Be Yourself

Be yourself. First, because who else are you going to be? Second, because it’s easier.

Note this is not an encouragement to give in to your own worst impulses, or to do things that hurt you and others. All of us, given the opportunity, have the ability to destroy ourselves and the entire world. That’s not necessarily your “true self.” That’s just…. your own worst impulses. The darker self that Jordan Peterson goes on about. The monster within. Weirdly, it’s not easier to give in to that. It’s seductive, sometimes, but it always takes a piece of you.

This is more about….

We’re all social apes, right? Know where the dividing line is between “making it easier to live with others” and “going along with trends that bring me no enjoyment or I despise.” “Embracing new things that make my life easier” and “embracing new things because they’re new things.”

And sometimes, be yourself just because you’re yourself.

Terry Pratchett said that you find success when you’re “yourself as hard as you can.” And to an extent he’s correct.

Partly because of the fundraiser, partly because I’m away from home but was intending to wake up early and feed the blog, yesterday I was thinking about this blog: how it started, how it went on, and its surprising success (Yes, I do realize it probably won’t fund completely this year. Given the rescue last year, a lot of people probably feel they more than funded me for a year from November. And that’s fine. I’ll fundraise again next year. (Does it have to have bats?) At least if we’re all still here, as grandma used to say. It is still success in influence and levels of engagement.)

When I started the blog, besides its being supposed to be a vehicle to promote my blog, it was widely known “blogs are done” and the time to start a blog was ten years previously. But, required to do it every day, I was forced to become more myself.

There is no possible way — none — you can have an idea and post at least a page of it every morning, unless it’s something that speaks to you. So I started stretching a toe into being opinionated — or often simply mulling on — on culture and social trends, and of course, politics. And the more I dipped, the more I realized I wasn’t alone. And….

I’ll be honest, I thought I was a lot more of an outlier than I am. without this blog, I might never have had the courage to come out of the political closet.

But the blog is more successful than others started before, after or at the same time. Massively more successful.

Part of it is because younger people (and there’s a good contingent of them here) really prize “authenticity” by which they mean honesty. Understandably so, because most of them have been forced to hide their entire school/work career. And they sense phony a mile away.

And in part of coming out of the political closet, I lost even more patience for doing “what everyone is doing.” Mind you, we were never very good at it, Dan and I.

For instance, we ping younger than most people our age online, because we both immediately adapt tech that makes our lives easier. However, we were late adapters of smart phones (until we needed some of their functions) and some parts of our lives are stuck in the nineties, because we bought down-stream tech, and it hasn’t broken yet (I only recently gave up my sansa mp3 player, and I still use it for audiobooks when walking, for instance.)

There is no rhyme or reason to it, beyond “we can use this” and “Not worth it.” And sometimes “No, that makes me uncomfortable.”

My kids grew up with the best gadgets when needed, but ten year old games. (And no game system.) Mostly because we bought games in thrift stores.

We were reading ebooks before it was cool, but we used repurposed old … gah, I only remember the Pratchett term! — disorganizers to do it. We just came across a throve of old Nokias we used for the purpose in the nineties. (Mostly we used them away from home, so I didn’t have to carry twenty books in my luggage. And so the kids had thier own libraries.) At the same time, our kids (and us) dressed from thrift stores, and I couldn’t tell you the fashionable brands/clothes if they bit me in the fleshy part of the back.

I’ll admit those kinds of decisions were always because we were either very stressed and needed to find a way to do things faster/better, or because we were broke. But still we did what we felt comfortable with. No more. No less.

So, why tell you that now?

In the comments, Steve and Bob C. were talking about people who just playact at being whatever the trendy thing is right now, including “woke” of course.

I don’t think most of you — never having lived through a revolution — realize how large a percentage of people that is, or how many will quite literally change their politics overnight.

Most humans are VERY social apes. Part of the reason the borderline incoherent ideas of the left have held such social sway for so long is because of the perception that they were “normal” and that to dissent was “weird.”

Most people don’t analyze their beliefs, and frankly couldn’t care less about such big things as ethics or economics or how things work. They’re too busy living day to day. They only adapt such “beliefs” to fit in with others. Because if “everyone thinks this” they probably aren’t wrong, right?

In fact, if things go on as they’re already going, with the sense of “left consensus” vanishing (which is confusing the heck out of the true believers of the left, who never understood their “dominance” was an illusion caused by the megaphone they held) and a sense of some sort of “right wing” consensus settling in (I’m hoping and there are signs that in America that will mostly be a sort of Constitutional Libertarian consensus, while in Europe it’s going to be the old “blood, G-d an soil” which to be fair it’s still better than what they have now.) most people will turn on a dime. I know that, because I’ve seen it before. And it’s going to be really hard for you to be sure of who your friends really are, who are right now making vague woke mouth noises. Because in two or three years, they could be telling you that no, they were always on the right, they just weren’t as brave as you are. And how can you be sure? Since in fact there are any number of people in hiding, and we know that for sure. (Some of you are, out of necessity.)

This is why it’s very important for you to know who you are. And what you believe in.

I still don’t know if this is all going to tip in the pot for a few years of maximum instability, or if we’re simply going to potter along, and then overnight everything changes. The only thing inclining me to the first, is that hunger looks likely this winter, and hungry people are unstable by definition.

But I do know that all our institutions will either be reformed or fall. So it’s going to feel like the whole world is falling apart.

In the middle of that it’s really easy to fall for fads, and social enforcement/ostracism. “Everyone says that people who play accordion are responsible for the corruption of legal institutions. Let’s get them.” (You only think I’m joking, but read about any kind of time when things are under deep stress.) Don’t do that. Not even if you always hated accordion players. (I’m meh on it. For some reason it was THE accomplishment of properly brought up young ladies my generation in Portugal. Thank heavens my parents didn’t follow fads.)

Know who you are, and what you believe. Your best friends, and even your family might do a couple of double reverses, and it might leave you feeling dizzy. But if you know who you are and what you believe, you’ll at least deal with them honestly, and you’ll have nothing to apologize for.

Even if you’re weird, even you’re eccentric (weird with money. I aspire.) Even if you think people will look at you askance…. Be yourself.

Being someone else is too much work, and takes away energy you’re going to need, as we build over, build under, build around.

And frankly, we need to hurry up. Because the sense things are shaking harder and harder is unavoidable.

Go be yourself and build. And get ready to take the weight when the collapse comes.

