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Month: March 2017

Month of Frugality comes to an end

I make my final report in the publicly visible thread over at the Cabal. Bottom line: Other than my microwave dying, which threw a very small monkeywrench into the works, the month was both easy and peaceful. As I say in my summation, this exercise in frugality was less about money than about attitude. And the attitude was all about peace and clarity. About creativity and focus. About sufficiency. Never for a minute did I feel I was doing without. Well, okay. For a minute. Or a few. That microwave is the center of my kitchen. I didn’t mention in…


Wendy McElroy: Will Bitcoin function in a societal collapse?

She asks and partially answers the question. Equally important, she bridges the gap between the BTC community and the prepper/survivalist community, who sometimes look askance at each other (although I’m well aware that within the Living Freedom realm, there are plenty of people who are both bitcoin users and preppers with gold, silver, and canned goods stashed). Anyhow, from Wendy: The question is a large obstacle to the mass adoption of digital currencies and it should be addressed head-on. The audiences being targeted as adopters are also a problem. The question and a problem overlap. Calls for mass adoption usually…


Tackling a great heap o’ books containing vast heaps o’ thoughts

I was feelin’ poorly yesterday. Though I managed to evade the cold that was trying to catch me, body and mind felt slow and stupid. I ended up climbing back into bed and, with eyes too tired for the computer, tried to read the vast heap o’ books that’s been building by the bedside. Inspired by a friend, I’ve gotten into reading about Eastern Orthodox spirituality, which led in turn to Gnostic spirituality. Religion to me is as fascinating as it is opaque, as compelling as it is impossible. But I keep hoping something will eventually make sense, that an…


Midweek links

  • A civil rights lawsuit is in the works against warrantless searches of laptops and cellphones. According to the article there were as many such searches last month as there were in all of 2015.
  • You might think it would be a waste of money for the National Park Service to spend $150,000 on Bigfoot research. But rest assured the money isn’t entirely wasted. It’s also covering research on sea monsters and mysterious lights.
  • This demonstrates exactly how dumb “smart” appliances are. A brand-new dishwasher with a security bug that was the hottest new thing … 20 years ago. 6 Comments
  • Pardon me while I deal with reality

    The last few days I’ve been dealing with reality. To wit: schlepping accumulated stuff out of the bedroom-to-be and into the attic or other places where it’ll live for a while. So far I’ve gotten from this: … to this: But there’s still SO much more reality to deal with. Everything’s got to come out of the bedroom so The Wandering Monk and I (mostly the monk) can tear the floor out, then raise and repair the foundation under the back of the house. Hopefully next month. May at the latest. We’ll be working from inside because there’s almost no…


    Weekend links

  • Thanks to a link Shel dropped into comments on my “Theda’s Kin” post, I fell down a rabbit hole of the brain’s striking ability to make accurage snap judgments. Here’s a short version of what Shel was getting at: how we can tell criminals from non-criminals with only their faces to go by. And similar accuracy turns out to apply with our “gaydar,” “mordar,” etc. (What’s mordar, you may ask? Why, it’s our unusual ability to quickly recognize Mormoms, even when they’re not walking up to our doors wearing suits and ID badges.)
  • But then, sometimes, as in this short story, identity is a trickier matter. (H/T. MJR) 18 Comments
  • Friday links

  • Utah adopts the nation’s lowest blood-alcohol limit for DUIs. This affects gun owners, too. And may soon infect many more states, as the NTSB recommends the (absurd) limit. Do I smell a government looking for more opportunities to make money by creating new offenders?
  • How the fedgov made health care more expensive and made heroin cheaper.
  • Flash story: “The High Cost of Contact.” Favors delivered by force do tend to be expensive. (H/T MJR) 8 Comments
  • Free printable USGS topo maps

    Here. It’s not at all intuitive how you use the main map to get the topo map you’re looking for. Mostly, zoom in, zoom in, and zoom in again until you see the little red rectangles for the quad you’re interested in. Select said quad map; save or open. Then zoom in, zoom in, and zoom in again on the quad map to see good things like logging roads and trails. (H/T MJR)


    Theda’s kin

    I set out to draw Theodosia Burr Goodman Brabin, better known as Theda Bara, the silent screen’s original vamp. I was going to do her beaded headdress and all. But the further I got in executing the under-drawing, the more sure I was that I couldn’t get a good likeness. So I drew her … um, great granddaughter, instead. The likeness was closer than I expected. But this is incomplete and a failed experiment. Some okay things about it, but mostly Yet Another Learning Experience. I’m not even sure I’m going to post it.