What the hell did we ever do to them?
The Editor’s Notes
by Ken Holder
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Vacation. Been a long time since I had one. Didn’t expect it to tucker me out so much.
Went to Tennessee.
Passed the Remington ammo plant in Arkansas, which has been shut down for a while. It’s supposed to be up and running now 24/7. I hope that helps.
Shore did see a lot of trees in Tennessee. Arkansas, too. East Texas too—not so many where I grew up in West Texas. I do like seeing trees.
One thing I noticed about Americans: a lot of us are kinda … fat. (Some of us are very fat.)
I saw all kinds of people. Europeans, East-Europeans, Near-Easterners, Middle-Easterners, Far-Easterners, Far-Far-Far-Easterners that were so far East they were West.
Saw two Middle-Eastern women with 1) blue hair, and 2) blue hair stripped with pink. Must have lived here a while.
Saw a bear:
This was on the road right beside the cabin. Bear was probably going to check out our garbage can (supposed to be bear-proof, but one never knows, do one?).
Saw a wooden plaque in a store-window that I would have bought except it was late in the day and that day was so hot and humid I was totally worn out and wasn’t up to complicated things like walking into a store or buying something. Anyway, plaque said:
WHAT DOES NOT KILL YOU
WILL MAKE YOU STRONGER.
UNLESS IT’S A BEAR,
A BEAR WILL KILL YOU DEAD.
I laughed for 4 or 5 minutes.
Forgot to take my walking stick/cane. Got a massive thick wooden one made from a bark-on tree branch at the Old Mill General Store in Pigeon Forge. I call it my “Bear Stick” for whacking a bear trying to eat one of my grandsons. Probably just irritate the bear. My Winchester 94 Carbine in .44 Magnum would be better I think. Didn’t have it with me, and if I had, probably would have caused an incident if I was carrying it around. “So it goes….”
Speaking of carrying, I think I’m going to put one of them single-point rifle slings on the walking stick for when I can’t hang on to it on account of using both hands. It tends to fall on the floor. I got one around here somewhere I think.
Climbed this tower—astonishing my son, who thought I couldn’t do it. I did stop about 2/3rds of the way up and rest for a bit. And on the way down, too.
I took a lot of pictures with my “smart phone”, but since it’s smarter than I am, many of them turned out to not actually have registered when I “pushed” the “button”. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not work. Pfui. I’ve got a real actual digital camera, but it’s one of those without enough battery to last long so it turns the camera off after a few seconds, usually just before I push the button. I suppose I should get a good digital camera to match my old Olympus OM-1 Professional 35mm film camera which I’ve had for 45 years about, and haven’t used for … a loooong time now. On the other hand, the camera built-in to my “smart phone” is a pretty good camera with lots of digital processing to make good pics in all kinds of light but requires more smarts that I have on tap these days.
Crossed the Mississippi river, which wasn’t all that wide where we crossed it. The Tennessee river was wider where we crossed it.
I discovered that noise-rejecting headphones work pretty good for road noise, not so good for country-western radio “music” noise. For that matter, my Costco hearing aids are the same way.
When we got to our “cabin” (if a 3-story, 5- or 6-bedroom house can be called a cabin), I was delighted to find we had 5G. But then I found out that this 5G was slower than most 4G. Way slower. Kinda disappointing—maybe it was all the touristy people using their phones. Cabin also had WiFi, but it wasn’t any better. Sitting out on the middle-level deck:
My daughter-in-law’s brother and family came with us on the vacation, so that maniac the 2-year-old was along. The 2-year-old in a moment of repose:
But, there’s no place like home:
And when we arrived back at the house, the electricity was off in our neighborhood! Fortunately, I live with a Scoutmaster and 2 Boy Scouts, so we were prepared. In a jiffy the generator, the battery lanterns, the camping-at-home gear was all deployed, and when the power came back on about 1:30 AM, all was well. I contributed two battery-powered fans, which made sleeping much more pleasant (power used to go out a lot in Arizona).
Books! Just finished a terrific book The Theory That Would Not Die; How Bayes’ Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy by Sharon Bertsch McGrayne [Yale University Press, 2011] ([Kindle] [Hardcover] from Amazon.com). If you are interested at all in the History of Science, in the Theory of Knowledge, and/or in Theory of Solving Problems/Making Decisions, you should read this book. Or if you just like reading good books. That’s always a good reason. And any book with a chapter on Laplace is always something to read.
Stay deplorable, my friends!
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