The Covenant of Unanimous Consent

A New Covenant by L. Neil Smith

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED Witnesses to the Lesson of History -- that no Form of political Governance may be relied upon to secure the Individual Rights of Life, Liberty, or Property -- now therefore establish and provide certain fundamental Precepts measuring our Conduct toward one another, and toward others:

Individual Sovereignty

FIRST, that we shall henceforward recognize each individual to be the exclusive Proprietor of his or her own Existence and all of the products of that Existence, holding no Obligation binding among Individuals excepting those to which they voluntarily and explicitly consent;

Freedom from Coercion

SECOND, that under no Circumstances shall we acknowledge any Liberty to initiate force against another Person, and shall instead defend the inalienable Right of Individuals to resist Coercion employing whatever Means prove necessary in their Judgement;

Association and Secession

THIRD, that we shall hold inviolable those Relationships among Individuals which are totally voluntary, but conversely, any Relationship not thus mutually agreeable shall be considered empty and invalid;

Individuality of Rights

FOURTH, that we shall regard Rights to be neither collective nor additive in Character -- two individuals shall have no more Rights than one, nor shall two million nor two thousand million -- nor shall any Group possess Rights in Excess of those belonging to its individual members;

Equality of Liberty

FIFTH, that we shall maintain these Principles without Respect to any person's Race, Nationality, Gender, sexual Preference, Age, or System of Beliefs, and hold that any Entity or Association, however constituted, acting to contravene them by initiation of Farce -- or Threat of same -- shall have forfeited its Right to exist;


UPON UNANIMOUS CONSENT of the Members or Inhabitants of any Association or Territory, we further stipulate that this Agreement shall supercede all existing governmental Documents or Usages then pertinent, that such Constitutions, Charters, Acts, Laws, Statutes, Regulations, or Ordinances contradictory or destructive to the Ends which it expresses shall be null and void, and that this Covenant, being the Property of its Author and Signatories, shall not be Subject to Interpretation excepting insofar as it shall please them.

Signed by Evenstar on October 3, 2008.


Web Sites and Weight Loss

So, I've been exploring weight loss support sites, and decided that while FatSecret is a nice web site, it seems a little rough around the edges. I've recently discovered another site, SparkPeople (sign up here if you're interested), which has similar features to FatSecret but excels in two main areas. First, it allows me to record measurements as well as weight. Second, its users seem to be much more supportive.

So, if my weight loss tracker seems stagnant (or disappears) it's because I'm not using FatSecret to track my weight anymare. SparkPeople also has a weight loss tracker, but it seems to be generated in such a way that I can't easily link to it. If that changes, I'll put the link up here.


Busy, Busy

So, today we're working on moving everything. Thankfully it's only a 12 minute drive from our current residence to our new one, so nothing spectacular is needed. Also, though we need the bulk of the move done before the 16th (that's when the electricity gets turned off, and no sense paying them if we're moving and going bankrupt anyway), we probably don't have to be 100 percent done by that point. Unfortunately, this is the only day prior to the 16th that Rich has off work, so it's really pretty much today or bust, but not quite.

Amid all of this, I'm still trying to eat as well as I can so as to not lose ground on the weight loss thing.


Changes, Changes

Well, our financial situation just reached up and bit us on the ass. Our landlord has tired of being gracious and has told us we really need to pay up or ship out. Of course, if we could afford to pay up we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.

So, we're moving back into my mother's house. Not ideal, but the financial picture shouldn't change much and it's only temporary until we can pull together the money for the trip to New Hampshire.

Will be BUSY moving everything tomorrow.


More Posts?

I am going to attempt once again to get a bit more consistent about posting on here. Ideally, I'd like to post once a day with some little tidbit about myself, my thinking, and/or my family. We'll see how well this goes. :)


Weight Loss Countdown

I just did some quick figuring. Assuming that the little weight loss progress bar on fat secret (see it at the bottom of this post) changes colors exactly "on time," this is what I can expect.

Red Bar (Start): 279.00lbs
Orange Bar (1/4 Lost): 241.75lbs
Yellow Bar (1/2 Lost): 204.50lbs
Green Bar (3/4 Lost): 167.25lbs
Blue Bar (GOAL): 130.00lbs

Broken down further into more reachable goals (about 10 pounds each):

Start weight: 279
15 - 270lbs
14 - 261lbs
13 - 252lbs
12 - 242lbs (orange)
11 - 233lbs
10 - 224lbs
09 - 215lbs
08 - 205lbs (yellow)
07 - 196lbs
06 - 186lbs
05 - 177lbs
04 - 167lbs (green)
03 - 158lbs
02 - 149lbs
01 - 140lbs
00 - 130lbs (GOAL... blastoff to healthy living!)

At best, I can expect to lose 10 pounds a month. But that means 16 months to reach my goal. In 16 months of consistency and effort, I could be at my correct body weight.

So, I'm now on a countdown to my ideal weight. Hopefully I'll be able to count down a number each month. At the moment I'm very close to being able to count down to 14 (263.1 as of today)... in a little more than a year I could be at my goal weight! Now, I gotta keep that in mind when I get discouraged...


Another Try at Remaking Myself

So, as happens so often, it's time for me to try to get my life back in order. It's something I've tried over and over again, but so far have been unsuccessful at making it "stick." But I'm trying again and we'll see if I can make it work this time.


I am obese. I am not happy with the way this makes me feel. I don't like the fact that everything takes so much effort. I don't like the fact that I don't have the endurance I ought to. So, I'm working on it. According to height/weight charts, I should be at about 130lbs. So, I'm setting that as a goal and am working on making it happen. I didn't get this extra weight overnight, so I don't expect to lose it overnight. I expect it will take a lot of time and attention. But I am going to make it happen!


