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Month: October 2013

Creative tedium

Among the 3,874 reasons I’m not rich and famous is this: I believed in talent and inspiration. Yeah, and I’d have to put that somewhere near the top of thousands of reasons. That is, I thought that to be a really good artist or writer, all I had to do was a) be born with the ability and b) waft gracefully about (preferably wearing black) until Capital-I Inspiration struck. Then — voila! — without effort, the poem would write itself, the art would art itself, the Great American novel would spin itself out with no more than a little typing…

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Monday links

“Dogs are people, too.” At least in their abilities to feel and anticipate — something that will come as no surprise to anybody who’s lived with them, but is apparently news in neuroscience. (Tip o’ hat to MLS) Federal theater of the absurd. (I also agree with Carl that the Crazy Horse monument is so superior to Mt. Rushmore in every way that even after the silly feddies remove the barriers I’d still just drive on past and watch free enterprise at work a few miles down the road.) Erm … I don’t usually read Glamour. But I found this…

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Calling all gun gurus

My friend L wants to get a handgun. She has two problems. First: not much money. Second: bad hands. You saw her poor, misshapen paws in a blog post two years ago (scroll down for the closeup). Unfortunately, her trigger finger is in worse shape than any other. She knows how to shoot and recently took a brush-up course. She and I and she and the instructor talked about her needs. It boils down to: inexpensive (but not cheap, if you know what I mean), reliable, medium grips, something probably in the 9mm, .357, .380, .38 range, and above all…

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Friday freedom question: On this fourth day of the government shutdown …

What caliber have you found most effective for battling the zombie hordes? Have you had to saw off your own leg or remove your own appendix because no doctors were available? After your neighbors starved to death did you find anything really cool and useful in their house? Which were the first items to disappear off your local grocery shelves and how bad were the riots when people discovered that they couldn’t get Fruity-Choco-SugarLoops? Now that Internet and phone service have both collapsed, what are you using for alternative communications? If you had to travel, how did you manage, what…

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The Lavabit shutdown: details (and a monkeywrench!) revealed

Wired has the background on just what the fedspies did that prompted Ladar Levison to shut down the privacymail service, Lavabit. It was a heck of a principled thing Levison did, and a gutsy one, shutting down a service with 400,000 paying (including about 10k paying; correction from Steve in comments) customers rather than betray those who trusted him. We already knew that. What we didn’t know (among other things) was how he handled the fed demand when he was finally forced into a corner after a hard fight: The judge also rejected Lavabit’s motion to unseal the record. “This…

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Can John McAfee pull this off?

You may have heard that John McAfee (of both anti-virus fame and possibly-shooting-his-neighbor-in-Belize infamy) claims to have plans for an inexpensive, portable device to foil NSA snooping. Says he just needs to get backers & such — that the device itself is already feasible. It’s called “Decentral” or “Dcentral,” depending on which article you read. When I expressed doubt that the half-mad McAfee could pull this off, an acquaintance we shall call “Boris Badenov” for his background, replied: Well, I guarantee it will be a flawed individual who comes up with a “peaceful” solution to the Stasi… and shooting a…

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(Local) adventures in Obamacare

In addition to all the other “joys” you’ve been reading about Obamacare and its Three Stooges rollout, here’s this from a local guy. His family business has always provided great benefits despite employing just six people (and some of them part time). He writes: 1. I have always provided employee healthcare. Always. 2. Currently, we have a high deductible, health savings plan that in addition to paying 75% of the premiums, we fund a good chunk of money into their savings account each month. It works. Our employees like it. They have saved up money over the years. They don’t…

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Life is just one more thing

Well, that was a pleasant little sanity break. Followed by the mini-Apocalypse. Followed by a deadlining break. Followed by a car-problems break. Which is why I should need no excuse for not popping back in earlier. I have been thinkin’ aboutcha, though, and have pages of incoherent notes to run past you. Starting with this one: —– The difference between us … I mean some of us … well, I really mean me … and the devil-may-care types is that for us, life is always “just one more thing.” For example, I find myself the possessor of a woodstove for…

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