A Perfect Storm

I know a lot of you are feeling…. stressed… and odd.

I have some experience with this, and I’d like to share. Some of this is going to be intensely personal, but I want to stress that my experience in traditional publishing wasn’t particularly bad. There was way worse. The way the system worked, publishers had very little data to go on; there was very little incentive to get the numbers right; the industry as a whole doesn’t seem to have any idea how to promote; distribution is strange…. etc. etc. etc. Plus they had no incentive to change, because there were enough writers dying to be published that it was easy to pay — in the nineties or early oughts — what they paid in the thirties and forties for a book. And it was easy to treat writers as disposable. For anything I know, it might still be. (I don’t understand the hankering to be traditionally published, but then I’m a dinosaur.)

Anyway, here’s the thing, and it’s not so much a complaint about traditional publishing, as a way to explain how I felt and why.

Back in 2003 or so, I realized I had absolutely no power to make my books be successful. The normal advice was “write a better book.” Which was fine, and of course all of us tried to do that.

But then you had to market the book to your agent. Your agent had to decide to market it as a top flight book, the publisher had to buy in on it and give you a big enough advance that the house feels forced to promote it. And even then and with the best intentions in the world, you might end up with a cover that doesn’t sell, a distribution messed up because oh, a major store went out, or a major national disaster happened just before the book was released. And if you had a few disasters under your belt, it became harder, no matter how good your idea or execution, to get a publisher to take you seriously. Or an agent for that matter. Instead, you were tossed into a filler slot in the spirit of a lottery ticket, i.e. “Maybe this will sell, inexplicably, with no promotion/push/distro.” Needless to say that might happen, somewhere, somehow, but I never heard of it, just like I don’t know any lottery winners.

It didn’t really matter how good your book is, if it never gets in the hands of the readers, it will never sell.

I kind of knew that in 2003. But there was nothing I could do about it. And there were kids to buy shoes and books and courses for. You see, at the time Dan made enough for us to live, but anything else, including our super-fantastic holidays (weekends in Denver when we lived in Colorado Springs) came from my writing, such as it was. Besides, I had spent thirteen years breaking in, and my resume was no longer relevant for any jobs. So….

So I lied to myself, which is a way to cope with this situation.

I told myself I just needed a better idea, a better book, to figure out how to promote (which, eh, is how this blog came about) etc etc etc.

Except every five years or so I’d hit the wall, and be profoundly depressed for months. And it kept getting worse. It kept getting harder to get the next book written, to get really excited about the next story.

My hair was falling out. My autoimmune was insane. There were weeks I couldn’t sleep. And writing became harder and harder.

About nine years ago, trying to get over apparently unbreakable block, I found a book. It was called something like “How to combat burnout.”

I’ll admit I never finished the book, because the first few chapters on what caused burnout made me so profoundly uncomfortable, and skimming the “solutions” had nothing that applied to me.

They defined burnout as a “being forced to continue striving for a goal, when you have no control on whether you’ll achieve it. And when any events and results are out of your control.”

The way to cure burnout was to take control, but back then I had no way to actually do that. I mean, there was indie, and I started dipping my toes in the pool of indie, but I was aware that I had no clue what I was doing and that it would be a while before I could support myself.

And most of the things suggested by the book — I skimmed — in publishing in fact boiled down to “write a better book, and pray.”

What I want to talk about has nothing to do with the situation I was in, or with the splendorous brokenness of traditional publishing.

It has to do with what comes after. I was, in fact profoundly burned out. And I’m still not fully recovered. Continuing to try to push forward, when everything in you wants to stop it, but you have no way to escape, is what I want to talk to you about.

Because it is in fact the situation all of us have been in for the last two years. And the situation we are still in, being dragged along by factors we cannot control.

Now, I’ll be honest, this is the fate of most humans throughout most of history. You really had no control over your life.

But this is not what we have been raised to believe. This is not the society we thought we lived in.

We expected our vote to count. We expect effort and dedication and hard work to have a result.

We do not expect to find ourselves under a two year house arrest at the decision of tyrants, for no reason that makes any sense. We don’t expect our kids’ education arbitrarily destroyed (not to mention what most found out about their kids education during the lockdown.) We don’t expect small businesses destroyed. We don’t expect unapologetic election fraud. We don’t expect the people who come to power that way to then do things like refuse to let our country drill for oil, or try to drive the country in the direction of technologies that don’t exist, thereby making it impossible to transport the essentials. We don’t expect to have to find ways to navigate daily life: it worked before.

We all know we’re heading for food and fuel shortages. We’re all watching things become more difficult. We can all predict the results.

But there is absolutely nothing we can do about it, particularly by our lonesome selves. And nothing can be done until the discontent reaches a critical mass, which, as we see from other countries, requires a whole other level of suffering, and a level of damage it will be hell to recover from.

And…. we’re powerless. It’s our lives, the lives of our kids. It’s our businesses, our communities, the careers we spent years building. It’s our ability to come and go at will, to visit friends, family. It’s our savings, our old age survival. It’s our medical care. It’s our ability to speak, to attend a demonstration, if we agree with it. It’s our ability to defend ourselves (ask the Bodega owner in NYC.) It’s plans we’d made, things we’d worked toward.

None of it is safe, all of it is in the hands of people we can’t trust, people who have other agendas than our best interests. (And far more sinister than any traditional publisher ever managed.)

And there is absolutely nothing we can do. Not yet. Not while we’re bound and delivered to our foes.

Yet all through this, we have to get up every morning, have breakfast, do our best to function. Cope with rapidly increasing prices for everything. Look after ourselves, our children, our pets. Clean the house (even ten year ago me would hate how rarely I’ve done that.) Cook. Work at our jobs (that too has suffered.) Try to get to a safe place. Try to prepare for a calamity. Network.

All of this without curling up in the fetal position, or screaming at the sky. That’s what the other side does, at minor contretemps, and no one judges them for it. But we know we’d be judged, and besides, we’re the adults, the responsible ones.

The entire country, to an extent the entire world, is spiraling into a hellacious case of burnout, to rival the one I’m not fully recovered from. And because it’s all of us, it amplifies. In case you’re wondering why people are at each other’s throats at the drop of a hat. Because it’s all of us, it makes society frail and stuff unstable.

Well, other than diagnosing it, what can I do? You’re still in a heck of a place.

I can’t help you, in the sense I can’t say “take charge.” You can’t. I mean, you can get out and work for non-poopy-head politicians, but the rot is much deeper, and cleaning things like the voting process is going to take a lot more. (At least now people are aware of it. Sixteen years ago even people here argued there wasn’t a problem.) And it might take a while.

And meanwhile we’re staring at the collapse of the food distribution system probably this winter, or not much further on. And we’re staring at blackouts and burnouts this winter, in dangerously cold weather.

So, what can you do?

