22 August 2008

A period of wandering

Tribble appears to have been involved in precipitating the events that led to the ultimate demise of my laptop recently. I can't blame her much since it was such a piece of junk already, but in any event, posting has lagged recently at least in part because I don't have my computer right now. The no-computer problem will likely remain a problem for a couple of months at this point, barring unforeseen offers of well-compensated employment, but I will endeavor to make reasonable efforts to keep this space updated, or, barring that, to keep a record of things that should be posted on the blog because of general interest--things like photos of the work proceeding apace at the new house, for example, musings about the nature of moving, and information regarding the holy trinity of employment, continuing education, and the sale of a condo. Big news, in other words. The book reviews will have to wait and political coverage will probably be pretty limited, but the payoff will come in pictures of house renovation, which I think personally will be much more interesting.

If you are so inclined I would request your continued prayers and thoughts for us as regards the sale of this condo and the search for employment. We definitely need them.

06 August 2008


Did you know, it's hot in a house without air conditioning (or electricity of any sort) in the middle of the afternoon when it's 98 degrees outside? It is. In case you were wondering. I've been working on a few little projects, which I'm attempting to document with photography, but you'll have to wait to see them because Smittywife hasn't seen the projects yet, doesn't even know what they are (though she may suspect). So she gets to see them all first. Then I'll post. Rest assured I am staying busy, though not exactly in the way I expected when I came up here.

For no reason at all, I'm going to post a picture. It's a dam somewhere in the Western U.S. I flew over it a number of years ago on the way to Hawai'i.

05 August 2008

Live on Location

This week, Smitty's World will be coming to you on location from Anderson, South Carolina. If I remember to post, that is. I'm getting some work done on the new house to make it move-in ready, so we can get up here soon and I can get a job. Yaay, job.

Speaking of jobs, today is a grim anniversary indeed for Americans. On this date in 1861, the United States government, in an effort to pay for the Civil War, first instituted an income tax. Boo! Hiss! The tax was to total 3% of all income over $600. My how inflation has changed us, huh; in 1861 $600 would buy you a quarter section in the Midwest, a house from the Sears catalog to put on it, and enough seed to plant your first crop of corn.

The tax was rescinded in 1872, although Congress passed and rescinded various income taxes several times before the Supreme Court, God bless them, determined that an income tax was unconstitutional in an 1895 case. This led to the wretched and unspeakable 16th Amendment, passed in 1913, authorizing Congress to levy a tax on incomes "from whatever source derived."

I've always wondered whether money launderers and other criminals who, of course, never report the proceeds of their crimes to the government, might not be prosecuted and punished for tax evasion in addition to whatever property crime they may have committed.

03 August 2008

An August 3 Celebration

Let's see. About, oh, 516 years ago today, a fellow by the name of Cristoforo Colombu (or Christopher Columbus to us Anglophones) departed Portugal on his first voyage to what would turn out to be the Americas. Not that he was the first person to site the Americas, nor even the first European to do so, nor even did he realize he'd landed someplace that was not actually Asia. But he was indeed the first European to deliberately sail west from Europe with the goal of bumping into land and actually succeed at doing so, and he initiated modern trans-Atlantic travel. Think of it as an advance Columbus Day, and celebrate it however you would like. Why not look at some old maps for a while?

01 August 2008


Hi there. Sorry about the loss of the daily updates for the last few days. Smittyworld has been undergoing a lot of deep thought and potential changes and things like that, and I don't always feel comfortable talking about financial and employment issues here, at least not right now. It's more a thing Smittywife and I talk about. And I don't have any other deep thoughts right now; the sort of life changes we're pondering have a way of pushing most other issues to the side. I'd get back on the daily celebrations, I really would, but I'm going to be heading to South Carolina next week and probably won't be posting every day anyway. I have a great one for the 14th of August, so I should write a few more. And if anything really exciting happens I promise I'll post about that.
Of course, the whole point of the daily celebrations, really, was to give me something to post while my emotional status was otherwise too occupied to warrant meaningful posts of any other sort. So I should really get back to them for the time being.
So... August 1st. Let's see. Well, this is the 8th month of the year. Halloween is starting to mingle with back-to-school in the stores, and the craft store we favor (Jo-Ann etc) is already chock-a-block with Christmas. I don't want to celebrate the too-early celebration of holidays, though.

But how about this. Today marks the anniversary of the opening of the very first Scout Camp, held the week of August 1, 1907, on Brownsea Island in England by Sir Robert Baden-Powell. Baden-Powell was a military scout for much of his career, and published some of the first books on Scouting as a profession, as well as Scouting for Boys, the book that started the youth Scouting movement. The camp that opened on August 1st is now recognized by all worldwide Scouting organizations (including the Boy Scouts of America, the organization that granted Smitty the rank of Eagle Scout) as the true beginning of the youth Scouting movement. That's worth celebrating; Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are great organizations, and both Smittys were a part of their respective Scouting group. We hope to have our kids involved in Scouting some day, too. When there are kids. Which won't be for a while.

Today is also the birthday of the Jeep; the first one rolled off production lines on August 1st, 1941. I think the best drink to celebrate the Jeep would be a Mudslide.