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Category: Practical Freedom

A broad category of things we can do, or things others are doing, to increase personal freedom

Fear and loathing in the hinterlands

I’m sorry for going so long without posting. I didn’t intend to, but for weeks every time I’ve thought of blogging, I’ve been overwhelmed with disgust. If my disgust were only about politics and the current woeful state of the world, I’d blog my way through that. That’s mere business as usual. Politics and its attendant idiocies, however, are only a minor component of the bile that rises in my soul. The much larger component of my disgust continues to be triggered by the depleted and degraded state of freedom in the minds of so many who ought to be…

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Our tribal future (a ramble)

The “left” wants somehow to unite us all behind ideas that are inherently divisive. (“My life matters more than your life,” “I belong to more victim classes than you do,” and “If you don’t think exactly what I happen to think today, you’re evil and should die.”) A growing faction on the “right” (including, apparently, former quasi-pseudo libertarian Peter Thiel), wants to unite us all behind big-government nationalism. Here’s my bet: neither plan will fly, at least not outside of academia, think tanks, and their devotees. The only thing that will ever unite millions in the foreseeable future is a…

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Anger and madness

I dreamed last night that I was in Portland with a dozen or so blog friends when The Big One hit. We had gone to the city searching for Covid-19 supplies, which was tough enough. But now we were trapped by Mother Nature — in a world where people had been ordered to fear and avoid each other. In a world where natural instincts to help had been crushed. For some reason, I had a large collection of books with me, which two of my friends quickly “borrowed” without permission. I knew they immagined my collection would be loaded with…

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A dog-rescue story

James Rummel of the Hell in a Handbasket blog rescues a dying puppy. That’s all I have to say. Today, I just don’t have major blogitude in me. But really, is there any need to say more? This beautiful (though also sad) story is courtesy of Commentariat member jed, who also notes that Rummel used to give free firearms training to poor folk. This is a man who takes action & responsibility.

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Practical freedom tip #432: Teach your children

Part of this week’s wall-building endeavor involved a lawnmower-powered hoist. Like so: Yeah, it looks cumbersome, but it was surprisingly productive and cut the projected time for the job by a full day. The hoist was The Wandering Monk’s work, but powering it with the riding mower was the brainstorm of his minion, a 14-year-old boy from my neighborhood. The mower belongs to his family. When the guys were wrapping up, I requested, “Please ask your mom or dad if I can reimburse them for use of the mower, or at least replace the gas we used.” “Oh, they don’t…

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Prep-ticalities

I get a little high-flown and abstract at times, but freedom practicalities still remain … Here, courtesy of friend JW, is a thoughtful (and not what you might expect) piece on permaculture from John Mosby at Mountain Guerrilla. And via Greg Ellifritz, here’s a variety of advice on what to do about those negligent relatives who “joke” that they don’t have to prep because they’ll just show up at your house when TSHTF. Finally, Vox takes on EDC. Of course, Vox being Vox, they’re more interested in their suspicion that “the EDC community” is sexist than they are in the…

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Tending to my (experimental) knitting

With company gone, life back to normal, and too many rainy July days, I finally decided to haul out, assemble, and learn something about those knitting machines I scored early last month. The days I discovered, researched, and bought the machines, I was hot to try them out. By the time they’d sat for weeks, my attitude was merely dutiful. Sigh. I already told the blog I have these machines. Somebody’s going to ask what I did with them. I better do soooooomething even if I don’t feel like it. So Thursday morning the Toyota KS650 knitter wasn’t the only…

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Random thoughts while playing host for a week

No, I haven’t died and gone wherever you hope dead people of my sort go. I’ve just been playing host to out-of-town company for four days (3-1/2 more ahead). We’ve been out doing stuff and I haven’t had time to blog. This will just be a quick check-in, but I’ll make up for my absence next week. —– My company is very polite and a good guest, but having someone else in the house is a serious adjustment for this hermit — especially since I’ve been diving more deeply into solitude and silence lately. (Solitude, of course, is much more…

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“Girls don’t play with erector sets.” OTOH …

You know I’m a dedicated thrift store and garage sale shopper. My habit has saved thousands of dollars over the years while also giving me the thrill of the hunt and the occasional Big Score. Must confess, though. Thrift stores can also be places to blow money on impulses. To wit: A few readers may recognize those as knitting machines. (Technically the white one is a knitting machine and the other a ribber.) I knit. Sometimes. But until earlier this week I only dimly realized that such things as kitting machines existed. Then the manager’s son spotted me pulling bags…

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The joy of old machines

I’ve been reconditioning two old sewing machines this week. Not that “reconditioning” requires any skill. These are 1950s vintage — the apogee, the ne plus ultra of sewing machine tech and quality. These were machines designed to last until the heat death of the universe. “Reconditioning” has mostly meant degreasing, blowing out cobwebs, oiling, and educating myself. Each machine already ran as well as the day it was made. I discovered that each needed only one small part to make it fully operational. Given the ubiquity of these old machines, both parts were available for a few dollars on eBay,…

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