Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Back to work

With the bug/virus/flu retreating today I immediately returned to working on the siding job I am on. Completed the siding repairs today, caulked all of the new siding, and much of the old, leaving tomorrow to finish caulking, pick up paint, and prime all bare wood to be ready for the start of painting on Friday, if the weather cooperates.

Obviously I am feeling better, in fact better than I have since I arrived here. I truly hope to make some good progress so that I can complete this job close to on time, take up the next two smaller jobs, and get back to my own build site in the eternal hope of getting some work done on clearing the area and excavating for the house.

I did receive a bit of good news today: my newest laptop will be arriving back at the build site on Friday. Though I won't be there to enjoy it, it gives me a pleasant feeling knowing that there is at least one computer I own which is functioning properly. I do have to put in a good word here again for Systemax computers. Even though they said that they could not see the shadow on the screen (no idea how it could have been missed) they sent the computer along to the vendor who immediately replaced the screen and sent it back to Systemax. They received the computer today, and shipped it out to me today as well. Other than a bit of frustration as I tried to explain how they could best see this rather obvious shadow, the entire exerience was what I am coming to expect from Systemax, which is to say that it went as all business interactions should.

If you need a new computer, particularly a laptop, I strongly recommend going with Systemax for the quality of their products, the options they offer, the price, and perhaps most importantly the customer service. This is a company which still understands that customer service is what counts.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Standing tall

It seems very often that whenever you take a principled position, someone (or several someone's) will claim that you are not willing to accept the consequences, or that you do not really mean it. Well today I have the opportunity to prove such naysayers wrong yet again.

Having read a fair amount about all of the H1N1 virus, I have come to the conclusion that most doctors have come to as well, that this is mostly hype and political posturing. Get people good and scared and you can do whatever you want to them..

So all along I have said that the best prevention is simply taking care of yourself. I have done this as well as I ever do, which is say less than I like, but better than average.

Secondly, if you get afflicted with the flu, get lots of liquids, take what meds you can, and rest. No difference this time around, hoopla or not.

Well while I cannot say for certain that it is the flu, today I have been very achy, sick to my stomach, and feel as though I have the flu.

Did I panic and go rushing to the nearest hospital to infect everyone else?

Did I blame everyone else and demand that the thugs with badges (government) force others to take care of me?

Did I demand that everyone else make certain that I get healthy again?

Nope.. I have had a few bowls of broth (flavored with mushrooms and jalapenos the latter for their flavor but also their healing properties). Been drinking juice and water, and took some generic dayquil to relieve the symptoms as best as it may. Tonight I will take generic nyquil so I can sleep and allow my body to heal itself.

I still feel terrible, but contrary to the predictions of the naysayers I am standing tall, even if it is from a prone position in bed..

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obligation NOT to vote

For many years now I have actively chosen to refrain from voting in any governmental election. I am not apathetic, quite the opposite, but rather I understand the immorality of voting for rulers. The trigger for this decision was the wonderful essay by Wendy McElroy Why I Would not Vote Against Hitler.

Today I read another such essay, this time by Alex R. Knight III on the obligation not to vote.

Both of these lead to that "How did I ever think otherwise" moment when you see clearly that which was always right in front of you, but never recognized.

Here is an off the cuff addition of my own:

We are morally obligated never to initiate violence or coercion against any other moral agent (person). Basically, we cannot morally steal, cause pain, physically harm, enslave, or otherwise harm another. Pretty simple and uncontraversial.

Government is merely that entity which claims to have the legitimate authority to engage in exactly those sorts of actions.

Government cannot even exist without engaging in those sorts of actions. If we have the power and ability to disobey, then the entity in question is not a government but rather at best some sort of advisory board.

Since we do in fact have a government which claims ownership over us, that is to say the right to dictate our peaceful actions and take without permission our property (in the form of wages, as well as any real property we may own), the issue of any such advisory board is moot.

So to voting.. voting is simply lending the illusion of legitimacy to the use of force against innocent non-aggressing others. With every vote, with every action taken supporting government you are not merely consenting to any and all harms which may come to you via that government, but you are also consenting to all harms to all others. While you may irrationally consent to harm to yourself, as I noted earlier, you do not have the moral authority or the right to consent to harm to others.

Show basic respect for others, show some compassion for others, show that you respect right action and simply stop supporting harm to others: Stop voting.

More computer woes

I have been fighting the thinkpad to keep it working well enough until I get the Systemax back, but it seems that have lost that fight. This morning the thinkpad decided that it cannot boot, claiming a stuck key, but no stuck key can be found. Needless to say this is quite frustrating. The Dell is still iffy with its memory problems, and I lack any wireless card for it so at best it is a paperweight as well. It will be a couple more days before the data plan turns on, so I am stuck currently on a borrowed machine, which is inconvenient to use.

And people wonder why I have luddite leanings...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Fininshed The Faded Sun trilogy by C.J. Cherryh, one of the rare wonderful story tellers. I first thought this to be a pale reflection of the Foreigner series by her, but in the end this is entirely its own and a story I hated to see end, a feeling I attribute to great story tellers.

Dinner was another garden feast of mixed squashes, garlic, and fresh herbs.. delicious..

Work progresses slowly due to weather and four legged complications. Still, I made some progress today after the rains quit.