266 thoughts on “Be Yourself

  1. Yep. Someone out there is trying to make, “the Christofascists,” the boogeyman who will destroy all that’s correct and good if “We the good people,” don’t stand eternally vigilant. I guess, “Christian nationalist,” wasn’t getting traction.
    Years ago, I realized I just couldn’t be anyone but myself. And since I was already “the weird kid,” what did I have to lose? (Mind you, some of the ancillary decisions I made then were serious mistakes, but they seemed good at the time and may have been necessary to making me whomI am now).

    1. They assume that because their woke colleagues despise Judaism and Christianity that all “good” people must as well, and that observant Jews and Christians are by definition evil racists that must be eradicated. And then they wonder why Hispanic voters, who remain very traditional when it comes to religion, are fleeing the Democratic Party.

      Note of course that their hatred of religion does not extend to radical Islam, such as embodied by the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran’s Mullahs. Of course all of those groups share the same goals of “death to America” and “death to the Jews”, so they are embraced by the Democratic Party.

      They are also pushing very heavily the claim that Republicans winning elections in 2022 are “a continuation of the Trump insurrection” and that anyone who votes for Republicans in the election is an insurrectionist who is a threat to democracy (meaning the Democratic Party’s quest for absolute power).

      1. They think images that show some sort of hedonistic “Satanist” line of folks “going to pray at the 50 yard line” is a terribly clever dunk, not realizing that people don’t actually care, and that freaking the mundanes doesn’t actually work all that well in the US. Principles aren’t things to be embraced, they’re simply a convenient tribal identifier, and once the winds change, they’ll be discarded in favor of a different set.

        Most people don’t actually have a strong enough sense of self to allow them to stand up to such winds.

        1. I dunno. Seems today the interest isn’t in shocking the squares but subverting their offspring. What are drag queen story hours, teachers diddling students, the ‘we are your family’ mindset of teachers, the destruction of counseling as anything other than another way to push leftist pieties. They realized that just doing stunts like explicit pride parades, satanic statues, and so on are less effective than simply taking over the institutions of religion, education, medicine and so forth that society as currently configured cannot function without input from.

      2. Ever since the 1960s, leftists have been carefully nurturing and protecting a class of lawless criminals, feeding them a diet of race hatred. They think that because they created this monster, they can use and control it for political purposes. I disagree.

      3. The narrative there doesn’t tend to be Christians are racist so much as it is they’re misogynist and/or homophobic, which they play up to try scaring urban and suburban women into voting against Republicans. The Muslims you mention are in their world only lashing out because Americans and Christians are mean to them. Not that their narrative about Muslim violence in particular holds up if you do a bit of digging but that’s typically what I’ve seen from both leftists and enough of the target audience for it to be worrisome.

  2. I once had someone ask me how I could be so calm and steady (little did she know . . . ) My answer was that I knew at my core what I was and what I believed in, and built on that. I’d decided back in high school that if people were going to pick on me no matter what I did, well, I’ll just be me as much as society and employment permitted.

    Only once have I had someone fuss at me about my eccentricities, and looking back, she probably thought I was a poseur playing at being Western rather than someone who wears neo-Victorian stuff on a daily basis. I found some niches, am looking for more, and it works. [Little do them know I’m really an American Exotic Shorthair cat. With a holoprojector. And bionic thumbs . . .]

    1. Dan Abnett had a story in which a man is getting green soldiers to fight. They asked him to stay with them and lend them the benefit of his experience, whatever made him so calm under fire.

      He agrees and doesn’t mention that it’s his first battle.

      1. Oh, wow, the end of the movie Zulu comes to mind…. It’s been a while, but I think the quote when asked if he’d been in battle before was,

        “God, no. Could anyone face that butcher’s floor twice?”

        1. Ummm…yeah… [Looks up while walking off whistling] “My, doesn’t the ceiling look beige today…” 🙂

    2. You’re one of my uplifted cats, who can psi-project an image of themselves as human. (The protectors. I think you’ll enjoy that series. It’s written in my head.)

      1. Dear Hostess I say two things to you. 1) Please take care of yourself so this gets put on paper/ electrons. 2) TAKE MY MONEY :-). On a separate issue uplifting cats has always seemed like an idea that could have MANY unexpected side effects/ drawbacks…

        1. Well, this is the reason for the fundraiser. I’m getting a lot of people to do stuff, so I don’t have to and can write. And husband says we’re getting someone to clean once a month or so, for if I don’t get to it. I’m not convinced on that last.
          Oh, and Jack Wylder (Squee) is making us a unit patch, so I probably will put it on t-shirts, too.
          Anyway, they weren’t Uplifted ON PURPOSE. It was a WWII thing to make them useable to carry messages. It went sideways.

          1. Presuming one can get an uplifted cat to cooperate they seem like they’d be awful helpful. Scouting (who’s going to notice a cat wandering around?), corpsmans assistant (very good nose, useful for detecting infection), Help finding trapped or injured soldiers. Also their night vision is lengendary. I await this eagerly.

          2. …Anyway, they weren’t Uplifted ON PURPOSE. It was a WWII thing to make them useable to carry messages. It went sideways…..

            Ha! That sounds like something scientists in the Republic of Texas would come up with to help with the fight against the dastardly F….AAACK, choke…

            Damn, I didn’t know that authors had snerk collars for their own stories… 🙂

            1. So are the “F” going to be the Big Bad in the next book instead of the “N”? [Crazy Grin]

                1. [Very Very Big Grin]

                  Oh, don’t worry about the failed smilie. 😉

            2. Rather I think perhaps our hostess can use force powers. Certainly During the Sad Puppy Wars she was accused of being a Sith (as well as a White Mormon Male).

              1. She is a Beautiful (But Evil) Space Princess.

                Maybe like the Sith Inquisitor from Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO. 😉

                (Female Inquisitor is now my 2nd favorite voice. The Snark Side is strong in that one.)

          3. So our politicians are all felines with projectors? Since cats don’t serve, they are served.

              1. I wouldn’t know. Anyone with canine heritage is no longer allowed after the incident…

    3. > “[Little do them know I’m really an American Exotic Shorthair cat. With a holoprojector. And bionic thumbs . . .]”

      To steal a line from one of my all-time my favorite games: “Is that a person pretending to be a cat or a cat pretending to be a person? It’s weird either way.” 😛

      1. My favorite uplifted cat is Raul from First Comics American Flagg. Looks like an orange tabby, talks perfect english, has a set of cybernetic gloves that gives him thumbs and fine manipulation abilites. Sassy, amoral, generally trouble, just what you’d expect from an intelligent feline.

          1. Of corse he did he’s a cat, He was zoom bombing before (after ? Amercan Flag is set in like the 2030’s?) it was popular/ possible. Hurts my feelings that it and First just kind of tanked over time. Partially because it is an awesome story, but mostly because my 50 copy full run is probably worth slightly less than cover price :-).

