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Winston

  1. Field Trip

    My wife and I checked out some properties today. We don't have an agent yet, this trip was just to get an idea of what we are looking at in-person.
    I mean, looking at stuff on-line doesn't cut it. At least not for me.

    The first property was larger, and the agency said it had special tax status for being "working woodland" (harvestable timber). So, we could periodically sell timber, and pay less tax. We need less than an acre for our homestead, and that leaves ...
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  2. Daydreaming to Planning

    It would be hyperbole to say that I "hate" where I am now. There's a lot of positives to our neighborhood: Close to the grocery store, public transportation and public safety (fire & police). Traffic ain't bad, even though people drive faster now (and / or, I'm just getting older).
    When we first moved here, our kids were young, and the neighborhood was new. There were a lot of young couples, and our kids all played together. Now, the kids are grown, and a lot of of our ...
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  3. Same Rant, Different Numbskulls

    A few days ago, a Chicago Cubs player hit a foul ball that connected with a young child. The player (Almora) was visibly shaken, but honestly was just doing his job. You know who wasn't doing their job? The kid's parents.

    OOOOOH! Winston is parent-shaming! Yep. Someone has to.

    I'm donning my Captain Obvious hat here. The lower rows of a baseball park are dangerous. Balls, sometimes bats fly unpredictably into the stands.
    Even the most dim-witted, distracted ...
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  4. Karaoke

    I just had another one of those time-travel moments. Not a real head-screw like Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse 5. Just a step back.

    I was in that bar in Okinawa Japan, circa 1987. Karaoke was a big deal back in-the-day, and Japan was the birthplace. A handful of old drunk guys in sloppy suits were wailing at the bar. They were so drunk, the three of them took turns holding each other up. Lean to the left. Lean to the right. Almost fall off the barstool. Laugh. Sing. Cry. ...
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  5. Another Finger on The Scale

    I don't know how many of you saw this little turd deposited in our societal punchbowl:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/comp...wix?li=BBnb7Kz

    No, this wasn't posted on The Onion. It was in The Wall Street Journal.
    This stuff is both asinine, and scary at the same time. It seems each day that we are inching closer to being finished as a functional, sane society.
    ...
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  6. A Better Place, Revisited

    I've always seen that phrase masquerading as a refuge for the shallow minded and dismissive. When someone in your life dies, the impulse for most people is to tell you that your loved one is "...in a better place" now. This paper-thin logic assumes two unproveable points: Where we are now sucks, and where we go from here is somehow better.

    Second point first. The frail human condition predisposes us toward a belief in Nirvana, Valhalla, or some other higher realm. ...
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  7. Grog

    I've received two lessons in this topic in the last month: Once from a historical re-enactor at Mount Vernon, then again last night at the Navy Ball.
    It must mean that I was meant to share my new-found knowledge(?)

    I'm sure most folks have heard of the word "grog", and know it has some nautical meaning. In fact, grog was a vital part of The Age of Sail and naval history. The water stowed aboard ship got slimy and foul tasting after a few months at sea. It was ...
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  8. The Capitol, Continued

    After the parade, my daughter and I decided to look for a bite. We saw some food trucks the day before, and began searching the streets around The National Mall. We figured out later that because of the Cherry Blossom Festival the city had erected a bunch of no-parking zones and kicked them out. We settled for some mediocre chain sandwich and salad shop up by the White House.
    My girl wanted to check-out the Renwick Gallery, which was next to the White House. First, we stopped by the WH ...
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  9. The Capitol

    It always makes me feel like I'm a Tribute from some outlying District when I arrive. The flagrant opulence and power. You never see President Snow, though...
    It was my second trip to Washington D.C. The first was four years ago, so see my daughter perform in the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. This time, it was to see my son perform in the same band.
    First off, who designs these airline seats? The Marquis de Sade? I've seen thicker padding on prison mattresses (don't ask). I'm ...

    Updated April 22nd, 2019 at 02:53 AM by Winston

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  10. ...And The Wisdom to Know The Difference

    After talking with the new guy at work, I had kind of an epiphany. I was training Ron in the weekend procedures, and we had some down-time. We're about the same age, and despite different backgrounds, Ron and I have a similar outlook socially and politically. So talking to him was a bit like a springboard into my own perspectives.

    We were flummoxed by how many soft, pampered crybabies moan about every problem, large and small. We agreed it was a matter of perspective. For the ...
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  11. Earth... Whatever.

    I didn't even know it was a thing.

    A couple days ago, there was this thing they called "Earth Hour". If you're not "aware", the deal is for all you virtue signaling peeps to turn your lights out for an hour to show "...solidarity with the planet..." or some such nonsense. At first, I was upset that no one invited me to this event, and I resolved to turn every light on to max in protest. Then, a baseball game came on, and I thankfully forgot. ...
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  12. Zealots and Mediocrity

    I spend some time on other forums, focusing on outdoor activates such as camping, shooing, an homesteading. I'm an unapologetic Survivalist, and I enjoy listening to others' ideas regarding self sufficiency and the off-grid lifestyle. Discussions regarding the best non GMO crops rarely get heated, but gun discussions? My God, you'd think Martin Luther just heard the Edict of Worms was decreed. Holy War is declared.

    There are many battles in this Flame War, but the most vehement, ...
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  13. ICYMI W/E 2/24/19

    Ok, so the Vietnam summit is on. The bromance continues between Kim and Trump. Skeptics (rightfully) point out that Kim has a weak hand, and not much motivation to go "all-in". This is where Trump needs to prove to us, once and for all, what a good businessman he is. Trump's only play is to "sell" Vietnam's style of state-run capitalism as a model for North Korea. Kim's country is a wreck, everyone know that. It really may be possible that there is a way out for them. ...

