegates(including me). That is significant; it means people are(finally) being affected by policies that suck. Every working democrat(as opposed to govt and NGO activists) I know has switched. Heck, even coerced democrats like schoolteachers are switching.

    This is America folks, we don’t ever give up even though the five year outlook is not the greatest. Get involved – you don’t have to run for office. Go to city council meetings and simply ask questions. We conservatives work for a living and raise our families. Live and let live. Well, you can no longer trust ‘public officials’ to do the right thing as they have now become ‘the man’ and are working to destroy you either directly or indirectly. The bully always folds when confronted. Keep up the battle through public(not social media) conversation.

    Have a wonderful day!

  76. Neighbors think I’m prepping but I’m distracting myself from the 24/7 newscyclemania. 440 gallons of rainwater; done. Baitfish; caught. 3 year canning garden; in. 4 year collection of berries for jam; just only scouted locations but done. 2 years of firewood; delegated to grandboys; probably never get done as they’re burning it in campfires as fast as they cut, split and stack it. Goal; set a trot line. The river’s full.
    This is my calm before the storm. Everyone thinks the next election, the next election. I think history is the better guide and history is a dreadful teacher.

  77. “At times like these, it helps to remember that there have always been times like these.” — Paul Harvey

    Keep on keeping on.

  78. Sarah — just signed up to get your e-mails. I’ve been lurking and reading your blog faithfully for years; finally decided to make it official. Thanks for posting your thoughts and insights. The fact that you unflinchingly face the future and still remain optimistic is that little light out there in the darkness that gives me hope. Please keep that light on.

  79. Holding on, barely. This past year was nasty, to put it mildly, and I cut out everything that wasn’t absolutely essential. I’m having a hard time getting back to full functioning, even though the “emergency” is over. It’s like my brain shut down in the minute by minute survival, and it’s scared to crack the door of the closet.

    I now have an acre to play with, at least temporarily. It feels good, but I am looking for a permanent place. Trees, berry bushes, and I got a small garden in. Taking out some trees to clear more of the shade for edges, planning guilds, hugels and a forest garden. No chickens yet, but I think that’s the next major project.

    It helps me stay relatively sane, although my family would probably object to the possibility. At least functionally sane, and able to think more than a few hours ahead.

    1. Stress will play merry hell with your mind and memory. Stress hormones screw with lots of things, including short term memory.

      I’ve found yard care fairies who only weedwack occasional flowers, so instead of struggling to mow/trim/blow the yard I’m planting flowers and covering a mulched area with a fairy/gnome garden.

  80. I am doing the best I can, Sarah, thanks for asking.
    And a huge thanks for giving so much of yourself in writing your blog.
    I find it very positive and uplifting in these “interesting times.”
    Yeah, the garden and tending our animals is a huge mind cleanser for me lately.
    We sold the calf that our milk cow was fostering, so she is way out of sorts, and needs lots of attention, least of all the longer milking sessions, which leave me with a clear mind and an uplifted soul.
    Tomorrow we pick up another calf for her to foster, so the next few days will be filled with a sense of purpose.
    May you and your family be blessed in all things, Sarah.

  81. Long time lurker, and occasional poster here.

    How is everyone doing?
    I’m not running around screaming so that must count for something.

    Holding on?
    By the edges of fingernails of one hand.

    Still standing?

    Not losing your minds?
    I lost my mind in 1990, and it took a decade of therapy, hard work and the occasional psychtropic
    medication to get to where I now like who I am. So….

    This blog is my lifeline. I came here from Jerry Pournelle’s Chaos Manor
    (which I miss more than words can say.) I find like-minded in-sanity here,
    and people who seem to share my feelings about the world in general.

    Right now I am halfway through the wait for results of the biopsy of
    the one inch by haf inch by half inch section of my tongue that they took.
    Results back (cancer? not cancer?) on June 15.

    Two thanksgivings ago, I was vouchsafed a vision. Four years. Now, about a year and three quarters. It would get bad, but I would see an awesome new beginning. I put my hope in this; I was also told to get my books out. So I am working on that, too. I pray, a lot.

    Hanging in there, it’s all I can do.

  82. Doing pretty good, actually.

    Son and spouse keep me updated on the most critical bits of news, otherwise I just read all the comments here and stay current that way. 😉

    Having come to the reluctant conclusion that it may be a few more months before I can afford to get power in the garage, I will go back to Plan A and set up the room where the lathe et alia are currently stashed. If I cover the carpet with all of the rubber mats I have, I should be able to keep the floor pretty clean of sawdust and wood chips. I have commissions from both a relative and a close friend that are a year late. And I miss making things on the lathe.

    My “garden” is very tiny still, but there are clusters of little green cherry tomatoes on both plants, and the squash seems to be taking hold. After so many years without being able to grow anything, it is very pleasing to watch green things thriving.

    I’m old enough to know that regardless of how dire things look, one still has to shop, cook, clean, and do the laundry. And that stressing out over things one cannot do anything about personally is fruitless. Stay aware, stay prepared, do what you can where you can. After that, just continue to take pleasure in the small, beautiful things you come across, like the bumblebee browsing the white clover or a butterfly resting on your screen door.


  83. Just keeping it between the ditches and remembering Psalm 46:10… “Be still, and know that I am God:”

  84. Since 2020, I’ve mostly stopped commenting on things political in public. I have had to, I need my job. But I loathe this system and the political, academic, corporate, and media oligarchy that rules it, whose rulers prate about freedom and democracy, but let you know that if you aren’t on the Left, you’d better shut up or else. I think that many around me feel the same way, But nobody knows what to do.

    1. This, the falsification of preference, is what leads to events like the Romanian Christmas present, when people suddenly realize they’re a majority.

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