            1. Both the writing and art quality went way down after Chaykin left. I don’t know if he’d done the stories he wanted to do and went on to other projects, or if First dropped him, or what. I’m a big Chaykin fan, though, and it all started with American Flagg! #1.

  3. I don’t know if “myself” was a good fit in my past jobs and relationships, but I was probably to focused on other things in life to evaluate that.
    Myself was a good fit in the military with a bit of OCD that met or exceeded military needs. In civilian life I’ve worked jobs in IT, education, and tech sales that were good fits as well.
    These days, at 69. I just don’t care what others think(too tired to care).
    Being myself is all I’ve ever known since I quit worrying about the opinions of others as I left my teen years behind.

    1. I’m 76. I learned long ago, like in the early 1970s, to care about the opinions of only those I respect, a very small percentage of the population (a significant part of which are right here).

  4. I really don’t believe everything will go off the rails like some predict. It could, but those in Corporate America live somewhere. A gated community is fine to keep out the riff raff when times are normal but if it gets bad enough then the guards disappear to go protect their own and those walls are no real barrier to the determined. See: Sri Lanka.
    I think most big shots realize this. The shelves may get short on Captain Crunch but they won’t close – at least not here in the US. The cities have such large poor populations… Meanwhile the Pols won’t be able to stuff the ballot boxes fast enough to keep up with an enraged electorate. All the Hispanics that are being imported to be reliable Dem voters… Will be pretty pissed when they realize they risked death to crawl on to a sinking ship. If they got a vote I don’t think it would be as reliable as some seem to think.

    1. A friend of mine does specialized security services and says that a lot of his clients see the writing on the wall and have left the sinking ship, leaving the country permanently for parts unknown. If I remember correctly the exodus started in about 2015 and has accelerated since. They are not returning.

        1. Even my friend doesn’t know where they’re landing. These are people with enormous piles of money so they probably feel they’ll be OK wherever.

      1. If it’s foreigners, especially ones who don’t understand America and don’t want to be part of America, going home to their own cultures, then I heartily approve of their departure.

        You don’t stay in someone else’s house when the family is fighting.

        And no one in this house is willing to tell the guests they should go home until we resolve our problems.

          1. Well… by “no one” I mostly meant “no one with influence over immigration policy.”

            In any case, expressing the idea that there might be a reason that foreigners should Stay Out is not politically correct or socially acceptable and gets one accused of being racist and a denier of The Benefits Of Diversity (TM). Or possibly of having no compassion toward the Tired and Poor Huddled Masses, depending on the political bent of the accuser.

      2. Those places probably are going to be much worse off than the US regarding economy and food, that’s true — but provided that these people have enough resources/resiliency in their new location to weather those troubles, leaving the US for a location where they won’t be identified among the bastards that ruined everything is probably a smart move for many of them.

        I’m not going to be hunting any of them down or joining any mobs, but there’s an ever-increasing list of people I would love to see decorating lamp posts or taking one-way trips in a helicopter. And there’s more people coming around to that view every day, a lot of them with fewer restraints than I regarding mobs and mayhem.

      1. I see enough of that with the stupidity and insanity that comes down through my workplace…

        1. Ditto. Place where I work is constantly blaring “we’re hiring!” messages through the intercom while they cut hours for everyone already hired.

          You would think it wouldn’t take two braincells to rub together to realize, “Wow, we spent time and money training people, supposedly they know the job now, maybe we should keep them working!”

          1. That depends on who’s doing the hiring. If it’s being run by HR (or a derivative or associated group), not by a functional part of the company, they have zero interest in those already working there; they get their “attaboys” for hiring, not for keeping. It’s the perpetual problem with internal empires.

          2. Well all the company benefits are geared toward jumping ship. Instead of sick time and vacation you have personal time so younguns see 20 days off rather than 10 since they get sick less (nominally). All managers are in place for 2 or 3 years before they jump to another position. Retirement is all the stock market and is the tool by which lots of this woke garbage is getting pushed onto companies (a ceo that says we are going to delay product x to get it right even if it will cost more isn’t performing their fiduciary duty but one voting for the mutual fund shares that a company needs to be rainbow emblazoned, not invest in oil and gas, etc is fine). And it doesn’t matter if you’re an entry level employee running multimillion dollar projects, you’re not going to be promoted until you go elsewhere.

          3. I can’t get into specifics here but we’re seeing similar (Redacted)-ery when it comes to pay at my job that’s pissing off long timers and will probably backfire when the new hires realize they’re not going to be making much more than what they’re starting with. Add in the way they recently treated someone looking to retire soon and it’s little wonder that I have all the unflattering nicknames for this place that I do. Sad part is, even if I didn’t have a high stakes project or two pending that makes job hunting inadvisable right now, it really is pick your poison when it comes to employers around here. Even a similar job in a similar place with a company that has an incredible reputation is supposed to be a nightmare these days!

      2. I have come to the conclusion that “corporate America” is to America as “Communist Individualism” is to actual individuals. Which is to say: Exactly NOT AT ALL!

    2. “if it gets bad enough then the guards disappear to go protect their own and those walls are no real barrier to the determined.”

      This is why feudal warlords had their retainers and their retainers’ families stay inside the walls. Everyone was protected, and all the guys with weapons were incentivized to keep the walls protected. Nowadays people want to build the walls too close in and hire people whose valuables are outside the walls. That doesn’t work. Build communities that will guard the walls for everyone inside.

      1. The cause is that the walls aren’t really meant to keep out a mob, as “everyone knows” that mobs don’t happen in those sorts of neighborhoods. So you don’t need to have the retainers living inside the walls (which also makes it easier for the retainer to split and find a new job if he or she desires; there are advantages for both sides). The walls are there to keep out burglars and other opportunistic riff-raff.

  5. I heard someone say “Don’t just be yourself, be the best version of you you can possibly be.”

    May have been here, may have been somewhere else.

    Unfortunately I can’t find the accordion piece I was thinking of to post. Guess I’ll have to poke that mine later…

    1. I have noticed it is possible to write a story on the theme Be Yourself but only when you don’t actually say it.

    2. Well, if they go agin’ Weird Al, they ARE WRONG.
      And Frankie Yankovich (no relation) & Whoopee John weren’t bad either.
      I’d rather listen to Random Generic Polka than Random Generic Country.
      [Yes, there is good Country. It is, in my experience, depressingly rare. And the more common stuff should be rare, but is DEPRESSING.]