    Updated February 25th, 2019 at 11:59 PM by Winston

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  14. Just Fix It, Boss! I'm Incapable.

    (no news recap this week, just a thought to share)

    My daughter got into watching House of Cards, with Kevin Spacey. (SPOILER) She's at the point where his character was killed off, which she was looking forward to. Funny, even though we know they are characters, it's hard to leave the sins of the actor behind them.

    I was watching a minute or two of the show, and a news commentator blasts President Underwood:
    "I only care about one thing: Did the President ...
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  15. ICYMI w/e 2/3/19

    Pretty busy news week. Again, in no particular order...

    Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the INF (Intermediate Nuclear Forces) Agreement. In case you missed it, the Russian military has been busy developing a whole new series of nuclear weapons, and Putin has been deploying them. Acting as a provocateur, Putin decided to stage quite a few of his new toys in Kaliningrad. This achieved two goals: First, Kaliningrad projects into central Europe, right between Poland and the Baltic ...
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  16. ICYMI Special: Fake News!

    Let's be honest. No one likes Donald Trump. His coarse, arrogant, braggadocios, unapologetic, genital grabbing, bloviating 'tude is enough to make anyone cringe. And when I say no one likes him, yes, even most conservatives, The man is a cheap populist, without the depth of Huey Long.

    But even a blind squirrel finds a nut evry' now and then. The man is 100% spot on regarding fake news.

    Cards on the table: Most of Trump's wounds are self inflicted. The man shoots ...
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  17. ICYMI W/E 01/12/2019

    A lot of stuff flying under the radar this week.

    US Sec. of State Mike Pompeo is on a Middle East tour. The way US policy changes so often, he's obviously in those countries to reassure them. If I was him, I'd simply say: "If you don't like our current policy, don't worry! Tomorrow, it will probably be different."
    Another reason he's over there is to confirm that we got their backs if Iran gets more aggressive. There's even talk of a new regional defence pact. ...
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  18. ICYMI WE 01/05/19

    Pretty slow news week. That's usually a good thing for most people, but not all.

    This dumb arse government shutdown is about to start really impacting people. Already, the National Parks are trashed because there are no workers to remove the refuse. People are too stupid to realize this, and they don't clean-up after themselves. I can hear Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir screaming from their graves. Also, it looks like folks' tax refunds will be late, since obviously the IRS is ...

    Updated January 7th, 2019 at 02:12 AM by Winston

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  19. Push / Pull

    That cliché, "You make your own luck". That speaks to me.
    I can't say how much of my resilience is innate, and how much was learned. Regardless, I am thankful, but also feeling burdened.

    The majority of people I see are uncomfortable with the concept of "pushing through". When my knees were better, I used to run. A "good" run usually consists of stages: Stretching, warm-up, acceleration, pacing, adjusting and finishing. It's those last ...
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  20. Steve of Destruction

    I was raised in Macho culture. Rock and punk music, fast cars, punishing my body with all kinds of chemicals. I joined the Marines when I was seventeen. We would literally shout "Kill!" before each class in boot camp. My early relationships were misogynistic, not abusive but not respectful. Later, I worked in law enforcement where there were those with power, and those without. Good was accomplished through the proper use of force.
    There's a lot of dysfunction to unpack ...
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  21. Buy a Helmet

    "Life sucks, buy a f-ing helmet!" Denis Leary

    Another helpful PSA from your buddy, Winston.
    Seriously, now more than ever, be ready for stuff to just 'go bad'. I've written extensively here in my Ponder the Unthinkable series regarding Survival and SHTF procedures. 2012 / Mayan apocalypse came and went, people moved on. But don't get complacent. Enjoy the good times, but be ready for the bad times. The next downturn / setback may be closer than you think. ...
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  22. The Great War, 100 Years Later

    Veteran's Day is coming up, a day that used to be called Armistice Day.

    100 years ago, one the bloodiest conflict in human history ended with The Treaty of Versailles. The Armistice was signed between The Allies and (what remained) of the Central Powers. It was a "victory" for the allies, but at such a cost. The term Pyrrhic is hardly adequate.

    Much of the primary source material from that time is hard to digest. Grainy black-and-white video and biased ...
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  23. Where I Am

    This guy at the shipyard was wearing the same shirt as me the other day. We both had a distressed US Marine logo t-shirt. He didn't notice me, but I noticed him.
    I'm a bad person. I'm judging by appearances. But the guy wearing my shirt was a long, long way from his fighting-fit Marine days. His spare tire came off of a semi truck. Genetics were not his friend, either, as his bald head glowingly broadcast.
    Schadenfreude? Yep. I'm (kinda) ashamed to admit at that moment I was ...
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  24. Everyone Hates Chris

    It's not his fault. None of it.
    A lot of folks want to blame Christopher Columbus for every evil action and deed in the Americas since 1492. For you folks, grow up.

    First off, bad stuff happens. It just does. It happened in Europe, and it happened in the Americas before and after Chris and his gang landed.
    Were things better or worse after all the Europeans started expanding and exploiting? That's a mixed bag. But Columbus simply opened the door.

    And if ...

    Updated October 8th, 2018 at 08:48 PM by Winston

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  25. The Righteousness of the Raging Moderate

    We all believe in something. Maybe a few somethings. You know you do. We all do.

    So, why are there so many folks that proudly profess their "open-mindedness"?
    Well, because the opposite of that is closed-mindedness. That's sounds ignorant, arrogant and exclusionary. And that is not you.

    But if you truly believe in something, why maintain this front of "keeping an open mind"?

    Sorry. I come from a different world view. ...
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