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Saturday: Banging

The siding guys arrived a little before 9am.  They’re banging on the house right now.  The walls are vibrating.  The side of the house that needs to be replaced is right outside Brooke’s bedroom so I warned her there would be some noise.  But teenagers are like chrysallises.  She’s sleeping right through it and will probably emerge at the crack of noon to go foraging.

In the meantime, I’m emptying my instapaper queue again this morning.  Let’s see, what do we have here:

1.) I LOVE apartmenttherapy.  If you’ve never visited the site you really need to.  Apartmenttherapy is inspiration for decorators on a budget, a place to check out new gadgets, a resource for greener living and growing kids, and kitchen/cooking site.  They also appear to have a social conscience.  I’ve seen more than one post hinting at sympathies to the Occupy movement.  Here’s another.  An apartmenttherapy editor, Sara Gillingham-Ryan, who lives close to Zuccotti park documents the kitchen and food of Occupy Wall Street.  Her piece reaffirms my own impression of Zuccotti during the fall.  It was a vibrant, welcoming place that attracted visitors off the street to come in, find community and talk about what was going on.  Therefore, it was radical, dangerous and had to end.  But don’t worry, Spring is Coming.

2.) I hear they have snow in Davos this year.  If you have the time and money, you might want to check out the “luxury” igloo hotel at Davos.  The concept is interesting.  I just don’t think I would refer to temperatures lower than 68° F as a luxury.  Your mileage may vary.  I think that Occupy has a remote outpost at Davos as well and that Jeff Jarvis was going to go visit.  Check his twitter stream to see if he made it.

3.) Or not.  Twitter just announced that it would abide by the laws in countries where there are proscriptions on certain kinds of twitters.  You mean the effective kind?  Just askin’.  Which is what Jeff Jarvis is getting at in his tweet this morning on Twitter’s announcement:

@jeffjarvisJeff Jarvis
My problem w/#Twitter’s new national capability is that it is a slippery slope of censorship. We need to know its principles.

It’s all part of a pattern.  SOPA, PIPA, Twitter.  Someone has it in for the internet and wants to stomp it dead, dead, dead.  Oh sure, it wouldn’t go away.  But it would devolve into a place where companies sell you stuff on every corner of every page.  You could use it as a reference tool, maybe.  Or as a media consumption device.  Sort of like a giant TV with a zillion channels, all carefully regulated for your protection.  God help you if you try to incite a little insurrection and accidentally reference a bit of copyrighted material.

I think the powers that be suddenly realized that the internet gave people the opportunity to communicate without a filter and circumvent billions of dollars of thought shaping ads and screed.  Well, we can’t have that.  Here comes the crackdown.  This could be the end of a brilliant 20 year experiment that many of us cut our grown up teeth on.  Or it could mean a new opportunity for creativity.  If all that copyrighted material is suddenly off limits, we may see a boom in new, creative content that is royalty free, er, except to anyone in the media.  I’d love to see that kind of intellectual property agreement.

But sooner or later, the bastards will get what they want by buying the right lawmakers.  It goes without saying that we need to get rid of them and it starts at the top with Obama.  No, no, don’t try to scare me with Newt Gingrich.  There are times when you have to stop being afraid that you will not succeed.  There are third party candidates out there.  Pick one, everyone get behind that person and pull.

4.) Jay Rosen says that Republican voters are living in a different reality:

So I’m not saying that the Democrats and progressives are the ones who are in touch with reality, while conservatives and Republicans are not. (But I guarantee you some will read it that way.) I’m saying that the tendency toward wish fulfillment, selective memory, ideological blindness, truth-busting demagoguery and denial of the inconvenient fact remains within normal trouble-making bounds for the Democratic coalition. But it has broken through the normal limits on the Republican side, an historical development that we don’t understand very well. That is, we don’t know the reasons for it, why it happened when it did, or what might reverse it. (We also need to know the degree to which it is a global phenomenon among conservative parties in mature democracies, or an American thing.) Political scientists: help!

I think wish fulfillment is at the core of the religious Republicans’ worldview.  If you are wishing soooooo hard that the Rapture is going to come and destroy all of your enemies and family members who wouldn’t listen to you, then what does it matter how crazy your politics get?  Any thought that leads you closer to that eventuality is permissible.