Well, there are things you can do, things I’m doing to come out of burnout, things that I wish I had done back then.

1- Don’t lie to yourself.

Yes, maybe we’ll get lucky and get out of this without an explosion. Yes, some days you pray for an explosion, because at least it would end this. No, it wouldn’t be a good thing. There’s ends and ends. Swallowing a bullet is also an end, but one that makes things worse for the innocents around you and even your casual acquaintances online. (Trust me at this. We might yell at you, but this community cares.)

Yeah, we’re in a heck of a bind, and things will have to get worse before they get better. And you can’t hurry them. And you can’t really do anything right now that won’t just make things worse.

Sucks, doesn’t it? So you have to relieve the pressure.

Don’t lie to yourself. It’s not your fault. You can’t fix it. It’s not “if only I–” And it’s not “if everybody.”

At this point, though the trends are clear, we’re powerless.

2- There will be a time we’re not powerless.

Prepare for that time.

The first step is research. There is a book about the collapse and chaos in Argentina by someone who survived it. It’s called “How to survive” something or other, and it’s…. in the storage unit, and I can’t remember either the author or the title, but I’m sure one of my commenters does. Find it. Read it. It will give you a sense of how things might go.

REMEMBER that this was Argentina, not the US. Vastly different places. Account for that. Bu tit will give you an idea.

UPDATE: Thank you to beautiful young lady, but also occasionally a little grey cat Dorothy Grant, the book is The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse – by Ferfal.

3- And then prepare Whether it’s getting in better health (this should always be part of it, particularly going into unstable times), buying shelf stable food, learning to grow a garden, buying a few peeps. Buying extras of what you know you’ll use, that will only be more expensive next year or next. Shirts, shoes, underwear, paper towels, toilet paper, freedom seeds. Freedom seed dispensers.

If you’re in an area that’s highly likely to tip into famine (Large cities in states insisting on carbon neutral trucks would be one) or places prone to rioting (say your downtown was taken over by Buy Large Mansions) or places largely given over to feral homeless populations, try to figure out a route out. I know it’s not possible, or not possible fast for many of you.

But if it’s possible AT ALL, plan.

If you have to hurry up a plan you had for ten or five years in the future, and if you can do it, do so. Now. Don’t hesitate. This comes from someone JUST starting to unpack form a largely traumatic move. (look, I have kitchen, dining room and office. The rest is…. uh.)

The order is: Get safe, get stocked, get networked. Try to do it, or at least work towards it.

4- Do not throw everything over to get on with this.

Yes, it might seem like in the face of the disaster we face, we can throw over family, marriages, careers, and do whatever it takes.

You could do that. But then, you know, it wouldn’t work, because this is not in fact a movie. This is real life.

And real life disasters don’t work that way. We’re used to reading about the Weimar republic and thinking that everything collapsed.

Not really. People still went to school. People still had jobs. People still married and dated and all the other stuff. I know that seems crasy to you, but I swear that’s how real life is.

I heard tell — I don’t know — that life still went on in East Beirut (Sorry for typo) when it looked completely wrecked. People still had every-day concerns. And you know? Life went on in the middle of the French Revolution, which was probably crazier.

Life will continue. I can’t tell you for sure whether your career/profession/knowledge will be needed. No one can. It’s always the weirdest things that work, and surprise you.

So you keep doing normal life, until you can’t. But you know, people learned, and worked and had children, and survived through other heinous upheavals, and you can too.

5- You won’t always be powerless. Your power might be small. It might be a word at the right time. It might be standing up in a public meeting and speaking out about something. It might be laughing when someone says “trust the science.”

You’re not really fully powerless now, either. It’s just that you can’t grab the world by its collective shoulders and bitch slapt it into sanity. Instead, you have to do little subtle pushes, while trying to survive, while making your life the best you can under whatever the heck is coming our way, and while saving others who can’t save themselves.

Sucks, don’t it?

But it’s all we can do. (Like I should have been working seriously at indie before it was pushed on me. And then I wouldn’t be so burned, and would have more income.)

I KNOW you’re reading that and going “But it doesn’t solve it.” You want to scream at the sky. You want to stand in front of a tank. You want a grand gesture that stops the insanity.

Right now, right at this moment, unless you are in some kind of position where you can reach millions of people and wake them up — so, say, you’re one of those billionaires I keep joking about following my blog — anything you can do in a big way will make it worse.

So you’ll have to be contented with the small ways and with …. prepare, prepare, prepare.

Exercise helps. Particularly a punching bag. (I am not joking on this.) Planning helps. Something you didn’t plan for will, of course, happen, but you can always cobble two plans together.

Staying as calm and sane as possible helps.

Helping others stay as calm and sane as possible helps.

Be not afraid. In the end, we win they lose.

And yeah, perhaps we’ll get lucky. Perhaps it will be easier than we expect.

But easier or harder, we need you. However small the push you can give, the words you can say, the decision you can make, can be the determining touch that makes what comes after better.

It’s not your fault. And no one expects you to fix it all.

It’s not my fault either, and only I expect me to fix it (And I’m a well known crazy person on this.)

But we can and will do what we can to make sure we and ours, and other liberty lovers and Americans survive, and make it onto a better future.

America has a date with a better future. And it needs us to get her there.

159 thoughts on “A Perfect Storm

  1. I have a similar, though less interesting story about “failing upwards” (and a lot sideways) in IT. I came to the conclusion that 2 Corinthians 4:7-18 was true. YMMV.

    I really don’t think any of my plans came to fruition. But God carried me through some pretty deep waters like unemployment, ageism, sexism, racism, and cancer… And so those verses really feel like they were written to encourage me, personally.

    Yeah, that’s probably arrogant; but a preacher once told me Bible verses have a specific meaning for the time they were written, for all of us at once, and for each of us where we are. Kinda like those old portraits where the eyes seem to follow you, but comforting, not creepy.

  2. I was looking at Floor Jansen’s tale of Burnout (and that is the medical term. It isn’t depression, but can be similar or in parallel) and was seeing all too many of the symptoms in myself these last few years. Realizing it is a big help.
    The thing is a lot of people who’d not normally be susceptible to it are close or getting close to it as stressors are stacked on stressors. My darker thoughts are that the PTB knew they are doing this and are using this to break things further, and that leads what I might plan to do if it comes to SHTF. But, they always think it will be their personal Utopia, when it actually turns into Ceaușescu’s Xmas for them. I doubt I could get anywhere to do much before others took care of matters.
    But, they keep adding themselves to the list, and none of them will be missed.

    1. They say all politics are local. So it stands to reason that all solutions should be local too.

      Like I said below, focus on the wolves surrounding you right here. Don’t worry about the ones in the next valley over.

      1. I was talking to a rancher and a retired county commissioner came up. He was a good one, but retired “for reasons”. The rancher asked him about it and it was because the other two members on the board (and some of the county staff) were being assholes. The good guy helped get rid of a bunch of illegal grows in our area; but they’re coming back.