      1. Somehow, songs about getting drunk and going out cheating or being cheated on don’t do it for me. And my favorite Frankie Yankovich numbers go in the category of (REEE! That’s Not Funny!)

        1. Or as someone I know put it, making the case it’s the white trash version of rap, it’s the ballad of the hard workin’ man…who somehow never seems to be able to get a job. Or keep one in the event that he does.

        2. Grownup country: Emmylou Harris, particularly “Wrecking Ball” and “Red Dirt Girl”. I also adore Barnes Courtney. He’s pretty much a genre mashup, but country’s in there somewhere. Stompy punk/country/loud?

      2. I think what y’all need are some Country Oldies. And I’m not talking about Johnny Cash. I mean Marty Robbins and folk of that sort. “Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs” is the name of a Marty Robbins collection that played a large part in my growing-up days.

          1. I grew up the Lorne Greene and that album too! I searched high and low and found a copy again and now have it on my phone, computer and several other places so I’ll always have it. The delightful Mrs. gives me crap when I “sing” RINGO in the shower.

        1. Oh, no. Not, “Streets of Laredo.” “Especially, not, “Water.” When I first worked in Huntsville, some sadist took a tape of, “Marty Robbins’ Greatest Hits,” and put it on perpetual play. Over the intercom. Eight hours a day, five days a week. I knew we were about to break when Robbins sang, “Water….” and cracked voices came over the glass bullpen walls croaking, “….cool, clear, water.”

          1. Sons of the Pioneers > Marty Robbins. Back in ancient history when Country & Western really meant Country and Western.

            1. Not even remotely. I vastly prefer Marty, though that might also be because I heard him first/most.
              But I’ve also visited the ranch there in Colorado Springs, many moons ago.

      3. Hey, try listening to some serious zydeco and/or conjunto and you’ll know that the accordian can be a BITCHIN’ instrument!

        (More to come….)

      4. I’ve got tears in my ears from lying on my back in my bed as I cry over you. Actual country song title.

        1. I thought it was “I’ve got tears in my ears from lying on my back crying out my eyes over you”. At least that’s the way my mother told it to me… and it scans better.

        2. I have actually heard that one on the radio.

          My favorite song title (that I heard on “Hee Haw”): “You’re the hangnail of my life, and I can’t bite you off”

  6. “Come on. Be yourself”.

    “Can’t Dear Lady. In my True Form I’m a Dragon and wouldn’t fit into your home.”

    [Crazy Dragon Grin]

      1. Younger Son is probability not Minotaur.
        But if he show up at Labyrinth, he will be welcome.
        (NOTE: Labyrinth has…er, age-old issues, regarding upkeep…. BUT still..)
        Will even find him his own axe, should he be lacking.

        1. I’m a Dragon and I don’t want to “annoy” Fluffy. 😈

  7. There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning. Louis L’Amour

        1. That reminds me, I need to restock. And make darn sure I get a different batch of [redacted]. This current box fouls worse than Duke playing basketball at North Carolina!

        2. A couple years ago I heard of a feller what bought a hardware store’s last box of .22 WMR as possible trade goods,…. and thought, “You idiot. How many can even USE .22 WMR,… AND,.. why use something that they can SHOOT YOU WITH? If you had any SENSE, you’d be stocking up on CANNING/PICKLING salt! If SHTF, will be in High Demand, and the folks getting won’t even consider killing you with it. It’ll be FAR TOO VALUABLE to waste thus!

        3. I just grabbed a sale from Palmetto State for some mags and a lower build kit. Almost impossible to have too many spare magazines. I had to sell a handgun for pennies once as I couldn’t find reliable magazines for less than the cost of a decent used gun.

      1. Especially the eating bugs and lab “meat” part…But that is what they are aiming for….

        1. The raw science of lab meat and even bug isn’t the issue for the same reason that Borlaug has saved more lives than any environmentalist (as did Carnegie and lots of the “robber barons”). Finding new options isn’t the issue. It’s the damned dropping naughty bits on the scale to force their uptake. Same as electric vehicles. They work in certain situations but the interest in them is because of government edicts, not their realistic requirements and capabilities.

          1. Aye. Grandpa & Friend (business partner) made AN electric vehicle. They drove it around a bit, sold it, and drove “gas buggies” ever after. Grandpa was MANY things, but Stupid wasn’t one of them. He couldn’t afford that luxury.

    1. Ugh. It looks like they read Asimov’s The Caves of Steel and thought the world of the Cities was a good idea, not a dystopia to be endured until humanity finally bursts free to spread throughout the galaxy.

        1. To them, we’re not human. Livestock at best. Anyone know the source of the quote, “We’re only the best because we mate with the best.” I’ve heard it a number of times, but I don’t know the original source.

        2. It’s always struck me that the people who moan about climate change because it will supposedly kill off millions are often the very same people who think that humanity is a cancer and there should only be at most one billion of us.

            1. Then there are the People who are “Scared That the China Flu is going to kill millions” but also believe that the Earth is Over-Populated. [Very Big Nasty Grin]

      1. I recently reread those and noticed that they were all eating yeast derivatives. And I thought of the two or three people I know with an actual allergy to yeast and thought, Yep, they’re dead.

        1. Sorry, according to our overlords they are too defective. Like Icelandic down embryos.

          1. Anything declaring itself “overlord” is rightly known as a TARGET.

            As what is aimed at such a target, that is “left as an exercise for the reader.”

        2. When Asimov wrote it in the early 50’s, allergies weren’t even on the radar. So he simply assumed that everyone would be able to eat what was served, and learned quickly to eat it or go hungry (and be subject to social pressure for wasting food).

  8. As bad as I am at being me, nobody else even wants the job, and they certainly aren’t any good at it. Various well-meaning people tried for years and years to get me to be somebody else and failed miserably. Not only because I resisted (although there was plenty of that too), but because my mind just doesn’t work the way they thought it should. For good or for bad, I yam what I yam. Stiff and stubborn, even when it comes to trying to be my best self.

    1. Someone sees me annoyed at $AUTOMATION. “Yes, I am me! Nobody else wants the job! I’ve checked!” and there is some amusement and toleration of the (admittedly annoying) delay.

  9. Being me caused me to shift jobs about every 18 months to two years. I would get annoyed or angry at the expectations placed on my that were well beyond the job description and responsibilities. Not that I wasn’t willing to go above and beyond, but being told that I needed to go buy the ingredients and make deviled eggs for the bossman was beyond ridiculous as far as I was concerned. I quit not long after. In academia I restrained myself, mostly, until I got tenure. Then I realized I didn’t care enough to fight within those parameters any longer.