One of my Dad’s favorite sayings was “Wishing doesn’t make it so.” He must have driven social conservatives nuts with that kind of clear thinking. {{snicker}}


Argghhhh!  It’s always something.  The siding looks like a perfect match, even though it’s vinyl and the rest of the house is aluminum.  But the trim was ordered in the wrong color.  They delivered white, I need Navajo White.  It’s in the covenant.  And even if it were the right color, we’re a box short.  So, it’s not going to get finished today.  It’s on the side of the house that is not visible to the street but *is* visible to my neighbor, the cul-de-sac busy body and general itch with a B.  She’s got me fined before when I left cabinets on the sidewalk from my kitchen demo.  Most of them got taken by Craigslist foragers but there were two that were not and I pulled my back last summer so I couldn’t lift them to the dumpster, which I am not allowed to leave them in anyway.  $25.00/day until I could get someone to help me get rid of them.  You would think that someone so obsessed with the condition of the neighborhood would lend a helping hand.  No, not this one.  It’s much more fun to leave nasty anonymous notes on your neighbors door and sic the association on them.   I can just picture the fine that will be in my mailbox if the siding is left unfinished one second longer than Mrs. NebbyNose can tolerate. I can not *WAIT* to get out of NJ and the damn townhouse association strike force.

40 Responses

  1. I,m happy to see they are working on your House RD.my sympathy’s on the nose neighbor. 🙂

  2. Yea for the siding guys!

  3. Does the townhouse association help with the cost of repair?

    • Heck no, they just reserve the right to bitch and complian and fine ou if it’s not absolutely identical to all of the other towmhouses that match yours.
      It’s a power trip. I did notice that one of my neighbors had gotten a little rebellious and painted her garage door a slightly greener shade of green for her garage door. I really should report her if someone else hasnt already.

  4. RD

    I just have a question. How many hours do you have in YOUR day? I can’t believe the stuff you do and read not mention write in one day. I am envious.

    • It only looks impressive because I use instapaper. While I’m surfing, I save the interesting bits til later. Then I make it a habit to write at least one thing per day. Digby is the grand champion of this stuff. But I think she lives on her blogging so she kinda has to stay on top of it.

    • The good news is I’m reading more scientific papers for a reason and that may mean I’ll be doing even less of this. It looks like I might be able to cobble out a semi decent living after all. Well, at least one where I won’t starve. And that’s a plus. But to fully implement my plan, I have to move out of NJ. I am so ready.

  5. I remember election 2000 and how some DDs (Disgruntled Democrats) for Nader told me not to try scaring them with Bush. Well . . . okay then.

    Finding a third party candidate to get behind and pull would only be the start of a several decades long process of political disinfection and decontamination. As long as the people who will not be scared by President Gingrich under any circumstance regardless understand that they will have to accept several decades of pain and defeat and are ready to prepare their Caves of Yenan for the long Zero Sum War of Political Extermination to follow Gingrich’s election, and as long as they are ready to strengthen their own efforts with whatever level of hatred is necessary to make sure that they destroy their enemies rather than the other way around; then their position is as valid as any other.

    I believe that politicians can smell an empty threat the way a dog smells fear. Those people who have really decided to vote Third Party regardless of the R nominee are in a position to make the full promise, not an empty threat. People who are really ready to say Nobama and mean it might well tell their local Democratic apparatchiks (their friendly neighborhood Digbys and Atkinses) all about their positions and their plans. Perhaps enough such promises might motivate the Democrats to perform a candidate-transplant and perhaps not. But those who can make the full promise to vote Nobama under any circumstance have nothing to lose by telling their Democratic apparatchiks all about it.

    About interesting websites, I have read about 2: Cool Tools and EatWild. I will put links in a secondary self-reply just below.

    • Cool Tools . . http://www.kk.org/cooltools/

      Eat Wild . . . http://eatwild.com/

    • Yes, it will be painful and unpleasant. For me, there’s not a lot to lose. Neither party is going to let me retire with dignity and with the money that I paid for in advance and that I was promised. I have a pension that is held hostage by the company that ate my former company and fired old company’s entire workforce. Do I think they’re going to give a flying fuck that they owe me money down the road? No, I fully expect them to pay their executives’ bonuses with my hard earned pension and then declare bankruptcy. I can already see it coming from a mile away. And so far, there’s not one person in government who seems to care. We are being fleeced by these people and their lackeys and now we know without a shadow of a doubt that the Democrats are in on it.
      I am not going to reward that. If I’m going to lose everything I ever worked for, I’m going to make sure I take as many politicians with me.
      Yeah, it’s a shame that everyone doesn’t do this as well. We’ll see how many other people grow a clue. IMHO, the pols have absolutely no idea how deep the discontent goes. They keep seeing construction workers. I see a whole stratum of the middle class that is now in very dire straits.
      Don’t be surprised if Gingrich wins over a lot of them. He knows what to say because he is paying attention. The Democrats are oblivious. I’d rather spend my vote getting a third party off the ground than waste it on either major party right now.