        Little list, for sure.

      2. There’s a couple of county commissioners who are making that list. Seems they forced out the really good one, who was taking the lead on getting rid of illegal marijuana grows in our rural area. (Policy now seems to be “keep it out of the city, screw the rurals”. OTOH, while the county outlawed pot shops by popular vote, the city allowed them. Curious, that.)

  3. I learned one time: All you can do, is all you can do; but all you can do is enough.
    Yeah, it’s trite, and it’s simplistic. But the trite and simplistic can also be true. And we have to remember one key facet of truth. It doesn’t happen unless you (individually) make it happen.
    Bitch, moan, complain all you want, but if you want something done, you have to move your lard butt to do it. There may be a price paid. Maybe it’s increased pain, or increased money paid out, or increased isolation by those you once called friends.
    But it won’t get done until we do it.
    And putting it off and putting it off and putting it off never gets it done.
    Mañana never comes – it’s always tomorrow. Get things done today, and maybe you can sleep later tomorrow.

  4. One of the few ways I benefited from the WuFlu Lockdown Madness was a lot more free time; who knew even short commutes were such a time suck? So I came up with a serious Repair to Prepare program. Fixed every little thing in the house, the yard, the cars, and the workshop, ’cause who knows what you’ll need when things go south? Got super-organized with everything from closets to bookshelves, and pushed carloads of outdated junk out the door (OK, my disk drive is still semi-chaotic). Like Doug, I try to get (a few) things done every day–simple left foot, right foot, keep on trudging’– I don’t know about sleeping later tomorrow, but I sleep well every night.

    1. Good therapy (both in being useful, and in being comforting)– find something that you CAN control.

      And control it.

      Cooking, cleaning, yardwork….

        1. Part of why it works for me is because when I’m done, and take a step back, and sometimes STILL feel like crud… I can at least look at the effort I put into feeling better adn got SOMETHING out of it, so I’m not worse off than I started.

          Which is a major problem.

      1. Or it will be a surprise in October that has nothing to do with US politics (like Mt. Vesuvius erupting and causing disasters in Italy, the Balkans, and Turkey and the Levant. Or China having one of it’s super-lethal earthquakes.) There will be political effects, just not what the Usual Suspects are hoping/planning for.

        1. Can I hope for a set of sudden volcanic eruptions wiping out DC, Ottawa, Moscow, Beijing, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, London, Tehran, Pyongyang, and Brussels?

          1. No, but you might hope for aliens to blast those cities. that would go a long way to removing the dead wood, and provide a nice well-defined enemy for us all to fight.

            1. If they ask me, “Take me to your leader.”

              I am prepared to say, “You bet! Want my freedom seed dispenser to have at them with?”

              1. At this point, it isn’t clear who all thinks they’re leading this national; all that’s certain is it ain’t Brandon!

            2. Heh. Now I’m imagining an “Independence Day” scenario where the aliens come, blow up our capitol cities, and just when we think we’ll have to fight them, they leave us a message: “It may hurt now, but don’t worry. In 20 years, you’ll thank us. Be sure to do the same to the next civilization you come across, when you reach the stars yourselves.”

              One can dream, I suppose!

                1. It would make an even more amazing, and welcome, “FILM AT ELEVEN!” item on the six o’clock news… 🙂

                2. Sort of a philosophy flip of David Weber’s aliens in the “not a vampire, really. Maybe. Exactly. Ish” books.

          2. Eeeeehhhhh. You’d lose a LOT of great art if the Reijksmusum, British Museum and Tate-Not-Modern, and Cluny disappeared. I’d miss part of the Louvre and Musee de Orsey, too, but not all of them. Oh, and Museum Island in Berlin. Otherwise, go for it. (Like NYC – save the good stuff, please. The Met, the Frick, the Museum of Financial History, Museum of Natural History . . .)

            1. And while I would not be too irked if DC got irradiated, kindly leave the museums alone. Thanks.

                1. OK, so slam on a dome and fill it with something lethal and rapid-decaying. Remove the parasites, preserve the real estate and contents. 😉

            2. I admit there would be some painful losses in my hypothetical, I admit. Not most of the the politicians, bureaucrats, and lobbyists, of course, but…

              1. I thought of that, too, but then I thought “oops, residual radiation”. Use rapid-breakdown lethal gas.

      2. I expect they’ll try it anyways. They do seem to be cycling through crisies, trying to find at least one that people might care about.

        Don’t see any way it will work like they want though: when people are worrying about whether or not they’ll be able to eat or not freeze come winter, it does tend to crowd out anything else.

        1. Sure seems that way…
          First, it was “Russia, Russia, Russia!” and poor Ukraine!

          Then, we were supposed to panic about “monkeypox,” but then it came out that it wasn’t exactly transmissable without significant effort on everyones part.

          So when the SCOTUS smacked down both Roe v Wade and NYs gun laws, they tried to get people going on those. Except as more comes out about Uvalde and the LEO response to it, the more people are getting pissed and RvW it seems the truth of what it meant is getting through. As for the parade shooter? Notice how when it became apparent he was ANYTHING but an “evil right-wing white supremacist” it disappeared entirely from the news?

          So now they’re back to trying to drum up more COVID-panic, and frankly, I think now that it’s been north of 2yrs of “2 weeks to flatten the curve,” most people are OVER it and it’s not panning out.

          As for the whole January 6 charade? Doesn’t seem like anyone CARES about a kangaroo court, especially when “testimony” like the one intern or whatever the heck she was, is IMMEDIATELY and vocally contradicted by people who would know if it were true (like, oh, say a couple Secret Service members?)

          I will not be surprised if they start flailing harder, possibly to the point of trying to do another lockdown just in time for November…

            1. As long as the Party hasn’t reached the, “We need a martyr for the country to rally around,” stage.

              1. The Reader suspects that a presidential funeral from ‘natural causes’ in mid October would put a large dent in Democratic losses in the midterms from the sympathy vote. ‘Old Joe just couldn’t stand the strain anymore’.

                  1. The problem with an “assassination” would be, look at the politics of the usual suspects for that…
                    How long do you think they could hide that any such assassin was a “Bernie bro, communist, green, AntiFABLM, with their entire bedroom papered in pictures of AOC with hearts drawn on her eyes” sort?

                    They’d almost have to wait until a bare week or less before the election to keep it under wraps.

                    Of course, THEY may think they could keep such under wraps that long, and if they get the FBI/CIA to run the op they might be able to pull it off, but when it came out? Yeah…

                    1. More importantly, the assassinated politician needs to be one that people love and respect. Abe was loved and respected by the Japanese population, and his party likely got a sympathy boost (which they didn’t really need, it looks like) in the election that immediately followed. Biden is not loved or respected. Never has been. Even at his best, the general view of him was as the somewhat bumbling politician who would sometimes say idiotic stuff. Now he doesn’t even have that.

