Crazy, awful year.
5 deaths, 3 of family members and 2 of friends (update, 2 more friends I just heard about this week). Dealing with an elderly relative who appears to be losing his mind. Renovated the house in 6 months and then sold it in a day (but still dealing with the fallout from a completely incompetent escrow company). Moved to an apartment downtown. Business is booming, new clients every month.
Living downtown is great. The pluses and minuses:
+ The food is awesome
- I'll be 300 lbs. by this time next year
+ No commuting, therefore rarely have to deal with traffic
+ Virtually anything you can imagine is available within 10 blocks of here
- No garden
+ No weekend chores
- No view of the lake, but
+ Fantastic view of the City, Elliot Bay and the Olympic mountains
+ Got rid of tons of "stuff"
- Still have more to get rid of
+ Finally got a stereo I really like, Marantz SR6008 Receiver, B&W Matrix 805 speakers, Velodyne SPL1000 II subwoofer. Clean, simple and accurate, and incredibly inexpensive (seriously, if you're thinking of getting stereo equipment check out craigslist, incredible equipment mostly dirt cheap). Haven't hooked up my old Thorens turntable yet, that's next on the list so I can digitize my album collection.
. . . . .
Also, a few other thoughts:
- It never ceases to amaze how people plan for months to shut down the government then get annoyed when the government actually is shut down.
- Related to that point, why would a party assume that their political opponents would agree on what constitutes essential government services?
- The Tea Partiers are just entering the "eating their own young" phase, where strident rock ribbed conservatives from 2 years ago are now "squishes".
- People complaining about the Obamacare rollout have obviously forgotten the rollout of Medicare Part D and also have never dealt with any company on the internet, ever. They also have forgotten how annual increases in medical insurance rates and policy cancellations have been going on for the past 30 years.
- My current (crappy) medical insurance plan is being discontinued on 12/31, but according to the Washington Obamacare website I'll be able to get better coverage for $600 less per month. Despite what you may hear on the news, my story is a lot more common than the lies Republicans are spreading. It also means that I don't have to worry about the whims of insurance companies when it comes to insuring my family until age 65.
- I'm now convinced that I'll be hearing lies about Benghazi for the rest of my adult life.
- The Seahawks are doing quite well this year, although it's funny that I still have the same concerns as I did at the beginning of last season - is the OL good enough to win in the post season?
. . . . .
Finally, I suppose I should talk about why I haven't posted here in a while. Simply put, I think that this site and the idea behind it has failed. I don't believe it is possible for liberals and conservatives to discuss issues, because US conservatism has gone so far off the rails and has such such atavistic beliefs that conversation, let alone persuasion, is impossible or difficult to the point that it's not enjoyable. It's simply a waste of everyone's time, and the old quote about wrestling a pig comes to mind.
So the question I haven't answered is what to do about it. Artificially restricting conversation is out, for both philosophical and practical reasons. We do have a community of sorts, forged by years of participation. The question is, what is it good for?