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Living on a River

A post moved from my other blog.

I moved this one here because the wusssies that run my other blog felt it was too commercialized for their taste.  Meanwhile they provide all manner of ways to monitize your blog site as it grows.  If I wasn’t so heavily published there, I’d start a new one entirely.  But for this post, I decided to just move it over.


This will be a shameless plug. It didn’t start out that way. A romantic at heart, I was just inspired to sit down and write. You see, the biggest heron I ever saw just glided down the river at treetop level. This creature looked like a flamingo on steroids, a pterodactyl with feathers. So write I did. I waxed poetic about how this experience reminded me of seeing pelicans for the first time, gliding with the kind of cool only they can display, inches above the swells in the Atlantic, just off the beach in Dam Neck.  But after scribbling for a while I realized that there was an opportunity here.

Some Back Story

Almost 8 years ago, Lyn, aka she-who-must-be-obeyed, and I were evaluating our situation, living in Governor’s Green, Fredericksburg, Virginia. We were empty nesters, living in a large home, which had doubled in value in just 4 years. Real estate junkies that we are – we’d purchased that home on a whim and a 20% up-front discount – and knowing full well that we were at the peak of the market, we decided to cash out and find THE home. The search was on. I had many times looked at the home we occupy now and passed it up without the slightest thought. Lyn however found it on her own search and it had the magic ingredient. Water. True to the definition of her name, Lynette, she always want to live on water. When she pulled up the ad for this house on I was inclined to just say no. But the look in her eye had me saying yes. I bought here for two reasons: To let Lyn have the home she wanted and because there would be room to build a proper wood shop on the property. There were countless properties in this market where I could have built a shop. But they don’t light Lyn’s eyes the way this one did.

This is how the house used to look.  It was just a simple 
river house with four bedrooms, good storage and little else.  
To be perfectly honest with you, it wasn’t much to look at when we got here. But it was SMALL. That is what we were looking for. A simple house in Thornburg, Spotsylvania County. After years of big neighborhood houses, creating lawns that people used to take pictures of and ask pointers on; after maintaining spaces for social gatherings and high living, we now had a little split level on the Po River that didn’t NEED anything and made us feel like we were living in the Pocono Mountains every time we came home. Not bad, not bad at all. We have an abundance of wildlife for our three little acres. There are deer, owls, red tail hawks, bald eagles, cardinals, heron, rabbits, groundhogs, foxes and on and on. As it was, we had a perfect little hide-away.

Not So Fast, Lazy Man!

My contentment was not to last. One day I came home and saw Lyn contemplating our west wall. “What are you doing?”, I asked, not really wanting to hear the answer.
“Ya know,” she said, “If we blew out this wall we could put in a big living room and a garage.”
OUCH! But what does a husband say to that. I took the profits from the previous house, minus what I spent building the shop and gave her a huge living room, a two car garage and three decks. I know, you can say it. I’m a sucker. But $100,000 later, we have more than doubled our footprint and beautified our home. My girl was thinking. The extra glass just below the new roofline was Lyn’s idea.  It came to great.

My Man Cave

Before there was a garage with a room-over, I had already added my dream shop. I make furniture as a hobby. I call it a hobby because I never sold very much. With the help of some friends to stand up the walls, I built a wood shop that occupied as much ground as the original house, 24′ x 36′. It stands at the opposite end of the property, near the road, on the crest of the next hill. I was surprised how quickly my tools filled it. But if you spend 25 years collecting shop tools they’ll have a big footprint. And for the first time I was comfortable working in a large shop rather than a garage or basement.
It has a wall-mounted heat pump that could use a shot of refrigerant, but fully charged it will just about chase you out with the heat in the winter and cooling in the summer.
Two cars can fit in the shop with careful maneuvering. By adding another bay door, or two you could easily fit two with rom left for quite a gear head heaven here. And there is a raceway going in as I write this not ten minutes from here. The track will be open to privates cars several times a week.

Work Shop

Or Next Adventure

Lyn and I have come to a new crossroads in our life together. We are planning our retirement. But we don’t want an ordinary retirement. Sadly, we can’t keep our hideaway on the Po River and maintain our present lifestyle. So we must let go.

Our river house is for sale! Shameless plug, I know. It’s my blog. It’s my laptop. I can do what I want.  We are presently interviewing for a new agent.

We will take a bit of a bath on the deal. The market is still flat. So somebody is going to get a free two-car garage with great room above, and a nearly free workshop. Poop! Personal pride notwithstanding, I can live with it. We will be one step closer to our retirement plan.

Main and upper deck and storage shed.

Lower Deck
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See?!?! This is Why I Can't Have Nice Things!

It’s been reported that there is, yet again, an activity and some tools that people are employing for pleasure which have the added benefit of helping them end an unhealthy relationship with something harmful.  And here’s the worst part; they are doing it on their own without supervision and taxation, beyond sales tax, of the government!  This must not stand.  There is no justification for anyone to do anything that isn’t controlled and limited by the imperial nanny state and its self-important, nosey, insecure busybodies.

