Lessons Learned

*sigh* Signed up for a writer’s email list in order to get a free “prequel” to a giveaway novel. That’s two freebies–coulda been pretty sweet, but. . . Read the prequel. *meh* So-so. Too many places where it was skimmed by incompetent (or no) editing, after having been written by a Dunning-Kruger-ite who thought he knew what too many words meant that he did NOT know them meanings of (well, either that or he was just intentionally writing gibberish in those places).

Got my first list emails. Yeh, incompetent writer goes on and on about how he’s trying to “change the world” with books that “mean something” (whatever THAT means). Yeh, didn’t read the freebie novel. The freebie novella was enough to convince me, but a fiction writer who isn’t FIRST concerned with being a good storyteller and writer is only, at best, going to change the world for the worse if his writing succeeds at anything at all.

Takeaway: sometimes “freebies” are more costly than they at first seem. I’ll never have back the time I spent on the novella or reading two of this writer’s emails.

Shoulda known, though. He refers to himself as “Author [So-and-so]”–an almost sure sign of an unconscious insecurity (based on REAL incompetence) covered over with a casually assumed expression of self-importance.

Law Enfarcement in America’s Third World County™

Just another *cough* typical *cough* interaction with putative “law enforcement” in America’s Third World County™. . .

[Phone rings]

Me: Hello.
Caller: This is [some redneck] with the [Third World County™] Sheriff’s Department. What can I do for you?
Me: You called _me_. What do you want?
Caller: Dispatch gave me your name and number and told me you requested a call.
Me: What name?
Caller: Junior [Redacted].
Me: Junior [Redacted] lives two miles from me. What number did dispatch give you?
Caller: [recites my landline number]
Me: That’s not Junior [Redacted]’s number.
Caller: Sorry.
Me: *click*

I should have asked if dispatched was referring to Junior [Redacted] or Junior [Redacted] Junior, his son, although they live (lived? Is Junior [Redacted] still among the “quick”?) in “manufactured homes” catty-cornered from each other. . . (and Junior [Redacted] Junior now runs the family business).

Lil EDC Tip

Have instructional cards (cheat sheets, EPrep “Cliff Notes” as it were) for various things, like fire-making, basic first aid, etc., in your EDC bag, in case YOU are unable to access your EDC bag and have to ask for help from someone else.* For example, my EDC bag has a small set of instructional “fire-building cards.” They’re waxed 3×5 cards with instructions and a few matches affixed to the cards via the wax (so, the matches are also waterproof, more or less). . . 😉 Each of them separately packaged in nicely flammable envelopes, containing a bit of waxed dryer lint.

Even Dunning-Kruger-ites should be able to start fires with those resources.

You, of course, should already have all the info in the cheat sheets down cold.

Note, also: my “EDC Bags” are bags I keep in my car for emergencies away from home, but they are essentially smaller versions of 72-hour kits. Since I also have car-specific emergency kits in the trunk/rear package area (the latter referring to a hatchback), these kits are tailored for more personal items, and can also double as very (very) short term bugout bags. . . or “Get home bags.”

Micro-mini kits I carry on my person (knives, multi-tool, VERY simple and limited first aid, etc.) should be enough to get me back to my car (and my car and its kits, back home).

Since we live in an area with VERY low risks, apart from weather risks which can usually be anticipated, preps like this combined with our home preps should generally be sufficient.

Safe Spaces

Elsewhere on the Interwebs, an acquaintance quoted Sir Conan Doyle,

“There are many men in London, you know, who, some from shyness, some from misanthropy, have no wish for the company of their fellows. Yet they are not averse to comfortable chairs and the latest periodicals. It is for the convenience of these that the Diogenes Club was started, and it now contains the most unsociable and unclubable men in town. No member is permitted to take the least notice of any other one. Save in the Stranger’s Room, no talking is, under any circumstances, allowed. and three offences, if brought to the notice of the committee, render the talker liable to expulsion. My brother was one of the founders, and I have myself found it a very soothing atmosphere.” ~ Sherlock Holmes, “The Greek Interpreter”

A sort of 19th Century British “safe space.” *meh* My “safe place” is designed for the safety of others. I’m thoughtful that way.

I have my “Curmudgeon’s Corner” home office for that. Comfy chair. Semi-adequate research capabilities. TONS of books and periodicals. Fine music. Phones NOT allowed. And “Do NOT Disturb” is well-observed by the household. A “Misanthropists’ Club” would probably include some asthmatic wheezer or “irritable bowel gurgler” to harsh my curmudgeonly “mellow.” *heh* No thanks. 😉 (OK, I do allow the dog to share the space, sometimes, even though his presence tends to curdle my curmudgeonry into a genuinely peaceful attitude. Oh, well. The sacrifices I make for his adoration. . . 🙂 )

“Solutions” for all the sturm und drang in the passing scene?

For “the passing scene,” I got nuthin’.