      • The Democrats are oblivious

        Newt shoved it up their asses in 1994 and is prepared to do it again.
        Hate him or despise him he knows his history and called the public’s disgust with the House Banking Scandal and turned it into his Contract on America. His running for the White House at this time is more than his being full of himself, I think he knows Obama is going down to defeat.

      • You make a very good case for not waiting any longer to begin a new departure. People who are ready to do that regardless of the R nominee may not all agree on which Third Party and/or candidate to vote for. That will have to be all-right under this approach. People will pick their respective best-choices and over the next few election cycles the Third Party with the most staying power and support will emerge and then grow very fast indeed.

        Since it is a leap into the unknown, perhaps the question of “no data to guide us” will lose importance. If so, perhaps a website I submitted some time ago . . . about unconsumption . . . might be worth a second look? Not to adopt all its approaches thoughtlessly, but to see which of its recommendations can be adopted into a longer-range program of targetted economic combat and economic-attrition-warfare against the “Point Oh One Per Centers” who own and operate the Parties to their benefit and our detriment. We have no data to let us predict what the effects of a Targetted National Consumer Slowdown would be or against whom, but we may well have to try it anyway and generate the data as we go, and adjust our targetting based on the data our targetting generates.

        Lead the money around by the nose.
        Every dollar is a bullet on the field of economic combat.
        I am not my keeper’s brother.

        • That website was http://www.verdant.net/

          But there are others which are even better and more infodense.
          Names which come to mind are Backwoods Home Magazine which has some webstuff, and Kurt Saxon’s Survival Webpages; and others too numerous to burden a comment with just now.

      • If it appears pretty clear that the company which bought your company will declare strategic bankruptcy and vaporise your 401k at some future point, then cashing out early and paying all the penalties involved would mean the difference between reclaiming some of your money as against none of it at all. I suppose the question would be . . . after taxes and the 10% special penalty, would enough be left
        to invest in personal survival?

        If I knew myself to be in that situation that is the thinking I would do.
        I don’t know what my thinking would end up being.

        • good point.

        • I have already considered it. I’m thinking that a nice paid-for house is better than a s^&*load of money in a 401k controlled by a bunch of testosterone poisoned fund managers.
          Yes, the tax penalty is obscene and a complete slap in the face to the middle class person compared to the Mitt Romney type who pays 15% on his capital interest. I can’t think of anything that says class warfare more than that damn excise tax.
          If politicians wanted to score points this year, they’d get rid of that horrid tax and give us unemployed people a well deserved break fergawdsakes.

          • When I got laid off and measured my unemployment compensation reward plus severance pay versus savings and the estimated time I’d be unemployed, cashing out my retirement plan was the most logical thing for me to do. I’m glad I did as I’m now on extended unemployment. Unfortunately, the idiots in Harrisburg, PA are set to pass several laws which will effectively punish me for having a cash cushion – even if said cushion continues to drip away as the time I’ve been job searching grows ever longer.

            Point being: read all of the fine print for your retirement plan and laws regarding UC in your state. I was lucky enough to be able to legally cash mine out without penalty (like losing UC). Your mileage may vary.

  6. Move to North Carolina. I live on 9 acres in the woods with a stream and none of neighbors care what we do. It’s only a problem if you want to refinance your house. We have two houses on the property and that is a BIG no no to Fannie and Freddie, who think everyone lives in a suburb.

    • Thanks but no thanks. I don’t have any relatives in NC and that’s kinda the reason I don’t want to live in NJ anymore. There’s just no one around and when you don’t have a workplace to go to, that just leaves the stay-at-home moms with whom I have absolutely nothing in common.
      I’m planning to move back to Pittsburgh. Houses are cheap there. Plus, I don’t really like the idea of living so privately. I just don’t want to live under some stupid association either.

      • Hopefully the older and less high-fashion neighborhoods are not burdened with Neighborhood Associations. If and when I ever buy a house, my A#1 requirement will be No! Neighborhood! Association!

      • There is much to be said for living where family and extended family live. Some of my relatives in Saratoga Springs have been prevailing upon me to go live there. A major deterrent has been the winters even longer and harder than here, and the relative shallowness and sandy poverty of much soil around there. (There may be good soil zones I just don’t know about).

        On the other hand, would the stay-at-home women in rural and semi-rural North Carolina be like the stay-at-home housewives you remember from New Jersey? What if they are in fact stay-at-home neo-pioneer homestead wives? Like the woman in this blog?

        • Contrary Goddess . . .

        • Holy hemiola! Did you ever live in upstate NY? I used to live in Ballston Spa, which is about 7 miles from Saratoga.

