Springtime in the Rockies. We opened our windows today for the first time this year. It was about 65°F out both yesterday and today, though there’s still snow and ice about in the shaded spots. The weather gods tell us to expect above average precipitation for the next couple of months. It matters not at all to us; we’ve no reason to fear flooding, mudslides, sub-foundation erosion, et cetera. I’ll just have to break down and replace my feedlot boots so that I can take the brush cutter to the grass without ruining my jeans. No problem.
I think I’ve mentioned before that the Orange Loser’s tariffs beat the shit out my business last year. Of course: that pathetic loser’s posing is costing We The Consumers $1.4B/month and somebody’s losing it. This is the shit that happens when you put a guy who’s famous for losing other people’s money into the Offal Orifice. But then, it’s only seventy bucks per person…
… I got hit for about four hundred times that, personally. Double-plus ungood. But, somehow, the major client who was also stomped by poser-boy recently decided that it was time to buy some cool new custom software rather than allow the deferred upgrades list to grow interminably.
I deployed a new piece of my bitchin-ass software system this evening and fired off a message to my contact at the client company to let him know that it’s out there and has so far left neither craters nor corpses. I wasn’t expecting a response, as it was around nine o’clock in his home timezone, but he responded with an upgrade request that adds substantial features to the last seven modules I’ve deployed and the next handful in the queue. Then he told me that the stuff I’ve been adding is “gaining admirers” and that I’m a hero who was until now unaware of it. That felt good. I like knowing that my work is appreciated.
I suppose it means more to me now than it used to because (a) the last year was unsavory, and (b) I’m feelin’ alright without the former chronic back pain, without the free disease I got from the ER, and with my whiplash healing nicely — it’s mostly not waking me any more, and my usual abnormal sleep cycle seems to have resumed, at last. Arrhythmic sleep is such a pain in the ass. The whiplash pain threw me into a non-24 (hour) cycle, which sucked all by itself and caused me to fear another month-long insomnia. But the insomnia didn’t come, so phew and stuff.
We finally found our way into the boutique shop of a friendly acquaintance who’s retailing mostly boho (boho as we older folks know it) clothing in an out of the way place on the edge of downtown. She and her husband have been whacked by all manner of misfortune since I’ve known them and, we just found out, they’ve taken much the same humble tack that we have to cope with the collapsing economy. A little different, but much the same. They’re both self-employed and nervous, but living lower is a comfort these days to folks who’ve tasted reality. As she put it, “I’ve been way, way up, a couple of times, but lost it all. Furniture, everything.”
It ain’t you, sister. It never matters that it’s not your fault when it’s your turn.
Amethyst has decided that she’s going to do her part to keep the woman’s little boutique alive. Dinkytown has never had a place that sold “Amethyst clothes” (what she calls “hippie/gypsy/boho” when asked to describe her taste), and she’s been deferring necessary clothing replacement since the loser’s tariffs kicked my ass, so the happy turn in my business is timed nicely. One who is about as close to a friend as we’re going to get in Dinkytown can use (and as far as I’m concerned, deserves) the income and we’ve got a smidgen to contribute so, as they say, fuckin’ A.
Also, Amethyst’s jewelry may be placed in our nearly-a-friend’s boutique now that the other boutique no longer requires an exclusive territory. It’s a better location for us. The proprietor of the new place understands the local market better — she’s not trying to educate anyone’s taste, and offers only what she can that’s of good quality and within her market’s price range. Amethyst’s jewelry is a better fit to the store’s line, too. It’d be nice to see her stuff moving a bit more briskly. She, too, likes the feeling of her work being appreciated. And ya know, if you do productive work that you enjoy and people actually appreciate it, these days, you’re in a small but happy minority.
I know few any more whose direct work produces tangible, durable products. Living in Dinkytown probably has a lot to do with that — the only durable thing produced around here is leather that the meat is still using. But most of the folks I used to know who made stuff aren’t in the making stuff business any more. A lot of them are doing things that are about to be automated away; the software I’m going to write tomorrow would have been a managerial job.
The stuff I’ve recently written would have been a department with a staff of clerical and data entry people, a manager, and supervisor, once upon a time. No company can afford to hire those folks these days, and if we had a system that worked properly that would be preferable. My work doesn’t automate people out of jobs but, in a system that works properly, doing so would be a good thing. “Properly” being one that recognizes that humanity has a moral obligation to feed, clothe, house, et cetera, people. All of ’em, ‘cuz we is us. The human population keeps on increasing while the need of human labor keeps on decreasing, and we’re well past the crossover point beyond which tying the necessaries of life to expenditure of labor is immoral: we are causing suffering and death by it.
The availability of actual resources here in the US is not a problem — there are more vacant homes than homeless people, food is so abundant that something like forty percent of it is discarded, massive quantities of finished clothing are recycled without ever even being distributed, and so on. The stuff exists, but we pride ourselves on knowing how to decide who doesn’t get any. And who’s entitled to too much.
Looks to me like the orange loser poser-boy Trump doesn’t want to get re-elected any more than he wanted to be elected the first time. More and more folks are noticing that they’re not in line to get $130,000 to keep quiet about being fucked by that fat monkey. I wonder which hand the Democrats are going to use to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory this time. With very sound majorities of the electorate so clearly in favor of progressive action, the only way to lose is to not listen to them. But it says something about those putzes that it’s long been a truism that low voter turnout favors the Republicans: the Democrats would rather lose than represent their constituency. So I’ve no idea what to think about the growing brouhaha, except that if the Democrats fail to listen to their constituency (the vast majority who support progressive action) this time around, things may get ugly fast. Unsurprisingly, if so: mass movements are a pretty well understood phenomenon. And we don’t seem capable of producing (the mythical versions of) Abraham Lincolns at the rate we need them.
There never seems to be that caliber of hero around when you need one. Oh well.
But we know a chick with a boutique, and the precipitation outlook is generally good for those who drink our bathwater, so that’s cool.