    My mother was always concerned with what others would think and I absorbed some of that. Took me a long time to ditch those worries, but I feel a hella lot better about things now.

    1. That’s the true sexism that always has had me steamed. They might as well have said, “Woman, make me a sammich.” I had a business partner who was like that once. Weird, but he adored his wife and called her his Princess, but women in general were only good for two things, and one was the sammich. By the time we parted ways I was at the point of going to Krav Maga just so I could think about him as I beat the snot out of a heavy bag.

      1. One of the newer westerns (for degrees of “new” now). Three are on the trail of robbers. Two men and one woman. Comes time to make dinner she goes “I can’t”, not won’t, can’t, “cook”, sometime off screen, or implied. Because as they are scraping up the last of the meal, the younger man mumbles “I can’t believe you can’t cook” to the woman. Her response? “What? I knew if I could cook, I’d be doing all the cooking. Not stupid.”

        I can cook. I can even cook over a cook stove, backpacking stove (for degrees of “cooking”), or even a campfire. But no one at work, be it the forestry crew, or in the office co-software/IT types knew that. I made dang sure they didn’t. Heck, I can’t even order anything correctly for someone not family. (Evil grin.) Words to the effect of “Don’t look at me. Hubby and son don’t let me near the kitchen, or order for them.” Partly true. They don’t let me near the grill. Don’t get me wrong. I am not a creative cook. I tend to cook the same things. What I am is a lazy cook. And there have been some epic fails early in our marriage.

        The we were out of Chili Powder so I used Cayenne Pepper we had, in the same quantities … It was not edible … why do you ask?

        The time I tried to make Chicken Dumplings. Might have put in too many noodles. More is better. Right? Put in the spatula and the whole thing came out of the pot it was in. Hot. 100% congealed together.

        I’ve never dismembered a whole chicken to fry, or whatever. I buy either boneless, or get a Costco Rotisserie chicken and either hubby or son carve it. I could. It would be messy and inefficient. But I could.

        These, and others, were the stories our son grew up on, 10 years worth. So son helped spread the stories believably. Still heard today. “Dad! Mom’s experimenting again.” If I do something outside my standard rotations of meals.

        As far as Scouts. Adults cooking, either we did our own thing, or there was someone who wanted to be the show off cook. Be it troop level (hubby and scoutmaster were always concocting something). District and council level, even Woodbadge, all I had to do was contribute money, and agree to help clean up. Even the latter, the really messy stuff usually involved specialized tools and no one touched those except the specialist. One of the district, or higher, staples was what we dubbed the “Heart Attack Special”.

        I learned early. If is not part of the job or activity. I am as clueless as anyone else. Don’t volunteer. I guaranty the “sammich” would have been not edible. The coffee not drinkable.

        1. The nice thing is that in terms of Scout cooking, I haven’t usually had to—for the simpler reason that there have been many excellent cooks willing to step up.

          I cooked in a Dutch oven for the first time this spring and won first place in a competition. “I can’t believe you’ve never done this before.” “I have watched other people do it all my life… and I read the instructions.” (I also thought “oven” and baked lemon bars, which blew their minds. Heck, you can make cheesecake in a Dutch oven, if you have a way to cool it properly afterwards.)

        2. I am a good home-cook.

          Especially if I make sure to bring garlic salt, lemon pepper, and ranch dressing for those who don’t like the results.

          But if I cook, I am not doing the non-cooking dishes (I grew up with the one cooking doing the cooking dishes, it cuts down on the number of dishes used) nor am I going to do the other making-camp chores.

          But I’m really good at both “take what you get” and being very dense when someone hints that I should be doing stuff because I can, but also doing what everyone else is doing.

          1. I refuse to clean up after the cook. Was in a house situation where everyone pitched in and did chores. Fine. But when it was your turn to clean the kitchen, even if you didn’t eat, or weren’t even there, still had to clean the kitchen. AND the one who cooked, really the only one who did, Always made a huge mess, and never did anything to limit that mess.

            Even now, when I cook, the counters are clean. The cook dishes, that don’t go on the table, are rinsed or soaking. By the time dinner is done, it is a matter of rinsing, and putting in the dishwasher. Things maybe left to soak longer. But the counters, and stove top are Clean. This includes holidays.

            Scouts. Eventually every new youth patrol has the problem with cooks making bigger messes than necessary. Making a rule that the cooks have to clean up that portion themselves, puts a stop to that.

  10. I’ve long since given up on being anything other than myself. Even though I am not normal.

    How do I know I am not normal? I am left-handed, for one thing. That is not normal.

    It is also not a bad thing, just different. Just like being smarter than average or stronger than average or better-looking than average is not normal and neither good nor bad, just different.

    Having different goals, strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations from other people is not necessarily bad. Maybe it is not necessarily good, either, but when I build a team I look for people with different goals, strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations. That way I can build a well-rounded team, where different people’s strengths shield other people’s weaknesses and vice versa. Besides if everyone had the same interests I do, I’d rarely get a chance to do what interest me. I’d get shouldered aside by those with more influence. As it is, people with more influence seek me out to do the stuff they are uninterested in because they know I am interested in it.

    1. “Normal” is another one of those slippery words, in that it has both descriptive and prescriptive connotations. The left is very very good at switching those around by verbal sleight of hand whenever they want to put one over on the rest of society.

    2. I am right-hoofed.
      BUT, I use a trackball… on the LEFT.
      AND.. I do NOT swap the buttons.
      (I can use a mouse on the right, but…meh.)
      This, somehow, breaks people’s brains.

      1. I too am very right handed. But I learned to use both mouse and a trackball left handed. Before I got my hands on a trackpad, well before they were integrated into laptop and keyboards. This is because I had to swap sides using mouse/trackball regularly. Stupid tendinitis. At least it isn’t carpal tunnel.

      2. You too, huh? I figured out a long time ago it reduced wrist strain, and not wanting to develop carpal tunnel (impacts writing!) I made myself figure it out.

        …Drives other people to distraction.

        1. That was a pleasant side effect. Pa decided to try an experiment with the first mouse (on an Apple //e) and put it on the left. Eventually everyone else put it on the right, but I kept on with it on the left. And I found I prefer trackball over mouse almost the instant I first used one.

  11. Bats are delightful, but I also admire snakes. How about a course of pythons and anacondas next year?

      1. The ‘net is FULL of cats. And a fair number of dogs. I will refrain from asking for bovine imagery (much is.. Rather Strange, and I am saying so) but perhaps other creatures out be considered? Equines, ducks, duck-billed-platypi, assorted other fowl, and… well, carp seemed oddly underrepresented in visual form, considering the frequency with which they appear. I suspect arachnids and roaches will have, shall we say, a rather limited appeal.

