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L. Neil Smith's
Number 782, August 3, 2014

When does YOUR fear cause me to lose MY rights?

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Renaissance Summer: Halfway around the sun from Norseman's Hell
by Jeff Fullerton

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

At times it felt like an eternity getting here.

Midsummer is probably the most heavenly time of year—weather wise in Pennsylvania. Aside from severe storms—which there have for the most part missed locally and heat waves which have been non-existent so far this season. With hardly any of the 90 degree days to be expected this time of year, it is being hailed one of the coldest summers on record by some sources—though highs in the 80s have been the rule—making it feel like a normal summer—if you can call anything, anywhere; normal anymore.

Started the day early—attempting to write this article ; intended to be a follow up to the Norseman's Hell one—giving the perspective from the opposite end of the calendar and Earth's orbit around the sun. Fitting theme now that the logging operation mentioned in that article is now underway. But fearing I might get bogged down like I usually do writing—I decided to break from that and get breakfast and take the truck out for another load of 2A modified for landfill and get it in position before things get wet again.

To save time I scraped together a few buck for breakfast at McDonalds and got a little taste of the inflation that the government and its apologists among the plebes have been doing their best to conceal. The price seemed right but I swear the Breakfast Burritos are smaller. Oh well a good way for Bloomberg to achieve perfect portion control and slimmer waistlines for us. At least they still taste good!

Then the brickyard and I was back home at 09:38—not bad. Spent the morning potting up the clumping bamboos that had sit long enough heeled in mulch in a tote tub. And the three Ben Kazie Forest Grass (the good Japanese Grass) and the Jurassic Park Hosta. Would rather put all of them in the ground but it will be better to wait until the logging operation now underway is done. There is a couple trees that need to be taken down where I want to put the Bamboo hedge and the Hosta might get run over by the logging truck if I plant it where I want it to be seen coming into my place. When all of that is done I will have the ideal situation to make plans. And put plants and trees where I want them instead of other places or having them die waiting in pots as too many have already.

Turned out to be hot and sunny again by late morning. But the clouds continued to build in through the day. Was the perfect day to enjoy watching the turtles in their new pens while working on a variety of small projects. Managed to get a fair amount of stuff done including work tidying up the pond which I had not waded into for some time before breaking for dinner. The rains moved in soon after putting an end to what had been a lazy summer day the likes of which I had not seen in a while. For in what I have come to call my Renaissance Summer I have been very busy renovating and reinventing many things since the turning point that came sometime this past May.

That was the day where I had retrieved the truck from the shop and had in a sense finally broken even—being able to start bringing in material to build the new turtle pens. The day I officially considered myself caught up from the tailspin that began last fall—right before the descent into Norseman's Hell! Definitely a turning point. And if that were not enough : Matt—the guy Bruce brought out here back in the dead of winter to look over my timber resources came out to take a walk around and we signed a contract. And he was ready to go the very next day—beginning with clearing an access corridor up the west side of my field to the area where Bruce and I dropped a few trees—which still need to be cut up. This is going to kill a whole bunch of birds with one stone—getting more of the pasture opened up and can start thinking about a pole barn and livestock. Gets the hollow behind the greenhouse cleared out and more sunlight to the ponds and turtle pens. Gets rid of problematic trees—Walnuts that are messing up my vegetable garden which will allow me to dispense with the pond liner barrier and raised beds and go back to the original plan. Gets rid of trees that are a potential threat to infrastructure—ie the big tulip poplar by the greenhouse, the walnut leaning toward the house and trees near the outside furnace. I will get a little money out of it too to either put toward home improvements or debt reduction.

But most important is getting rid of problematic trees. And I will get a little extra firewood to add to my stockpile too.

On the main subject of this thread—have been reading some interesting articles on the Ice Age Now site. The one about "Coldest Summer on Record". Which I don't know if it is total gospel since while we've had hardly any 90 degree days—highs in the 70s and low 80s are hardly unprecedented here this time of year. The local weather seemed pretty normal to me.

At least until temperatures took a dive this past week with a strong cold front that penetrated deeply into the continental US.

Just a few days ago it felt more like the summer of 92 with cool cloudy conditions most of the day. The Chinese Box Turtles which like it on the warm side were dug in and quiescent for a few days and I considered bringing them back in warm them up so they could continue feeding. I had just put them out earlier that week. Would be a real shame after going through all the trouble to build them an outside pen that the climate is going to shift and the outdoor season for them might be shortened considerably. But not so fast.

They have since become active again as the temperatures rebounded and they will probably love the long soaking rains that started this evening after dinner. There is always the option of bringing them back to their indoor accommodations or quartering them in the greenhouse if the summers get too chilly for them outside.

As for even more important matters—the memories of Norseman's Hell—though faded—still remain and the thoughts of dealing with the next one are becoming more frequent as the season progresses. While I was building the pens I was also juggling my preparations. Got one load of firewood stacked and another one on order plus will be laying up what is leftover from the tops and small trees that are cut from my place in the coming days. And I also got half of what I need in propane to heat the greenhouse. Could only afford to get half because I burned through nearly all of it last winter and could not juggle the expense of filling it all the way with other expenses. Will get it after the second load of firewood is underway. And then it should be smooth sailing until the Fall property tax bill arrives. But that is not far off. And I still need to improve my driveway again. Even more so after the logging operation is finished.

The price of happiness is dear.
At least at the halfway point around the sun—life is a little easier and hardly enough drama to even justify an article—though we did have some serious hail with one of the storms that hit during the week. And there was a conference in Pittsburgh on climate change pitting demonstrators with signs saying "CLIMATE ACTION NOW" against coal miners and Tea Partiers. How about "AFFORDABLE ENERGY NOW"!
Other than that, not that much to write about.

At least not until it goes full circle and things get interesting again.

When Norseman's Hell Returns!

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