My “solution” to the passing societal scene (politics, media, wacko people all around) is to take care of my own business, and, when interfered with by a “gummint” busybody, do whatever I can to distract, befuddle, redirect, frustrate, bar (yeh, even to relying on a junkyard dog of a lawyer, if necessary, the meanest one around), etc., them from messing in my stuff that’s none of their business. If TEOTWAWKI does come about in my lifetime, I want to have plenty of (well-preserved and protected from marauders) “popcorn and beer” and a (relatively) safe (well, well-defended and as secure as can be effected with my resources) place from which to watch the show.

Of course I’ll do whatever low-key things I can to ameliorate problems on a local and neighborhood level, but I’m pretty much limited to everyday politics and prayer (though that’s unlimited *heh*) when it comes to affecting things further afield than that, so just making as sure as I can that “me ‘n’ mine” are as well-provided for as possible seems. . . prudent.

OTOH, being “a voice in the wilderness” crying out, “Repent sinners! Make way for the return of the Lord!” seems like something to do, too, eh?

Dangerous to Whom?

The Puffington Host touts the bill referenced in the linked article as “The Most Dangerous Bill You’ve Never Heard Of.” Dangerous to whom? Certainly not to citizens who are concerned about the tsunami of “feddle gummint” encroachment on their rights. Hmmm, must be dangerous to statists and other anacho-tyrannists. . .

This bill is barely a start on reversing the illegitimate encroachment on God-given rights that darned near the whole apparatus of the “feddle gummint bureaucrappy” has become.

Thinning the Herd?


So, got a bill for Medicare Part B. Was expecting the rate quoted me on the phone and online. Was 3X as much.

Now, folks who are subliterate or simply stupid might have had a heart attack or some such, thus thinning the herd, as it were. *heh* Of course, I read on, and although nowhere did the accompanying documentation say it was a quarterly premium, there was a brief note stating it was for 01/01/17-01/03/31, so it was no biggie.

But I can still see some doofus who’s been TOLD the bill would be 1/3 the amount shown get all red in the face, stroke out or have a heart attack, simply because he’d not read (or understood?) the accompanying documentation.

Oh, a moron from Australia (who keeps finding his way into my SPAM folder) said something stupid (as always) about “. . .the small patch of ground between Canada and Mexico,” referring to the US. Yeh, including the mostly desolate wastes of Australia, his own “continent” amounts to just about 10,000 square miles more than the continental US.

Still, with less than 10% of the official US population, there’s room for such massive stupidity in Australia.

See? This is why I check my SPAM folder. Every now and then, I find something mockworthy.

*meh* What Do I Know, Anyway?

Confession: I saw “It’s a Wonderful Life” once, when I was 18. Didn’t like it. I found it to be too artificially manipulative and full of stereotypes. The plot was also dissatisfying.

It’s a lousy Christmas movie.

*shrugs* What do I know, anyway. . .

Something Old, Something New. . .

I read. A lot. But lately, many of the books I’ve been reading have been. . . blah.

So, a changeup (the “something new”)

Re-read old favs

Great Books of the Western World. I have a nearly worn out set, and another, in “library binding,” that I’ve read in very little. So, re-read the set over the next year or so.

A different Bible reading plan: chronological. Yeh, read the books/passages in a close approximation of when they were written, with an eye to also reconciling chronology of events, when possible (“chronology of events” hardly applies to the books of poetry. . . for the most part. . . sorta). That’s an approach I’ve not taken before. It’ll work well with re-reading the GBWW.

Something new: I have a couple of different versions/formats of The Harvard Classics in ebook formats now. I can read that set, too, reading around the books included in the GBWW–or even reading some of those in ebook format, if that proves to be more convenient.

Slack off on buying new books. Just buy the “must-haves,” and let the rest go. I’ve spent more time writing reviews of books that fall into the category of “A note to the writer: JUST STOP! Quit writing until you’ve at least passed a remedial English course, AND are willing to pay competent, literate sopy and line editors to fix your crap, mmmK?”

All in all, I think the reading goals outline above will make for a much better experience over the next few months/year.

Capitalism vs. Our Current American Economic Model

It seems some folks are unclear on the differences between capitalism and the big business-government crony system we currently have. The two could not be farther apart. When there is corrupt behavior in a capitalist system, competition and civil courts can deal with that. The corruptocratic institutional system we now have has as its purpose the filling of politicians’ pockets and “bureaucraps'” rice bowls. From the consumer’s POV, it’s the worst of both capitalism unrestrained by market forces and the typical socialist model: politicians and their cronies are massively favored, enriched, and protected.

Of course, the 19th Century system that evolved into our current regulatory state was almost as corrupt. The monopolies and cartels “feddle gummint” regulations against monopolies and cartels were designed to deal with were either created or enabled by government intervention in the market. A good example of the regulatory state: create or exacerbate a problem in order to expand the scope of government, allowing perpetuation of the problem at a rate regulated only by the amount of graft.

And so it goes. Meanwhile, the sheeple never wise up, looking to the creators of the problems to solve them, against those creators’ perceived best interests. Suckers.