Still experiencing computer issues, and phone issues, but I am adopting a bit of a view that they are all magic and there is not enough eye of newt in the mix currently.. or some such missing ingredient. There seems to be no rational explanation to the computer problems, and dealing with AT&T customer service is more difficult than communing with the dead via seance.. Perhaps I can rationalize some lesson to be learned here.. or perhaps this will tip the scales and turn me into a pure luddite.. (reminds me.. I saw an interesting hulu show called something like foodie luddite.. I will try to post a link later.. )


Practical and Effective Health Care Reform is off the table

Borrowed in whole from


Since the Big O* is giving a speech tonight to try to sell his health care plan, and will doubtless regurgitate some blather about being open to all options, I thought I'd list for the record at least nine options for health care reform that are "off the table," and will never be allowed on the table...or even in the room:

1. Ending medical licensing.
2. Ending employer tax deduction for medical insurance; or better yet,
3. Providing a personal tax deduction for all medical expenses.
4. Ending patent protection for pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
5. Ending all regulation of drugs and supplements.
6. Ending Medicare.
7. Ending Medicaid.
8. "Fee for service" for routine medical services.
9. Tort reform.

* Obama. But to Canadians, "the Big O" has a special connotation of government extravagance, incompetence, and cost overruns: the 1976 Olympic Stadium.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Feasting from a few gardens

Tonight's dinner was a large spaghetti squash (if you have never enjoyed one of these you are missing out on a wonderful and unique natural treat), topped with a butter and olive oil sauce of red anaheim pepper, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil (four kinds), garlic chive flowers, and a touch of kosher salt. With the exception of the salt, oil, and butter, all of this delightful meal came from gardens I have worked in. Two in the flatlands, and one in the Oauchita mountains.

There was no longing for prepared pasta sauce, or some mass produced accompaniment, but rather an explosion of flavor which reminds us of what pale shadows all of the mass produced food is to real food.

Mass produced food is food with no history, no story. Even the "farmer" who harvests it could not recognize even one of the pieces of produce from "his" land, but the farmer who truly respects his or her crop, who knows the land and that which grows upon it, whether in a urban plot, suburban back yard, or acreage in rural areas, can identify the produce, the product of their effort. There is a story behind every piece of food in those gardens.

Tonight's stories include failed efforts to raise emu for meat, discovering entirely by accident a volunteer pepper plant brought low by malabar spinach vines, and a union of efforts of specific individuals, amongst other stories. These all add spice and flavor to the meal directly and indirectly.

I find great joy in the fact that even a nomad (as I have recently been dubbed by none other than the great David (another story, another time)) can enjoy the wonders of the garden in which he/she has worked, or in this case several gardens. Nomadic gardening.. there is an idea..

Monday, September 07, 2009

A day of labor

As is my usual tradition, I spent this day working, specifically doing labor. No paid time off, no demanding that others give me anything more than I actually earn.

Today was somewhat trying of that tradition in that I feel poorly and spent the day doing siding alone. As I write this I fear that I am succumbing to some annoy bug. Hopefully not, time will well.

Friday, September 04, 2009

A relaxing night with an old friend

Sometimes even amongst the most motivated philosopher, the most passionate thinker, a quiet night simply in the company of an old friend is enough. That was tonight for me. No heady (Lamar) discussions, not even the almost sophmoronic over indulging, but rather just a simple night of light discussion and channel surfing for two guys who don't really watch TV.

I suppose I could speculate about the importance even to INTJs, of some sort of "human" contact, or explore the notions of companionship, but to be honest, tonight was a night for simply being, without any need for analysis.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Arrived.. Kansas safe and sound. The drive was one of the harder ones thanks to gale force winds and a very heavy load in the back end. er.. of the truck that is.

The next day or two will be spent planning and prepping for the work here. As per usual, family have added jobs, almost certainly unpaid jobs, to my list without ever consulting me. Honestly there are times I envy orphans..

Still it is good to be here. I look forward to seeing good friends, enjoying some good food (N&J's cannot be beat!) and finally having some paying work again.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Travelin' Days are hear again..

I collected a few stones for some landscape decoration projects, mowed Rancher Bob's vast yard, collected what I could from the garden so that it does not go to waste, emptied the suitcase, washed the clothes and repacked them, so I guess I am ready to head out in the morning.

Hopefully the drive is a pleasant one, though I've made the trip to Kansas so many times through the same flatlands that it becomes increasingly difficult to find something new to enjoy there, though I try.

Yesterday the freezer I ordered about 8 weeks ago now, finally arrived. Even though the seller, AJ Madison, promised "white glove inside delivery" the shipper they finally did use could not have gotten the semi up the roads and back to where the freezer needs to be, and this is a much easier location than where my own home will be! So because the shipper, particularly the driver, had nothing to do with the attrocious service from AJ Madison, I took pity on him. I met him at the highway (two lane paved road.. generously dubbed a highway) so we could move the freezer from his semi to my truck. As it turns out this was one of those very rare times when a good deed is not punished.

Ernie Hill is the driver's name, and I am very pleased to have met him. Not only was he personable, but it seemed with every other sentence we were discovering that our paths nearly crossed on many occassions. We share some Kansas history, had roamed similar roads, and spent part of our lives in the same places. He too is a songwriter, and after relating various music stories, he pulls out a cd he self-produced. As I am typing this I am listening to ol' Ernie sing and play. I hope to make it to the bluegrass festival in Winfield KS this year, though I never did in all of the years spent just up the road from there. With luck, I'll run into ol' Ernie there.. sitting under his electric peace sign..