August 11th, 2010

Pensive Kevin

Lifetime Supply Needed

For many years, I was buying the same relatively boring style of walking shoe. Then, New Balance discontinued it. After some misfires, I found another shoe style in their line that didn't hurt my feet. I went back yesterday to buy another pair and found that they've discontinued that as well. Their online outlet had exactly two pair in my size, and that's all there ever will be. I bought those two pair, so I'm good for at least a year or so. It's so annoying that companies must keep doing this. At least NB tells you which of their "lasts" (shoe forms) on which they build the shoes, so I know that when I go to look again, I should be looking for shoes based on the SL-1.
  • Current Mood
    grumpy grumpy
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Bullet Train

Listening <> Obeying

Another thing I keep hearing as a theme from the Peninsula NIMBYs who cry "build a 50-mile long tunnel without disturbing our cities in the slightest or build nothing at all!" is "They're not listening to us!"

Well, actually, I think the California High Speed Rail Authority is listening to them. They're just not obeying. The two things are not the same.

Assume for a moment that you had a teenage child who had qualified for a driver's license, and you decided that you were going to give that child a car. You can afford to buy a low-end new model car, and tell the child you're going to give him/her that car. The child yells, "But I only want a Ferrari!" If you gave the child the small car you can afford, and the child screamed, "You're not listening to me!" would you not consider the child just a tad foolish?

It is not a perfect analogy, I grant you, but it's close. It's sort of funny, really, because some of the very loud complainers are members of the various city governments along the Peninsula, and surely they must have plenty of experience of listening to the requests of their citizens without giving those citizens what they request. After all, the requests of any given group of people are likely to be mutually contradictory, so you have to pick and choose from among them.

Local example up here where I am. A local Subway sandwich shop wants to build a drive-up window. People who live in the area near the shop don't want it built. The Salem city council will have to eventually decide who to back: the area residents or the owner of the store who is providing employment and business taxes to the city. No matter what they decide, the other side could whine, "You're not listening to me!"

Grow up, people!
Not Sensible

Some People Probably Want the Apocolypse

While discussing the ramifications of the federal court ruling in the Prop 8 case, and despairing of how so many people know so little about civics ("majority vote trumps everything" being a prime example of ignorance, willful or otherwise, in that vein), I started thinking about what the complete flow of this issue could be if you took it to the logical extremes.

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Do I really think that the far-right-wing is sufficiently nutty as to stage an honest-to-goodness armed revolution? No, I don't think so, although I'm sure there are individuals who would welcome it gladly. But it's unwise to forget completely about the possibilities, and I think any person who understands US history should realize that when you run out of every other option, violence really is the last resort. But you had better be really sure of yourself if you try it, since going all-in on that political bet puts more on the line than just a few chips.

The last line of the US Declaration of Independence ends "...we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor." Those were not empty words. They were to be taken literally; yes, really literally, including "lives." Revolt against the government and you either win (in which case you are by definition right -- "Revolutions are always legal in the first person") or you very likely die ("it is only in the third person that they're illegal").
Let&#39;s Split

Plugging Away

This afternoon, I did two roughly hour-long stints splitting wood and cutting brush. I got two or three more of the cedar rounds either split down to burnable size or at least to an unsplittable state (because of too many knots) that I can move it to the area within range of the electric chainsaw for later reduction.

Some of you may remember my stories of the 2008 Christmas Storm in Mehama that among other things made this mess when the fir tree dropped a pile of branches on the path. As I've mentioned, I cut a few branches from that tree a few days ago. I cut several more today, including one that could have fallen on the pump house. I'd rather drop it in relatively controlled circumstances after trimming the brush from it with the pole-axe. I hope that Lisa and I have time for her to cut it into burnable pieces before I leave on Saturday.

I am pretty worn out, but there was a bright side to it. My blood sugar dropped so low after I did the post-lunch tree-splitting that I felt comfortable having another one of the delicious chocolate brownies that Lisa made yesterday. Mmmmm. It almost makes the aches and pains worthwhile.