Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Episode 205, Liberty Ridge--Five Years In

Hard to believe, but we've been living at Liberty Ridge for five years now, or will by the time mid-July rolls around.

Time for an update on what's been accomplished at the Liberty Ridge homestead, and what we've learned in the process about:

  • Setting up a pretty big vegetable garden (pictured)
  • Using concrete blocks for raised beds
  • Collecting rain water for irrigation
  • Delivering water to the garden
  • Overcoming problems with bugs
  • Making tomato cages from rebar mesh
  • Using hog panels for trellising
  • Handling a pretty big (and then suddenly small) flock of chickens
That's enough for this show--part 2 coming soon.

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Monday, May 28, 2018

Episode 204, Listener Don Returns to Liberty Ridge

Long time listeners of TSOP will remember Don, a friend of the show and a good friend of mine.

Don is a materials scientist and craftsman of the very first order.  These days, he mostly works with wood, mostly using hand tools, which are a mixture of vintage, modern, and of his own design and manufacture.  Don’s written multiple books on craftsmanship, and has an unbridled passion for wood finishes, with a conditional preference for hand-brushed or hand-rubbed shellac.

We recorded this show from the front porch of my home on Liberty Ridge.  You may hear some sounds of nature in the background.  Birds, mostly, though at one point my dog Lexi heard or smelled something in the woods and took off noisily to chase it.

Here are the questions I asked Don:
  1. What brings you to Arkansas?
  2. Trump—love him or hate him?
  3. At least, thank God, we can trust the FBI....
  4. John Derbyshire, Steve Sailer, the Z-man and others and the “dissident right?  Are you a member too?
  5. Is the Pope Catholic?
  6. One year from now—what will be in the headlines?
  7. What happened to Apu?  (the Indian character on The Simpsons)
  8. What makes shellac such a fantastic finish for wood?

Don’s a very thoughtful and articulate observer of American politics and culture, and we agree on most topics.  I hope you enjoy his musings as much as I did.

Pictured:  My new Nicholson bench, which I constructed during the Woodworking With Hand Tools workshop Don conducted recently in Northwest Arkansas.

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Episode 203, Filing Magazines

As often as possible, the title for this show has an intentional double meaning.  This one may be the best ever. 

Spoiler alert—This podcast is actually a shaggy dog story, which means it’s extremely long-winded, contains extensive narration of irrelevant incidents, and terminates with a pointless punchline.  You have been warned.

Seriously, the question posed by this episode is this:  What type of world would we be living in if the phrase, "filing magazines" describes, to a majority of people, not the task of a librarian, but of a gunsmith?

Hint:  The power is probably out, and has been for a long time.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Episode 202, Diversity Rules


As often as possible, the title for this show has an intentional double meaning.  

Diversity Rules. On the one hand, we have the lofty concept of diversity, the policy of encouraging tolerance for people from different backgrounds.  Diversity is right.  Diversity is just.  Diversity makes us better.  Diversity is our strength.  

On the other hand, we have the pseudo-regulatory aspect of diversity, the ever-shifting rules you are compelled to follow if you want to avoid being hurled into the void.  

Actually, the ever-shifting rules for diversity seem to have converged on one meta-rule:  people with the wrong ethnic background or point of view must be ejected from modern organizations, or punished if circumstances mandate their presence.  "Wrong ethnic background or point of view" of course means white males, and anyone on the political right.  

In this show we explore famous and everyday circumstances of diversity, and the foreseeable but never acknowledged negative consequences.

Diversity rules!  

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Episode 201, Colluding With Catastrophe

Pretty much everyone not in the employ of CNN or MSNBC now agrees that neither Donald Trump nor his campaign or transition people colluded with the Russians to throw the election.  In fact, if anyone prominent did collude with Russia, it was Hillary Clinton and her campaign.
 
That’s not what this show is about.  There is a much larger and more important collusion going on right now, a factual, actual collusion, with an army of important participants, and that is America’s ongoing collusion with catastrophe.  It’s part political, part social, part economic, part ideological, and part psychological.

Unlike the Russians, catastrophe is an outcome, not an agent, so I’m playing a little fast and loose with the catch phrase Colluding with Catastrophe, something you can’t actually do. But colluding ON BEHALF OF catastrophe, or colluding IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE catastrophe don’t have the same ring as Colluding With Catastrophe, so let’s just go with it. 

(BTW, that kitchen cart pictured was something I recently built from scratch, using reclaimed barn wood. Not perfect, but not bad.  Two major mistakes, described in this show.)
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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Episode 200, Something Will Happen

Yes, that's the famous band Timbuk3, most likely playing their biggest hit, the catchy, "Future So Bright" and the theme song for this show.

When it comes to America, our favorite nation, what a difference a year makes. Everything is looking up. The economy is roaring, by all accounts.  Unemployment is just over 4%, a level most economists consider full employment.  The Gross Domestic Product is up 3.2% on an annual basis.  New home sales are through the roof.  The stock market is up more than 30% (what?) from this time a year ago. The market is now double what it was six years ago.  The last official recession ended in 2009, eight years ago.

Things are going so well that the only gloomy people you can find these days are the progressive lefties in Congress and on CNN.  They just can’t believe what’s going on.  Why isn’t Trump wearing chains in a federal prison?  Instead he’s signing historic tax cuts, killing the Obamacare mandate, rolling back regulations, banning inbound travel from Muslim countries, putting conservative judges on the bench, cracking down on sanctuary cities, and otherwise undoing in one year just about everything Obama did over the course of eight years as President.  The much-feared “government shutdown” ended when the lefty democrats beat a hasty retreat upon realizing that a majority of the public actually doesn’t care all that much about the children (in some cases the adult children) of illegal aliens.


It’s a good time to ask a few questions about what’s going on.  Has Trump repealed the business cycle?  How strong is the economy really? What’s causing the turnaround from the relative gloom of the Obama years? Who is benefiting the most from the upturn?  And most importantly, how long will it last and what’s going to cause it to stop?


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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Episode 199, Pagan Church Update

Ok, the church I belong to (for now) may not be purely pagan (American Pagan church image right), but a listener to my account of doings there has dubbed it "the pagan church".  So let's go with that.

Same sex marriage in our church sanctuary is the main issue, urged by our new pastor.  The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America says that each congregation can decide the matter, based on "conscience-bound belief".  How democratic of God to put His laws up to popular vote. (I wonder how He handles ties--is the devil the tie-breaker?)

It seems that our new pastor is bound and determined to push same-sex marriage all the way, even it it splits our church in two.  Maybe that's been the plan all along. Maybe there's something to the rumors that she's trying to establish the best little LGBT church in Arkansas.  Maybe those of us opposed should just shut up and accept our role as collateral damage.

In this episode I elaborate on recent developments, including the decision my wife and I have made to put and end to our support and move on and find a church that still believes in God, the Bible, Heaven, hell, and Jesus Christ.