        1. I would vote for arachnids.

          Tarantulas, in particular, are varied and quite attractive.

            1. You guys are weird.

              Bugs are icky, m’kay?
              Giant ones apply the square cube law.
              (I was folding laundry this morning, when I noticed that a cicada had snuck in on the dog’s toy, and was busily climbing up my leg.. I’m told my reaction was entertaining.)

                1. If you have enough tarantulas you won’t have a cicada problem.

                  Arachnids are problem solvers in addition to being adorable.

                2. And loud. Very loud. Except this year – it’s been so hot and (more importantly) dry that there are few cicadas.

                1. So you are punishing someone who waxes lyrical about carp by giving him more…..

                  “fighting a Marine by shooting beer at him”….. 😎

              1. A couple years back, a stray cat we were feeding walked around the side of the house with something funky coloured in her mouth. Got a bit closer, recited “Red and Black, venom lack, Red and Yellow OH SH!”

                Turns out it takes about 24 hours for the venom to kick in on a cat. I think that stray cost us about $800 in vet bills.

        1. I have seen a leftist brag about shouting obscenities at someone with the Gadsden flag and complain that an organizer said it was not helpful.

          Apparently she thinks advertising her desire to tread on people is good.

  12. I’ve only ever been who I was. Politically, personally, whatever. It hasn’t always been easy. I’ve had to ditch girlfriends who thought they could dictate my personality to me. Been thrown out of fannish groups (most recently after SCOTUS released some controversial decisions.) Been called things like “geek, and “nerd”.

    I got used to it a long time ago. I’m not going to worry about it now.

  13. Things are shaky . . . and I suspect the final crash will happen when that elderly fellow in the White House dies and the Democrats go into a cannibalistic feeding frenzy, trying to topple (or determine who controls) President Harris.

    And if he takes more than a few hours to go from “unresponsive” to dead, the pressure to replace Harris quickly will be . . . enjoyable to watch from a safe distance.

    I just hope most of the country simply keeps working while the top democrats destroy their party leadership.

    1. I seem to remember it took generalisimo Francisco Franco about Six months to make that journey.

      1. My mom had a handle for this “He’s in the freezer”. She used it to Salazar a lot.
        Given things like how long these people last, I wonder about animatronics.

        1. There was a story along those lines in Galaxy or Analog in the ’70s when I was starting to consume science fiction. The President gets shot, and the narrator gets called in super secretly to repair him, because he’s actually a robot and the real President is in a secure location somewhere. Musings on how Hitler always seemed to walk out of smoking bunkers and Churchill never got a scratch during the Blitz, and wondering how long it’s been going on like that.

        2. “Dave”

          Not really possible unless you have “Biden” stop giving press interviews. The cameras these days are of high enough quality that it would be extremely difficult to find someone who looked literally identical, and could act properly. It wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny, and people would spot it very quickly. But it would probably be tried otherwise.

          On the other hand, it occurs to me that those in power could get brazen enough to just decide, “If we say that he’s Biden and call anyone who says otherwise a liar and a traitor, what is the public going to do about it?”

          It wouldn’t end well for them, of course. But I could imagine TPTB that are arrogant enough to try it anyway.

          1. There is at least one body double for Biden, and at least one for Hitlery. A friend of mine was in the state department and met H’s body double. For B, it’s difficult to tell unless you know what you’re looking at, but check out the earlobes if he’s being more coherent than usual. Ear lobes are either connected or hanging. They can’t go back and forth.

              1. Yeah, but in that case the politician in question was one of the good guys.

            1. And that’s the issue for a double in the real world. The cameras that do the filming for press conferences and the like are high enough quality that you can put two pictures side by side and compare them. Even minor differences will turn up under those circumstances. It works if it’s just a quick meet and greet, where the camera only gets shots at an angle, and not zoomed in at high resolution. But those don’t apply when he’s standing behind a podium.

            1. I used Duckduckgo instead.

              The first entry was a Daily Mail article talking about a professional Biden impersonator who was overjoyed at the election results (because it meant more work for him). The article was an old one, dated to just after Inauguration Day. However, based on the photo in the article he wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny.

              The second entry was Biden’s IMDB(!?) page. Apparently he’s appeared in Parks and Recreation, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, and a couple of other shows I can’t recall off the top of my head. Cameos, I’m sure. Hopefully he didn’t sniff a contestant’s hair on the Carmen Sandiego show…

              Several entries down, there were a couple of UK articles describing a conspiracy theory (which Lin Wood is somehow connected to…; I didn’t read either article to find out how) that Biden is already dead and being impersonated. /facepalm

              1. None of those. Just that he’s sometimes impersonated. By an older actor, who also has Alzheimers and sometimes forgets he’s impersonating Biden. I don’t feel like looking, but THAT one is plausible.

        3. Madam even the Animatronics in the hall of presidents when I first saw them in the early 1970’s were fare more coherent, lively and believable than the Turnip In Chief and TOTUS II.

            1. The FICUS. A potted plant installed in the White House by election fraud.
              “What did you do as a White House aide?”
              “Watered the President twice a day.”

        4. James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal had a category for a certain type of story. The category was, “Generalissimo Francisco Franco Is Still Dead.”

      1. I’m referring to the old maxim: “Be yourself: everyone else is already taken.”

    1. Don’t be a phony, a phony baloney
      Be yourself be a one and only!
      You will be like nobody else,
      if you just be yooooourseeeeeelf!

        1. The only reason I know of it is that an aunt did like 16 hours of cartoons from…some cable network… so she’d get the Howdy Doody reunion show, and sent it to mom.

          So we watched ONE SINGLE EPISODE of like a dozen shows, plus Howdy Doody.

          A MILLION TIMES.

        2. Amazing. She actually found something worse than anime music videos to torture me with. 😐

        3. “Be just what you is, not what you is not. Folks what do this has the happiest lot.” – Tooter Turtle / King Leonardo and His Short Subjects

  14. There are other things than bats. There are puppies. And kittens. And more puppies. And horsies. Oops wrong post. 🙂 And I kind of hit the tip jar before the big party. I hope I’ll be on time next year.

    1. And unicorns and centaurs…er,, wait, maybe not the centaurs.. but if a centaur invites you to party, GO! Just do NOT join any “drinking game” with a centaur. You. WILL. Lose. And you will wake up in pain. If you are VERY lucky, the pain will ONLY be in your head. [Sorry. BUT – You Have Now BEEN WARNED!]

