Another day with more progress on the house. I didn’t take any pictures because I could not go in all the way, but the area in the front entryway and the livingroom have flooring in, and the flooring should be done except final touches on the molding by Saturday.
I couldn’t go in because I had on my yak trax, which are the most amazing thing on the planet. I still walk gingerly because I am terrified of slipping in the snow/ice, but it is a very confident level of gingerly. I love them.
Even though I can see the end of the renovation in progress, at least the parts when I can move in, my stress levels are at an all time high, because the bills are coming in and I am juggling them. My savings are literally drained. I’d socked away a bunch of money and cruised through all that, and am now just juggling until I can get my VA home equity loan or whatever it is called to pay what remains off and do the last big thing I want to do (a full house natural gas generator so when the power goes out my parents will have a place to stay) and some other things. I’ve never used my VA benefits before so I figured I might as well do it now before Cheeto Benito has our interest rates at Weimar levels or the deregulation frenzy has us in the middle of a worse financial collapse.
Also, I have noticed that the people who show up two weeks later than they said they would are always early with their billing. My favorite are the fuckers who mismeasured my counter, said there was no way to return it, but they would “take care of me.” By taking care of me, they meant sending a contractor out to charge me 500 bucks to fix it, on top of the four hours I had to pay Dean to do extra work to make it fit. The guy from the store called me and said “hey, do you want to stop in and pay this?” I was good and didn’t tell him to go fuck himself, but did tell him “Don’t you all normally mail bills?” He’ll get his money in 30 days of receipt of the bill, and I am deducting the amount the contractor cost. These guys have received 20 grand from me (bought the flooring, paint, cabinets there), and this is how they treat me? Fucking assholes.
At any rate, it’s very stressful. It’s been 20 years since I was in juggling mode as a grad student, and deciding between going to the dentist or doctor or putting gas in the car, and while stressful, I am so grateful that I am one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to live like this all the time. It’s gonna suck for a year or so, but then it will be ok and manageable.
Oddly enough, even with this recent economic anxiety and the fact that I live in WV, I haven’t become racist as all fuck, so maybe all these assholes claiming Trump supporters are economically anxious are just full of shit.
This kind of thing is exactly what home equity loans were designed for: you borrow against the value of your house to make improvements that will increase its value. It probably would have made more sense to use the loan to finance a larger chunk of the renovations so you’d have a bit more savings to rely on as a cushion. As long as your job is stable and you aren’t eating into your retirement savings, you should be OK, but it would be less stressful.
if anyone wants to know how the rooskies got into podesta’s emails: https://www.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/publications/JAR_16-20296A_GRIZZLY%20STEPPE-2016-1229.pdf
basically, a phish. and his IT guy fucked up.
I think you mean “grad student” as opposed to “grade student”.
Least surprising study in history?
Academic paper from three UMass Amherst political scientists finds racism and sexism much stronger predictors of Trump support than economic dissatisfaction:
I love the Yak Trax H and I received from his children. Falling is a big worry as we (59 and 69 ) get older, no matter how athletic we are. And I love the journal and pictures of the renovations. The blue door is awesome.
Gin & Tonic
It may be costly now, but when you can relax in those pink rooms it will all have been worthwhile.
Gin & Tonic
I am and have been in good shape throughout, yet I fell on the ice and broke my hip when I was 36.
Amazon says that I can get those fancy cleat things tomorrow, and since there is a winter storm warning, maybe I should consider it.
Spousal ThresherK is not very balanced on her feet, even before her knees started going. She asked for YakTrax for Xmas many years ago and also recommends them highly.
I’m fighting depression. I don’t want to watch the news; I fear for my daughter’s future.
Anybody ever read Octavia Butler’s dystopian novel, The Parable of the Sower? It was written in the 1990s and set in the early 2030s. It now seems very prescient. Global warming has devastated the planet. After her family is killed by roving gangs, the African-American teenage heroine joins a ragtag group of people traveling north from California to find better living climes, and she becomes the group’s leader. Eerily, the U.S. still has a president, but there are sham elections and the same guy is voted in over and over.
Gin & Tonic
I read on the Twitter machine that former CIA head James Woolsey has quit Il Donaldo’s transition team.
I love it. Rats jumping off the ship before it has set sail.
A word of caution from here in NW Montana. YakTraks + any kind of hard surface (tile, concrete, etc.) = street shoes on ice. Don’t ask me how I know this.
It’s what they call “spear phishing”: phishing but with a well targeted attack. Apparently, the group doing the hack used bit.ly to do address compression for them, so people following them have been able to figure out their other targets.
