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Happy Days by wisconsin_cur on Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:31 am
From Monday's NYTimes Blog

My mother’s illusion came to an end when, one day, her labor camp cat stopped coming. She never learned exactly what happened to it. Unfortunately, that became a template for nameless outcomes by which her sister, her father, and most of her friends disappeared. Of her many illusions of youth that the Nazis snuffed out, the feeling that she could control her destiny was one of the most difficult to accept. But for my mother, and for all those who lived through similar experiences, surviving meant not only possessing a special toughness of body, but also of mind. She found a way to face the world without the illusion of control, of dealing with life as it comes, day to day, without expectation.

This is, in my mind, the key to mental preparation: to be completely clear on what one can and cannot control, to be fully a...

[ Continued ]

2 Comments Viewed 51748 times
A Personal Reflection on Conceal Carry by wisconsin_cur on Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:23 am
On November 1, 2011 the citizens of Wisconsin will be able to apply for a license to carry a concealed weapon and I am glad. I have no intention of carrying on a regular basis, at least not initially, but I do think that I will attend the class and apply for the license. Moreover, I think I can even convince my wife to attend and get her own license as well. I want to contribute to the movement that made conceal carry legal in this state because I believe in the right of people to legally carry; even if, in the end, I decide to never carry myself. This path is not without personal risk though, admittedly, a very personal kind of risk.

I can see myself carrying in some specific situations, mostly involving the possibility of bear or badger at some seculded apiary. This may, however, change with on-going training, personal evolution and world events. I would be very surprised to see my wife ever carry and I would have reservations about her doing so. Her instincts are rather passive...

[ Continued ]

5 Comments Viewed 94985 times
Why there will be no meaningful social response in the West by wisconsin_cur on Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:23 pm
True Story:

A friend of mine once went to a "company meeting" where many many cuts were announced. The presenter from the front office brought charts and graphs. My friend brought a legal pad, a pencil and a basic understanding of math.

After the presentation, when all of the cuts were announced, my friend preceded to ask questions. The questions were good. The questions illustrated that neither the truth of the cost to the employees was made clear nor were the reasons given forth-coming. Through the use of percentages (instead of whole numbers) and vast oversimplfications ("this part of the budget includes things like the Christmas party" when it is 10% of the budget being cut and no one would say what else was in that part of the budget and being cut). The fact that the employees were not being told about many cuts to their insurance and salary and that there were to be salary increases for top management was met by crickets.

After my friend's presentation...

[ Continued ]

1 Comment Viewed 53233 times
more city tax grabs, this time in the name of the environment by strider3700 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:27 pm
With only 2 days to go till the move I decided to read the paper and see what my shiny new city council is up to. Front page story is they are now doing roadside collection of compost materials. My first thought is of course they are. They make good money selling it back to us after it's composted. Then further reading reveals that there is a 1 time fee associated with the program of about $35, and that will get you a bin to put your stuff in. My thought then is "thats nice, I have a compost bin and a garden and will do it myself thank you" Further reading reveals this is not an opt in program. But we do at least seem to get the option of buying the special compostable liner bags for the containers. Only $5 for 25 and they should last about 2 months.

I swear everything seems to be designed to rip you off in the name of the greater good.

0 Comments Viewed 5171 times
City hypocrites and their little bylaw kingdoms by strider3700 on Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:32 pm
One of the things I'll have to get used to when I move into town is paying not just for garbage collection but also for water and sewage. At my current home my water comes from a spring which I have a lease on. It's roughly $107 every 3 years. For this price I get 500 gallons/day and need to do whatever I want with the water. In my case that involves maintaining the spring, the 1000' or so of line to the house the filter system and everything else. In town I get a tiered system where the lowest tier is 0-145 gallons/day and the highest is 1097-infinity gallons/day Thankfully there is a huge jump in cost between these two cases and there is 4 steps in between. Still some rough calculations on if I was to get the equivalent amount of water from the city as I'm allowed here would have me paying roughly 30 times as much as I currently do.

It's obvious that I'll need to actually care about my water usage at the new place. My first thought was low flow dual flush toilets and...

[ Continued ]

2 Comments Viewed 6126 times

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