          • Yes, I spent my three high school years in Cortland, N Y . . . almost 200 miles to the west of Saratoga Springs. But shortly after I went away to college, the rest of my family went to Saratoga Springs NY where my youngest brother stayed till going into the National Guard . . . and where my parents stayed for the rest of their lives.

            Now I have another other brother living in SS, plus his ex-wife, and their two children are from there though they may end up going somewhere else. So I go back on almost annual visits in September.
            It is a lovely walkable little city for healthy people. My vested investment here keeps me here, and the bitter long winters plus the poor thin soil (based on what little I have seen) deter me from living there. How did Balston Spa compare to Saratoga Springs? Deeper soil, better gardening conditions?

          • I grew up in that area. I first went to HS in Rotterdam NY, Schalmont and then my last year in Salem NY, which is north east of Saratoga. A really beautiful area.
            We had good family friends who lived in Ballston Spa. They were fellow outdoor enthusiasts with whom we went camping hiking and x-country skiing.

        • Let’s just say that I’m not a fan of women who exclusively like the company of other women. It’s not a matter of attracting the opposite sex. That’s not it at all. I’m just not interested in talking about diapers and menstrual cycles. It’s just boring. I have nothing to add to those conversations. Diapers must be changed, tampons must be endured. I’m also not a fan of gossip of the salacious kind or of putting down other women because they don’t fit the mold. Women find power when they force other women to conform and the world of stay at home moms is like the neighborhood association on steroids. Jeez, ladies, get a grip and find some outside interests other than what your neighbor just took to the trash or who’s parked out in front of her house. It’s none of your damn business.
          See what I mean?
          I also don’t want to join bookclubs featuring Oprah’s selections. I want to read Sigrid Undset. Community service stuff is cool. I did a lot of chaperoning of field trips when Brooke was younger. But I was too lax as a chaperone and often let the girls go to the bathroom by themselves without me standing there to wipe their butts and make sure the little 5th graders weren’t snorting a line on the sink. The other moms who chaperoned thought I was a bad mother. I had a teacher lecture me about the bathroom situation once.
          Nooooo, thank you. Not interested in discussing The Help or having lunch play dates (my kid is too old anyway) or talking about the single woman in the end unit (yours truly) and the stuff she leaves on her deck.

      • When I lived in Florida we had a condo commando squad to deal with. They gave me a warning once because some flowering vine I planted inside the fence was growing over the fence and had the nerve to flower. After all you couldn’t have me with yellow flowers and someone else with pink and another house with red. WHAT A NIGHTMARE.

      • Pittsburgh is awesome (he said with some degree of bias). 😉

    • I’m with you Linda. We have 30 acres in the woods and our neighbors are the turkeys, bear, deer, coyote, fox, bobcat…a constant parade through the field in front that we call a yard. It is glorious and the turkeys who come and go, never seem to care if I feed them in my PJs.

      • Here on the semi-urban edge of Ann Arbor, we have deer, coyotes, and the small mammals. No bobcats so far as I know. No bears.
        I hear turkeys are gaining numbers further out-county and I await the hopeful day when they enter Ann Arbor city limits. Far northern Michigan has wolves, and there have now been undeniable traces of the lone-traveller mountain lion in the western Lower Peninsula. (Any such traces in southEAST Michigan would most likely be some drug dealer’s escaped exotic cat. Like the Manchester panther.)

        • turkeys are a riot. They run across the field in a line. For some reason it always reminds me of a Laugh in skit “Here come da Judge”.
          We didn’t know we had bob cat until we caught one on a deer camera.

  7. Yeah! The siding is done and it looks perfect! The siding guys managed to find the right trim. Everything matches as well as can be expected. You’d never know the difference really unless you were standing at a corner where the new vinyl siding meets the old aluminum siding. Even then, the difference is minor.
    Whew! I think the association will have to put up with it unless it decides to go all Leviticus about it and penalize me for mixing materials.

  8. Live on a small ranch of 640 acres that is 60 miles from the nearest town….Montana…peace and quiet big time…no neighbors close enough to care…I go to Occupy protests when I can schedule it and otherwise do my protesting on the net…Newt scares me to death and the thought of him being president is horrid…I hate Obama but not as much as Newt…Still feel in a quandry about it all…seems like my being with PUMA was many moons ago…enjoyed my trip to Denver tho…

    • At the risk of sounding all broken-recordy . . . if enough people do enough to get Romney noninated on the R side, then that potential source of fear does not even exist.

  9. Oh, why worry about Newticles? The Reptilian establishment will no more allow him to be the R nominee than the Dinocratic establishment would allow HRC to be the D nominee. The 1% have spoken, and it will be Obummer vs. Mittens. “So let it be written; so let it be done.” :mrgreen:

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