Well done, John Cole. On the house and the racism front . Sounds like you’ve got your shit together.
Which brings me to yak trax. They’re the bee’s knees aren’t they? But…pro tip, do not step in dogshit. Worst winter of my life and I’ve lived in 6 provinces and one state (god save it!) where an inch of snow is… The End of the World.
@Gin & Tonic: and Woolsey is himself a bit of a RW nut.
@Gin & Tonic: We are both ex distance runners now on the DL due to severe nerve damage in H’s feet after his 14+ marathons and countless half marathons and lots of distance running for me with a high ham string injury which never heals fully for me. I never had worries about balance and heights and ladders until this year as we put up all the extensive Christmas decorations and I felt wobbly in a bad way.
the Conster, la Citoyenne
I haven’t watched any news either, since the election. Maybe a half hour of local news, and I can’t even stand that anymore, since it’s not even really news, it’s bullshit filler of no real importance to anyone. This country has died a long slow death, and is a zombie now, thanks to our media’s deliberate failure to take its responsibility to inform seriously. They went all in with the both sidesism, which was the way the fake news all leaked in, rendering the average citizen powerless to determine what is real and what isn’t. The old saying that you’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts, is rendered inoperative. No country can survive such dumbassery, and that’s where we are now. Shorter: you should be depressed. Anyone who isn’t depressed isn’t paying attention, or is kidding themselves. I too am extremely sad for my daughters, but we all live in Massachusetts which, with California, will be the last ones to turn out the country’s lights.
@Monala: If we’re going dystopian, I really liked Shipbreaker and especially it’s follow-on The Drowned Cities. The latter seems especially prescient and is more overtly about the people and politics of the US and the future it leads to. Their technically YA novels, but whatever…excellent in any case.
I’m getting my yaktrax this week after John’s vote of confidence. If I could I’d just stay in my house all winter but my employer objects.
In all seriousness, you are my ray of sunshine through the coming shitstorm. Never change Cole.
Today’s edition of “The economic uncertainty of white people”. Courtesy of the WaPo.
@mkd: One of my best buddies was a big time distance runner. The doc told him to back off and he didn’t. Knee replacement next week and he’ll never run again.
Major Major Major Major
News alert says Trump to “ask congress to pay for building the wall”, which is a strange way of phrasing the appropriations process but it’s the CNN app, what’re you gonna do.
@Monala: Good luck with your fight. Don’t be shy if you need reinforcements — that is, medication. We are lucky to live in a time when such things exist.
I also fear for my son, who is on the autism spectrum and who will need the sort of supports government has traditionally paid for. He won’t manage in a ragtag roving group, he’ll need stability.
One thing though, he cured us of ever watching TV. When he was younger, he insisted on videos — people on the spectrum like things that are predictable and nothing is more predictable than putting a well-watched cartoon video in the VCR, you know exactly what you are going to see.
Years and years of that and we got out of the habit of watching TV. It is now in the basement, unplugged — my kid watches his computer now.
As a result, I am spared the Sunday talk shows and the six o’clock crimes, accidents and fires. I get my news from the morning newspaper and various lefty-blogs like this one. It makes keeping up with the atrocities bearable because the news is being delivered by allies, along with inspiration for fighting them and hints how to.
@Major Major Major Major:
What happened to Mexico paying? Someone chicken out?
@Major Major Major Major:
Four years of kabuki with nothing but all-orange costumes is gonna get old.
Major Major Major Major
@debbie: I’m imagining all the chicken taunts from Arrested Development.
Don’t watch the news. Get involved in your community, whatever that means to you, whether it’s your church, a food pantry, an animal shelter, or local politics. Positive action will help make you feel less helpless and hopeless. If you still feel helpless and hopeless after that, that’s why medication was invented. A lot of us have needed antidepressants at times (including me), so there’s no shame in it.
A good phish is pretty easy to put together if you know anything about your target. The trick to avoiding them is to never click any link you find in any email unless you have actually looked at the whole thing carefully. Never accept any offer by email for any discount or freebe that requires clicking a link. And for dam sure never enter your credentials after clicking any link sent to you. If your bank or amazon wants you go to their web site yourself never use the link provided. That is about 90% of it right there
I know it is cracked.com but here is an interesting piece on Russian propaganda and the election
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@khead: if that nasty bitch saw Jesus walking down her street, she call the police and say she just done seen one of them Islam terrorists.
And Andy Griffith made a campaign commercial for Obama. So up yours, Mt Airy
@Monala: I am too. Some of the best advice I got was actually from a visual studies professor. Basically cut yourself off from advertising as best you can. He had a lot of students who went into the industry and what he heard from them scared him. Advertising is essentially designed to make you unhappy with your life. I cut the cable cord and the only ad supported show I watch is Elementary. I don’t read as many magazines as I used to, and especially not the house and home ones.
