It’s amazing what triggers my thoughts

This morning I was working away on a book, based on the pictorial exhibition of the life of a political activist who believed in Communism.

The thought that followed was not a new one: any political system like communism, that are based on utopian socialistic ideals, is bound to fail in the real world.

Why? Because people are people, and far too many of them lie, cheat, and steal. Any political system that depends on people always doing what’s right, what’s best for all, etc. simply will not work.

Of course, that led me to the question: am I a cynic?

The answer is: yes and no. I am a cynic about groups of people, and optimistic about individuals.

Of course, within the next day or so, I read a blog comment that talked about assumptions about socialism. And it made a valid point — do I really know what I’m talking about?

The answer is, not really.

Too many people here in America don’t know enough about political theory and ideas to make truly informed judgments. Even the people in charge don’t know that much either.

But I’m not one who can rest easy with a lack of knowledge. I promptly checked out a book from the library on the history of socialism. Maybe I can figure out what it really means. And maybe I can figure out what I think government is really for. (I may be more of a Libertarian than I think.)

Alternate worlds

I read a lot. I’ve been called a bookworm with perfect truth every since I really discovered books back in elementary school. Even my career is based on books. And I do love it!

One of the book series that I’ve been enjoying a great deal in recent years is the 1632 series by Eric Flint, et al. And I think the most interesting thing about it is that he is so open about adding other people in as authors. The only novel that is exclusively his is the very first. All the other full-length stories are him and someone else, plus there is a large number of contributors in the short stories.

It’s just plain fascinating.

Since I like history as well, it is very interesting to read something that informs you so much about the history of that time period. Obviously the events that happen in the stories are not true, but the background is, and it is completely interesting to someone like me.

If you are at all interesting in the what-if’s of history, and like fiction, then I would highly recommend this series to you.

But really what is most remarkable about his series is that it has led to a significant purchase of ebooks. I got so impatient to read the Grantville Gazette series that I just had to buy the first ten, since it would take forever to wait for them to be published in paper. I’ve only done something like that once before.

I must remember the lesson I learned from before, and make sure to back up my copy of those ebooks.

What spinning has continued?

Been busy, I must say.

The most recent batch of spinning has been in the nature of sampling. I had 8 oz. of Border Leicester wool. I did half of it very thinly and the second half somewhat more thickly. I’m still deciding how I want to ply them.

I wasn’t precisely pleased with the prep. I felt it could have been better combed. Instead it felt like it had been carded and as a result I couldn’t achieve a decent worsted spin. The question is, of course, is that the result of the breed or of the preparation only. It was certainly long-stapled enough that it could have been combed.

I’ll try to add pictures later.

Right now, I’ve got a lovely 8 oz. of alpaca roving. It’s the fleece of an adult, with a mix of brown, black, and white in the colors. The fleece wants to be spun fine, so I am obliging it. I think I’ll try to do some chain-plying when it’s done. (There’s 8 oz. of alpaca fawn fleece waiting after that, and I must say I want to get my hands on it.)

Sudden urge to say something

I haven’t been writing much recently (obviously), because I haven’t had anything to say much. Not that things haven’t been happening, but I haven’t had an urge to let words out. But sometimes you read something, and suddenly the urge is there.

So, I read something that stimulated my thoughts: living without a refrigerator. I find this to be a fascinating idea, although I would be more inclined to work with a SMALL refrigerator.

However, I’m not sure how well it would work with a city lifestyle. Partly, of course, it is the convenience factor that Greenpa mentions. But it’s not just convenience, too. It’s cost, and, well, choices. What things do you think are important? If, for example, you have a young family, having that ready and quick source of milk may be very important to you, if you think that milk is good for the health of the young one.

But even more than that, the idea of shopping EVERY DAY to pick up those things that have to be refrigerated is abhorrent to me. I try to avoid going to the store too often — and gas costs just make that urge stronger. That urge is due to the desire to avoid spending money and a simple lack of time. Because of the lifestyle that exists in so many cities, where commutes are long, the actual time that would need to be spent going shopping every day is extreme.

Now, I do think that working with a small refrigerator is more possible than many might think, because the large refrigerator is a matter of convenience, and a reflection of the overly busy lifestyle that many have chosen. And while that is certainly their choice, I do not necessarily think it is a good one. But I would add that before small or no refrigeration in the home could be implemented by the majority of people safely and functionally, a lot of education needs to happen. Because people no longer KNOW what’s safe for food. Like the people who put oil in the refrigerator when it’s really not necessary, a lot of people are clueless about what is actually dangerous and what is just convenience and what is frugality in action.

I will interestedly reading more of the posts on that blog and other places to find out how less or no refrigeration in the home could work. And I am definitely looking for some way to get solar power into my home without breaking the budget or having to do all the work myself (just not an area that I feel the need to maintain myself, thanks very much).