                  2. More of a “Ding Dong the witch is dead!” Celebratory vote would be more likely.

                    1. That shouldn’t be a major problem, See, there’s this thing where you put a chicken’s beak at the end of a line in the dirt… 😉

  5. After the tyranny and the lockdowns and the insanity of the communists in the federal government, we have set our feet, put our faces into the storm, and started trudging forward to take everything back. The response from the left has been insanity and the dropping of all masks. Yes, they’re coming for our children. Yes, they’re coming for our guns. Yes, they want to break us.

    And we are standing up and saying “No.” Every step is hard, and I can’t see what everything will look like when the storm is done. But I’m not stopping. And I know I’m not alone.

    1. Bonnie,
      Gerry and the Pacemakers did what is the theme song of both Liverpool and Celtic (Scotland): “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” If you don’t already know the lyrics, go read them and remember them. You’re fighting on the right side and you WILL never walk alone. You may get wet and it WILL be hard, but you won’t ever be alone.

  6. It was in one of my professional military education classes that the lecturer told us that conditions which would lead to bad burn-out was a combination of high responsibility – but not actual control. And I realized that this was correct, because my own career field operated under exactly that: high degree of responsibility but no actual control over conditions. (Which is why just about every station manager I worked for in twenty years had cracked up in some interesting and usually disastrous way.) Control what you can – absolutely. Focus on what you can control in your life, for your own mental well-being.

    1. I seem to recall that there was a seat of experiments where they would shock rats either randomly or according to a pattern and see what they did. The ones that were shocked according to a predictable pattern would take action to avoid it, but the ones that were randomly shocked would simply lay down and ignore everything.

      Which makes sense; if it is truly random, all you can do about it is time it out. The real problem is it seems to be a combination of random and patterned shocks, so if we can understand the pattern we can reduce the pain, but it’s also stuck in a haze of random shocks too. So we’re just in a pile of uncertainty that we have some influence over, but it is limited and not easily discernable.

      We are definitely going to need to figure out some new methods of handling that.

        1. Thank you. I think that is what I was thinking of.

          What just struck me is, if the shocks really are fully out of one’s control, then to a certain degree, just tanking it and ignoring it may well be the best action. Futile action just spends energy that could be used for other things, including repairing the damage from the shocks.

          I wonder how much of our current cultural problem is not being able to tell which problems really are out of our control vs the ones we can influence?

    2. That matches my own personal experience. When you’re the tip-of-the-whip being flailed from one end of the country to the other (literally) with schedule changes, it gets pretty exhausting. Especially after the first few years.

    3. This is how I spent over 7 years as a caregiver for someone with a terminal illness. And then we had the lockdowns, and when I was finally starting to recover and landed a job enough to pay bills… economy tanked and job has cut hours extremely.

      I am miffed. And looking for more work, which augh.

      Oddly enough I finally feel like I’m starting to recover from the caregiver burnout. Just in time for this mess.

      Oh Great Author, seriously, what.

      (Of course the classic answer to that is, “So? Why not what?”)

    4. “…a combination of high responsibility – but not actual control.”

      That’s the classic “authority/responsibility” issue. Authority without responsibility leads to authoritarianism and/or tyranny [see damned near everything today for examples, starting with Brandon]; responsibility without authority leads to anarchy (and nervous breakdown for the poor schlub with the responsibility.) You cannot separate them and have a viable system.

  7. One of the things I had to fight last month was the sense that “Bad Stuff is coming – how dare you ignore it and enjoy being away from everything! doom Doom DOOM!”

    My answer? I’m here for a reason. I’m learning, stretching, growing, and climbing out of the Slough of Despond that was the end of the academic year. I”m here, I’m going to enjoy it, and get things to take back to other people. And I’ve been amazed by the number of casual acquaintances who 1) want to hear about the trip and 2) are thrilled that I got to go and to bring back stories for them to hear.

    People are story hungry. Fun stories, different stories, uplifting or at least entertaining stories. Go enjoy living your story now, so you have it to share. Prepare, build under, make plans, start trimming your sails for the coming storm, but don’t forget to savor and enjoy what we have right now.

      1. You should go. If imponderables stop you or things go wrong, fine. That was never under your control anyway. Making the effort and taking the risk ARE under your control. Take your own excellent advice from your past few posts and seize the opportunity while you still have it. If there’s any way it’s possible, please do it.

      2. I’ve got a family member who is looking at a tour of the Adriatic this fall. You know, the Balkans. If they can do it . . .

      3. I was very worried about going to see our kids/grandkids. It was money we really didn’t have, time we really didn’t have and I was worried about traveling when things are so up in the air. I am immensely grateful that we did. We needed it. Our kids and grandkids needed it.

        I know international travel is different, however, you are going to family and will have support there. If you have to stay a bit longer because of flights, etc. You will still have support. There are Huns on every continent and they would rally to help in case of difficulties.

        I think the fact that it keeps preying on your mind means something. You will be more relaxed if you make this happen. It might be the thing you need to do to get your anxiety under control.

        1. The money and stupid rules don’t help. I haven’t flown since the great stupidity.
          My family is fully bought into the bullshit. And I don’t want to get stranded there.

      4. Go. I went to Spain in May, plan to go to Germany in August. The only trouble I had was with a trip to Canada last month…avoid Air Canada, they are selling tickets on flights they KNOW they can’t deliver.

            1. Not berating you.

              Just trying to help.

              Don’t look at me. I’m not taking a plane ride anywhere, let alone overseas.

              1. Sigh. That’s the problem, mostly. Portugal is also a problem. I always get so frustrated when I’m there. It’s like trying to put on too-small clothes.

                1. Maybe meet them for a vacation elsewhere in Europe? That way you are in “ooh shiny vacation mode” rather than “family visit mode”

                  1. My parents don’t even travel outside the city anymore. Mid eighties, and mid nineties. My dad has been trying to convince mom to come visit us for ten years, but she’s afraid they”die mid air” (Possible for her. SHe has heart issues.)

      5. Getting out of Portugal might be a problem. Getting into the U.S. legally might be a problem. Crossing the border illegally should be a piece of cake.

            1. TODAY, they have. However, they’re already trying to ramp up a panic over COVID-MIDTERM, and so that is subject to change without notice, and certainly without reason.

            2. Just wait until COVID season comes back (since it’s seasonal now). It’s already pretty much acknowledged that we’re going to have to remask here in LA County when COVID season hits, since the mask mandate here was always tied to COVID numbers in the hospitals, and the county hasn’t revoked it yet. Once the season starts and the numbers spike, we’ll be told to put the masks back on.

              I wouldn’t be surprised if controls also go back up at the borders.