  15. I truly don’t know what the best version of me would be. Not without a lot of physical training and winning the lottery (so I don’t have to worry about costs).

    But, I’d rather be me…than all of these things that the People In Charge think I should be.

  16. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
    And a good one from the Great Depression (No, I’m not THAT old.) Seems strangely appropriate given what we’re all facing for the next few years.
    “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

    1. “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

      I fear a LESSON in that is coming.

      And I keep wondering what I am overlooking. And I have been told I live in the 1930’s/1940’s… I expect to things to HURT… but I expect to at least “get by” even if things get,.. Quite Lean Indeed. It’s what I haven’t even imagined that really scares me.

      I HOPE I end up looking like a KOOK! “You had all that and never needed it!” is the VERY BEST of ALL FAILURE MODES[1]. If am, in even the slightest way prescient, “Oh [BLEEEEEEP]!”

      [1] This is why even vaguely Free Markets win. Even when things go WRONG, the Failure Mode is SURPLUS. (“Crap, can we at least get a little bit from Dollar stores?”). That beats…. er.. EVERYTHING ELSE, EVAR! A market glutted with cheap ‘garbage’ WINS over a market STARVED of necessities.

      Plastic crap? BEATS bread lines! Every last time. Chintz is LUXURY, if you THINK aboutt it.

      1. Just remember that Democratic Party leadership thinks Soviet style bread lines are a good thing and that we have too many choices in products to purchase. Yes, the same people who scream about “choice” are opposed to choices about anything except abortion.

        1. And they don’t even really believe in choice there, either. Otherwise they wouldn’t try to censor and eliminate alternatives.

          They’re pro-abortion, not pro-choice.

        2. The more I see of the current Democrat party folks they more I realize they and their Socialistic bastard buddies from other G8 countries do not want citizens or even subjects. They want serfs. Poor, immobile, starving, and dependent on the largess of the Liege Lords and Ladys (Feh !). Some of the party select aren’t bright enough to know this is whats up. I’m looking at Occasional Cortex and her Squad, useful idiots if there ever were any being used by the Sith Lord like Elders to try to fool the 20 and 30 somethings that the democrats statements of “To Serve Man” are not a cookbook. Amusingly they seem to have lost control of the little idiots, but as the saying goes “Old Age and guile beats youth and exuberance every time” so all it is going to do is generate some chaos in the party. Some allegedly on our side of the house seem to want this too, or have been bamboozled into wanting it (Collins, Cheney, Mrkowski at a minimum).

  17. I am suitably offended by this post. (as I was feeling left out of the crowd as the only non-offended last time) I will have you know I am an antisocial ape. You are otherwise very correct. 1) many will turn on a dime. They have little thought on any subject and just want to be on the ‘right’ side. For many years the left had convinced these people the center and right (who actually shared 90% of their interests and natural behavior) were the ugly wrong bad etc. And especially that there were very very few of them (and these people want to be on the BIG side.) They were the gatekeepers (even the supposedly ‘right’ media, were subverted from within to be nominally right but nothing populist and good at being ineffectual opposition – and stupid) successfully isolated and silenced opposition. With the rise of social media suddenly more people began to realize… there were more of them than the loud left gatekeepers had let the world know. I would not be at all surprised to see a total overturn. The ‘ugly conservative’ no-one dared admit to being (and therefore appearing very rare – despite getting a lot of votes – because that was secret) become the ‘ugly left’ with the same issue.

    1. I commented over on Substack that in ten years, maybe even five, people will be coming out of the woodwork to announce how they never supported trans-for-kids. Just like the French Resistance retroactively quintupled in 1946.

        1. I am solidly of two minds with respect to these people. For the children I feel mostly sadness and compassion. Their (so called) parents have taken part of their future away for ever an inheritance that has has been part of what it means to be human since the time of Adam and Eve. However, in the back of my mind screams a Jerry Pournelle/ Larry Niven hind brain that shouts “Think of it as evolution in action” as these children have now been written off by evolution as surely as if a truck had hit them.
          For the Parents and doctors I have nothing but contempt. Parents are supposed to control and mold children because most children have little ability to look ahead more than a few days. This is Munchausen by proxy writ large. The parents are screaming for attention “Look at me I’m a good liberal I believe your bullsh#t” (apologies to Orvan). They’re clearly immensely mentally ill begging for attention for reasons unknown ( Although dollars to donuts their own parents treated them like crap, no excuse).
          And the doctors have done something that even Mengele and his ilk would have felt unbecoming to medical decorum. They should have their licenses stripped, be publicly horsewhipped and then be exiled from human company (darn shame we don’t have Coventry)

          1. NOT offended. If anyone worships, or expects others to worship, that which I flush (or analogues thereof…), well, they ain’t right in the head.

      1. The protransforkids will ignore their own comments to do so, but other people will find them

      2. Even worse, those who are against it will, in many cases, be the ones most savagely attacked by the new converts to the anti- crowd.

        1. Kind of like how the D&D panic retroactively became a “super religious right winger, especially Catholics” thing, rather than rich proto-PC liberal folks?

  18. I am myself. I cannot be other than myself. And So I keep doing the things that I need to do, even when the world screams that I shouldn’t be doing them.

    Like letting the lower half of my face be seen, because they don’t understand that cloth masks are ridiculous muti with no scientific evidence. I understood that, and I understood the masquerade was going to set off my asthma. Breathing is more important than fitting in, so I didn’t fit in.

    Or hiding in my house. If I don’t weightlift, I’m back on the cane. So I just kept going and working out.

    And when I was told I had to wear a mask to get my hair cut, I chose not to patronize that store again and grew my hair out, instead.

    shrugs I didn’t mean to become an iconoclast. I just kept being me while the world radically changed around me, because I cannot be but who I am. Now that it’s changing again… I still am who I am.

    1. THAT … nonsense.. is why I ordered a {FREAKING CHINESE!} trimmer and just ‘buzzcut’ myself every month or two. DAMNIT, masks were KNOWN to be WORTHLESS (at BEST!) in 1920 from an HONEST look at 1918…

  19. I’ve seen in person. My mother once upon a time was all in on “make Europe pay for bading” of course after the evil orange one said similar it was a war crime. We are supposed to have a safe zone if we do vacations. Ya, it doesn’t happen. We’ve honestly split up in terms of who does what holidays after I walked away last time.

  20. In the middle of that it’s really easy to fall for fads, and social enforcement/ostracism. “Everyone says that people who play accordion are responsible for the corruption of legal institutions. Let’s get them.”

