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Living Freedom Posts

Trying to remember to keep petty annoyances in check

I woke up grumpy after a poor night’s sleep. I was mad at myself for a couple of mistakes. I was mad at my insurance company for giving me an unreasonable quote to protect my newly upgraded house. (They want to insure it and my possessions for way more than they’re worth, and they insist on including coverage for expensive outbuildings I don’t have — all to generate a premium I can’t afford.) In desperate need of a short getaway after this summer’s push-push-push to finish Mo Saoirse’s exterior, I checked the one little beachy studio I used to be…


Monday links

  • All those NFL team owners and not a single spine among them. As I’ve said before, this isn’t about free speech or racism; it’s about employees misusing their employers’ time to damage their employers’ bottom line. And now about employers letting it happen. (H/T Shel in comments)
  • Equally unsurprising; there’s dissension in the ACLU over supporting free speech and free association for the NRA.
  • “F*** that gator,” has replaced “Hold my beer” as the national shorthand for Darwin-level stupidity. Apparently that’s very unkind of us. 9 Comments
  • The time has come …

    … the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax– Of cabbages–and kings– And why the sea is boiling hot– And whether pigs have wings.” Erm. No, actually that’s not the time that has come. My brain just flipped Lewis Carroll-ward when I wrote the subject line. An entirely different time has come. After 5 years and 4.25 months, the exterior of Ye Olde Wreck no longer reveals any wreckage. The interior, though not cosmetically complete, is entirely livable. Plumbing and electrical are upgraded and working. The roof and foundation are in good shape. The insulation is…


    Done (mostly) but disappointed

    The race against the clock fall rains is over. We had pleasant showers last night and the region’s most esteemed meteorologist says that’s it: Summer is officially done and we’ll be seeing a lot more such “pleasantness.” After darned near doing myself in on Wednesday, I slowed my pace of work. As a result there’s still miscellaneous trim, touch-up, and clean-up remaining. But I did finish the gutters at 2:00 yesterday afternoon, a few hours before light rain moved in. That was the last big, important thing — the last thing that couldn’t somehow be made to fit between showers.…


    Friday links

  • A rural town banded together to build a hospital. A larger hospital — and the government — stopped them.
  • Social media’s opaque response to evidence of bias.
  • Theranos, the multi-billion unicorn that billed itself as a revolutionary blood-testing company is closing its doors, valued at nearly nothing. (You want to read a really good book about how easy it is to fool lots of smart people? Check out Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou, the WJS reporter who exposed Theranos and its cultish leader, Elizabeth Holmes.) 13 Comments
  • When everything is political

    Tuesday I painted under the eaves. Painting, unlike most other tasks I’ve been doing, is a good activity for thinking. My random thoughts that day were circling around Nike having reignited the “take a knee” controversy, using Colin Kaepernick’s protest in the most cynically commercial way. Now, Nike may see Big Bux in buying the face of the millionaire athlete who can now make money off that greatest of all contemporary triumphs — personal oppression. But the thing that’s always mystified me about the entire “take a knee” flapdoodle is why — on the first hour of the first day…


    DIY lesson #237684: Being stupid despite knowing better

    I could barely drag myself outside to work to work this morning. Partly that’s because today’s goal was 40 feet of continuous gutter, including two downspout drops and two outside corners and two glued connectors. I was apprehensive about doing that. It’s the longest span and it’s not a one-person task. Partly it’s just that I’m ready for The Big Break, which I can’t take until Friday when the rains come. At 10:00 a.m. I finally ran out of excuses. Out to the sunny south side I went. At first the main problem was me. I had the dropsies and…


    Starting to wear down + random links

    After a drizzly start on Saturday, the holiday weekend morphed into sheer perfection. I took advantage by trimming, caulking, painting, and planning the layout of gutters. Now I’m beat. I need to spend a day paying bills, catching up on email, cleaning house, and other non-building matters. But the weather gods say we have just three days of sunny skies before five days of rain. Back outside I go. Back up and down the ladder. Back into drippy paint and ooey glue and bending those nails that don’t want to be hammered into unlikely places. Back to the twisty physical…


    Looks good. But will it last the winter? That’s the question.

    So there’s the most recent addition to Ye Olde Wreck: a clear acrylic porch cover to keep the worst winter rains from blowing in under the front door. So far so good and I look forward to sitting under it when the first gentle fall rains arrive. But will it last the winter? That’s the question. The structure was designed to hold a 1/4-inch flat sheet of plexiglas that would bear up through a nuclear blast. Well, at least through the gale-force winds that sometimes clobber this very exposed corner. Substituting fragile corrugated acrylic was a risk. But I think…