      6. My mom went to Germany and Switerland in June. Came back just after they dropped the return test requirement. Sister and BIL went to British Isles, Ireland and Scotland, in May, got back in June. Same sister and BIL went on cruise in February and are going on a cruise around Greek Islands in 10 days. The other sister took same cruise, in June, then spent a week in Italy. Everyone made it home for the niece’s wedding (well one sister was the bride’s mother). Had two cousins in Europe on trips and cruises too. Flights were the problem everyone ran into, mostly when they got back to the US (getting then to the west coast). Luggage problems were the next headache; coming home … PIA, but deal-able. Going? A huge PIA. Make sure to carry on all critical medications and hardware, with bare minimal clothing, plus a little more. Everything else can go in the checked luggage. The one BIL despises carrying anything … he’s learned differently. Everyone has also learned to “go early”.

        We are planning on Canada this late fall. Only concession making will be that reservations must be able to be cancelled. Route may vary on going north, and then south.

        1. I’m not planning on visiting Canada anytime soon because they don’t seem to be planning on dropping the requirement to be vaccinated with the vaccine that isn’t and doesn’t work. I can spend my tourist money domestically without a problem.

            1. But if you live there they won’t let you leave. It’s like East Berlin.

              Here, on the other hand, if you’re a U.S. citizen they won’t let you into the country, but they let in hordes of illegal aliens.
              If you owe the bank $500 and can’t pay, you have a problem. If you owe the bank $500 million and can’t pay, the bank has a problem.

      7. Sarah,
        You can’t live your life in fear. You know this. You also aren’t a young woman and your parents are now at an age where they will be gone in the foreseeable future. If you don’t go and it turns out you never see them again, you will deeply regret it. Follow Sir Winston’s advice: “Never take counsel of your fears” and go. And, the sooner you do it, the better.

  8. In my own SF writings, part of the “future history” that I established decades ago–when it was still the future–was the “Screaming Twenties”, the period from 2020-2032 (going a bit over since no historical epoch necessarily follows the calendar). And a lot of what I envisioned for that period was stuff like–well, what we’re seeing now.

    This throwaway bit of background is turning out to be coming true. Please don’t shoot me for it.

    But they ended. And after that, things were better. People were more free, societies–not just America but the whole world–were more prosperous. A lot of the nightmares of the 20th century were finally ended.

    I don’t write dystopias. They can’t last; they self-destruct. We may be facing one, but only temporarily, because it’ll do the same.

    1. And in the future history that I outlined back in the late 70’s/early 80’s when I was in jr. high (which ultimately grew into the Grissom timeline), the period of 2008-2040 was when the US fell into a homegrown tyranny. A grim time, but a. there was a resistance and b. it ended and Constitutional government was restored.

    2. I get that. My “turmoils” lasted much longer and there were at least 3 sets. I won’t kill you.
      But I turn 60 this year. whether I’ll be around in 32 only the good Lord knows.

      1. I’ve got a few “sets” myself–in fact I wrote about four novels’ worth of space wars for the second time everything went to pot. One story, originally meant to be one novel–but I don’t need to tell YOU how these things can snowball.

  9. ‘Progressives’ demand their ‘Safe Spaces’ where nobody ever says anything remotely upsetting to them.

    Our idea of a ‘Safe Space’ is one where random hoodlums are not trying to kill us.

    I do trust science, but I don’t trust the ‘scientists’ and I doubt that what they’re saying has much to do with actual science.

    I see the system breaking down, I see why it’s breaking down, I see the idjits that caused the breakdown continue to do everything to make it worse, and nothing to make it better. This does result in some degree of burnout.
    What can be more terrifying than a drunk redneck with a Great Idea?

    1. A group of drunk rednecks having a “Hold my beer!”-style Great Idea contest

    2. A progressive with a Great Idea.

      The redneck (and I are one) typically only endangers himself, or onlookers/participants who are imprudently too close.

      Progressives have, because they seek it, a much larger blast radius.

    3. I am willing to trust science. Honest, VERIFIED science. Where even the impossible is tested, just to be sure (guess how X-rays were found…a glorious accident when the impossible was attempted just to be sure). HOWEVER, I utterly refuse to trust “The Science.” That smacks too much of Faith, and Faith is not a thing to be given lightly.

      1. I am all I favor of science, it being organized trial and error which tends to work out over the long run. I am opposed to SCIENCE — you need Thomas Dolby — which is to science as schedule is to Amtrak and honest is to politician.

    4. There is no “science”. There is superstition, speculation, and engineering. If you don’t understand it well enough to put it into a hull, or make it turn the wheels of industry, it’s speculation at best.

    5. New York Post is reporting that lefties are demanding that the new Thor movie should have a trigger warning, because one of the lead characters has terminal cancer.


  10. Good afternoon Mrs. Hoyt.

    Thought I’d share with you my latest chapter on my commentary to the Torah.

    The first סוגיה of the third פרק of אמור, כב: יז – כה.  

    Here the Torah compares tumah to an animal that has a blemish which invalides the worthiness of this animal to serve as a korban holy to HaShem.

    Let’s Learn.  

    A slightly distant precedent: ה: א – י.  The subject of tumah and its inverse relationship with avodat HaShem, expressed through the dedication of korbanot by the House of Aaron, qualifies as a:שמע ישראל את החקים ואת המשפטים.

    The subject of tohor and tumah, the most complex and abstract subject in the whole of the Sha’s Bavli.  The magnitude of the subject defines: כרת עמנו ברית בחרב.  Moshe @ Sinai stands as the Av model to the House of Aaron, his service relationship with Israel, when they sanctify the holy service of korbanot avodat HaShem.

    The fundamental distinction between tohor and tumah middot: זה לשמה וזה לא לשמה.  Observance of all the Torah commandments לא לשמה, promotes the tumah of avodah zarah in this world.  HaShem alone took Israel out of the Egyptian g’lut.  Herein defines the sum total of the revelation of the Torah @ Sinai.

    A distant precedent: יב: כ – כח.  The service of avodat HaShem, distinguishes and defines the National Capital of our nation, the living blood dedication, holy to HaShem.  The cities of refuge, likewise the Cohen – head of the small Sanhedrin court – too, dedicates korbanot.  From “hear”, the Torah commands the supreme mussar commandment:צדק צדק תרדוף.

    All of the תרי”ג commandments dedicated holy to HaShem לשמה, they all sanctify as most holy to HaShem the obligation to rule the oath sworn lands with justice.  As the First commandment of Sinai subsumes all other commandments, so too does righteous courtroom lateral common law justice, a צלום אלהים… או תמיד מעשה בראשית.

    Tumah g’lut, caused by the Av tumah of avodat HaShem לא לשמה, equally and likewise subsumes all the תרי”ג commandments of avodat HaShem.  Hence exiled\g’lut Jewry lost the wisdom – how to do and keep mitzvot לשמה, a mussar taught in the opening Mishna of גיטין.  This categorization, classification, sorting into the basic cognitive process of learning, it defines the משל\נמשל sh’itta of learning Torah.

