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Month: November 2011

Tide coming in

In the summertime this house sits in a verdant meadow near the bank of a river. I pass it on dog walks and think what a lovely place it would be to live. In winter … maybe not so lovely. Although this is the wettest I’ve seen it, the river rises frequently to within a few feet of the foundation. Definitely not the home for someone concerned about preparedness. Today there was a pumping truck of some sort sitting outside with a big red hose snaking into the yard. Can you say “exercise in futility”? While I was at it,…


High Desert Barbecue: the review

Okay, now you’ve read Joel’s review of J.D. Tuccille’s first (and so far only) novel, High Desert Barbecue. My take is pretty much the same as Joel’s. But I do have a few more thoughts that he didn’t manage to pluck from my brain. First, a small, no-spoilers plot summary is in order: The tale: Crusty hermit Rollo is burned out of his squat on federal land. He heads to town to crash with his anarchic, but more civilized, pal Scott — somewhat over the protests of Scott’s girlfriend Lani. What Rollo reports is a shock but somehow not a…


That damned Joel

That damned Joel. He’s done it again. He beat me to reviewing J.D. Tuccille’s new novel High Desert Barbecue. He has a habit of doing things like that. Years ago, when The Mental Militia forums were still The Claire Files, I started noticing this person. He went by the handle “John DeWitt” then (an obscure literary reference, I gather). And the thing I noticed about him was this: Every time I felt the urge to make some particularly incisive and witty response to somebody else on the forum, I would scan further down the thread and discover that this “DeWitt”…


Catching up

I apologize. Between being busy and having computer troubles, I’ve been among the missing. Both the busy-ness and the estrangenesss are likely to continue for a week or so, but I’ll try to be better about the blogging. In the meantime … —– The thing I’m most busy with right now is an assignment from Backwoods Home. Not writing, but art. I’ve been doing small article illustrations for them for a few months. I knew that someday — probably a few years down the road — they’d ask me to try doing a cover, a much bigger deal. Don Childers,…


One from Jake

One from Jake this week. —– And sorry there hasn’t been more from me! It felt good to take a couple of days off for house projects and artwork. But when I went to return to the real world, my computer had gone all wonky. While I was dealing with that, the main email servers I use went down. Email is back up now. New used ThinkPad is on its way from eBay. And the brain is cranking. More soon …


Freedom tomorrow

Sometimes when I write about freeing ourselves rather than joining mass movements or flinging ourselves into political campaigns, somebody will accuse me of being nihilistic or advocating me-me-me values. If you’ve been around long enough, you know that’s not the point. The point is, of course, that true freedom can only arise from within the individual and spread from there. All “political” solutions are just band-aids on a wound if we’re not prepared to live free, to accord equal rights of freedom to our neighbors, and to personally oppose tyranny. Still, it’s understandable that people who’ve always thought of freedom…


Monday miscellany

Okay, let’s start out with some nice stories. (The “nice” in this onecomes quite a ways below the headline.) A pair of Muslim cab drivers save a bagel shop. Anybody here use these emergency foods? “What do a bunch of old Jews know about living forever?” Looks like a useful book to keep on hand Sigh. “The more things change …” They were writing stories like this onejust before 9-11, too. And a coupla months later, the nation was full of robotic government worshippers. Truer words … “The science of lasting happiness.” I don’t usually have the patience to watch…


Anybody want a website?

Early this year I used a wonderful Christmas gift to buy a lively, colorful template and a domain name, and I set about building what I hoped would be a freedomista portal — sort of a daily starting place for all things to do with living free. I was going great guns on the project until I ran into a couple of tiny coding issues. The young man I hired to help took nearly two months to do the hour or so’s worth of work (couldn’t fire him; he was a friend’s son; and to his credit when it was…


Eating out of the gutter

… but in the healthiest way. That story about an innovative gardener comes from Alaska. Which reminds me … has anybody heard from Kevin Wilmeth lately? They had that beast of a storm up there and I wonder how he and any other more-or-less coastal Alaska readers are doing.