The independent press, what little is left of it, is already criticizing the important steps local governments are taking to put these individualists under the loving thumb of the state, as they should be.

Here’s an example of dangerous people advocating independent behavior.  It should be noted that none of this was ever a White House talking point and is therefore unauthorized!  You are permitted to watch it, but you are not permitted to think and must fall back on government approved information as soon as the video is over.

Crazy haters who hate the good people who know more about everything than you do.

This whole e-cigarette craze is doomed to fail because it lacks many important elements of the kinds of successful programs Big Brother, er…uh, the United States Government and all those cute little, pretend state and local governments have forced into your lives for your own good.  First, there is not enough law surrounding it.  The Dodd-Frank bill, which took over the financial segment of our economy is a 1200 page law, tens of thousands of pages of regulations and costs employers billions of dollars in compliance (Good!  We hate rich people anyway.  And what have those mean corporations ever done for us anyway?).  The new immigration bill, designed to create cheap labor for weak-kneed republican populists and voting slaves for morally bankrupt democrat populists, is 1700 pages long. Obamacare, designed to end quality health insurance as we know it, is 2700 pages long.  Two of those pages actually deal with health CARE.  The rest is about placing power with the government where it belongs. It has already spawned nearly 30,000 pages of exquisite regulation that will keep those stupid, out-of-control doctors and insurers too busy complying to exploit the poor people of the nation.

What follows is beyond treachery.  While the lion-hearted mayor of New Amsterdam, Nanny Bloomberg fought for the banning of e-cigarettes in public places, cars, homes, sewers, etc., Bloomberg news (THE SAME NAME AS HIS HOLINESS) has an independent thinker actually talking on a TV program.  And the hosts are not banning or insulting her!

Warning: Contains information which may lead to free decision making.

Do you remember the debate about how guns independently leap out of their boxes, load themselves and kill people?  We were told to be frightened by the semi-automatic assault weapons.  (I know there is no such thing.  That’s not the point.)  Even though they can’t fire like a machine gun, they kinda look like one.  And that’s scary!  The guts are the same as any hunting or plinking rifle of the same calibre, but it is how you feel that counts; not pertinent facts.  Well, if all of that doesn’t give you the vapors, look at this!

Clearly, this product has been designed and marketed in such way as to be attractive to its end user; the, forgive my course language, individual.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Because I said so.  I am with the government and I am here to make you afraid.
And this from a doctor; see if he ever gets any Obamacare money!

Let’s get down to brass tacks.  It’s with big laws that the government finances the tens of thousands of little laws we use to tax you and punish you.  This e-cigarette thing has the potential of being really big. And the government needs your money!  Hey, cutting pay and benefits from the military and taxing medical device manufacturers only puts so much in our pocket.  We need more.  We’ve colluded with real cigarette companies for a century now.  We approve and handle their product and allow their market, while taxing the b’jesus out of YOU.  We say where you can smoke and make you pay for ever more pointless changes to the packaging and it’s still not enough.  We don’t care that wrecking this new concept will encourage people to continue smoking regular cigarettes.  We owe more favors to Marlboro than we do to some mom and pop vapor store.  By regulating and taxing the shit out of both houses, we get more of what we want; money and regulatory power, the latter which ultimately means more money.  We don’t care if nobody actually quits smoking.  We don’t have to.  We are the government.  And if you don’t see things our way, you are not patriotic.
Disclaimer for the truly slow:  The author doesn’t wish to see the electronic cigarette interfered with by the government.  They F-up EVERYTHING they touch.  Lot’s of people will walk away from traditional cigarettes using this technology.  It follows that the e-cig popularity will eventually die off.  If Big Brother starts getting its incompetent fingers into the mix, people won’t go to all the work of using these things while paying as much as they do for real smokes right now.  They’ll just keep smoking.  We have to be careful what we are encouraging.

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Toes in the Water

3 Mar 14

I have been reading The Economist quite a bit lately.  One might think with a name like that you’d find clear-eyed, conservative content; not at all.  It is a product from across the pond and is chock full of some of the most well-worn liberal drivel in print.  Last year they ran an article in which they made the case, not tongue-in-cheek, that the only thing wrong with Obama’s brilliant foreign policy programs is that they simple didn’t work.  Other than that they were remarkable.  The Economist has drunk of the global warming kool aid and gone back for seconds.  This exposure to “progressive” aspirations tarted up as journalism is not isolated.  But since the articles are well written the periodical has inspired me to a new mission.

I have decided to engage the political opposition in a blow-by-blow, ongoing discussion.  I will engage videos, satire, articles and entire publications in argument.  I will point out where they get it wrong and where they get it right.  I will be armed with my 55 years as a realist and an eye toward history.  I also invite readers from across the socio-political zoo to take me on.  You can push back on my assertions, suggest topics or lavish me with praise as you see fit.  I’ll get to as many as I can.  Early on that will be easy.  As we grow, it may become a challenge.  But we’ll make the trip together.

Look for posts to start appearing soon.