    Failure to make the required דיוקים, logical inferences of learning, too separates לשמה from לא לשמה.  Avodah zarah Goyim, they read their bibles or koran as works of history, which they call ” the Word of God ”.  לא לשמה fails to grasp the essential primary importance and significance of mussar; it perverts prophesy unto soothsayers and fortune tellers who predict the future.

    A distant precedent: טו: יב – כג.  The mitzvah of releasing the עבד עברי after 6 years of service, this mitzvah, it learns from the Shmita year.  A Torah obligation to send the עבד עברי away with honor and dignity.  Israel left the slavery of Egypt with great Egyptian wealth.  The Sinia first commandment affixes the Name with the liberation from Egyptian slavery.

    Torah common law commandments learn by and through similar precedents.  Halachot in the Gemarah serve as essential precedents by which a person learns the k’vanna of the language of the Mishna – a seamless garment unifies Written with the Oral Torah Talmudic codification.  זה וזה לומד לשמה.

    Statute Roman law, even if the words employed appear superficially as identical, the tumah flaw of these religious codes of avodah zarah, they fail to subsume the halachot of the Gemarah, to understand the k’vanna of a specific given Mishna the אבות ותולדות key and central relationship; which forever separates, makes an eternal הבדלה.  A distinction which separates, so to speak, t’rumah from chol, Mishnah from Gemarah, primary – secondary relationship.

    Viewed from the persective of tumah partnership commandment: a Man has an affair with another woman; his passion to experience some new sexual plateau, it fails to grasps קידושין לשמה.  The mitzva of קידושין elevates a man’s wife above all other women, like the Mishnah has a higher status than that of the Gemarah; the Books of the Prophets than those of the Holy Writings; the first born above all other children.

    Chag Shevuoth, a man dedicates all the first born holy to HaShem.  This Chag essentially defines the k’vanna of the whole of the Torah Sinai/Horev experience.  Still another distant precedent: טז: יח – יז: ז.  Planting a “sacred tree” beside the altar of korbanot, confuses the essential primary/secondary Order which the Torah requires.

    Adjacent to that negative commandment the משנה תורה repeats the negative commandment of dedicating a deformed animal as a korban to HaShem.  The adjacent סוגיה addresses the subject of a person who seduces his community to worship avodah zarah.

    Another distant precedent: כג: ח – כד.  War most essentially requires a conducted strategy לשמה.  Hedonism a לא לשמה sexual desire.  Too and similar, banks which profit through charging interest on loans given to bnai brit allies.

    An exact precise משנה תורה precedent: כד: יז – כה: יט.  Respect shown to the ger tzedek, widow, and orphan, based upon the precedent of the opening Sinai commandment.  The adjacent סוגיה commands the corners of the field. 

    The next סוגיה addresses harvesting olive trees. The next סוגיה addresses a similar obligation upon justices of the courts not to humiliate the person condemned to כרת lashes.

    Perhaps abortion learns from this limitation touching the punishment of כרת lashes.  Prior to the baby assuming a human shape, during this time, abortion – if chosen by the mother – abortion preferable.

    The next סוגיה the mitzvah of yibum: respecting the Name of a deceased brother who had no children.  Contrast the behavior of Amalek toward Israel and the commandment for straight honest business with and among our people.

    A slightly distant precedent: כז: א – ח.  The commandment to bless and curse Israel.  To sit beside the altar next to עיבל and dedicate a korban shalom among and together with all our nation.

    An exact and precise precedent: לג: ז – כג.  Yechuda, Levi, Benyamin, Yosef, Zebulun, Gad, Dan.  From these key Tribes produced most of the leaders of the chosen Cohen nation.

    The kabbalah of יחזקאל.  A slightly distant precedent: ב: ג – ג: כד.  Recognition of the primary/secondary relationship between our Cohen nation and non bnai brit Goyim who never accept the revelation of the Torah @ Sinai @ Horev separates the blessing from the curse: avodat HaShem לשמה from avoda zarah לא לשמה.

    Another slightly distant precedent; יז: יא – כד.  When Israel places trust in foreign people above the commandment not to swear false oaths, Torah curses and g’lut rains down upon our crushed and humiliated people.

    The mussar of this prophet instructs why HaShem condemns Israel to an assured oppression of g’lut.  The prophet refers to the Cohen nation as a rebellious folk.  Who choose to pursue and emulate the manners, customs and ways, the cultures practiced by foreigner non bnai brit who reject the revelation of the Torah @ Sinai @ Horev.
    This betrayal, the לא לשמה pursuit to imitate the ways of the Goyim, this drive within us to copycat the Goyim manners and ways, this tumah partnership mitzva defines the reason for the Divine decree of g’lut upon our people.

    A precise exact precedent:  כב: א – יח.   Here the prophet makes a summation of the precedents brought through the משנה תורה above.

    Herein concludes the 3rd סוגיה of the Parshah of אמור.

    1. You realize it’s massively rude to hijack someone else’s blog comments with non-related gibberish, right?

      HaShem will not look kindly on such behavior. HaShem would tell you to get your own blog.

    2. Just in case you had not read the FAQ AND BBQ 2.0 at the very top, discussion of theology is considered off limits here. Most of us here are not Jewish and don’t even understand you. Since you have claimed to be an atheist, you don’t really believe Moses and the prophets anyway, so why are you blithering?

      1. From the beating he got yesterday when he tried the ‘ignorant goyim’ thing and got his theology corrected, and then took refuge in his, ah, unique reading being right because he translated it himself– he doesn’t understand, either.

      2. And those of use who are Jewish have zero patience for his ignorant blathering. If I want to listen to poor Jewish theology, I will go to a Reform shul, thank you very much.

        1. He’s posting miles and miles and miles of stuff.
          He called you very rude. It’s going into junk. 😀 I just found it, when I freed some stuff. 😀

  11. The cats are not pleased with me.

    “We spent all that time getting just the right amount of cat hair everywhere, then you went and vacuumed it up! Now we have to start all over!”
    At my house, the ‘things that go bump in the night’ are cats.

  12. Hum. Like most other famous writers I’ve held numerous jobs, worked in many fields over the years and at some point in time led a hand to mouth existence. All true except, obviously, I’m not famous and the fact I can type point in time, rather than just time, with a straight face, proves I’m not a writer.

    Point being that I survived, as did everyone reading this.

    What got me to 83 was deciding early that what happens to me and mine is my fault or what I can brag about, ain’t never been a victim. That assuming I controlled my life, not them, if changes were necessary to support me and mine, I made them.

    Why yes, in my 83 years, much of the world is beyond my control but I found so very much within my control that in the narrow scheme of things, me and mine’s day to day, the beyond my control didn’t make no nevermind. I always thought if this fails I can always go get a job pumping gas to put bread on the table and formula in the baby’s bottle. Yes I allow that always go pump gas wouldn’t work today, but in my day, the twenties depression fallback, always go sell apples on the street, would not have worked. Change with the times.