    …and someone posted an article complaining about Weird Al Yankovic, so please don’t Taunt Murphy. 😮

  21. Does it have to have bats?

    Yes. It has to have bats.

    — signed, the Huns’ contributing trad goth*

    (* yes, TheWriterInBlack, you’re more of a rivethead/metal goth)

    1. No, it has to have ALL the bats.

      ALL of them, do you hear me Sarah?!?

      …Actually, feel free yo experiment. I don’t really have a thing for bats and if something else brings in more money, why not?

      1. I don’t have a thing for bats. I like most animals. BUT as the old priest said “The proof of the sermon’s success is in the collection plate.” Grins.

        1. You could mix bats and some other animal each day while experimenting to find out what works.

    2. Since I’m more of a glamor goth, does that mean we have almost a complete set? (I know, where there are N goths there will be N+1 styles/flavors/preferences)

    3. well, you know, one of our secret goths (There are a lot of you. I was never a goth. Maybe a proto punk but not on purpose) sent me a picture of young goth ladies and said I should post some of those baby bats. (Rolls eyes.)
      HOWEVER the bats have it. Every time I had bats up I got few thousand. I ain’t stupid.

      1. I will note that correlation is not necessarily causation. However the repetitive nature of the result does seem to favor causation 🙂 .

      2. I am not now, nor have I ever been a “goth:… but I admit to being goth-adjacent as I have been in venues where ‘goth’ was a reasonable (though imperfect) indicator of maturity/intelligence. (And when an OX disses your intellect….)

  22. “But I do know that all our institutions will either be reformed or fall. So it’s going to feel like the whole world is falling apart.”

    Coupled with:

    “…when you’re “yourself as hard as you can.”

    A great many of those “institutions” upon which the mantle of “stability” has been falsely assigned because “they’ve always been there” will collapse, more than a few, overnight. Those who have used such institutions for their grounding will find themselves suddenly ungrounded and rudderless and begin seeking both themselves and other selves upon which to base a new personal model. Lefties, for the most part, because they’re very much herd animals for whom comfort comes in group membership; they fear “themself alone” – which we call ‘indendence’ as in ‘depending on being oneself’ – because they’re never learned it and it scares them.

    “Oneself” is, indeed, scary to those uninitiated because it appears to be “life without a safety net” but that is not the case at all because the safety net is the ability for independent action based on awareness, learning, desire and confidence. Which is why the job of Parenting is so bloody tough and demanding, raising totally incapable infants to confident and capable adulthood; “work” can be 24×7 at times, but Parenting is always 32×8, declining, when done right, to lower levels gradually over time. But never falling to Zero, at least not on this planet, and probably, not in this galaxy. Maybe even not this Universe.

    Rudderless ships tend to eventually collide with things. A lot. And what ships miss collisions will seek restoration of comfortable congregation and the resulting clusters will both impede the progress of those ships with Captains and functioning rudders and some clusters will seek to follow the captained ships found most appealing or are, at least, headed to promising destinations.

    Turmoil and Chaos is what that is called, and which will, eventually, maybe even more quickly than expected, distill into some form(s) of organization, most, hopefully, beneficial, some, unfortunately, malignant. Such is the Human Condition, dependent upon the standard bell curve of intelligence, understanding and compassion; embrace the center, nurture the right tails, condemn or destroy the wrong ones (no one ever said Life was best performed passively).

    Some, perhaps many, of us will attract those rudderless ships, as they see us steering through currents and storms; I’ve, from time to time, discovered beings in my wake, navigating in the calmer waters provided. I’ve both welcomed and cautioned them that calmness is deceiving and manning the helm is a critical skill best learned quickly and well, for my wake sometimes hides turbulent and hazard-filled waters because I intend to use my helm to its fullest and they may not like to where I steer, nor be up to the task of accompanying: “Myself as hard as I can.”

          1. That is merely what the phrase ‘demanding cats’ brought to mind… 😀

            I can just picture cats shaking down passersby for spare change. And catnip.
            “Why do they make beef, chicken and pork cat food? Cats don’t eat cows and pigs. Where are the mouse and sparrow flavors?” — George Carlin

            1. Cats most certainly do not panhadle. Extort, wheedle, intimidate, expropriate, yes Panhandle never. It would be beneath their dignity. And after making such a grandiloquent statement a cat might just roll over and show you its tummy, in a very threatening way mind you.

            2. > “I can just picture cats shaking down passersby for spare change. And catnip.”

              I used to joke that Greebo was running an editorial mafia…

                1. Invisible Inc is a turn-based tactical stealth game from Klei Entertainment. It’s also one of my favorite games of all time. It wasn’t enough of a commercial success and got abandoned by the devs after just one DLC, but that DLC did add good mod support and the community made some great stuff stuff with it.

                  Anyway, there’s a character you can contact online who goes by Shopcat, and she’s the one who sells you hacking programs. It’s never made clear if she’s a human, AI or even an actual uplifted cat, but it’s made very clear she’s a treacherous little bitch.

                  I don’t know if you’re into that sort of gameplay, but the release trailers are short, so…

                  BASE GAME

                  CONTINGENCY PLAN DLC

                  Both Steam and GOG have it, although it’s not currently on sale at either one. But I’ve seen it up to 75% off and if you’re at all interested it’s an absolute steal at that price.

                  Just be sure to complete the base game at least once before installing the DLC; it changes some of the dialogue in a way I consider negative.

            1. The level of intellect and curiosity in that Munchkin cat is terrifying. It seems to be swaying “Look I can do that…” then taps the shop cat as if yo say “Hey stupid what’s wrong with you. Madam Hostess I wonder if we’re not on your “cats uplifted by mistake” timeline given that behavior. That and the people trying to teach cats to communicate with buttons (look here and tremble in terror 🙂 ) show just how smart these little furry sandbaggers are.

                1. Yeah I had a co-worker. She and her husband are serious photographers and diving enthusiasts. They had a room full of cameras and developing/scanning equipment that they actually had to lock with a key. Why? Because their Maine coons were smart enough and large enough to manipulate the lever type handles of the internal doors. Only a round doorknob on the exterior doors would stymie them. And We’ve had to keep our dry cat food in a garbage can with a lid for several sets of cats as sooner or later the cats realize a) there is cat food in that bag, b) my teeth can make a hole in the bag c) Profit! (or at least very chonky/pudgy cat). There is a reason uplifting these critters worries me. Only things worse would be bears or racoons, and the racoons have thumbs…

  23. Very Very Off Topic.

    On his Facebook page, David Weber has reported the death of Eric Flint.

    [From me] While I personally disliked Eric’s politics, he was a fine author and will be missed.

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