Poirot on Netflix has also been enormously soothing. A trick to help with sleep is to put a hot water bottle at your feet. When you fall asleep, your core body temperature drops. Warming up your feet can fool the body into thinking this has happened and help you dip into sleep. This does work for me, and even on nights when it’s not enough, at least my feet are cozy. Getting out of bed just sucks, though.
I hope you had an agreement about taking the $500 off because I got fucked over enough times by contractors years ago that I get everything signed now. I am impressed you’ve managed to do so much from your savings and not had to get a loan. Good for you.
I decided to go to my doctor and try medication. I was really not able to pull myself out of it.
Sleep is still a struggle but Inhave found that listening to Delta Waves has been helpful.
Mike in NC
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Never been to Mount Airy and now I hope to never set foot in such a redneck backwater. Trump will give it to those people good and hard, as they deserve.
Not clicking on links in email is about 90% of avoiding phishing. The same thing is true of phone calls. People I know who have gotten calls about credit card fraud said the bank said something like, “Please hang up and call the number on the back of your credit card” rather than wanting them to trust the phone call. A similar rule should apply to email.
@Monala: I’ve read it. don’t really recall the elections actually occurring. But I do recall the abuse, hunger and poverty. I find Butler a little hard to read & enjoy right now..
I’m mostly ok. quite ill with a bad flu that is messing with my sinuses and my bp is doing funny thing like 174/110 but a little nose cauterization preventative and more flu meds. I don’t think I shall be at work for long tomorrow but I have to go in to do some delivery.
unfortunately, I’m reasonably sure that there is at least one little fissure bleeding into my septum, so I just have to watch it & the old bp
I hope you start to feel better soon.
@Hitless: I’ll tell Paolo he’s got more fans. He always enjoys hearing that!
@Roger Moore: A huge part of the problem is links being allowed to hide themselves under text in HTML emails. I’m guessing that with ransomware running wild, corporate IT departments are going to demand that all email links “go naked” as it were, forcing users to click on the actual link they are being sent to. I’ve heard much ranting that Outlook doesn’t do this by default. Security that demands educated users shouldn’t be included in mass market products.
Major Major Major Major
So, literacy tests for the internet?
This is for anyone who has ever raised a 14 year old who does really dumb shit. Yesterday she asked me if she should just cut up a tomato to use on the bags under her eyes, or should she do something to it first. I asked where the hell she heard that she should put something acidic on her eyes and the most delicate skin on her face. Mumble, mumble, but I have bags and they look ugly. Well I said the remedy for bags is actually cucumber, but even better is getting more sleep. Sleep doesn’t make any difference, and she flounced off in a snit. So tonight it veered into even more dangerous and bizarre territory. This dumbass put fucking Elmers glue under her eyes, because when she puts it on her hands they feel softer afterwords. I swear this is true. Where to start, she has eczema, she’s not stupid, but she is dumb as hell. ( Stupid = intelligence, dumb = no goddamn common sense) Seriously WTF is wrong with her? So I said to her, DO NOT put anything else on your goddamn face, unless it is face cream, and wherever you are getting these stupid ideas just stop, I have no desire to spend the night in the goddamn ER. Maybe I am delusional and she is as dumb as a fucking rock, but her grades and teachers say otherwise. How does one dumb proof a house? My sister and I are terrible people, we’ve been laughing our asses off.
@hovercraft: Oh, dear God. Sometimes I really wish I’d had kids, and other times I find myself kissing the ground with thankfulness that the task of bringing up the next generation, and making sure it doesn’t kill itself prematurely, has fallen to others!
@hovercraft: Tell her to try wet, COOLED black teabags on her CLOSED eyes. The tannin tightens up the skin.
@hovercraft: she’s lucky she didn’t do any real damage with the Elmer’s. I started laughing at the bags under her eyes at 14. I bet they aren’t even bags under her eyes. Only time I’ve seen bags under eyes in kids is when they’re seriously ill. Like cancer sick. BTW bags under eyes are genetic.
Fucking pissant Greenwald: href="https://theintercept.com/2017/01/04/washpost-is-richly-rewarded-for-false-news-about-russia-threat-while-public-is-deceived/. Who is paying him to write this dreck? I suspect someone familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet.
Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant)
@Feathers: Corporate IT departments would never rely on out of the box software for security in the first place. Home users can (and should) install the Fortinet VPN client, which blocks known bad addresses (with full install option). Free from Fortinet.com.