    Burnout? No never noticed if I did experience such. Deep funk, oh yea; ’67 flood standing in line the Sally passing out blankets, knowing our house, which we couldn’t get back to, had 3 feet of river therein, winter and -50° only a month or so away, yep I was deeply depressed for a couple of hours. However the what can I do, what do I need to do thinking took over.

    The fact that I could, did and can control what happens to me and mine has gotten me through a lot and allowed me and us to enjoy a tremendous lot. I’m just noting what works for me, I’m not faulting whatever gets you through the day.

    Tomorrow will be interesting. I plan to enjoy it no matter what. I hope you do too.

  13. life still went on in East Berlin when it looked completely wrecked.

    I recall that a fellow in West Berlin, during the Airlift, said he understood if the Airlift failed, but “PLEASE, just don’t forget us.”

  14. Your power might be small.

    It AMAZES me that I have, at times, ‘worked miracles’ – I did NOT realize it at the time! What I did, I thought, was Truly Minor. At most a slight nudge, a mere blip in all of the World…. and yet.. there are things that exist because of those little things. One wasn’t so little, admittedly. Ox brag now (but ox actually dood it, so is not bragging, yes?).

    There was, and still is, a RenFest that started… about 20 years ago, roughly. After a few good years, they decided to save money on rain insurance. You can guess the rest. Yup, It rained. ALL. WEEK. LONG. before the event. And then rained MOAR. An act that juggled flaming torches in one bit said “We’ve never juggled TWELVE torches…” LOOKS AROUND at the rising water “…but I can’t think of a safer place to try!” (FWIW, they managed it. Maybe only for a few seconds, but they DID IT.)

    They didn’t have many attendees (I bought an item that I normally would’ve had trouble even getting into the vendor tent… and I was almost alone then). They wound up seriously in the red/in the hole. Now, they had and have a Top Level package with some goodies, but the big thing is not the goodies, but the support from selling such. Back then, I had The Good Job and was Socking It Away. I could afford a risk. “Could I get a five year subscription to your top package?” was met with, “Uh, let me talk to the committee.” They went for it, making a point of telling me it was a risk and if they went under anyway, I was out it all.

    The ‘fest is still around. I found out, years later, that that was perhaps THE thing that kept them from folding. It was NOT just that I had made a chunk of their money problem go away (NOT a majority of it, but a sizable dent). It was, “Someone BELIEVES in us? Wow. Maybe we can fix this after all.” Sure, I spent some money. But what I really gave was HOPE and GRIT. Yeah, they had a problem. But they also had a stubborn ol’ ox!

    1. Good for you!

      An act that juggled flaming torches in one bit said “We’ve never juggled TWELVE torches…” LOOKS AROUND at the rising water “…but I can’t think of a safer place to try!” (FWIW, they managed it. Maybe only for a few seconds, but they DID IT.)

      …And good for them too, now that’s taking advantage of circumstances.

  15. Thank you, Sarah. That’s a helpful pep talk, and a better sermon.

  16. “But there is absolutely nothing we can do about it”

    Define “do”. Sure, you can’t stop it. But you can try to get out of the way, you can try to deflect it. You fall back on the Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared.” You fall back on the old ethic of, “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.” And pull out a copy of the Serenity Prayer.

    So you save up extra food and supplies. Cans, dry goods, medicine, first aid supplies, even toilet paper. You get 5, 10, 20% more than you use each week and stash it in the cellar, the closet, the attic. You keep all your fuel cans and tanks full, and buy more if you can. How many propane bottles will you need to cook food every day for a week while the power grid is down because Burn, Loot and Murder decided to smash the local transformer station? How about for 6 months? Transformers don’t grow on trees and we’ve had shortages of them before.

    And you get the means to defend what you have. Buy guns, ammo, or crossbows and bolts if you want to go that route (they’re quieter.) Learn how to use them. Learn when to use them. And be ready to become the Warrior, that Zen-like state where you accept that you can lose, be injured, die, and still take the fight to the wolves at your door. (Yeah, part of not lying to yourself, not all of us are Conan the Barbarian, or Mack Bolan.) Don’t worry about the wolves in D.C., that’s far away. Pay attention to the ones surrounding you looking to take you down now.

    Talk about it with your family or significant other. Pull that black dog out into the middle of the floor. A burden shared is a burden lessened; and you’ll likely find your family members have similar fears.

    Finally, don’t skimp on the hugs and kisses. We’re social apes, and even the most isolated, cringiest of us hermits needs some kind of physical contact every so often.

    That’s my two copper pieces.

  17. The river is rising and there’s nothing I, alone, can do. All I have this is this one lousy rock!

    But Joe also has a rock.
    And so does Fred.
    And so does Judy.
    And Thomas.
    And Jane.

    Well, DAM!

  18. For a possibly amusing OT…
    Woke up this morning very down, for a variety of reasons, mostly of the “can’t do anything about it,” variety. I went for a walk anyway, because exercise is good and I sleep better. And on my last lap, a guy’s dog pulled the leash out of his hand and came after me, barking furiously and growling.
    A black dog. An elderly black bitch, maybe 25 pounds, gray in her muzzle. I told her she was a vicious attack puppy and she agreed (more growling). But she backed away when I reached down to pet her. Her owner apologized profusely. I told him the barking ones don’t worry me.
    But the end result was I walked away smiling. Because I met the black dog….and she was a wuss.

    1. One of the funnest meme/cartoon I’ve seen is:

      Dog barking loud at the end of a taunt leash.
      Owner drops leash.
      Dog stops barking.
      Dog looks at leash.
      Dog looks at owner.
      Dog takes end of leash, takes to owner.
      Leash is now in owner’s hand.
      Dog barking loud at end of taunt leash.
      All is good in the world.

      Why? Because it is 100% truth.

  19. They defined burnout as a “being forced to continue striving for a goal, when you have no control on whether you’ll achieve it. And when any events and results are out of your control.”

    :looks around at a whole bunch of current systems, and the “solutions” they answer:

    Dang near makes “find a witch and burn them to stop it” look like a sane response.

    1. I’ve done some reading up on Middle Ages witchcraft and said executions, and… well, sometimes there were people who thought it was so funny to dose unsuspecting people with ergot-laced bread.

      I’m not sure I’d go so far as burning, but hanging, yes.

      1. And poison is a sort of magic, if you don’t understand how it works.

        Oh, and the known abortion link– when herbal abortions are “try to kill the kid faster than the mom,” and it’s known to frequently fail.

  20. Think about what your own strengths are. I, for instance, am past being able to be a warrior.

    HOWEVER, I can cook a decent meal for a crowd with whatever is at hand. I can and do grow, can and preserve food. I can sew, crochet and knit. I have good nursing and first aid skills. I can reload weapons and be a lookout. I can research about anything that needs researching using actual books in a library even.

    We can’t all be be the Batman. Someone has to hose down the Bat Cave, rustle up the grub when the warriors get home and dress their wounds.

    I’m no Alfred. For one thing I’m cuter. But the Batman needed Alfred and your crew needs you. You don’t have to be all things to all people you just have to be YOU to your people.

  21. Nothing we can do? Nonsense! We are merely waiting for the moment to strike. In November. In war, timing is essential.

    Here’s my own “Commander’s Estimate of the Situation.”

    The Left has badly overplayed a weak hand. Biden ran as a center-left candidate, then broke hard left the instant he got into office. When the Senate is 50-50 and your majority in the House is in single digits, you do NOT have a mandate for radical change.
    Love him or hate him, Trump has crystallized a militant post-Buckleyite wing of the conservative movement. I expect that this will become more militant in the future. “Unthinkable” solutions to problems will become quite thinkable.
    The Dems won in 2020 due to massive vote fraud. Unfortunately for them, they have been caught…and smart Republicans (like Governor Youngkin) are taking countermeasures. We need to stop wringing our hands and start taking part in election security measures. Especially for the general election.
    Politically, I expect the GOP to take the House by a solid majority. The Senate by a narrow majority. The big question will be whehter or not the current leadership has the nerve to pressure the Dems. We will have to hold their feet in the fire.
    Biden will not be functioning as President after 1 July 2023. Possibly earlier. It’ll be a race between relief per the 25th Amendment and resignation in advance of an impeachment for bribery.
    Biden’s removal will not help the Dems. Kommie-la is every bit as stupid, just without the dementia and the wholesale corruption. She’ll be the nominee, FWIW.
    The next eighteen months will be hard economically. Good time to invest, if you have income to spare. I expect that the Second Great Inflation (the First Great Inflation was in the 1970s) will taper off in 2024…mostly because the GOP Congress will be rescinding panic-demic spending and “infrastructure” money whenever they can.
    National security will be a major issue in the 2024 campaign. Outside of those of us following naval affairs, most people don’t realize that the Chinese have a bigger Navy than the United States…and they just launched their third aircraft carrier. If you’re not reading CDR Salamander’s blog, you SHOULD be. Read the comments, too…the commentariat has a lot of knowledge about military affairs.

  22. And according to PJ Media, we could have a nationwide railroad strike Monday. Hoo boy.

  23. Before a tryrant can rule you, first you must be convinced you are powerless.

    Don’t buy the lie. You have power that is the envy of the world. But they have to black-pill you, or their game fails.

    Fake it till you make it, if that works. Paint the rocks, shine ones’ boots, org the closets, if that is all you can think of.

    That “round tuit” list is useful when that black cloud descends. Doesn’t really matter which one you grab, just grab one and get it done. Sharpen the knives if all else fails.

    And thumping a heavy bag can be surprisingly therapeutic.

    They want you miserable and despondent. Don’t give the (bleeps) the satisfaction.

    Trite? Sure. But this stuff works.

    1. Aye. Exercise what power one can manage. It might be “nothing more” than a cleared desk or table, but DAGNABBIT, that there is YOUR cleared desk or table! And You done did it!

      It’s like the ‘square foot’ gardening concept: Only deal with ONE SQUARE FOOT. BUT… once you’ve done ONE SQUARE FOOT, say, the next isn’t a big deal… and huh, a whole square yard got done!

      Can one person fix the world? No. But one person can fix a tiny little bit of it. And if the next person also fixes a tiny little bit… well, HOLY CALCULUS, BATMAN! Those infinitesimals add up, they do.

  24. There’s a REASON I’ve been working on trying to put my surroundings in some sort of order and making things. That feeling of frustrated helplessness? I grew up like that: I was technically and legally a ward of the court, and the state used my mom as an unpaid foster parent with next to no decision-making power. And they would not stop changing the rules on her. Or on me.

    (I read 1984 at about thirteen, and Dune not long after. Those books and my personal experience with all-powerful government shaped my political philosophy. Current events are not softening my stances at all.)

    The best–the only thing to be done is…stack up the things you need to survive. Now. Stack them up as deep and high as possible. And pray you can manage to get enough on hand.

  25. Best career advise I ever got was get a job that’ll pay enough to support your hobby job.
    And now advise from me addressing our bigger, national problems. We’re not really powerless even in today’s climate. What we are is hidebound. Maybe chicken. We should NEVER vote for an incumbent; in a primary or in the regular. Churn that pot constantly so that the seed of corruption cannot have time to sprout and the planters of it, usually some kind of lobbyist don’t have the time to nurture the seed they do manage to plant. When an incumbent wins a primary, vote for a write-in.

    1. Giggles. Yeah. Churning the pot is great for leaving us tied to the permanent bureaucracy. It is definitely the advice of someone who hasn’t bothered thinking about it.

      1. “Churning the pot is great for leaving us tied to the permanent bureaucracy. ”

        The problem is in the word “permanent” Give the President the ability and responsibility to hire and fire at will…. and then the voters can fire the President based on his choices.

    2. “We should NEVER vote for an incumbent; in a primary or in the regular. ”

      No. The primary is for replacing incumbents. The general is where you look at the opposition and ask yourself if you can live with them. Today in the US, the answer with Democrats is NO.

  26. “Best career advise I ever got was get a job that’ll pay enough to support your hobby job.”

    Variant on that: A friend who was a former LA studio musician had a bumper sticker on his car that read, “Real musicians have day jobs.”

    Do what you have to to keep body and soul together, but don’t forget to do what you have to. The burnout frustration can be erased by writing, painting, whatever your itch is. Hell, not just “creative” stuff; gardening, taking care of animals, rebuilding an engine… think about what you wish you could get someone to pay you to do, then do it.

    And keep your powder dry. 🙂

  27. I’ve moved back to Texas, made some friends with useful skills, and I’m a lot less worried thsn I would bevif I still lived in Cali.

    To keep my spirits up I dream of a far future where people live in stateless liberty. There are challenges to be sure but they can be met. You can see that future in my web-comic, QUANTUM VIBE.

    I’m also putting together something called The Free Cosmos Project. In my strip it’s a movement to est lish more free worlds. In realit it’s a movement to promote visions of a free future. Care to join me?

  28. I’ve moved back to Texas, made some friends with useful skills, and I’m a lot less worried thsn I would bevif I still lived in Cali.

    To keep my spirits up I dream of a far future where people live in stateless liberty. There are challenges to be sure but they can be met. You can see that future in my web-comic, QUANTUM VIBE.

    I’m also putting together something called The Free Cosmos Project. In my strip it’s a movement to est lish more free worlds. In realit it’s a movement to promote visions of a free future. Care to join me?

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