I think I’ve heard beauty queens using hemorrhoid cream for bags under eyes
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@khead: I read that and wanted to exterminate all the people in the article, except for the man who remembered “when we knew our place,” which was upstairs in the theater and not at the counter in restaurants. I just hurt for him. But that preacher’s wife and her “not worthy” bullshit just about did me in.
@hovercraft: Allegedly, Preparation H is the choice of pageant contestants.
If you know him, you can let him know that my son (age 14) and through him his circle of friends and through them multiple parents loved those books. Say thanks for us :)
Some days I ask what the hell was I thinking, but it’s too late now, way past the return date.
I’l tell her to try that, thanks.
My sister has perma bags, I don’t, maybe she got some of those bad genes. Because of the eczema I don’t think I’ll pass the Preparation H tip, but I have heard that one before. That’s what was bizarre about her two remedies neither one makes sense, at least hemorrhoid cream combats inflammation, so it makes sense.
Hmm. Not fully paying or denying payment to contractors. Where have we heard that before?
@Mai.naem.mobile: @Omnes Omnibus: How do you guys know what beauty queens do? Is that a law school requirement?
@khead: I read that story too. While I am not a super-student of the Bible, I have trouble fathoming Jesus saying that “not all that seek help are worthy of it.” That’s pretty far from “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”. I feel like the wife of a pastor should know that stuff.
@hovercraft: Tea-bags work, as does cucumber. Best is a good night’s sleep though. I plucked my own eyebrows when I was 14, because I thought they were too thick and bushy. I looked like a hot mess till the grew back.
@Hitless: I do – I’ve known Paolo since he first started scribbling in the Moonrise Cafe in Paonia. And I wil!
My dad just started receiving VA benefits too! He was in Vietnam. Years and years ago, he applied for benefits related to Agent Orange exposure but could not prove he was in the areas where it was used. At some point between then and now the rules changed, and just being in country means you could qualify for benefits. If you know anyone who was turned down for VA benefits in the past, let them know they should keep checking periodically in case the rules change in their favor.
I bet if you called your mom, she would laugh even harder, but she might then remind you about some of the stupid stuff you did at the same age. This is why I never call my mom. ?
Very little to say about GG on the BJ front page these days.
@schrodingers_cat: I just happen to know things.
Also, too, if she tends towards eczema, the only hand/body moisturizer I’ve found that does any good is the Aveeno Eczema Care. It’s the only one that doesn’t re-irritate my skin and make the problem worse. I can’t even shave my legs in the winter because I get eczema on my shins.
Unless she’s allergic to oatmeal, which of my friends turned out to be. She has very strange allergies..
@hovercraft: She’s probably getting these ideas from Instagram. There’s a twisted segment of the cyber where teens and young adults put weird shit on Instagram to see if they can suck some naif into trying them out. It’s fucking dangerous. Maybe if you told her the bullies put this fucking crap out there, she’ll leave it the hell alone.
Why, yes, I am much more irritated than usual. How could you tell?
@Mnemosyne: I remember mixing henna and fenugreek and putting it in my hair as a hair mask. I have also used beer and eggs. It was my next door neighbor’s idea.
Major Major Major Major
@Cacti: funny, that.
@hovercraft: [email protected]Mnemosyne: Lauren Conrad’s Beauty Department is good beauty blog
Sure, just a little delay and a justified deduction today. Before you know it, you’re stiffing your contractors and running for president.
@Mnemosyne: I’ve actually been making my own body butters for the last couple of years, she rejected the one with oatmeal, but she likes the one with olive, avacodo and coconut oil.
I will check it out, thanks.
Ugh ! Much as I love this blog, I hate the fucking internets. I did plenty of dumb things as a kid without it, god knows what I’ll be dealing with by the time she’s grown.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@schrodingers_cat: I went to law school with an actual beauty queen. We were buds – she was Miss Alabama in Miss USA and Miss Ohio in Miss America, where she was 2d or 3d runner up; I think 2d, but it was a couple of years ago so I’m not sure.
Hold on, Cole. Did you buy a derelict property and plan to renovate using your own cash savings rather than a 203k rehab loan or something similar?
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Dear god. I went to law school with an Ohio State Fair Dairy Princess (or some such title).
@hovercraft: My 13-year-old housemate was convinced at the beginning of the school year that if Trump was elected, he’d issue a law that no teacher can ever assign any homework ever again in America. He wanted his mother and I to vote for Trump and was extremely pissy when informed that we would not. He refused to believe that Trump neither could or would do that and went off to school happy on Nov. 9, only to be disappointed. I think he’s still hoping for it once the inauguration has taken place.