For reasons already mentioned in my "New Hampshire Dreaming" post, I need to find a way to make my work more profitable. I work from home doing legal transcription. This is both a good and bad job for me.

It's good, because I'm good at typing, I can set my own hours, I can stay home with Tre, I can make just about as much money as I want.

It's bad, because it uses 90 percent of my body and 10 percent of my brain. I find myself getting distracted constantly. Even worse, for some reason my body doesn't handle boredom well. When I get bored, I fall asleep. It doesn't matter how much sleep I've got. I don't have to be tired at all, in fact. If I'm bored, I fall asleep. So, I end up trying to balance a tightwire between boredom (falling asleep) and distraction while I try to work.

If only I could do something else while I was typing, something that used the parts of my body not used by the typing... but I have been unable, thus far to find that something. My typing requires one foot (to work the pedal which controls the start and stop of the audio), my ears (to hear the audio), my hands (to type what I hear), and my body (to be in front of my computer where this all happens). But I can (and have, in the past) do this work in my sleep.


I'm also, at the same time, trying to improve the standards of housework in our house. I have not been able to keep things up to the standard I would prefer in our house. I've been so overwhelmed with everything else that's going on, that I just haven't been doing good at anything. But enough is enough. We're going to be here for almost another year, and I've got to find a way to make this place livable for that duration.

From the moment we moved in here, it has always been meant to be a temporary situation. We never planned to stay here this long. So, in some ways, we've never really made it a home. Now we really have to do that. We can't (or at least I can't) continue living the way we've been living. So, add that to my list of things to work on.


I have discovered over our years together that I have a much larger need for social interaction than my husband does. Unfortunately, this means that I tend to not get my need for social interaction met. It's up to me to fix that. I have people nearby that I could spend time with. I could save some money and visit the people I know who live further away. I could meet this need without my husband. But I've got to stop waiting for New Hampshire. Yes, I expect it will be easier there, because there are already social situations there that I could just "plug into" to a major extent. But similar situations exist here, I've just got to find them.


I've got a lot of work cut out for myself. And even if I accomplish all this, it will just be a beginning. I've got big plans for myself. It's time to stop living in the future and start making changes today. That way, when the future comes, I'll be ready to make the most of it!

New Hampshire Dreaming

So, as you may be aware, we're trying to find a way to get to New Hampshire. (See this website if you want to know the biggest reason why). My husband is FINALLY fully behind me on the idea (he's a teddy bear who loves the colder climates), but we face quite a few challenges before we'll finally make it there.

To start with, we've both come down in the world from the economic starts we had. He was raised upper middle class (with the emphasis on upper). I was raised upper middle class (with the emphasis on middle). When we were first dating and early in our marriage we were DINKs (dual income, no kids) and lived the life. We were eating out at "sit-down" restaurants (of the Applebees, Olive Garden, and Outback ilk) at least three nights a week, sometimes more. We ordered our groceries on the internet and had them delivered to our door (which actually saved us money on the impulse buying we regularly did when actually at grocery stores). We were living in a condo in Montgomery Country, Maryland and doing okay financially.

Then things fell apart. We both lost our jobs fairly close in time frame to each other and have never had jobs that payed as well since. We followed a dream of helping to run a family business, which never came together for a wide variety of reasons. Now we find ourselves living in a trailer park in southern Virginia just barely able to rob Peter to pay Paul and keep the ends together. Our credit is as low as it can go, and we don't have any savings.

But we really want to make it to New Hampshire. So, we're starting to plan, hope, and scheme. If we can manage to save at least $500 a month and work on rebuilding our credit rating, we can probably make the move to New Hampshire in 9 to 12 months. That seems forever away from where I'm sitting, but when I look back it seems only yesterday we were worrying about the whole Y2K bug. So, I've got to find a way to not only keep doing what I've just barely been doing, but up the pace considerably. But if it gets us to New Hampshire, it's worth it.


For the last few months, my son has been playing with language. It's fascinating to watch, because this didn't start until after he had a pretty good grasp on functional English. What he does is makes up new words (that sound very similar, and he goes through phases on the words... first words that sound like "lee-low" now words that sound like "bingo"). After he's used his imaginary words he tells me, "That means..." and goes on to give them a new definition each time (even with the same exact words). The most common definition of just about everything is, "I love you", which is sweet.

Initially when he started playing with these made up words, he called the Spanish. I just happen to speak some Spanish (though I don't use it much, I was pretty much fluent back in the early 90s). So, I've told him that Spanish is a different language and if he wants to he can learn it, but that the words he was using were a different language, and he really ought to call it something else.

I enjoy watching this process and will try to occassionally update as he continues to grow in this and other areas.



I found a site I wanted to share with everyone. This site is: BookCrossing.com. It's been around for a while, but I just stumbled across it for the first time today. It basically lets you put a label on your books (with an individualized tracking number) and "release" them by handing them to a friend or leaving them somewhere they're likely to be found and enjoyed. Found books may be lucky enough to get a journal entry to record their travels so that the path the book takes can be enjoyed by the original sender and subsequent finders.

Also, as a part of this idea, there are fairly regular book exchanges done as "book rings" or "book rays" where the books are passed from one person to another. (Ring books end up back at home, rays do not.) Though this is not the primary purpose of the site, it is certainly a fairly obvious modification of the original idea and happens pretty frequently from what I can tell.

Please visit by clicking this link and see what you think. If you choose to sign up, my referral name is "Evenstar75." I get nothing out of it but credit for having referred people (so don't feel pressured by the referral thing). I just think it's a very nice idea of a way to pass along the books that you no longer want.


Imaginary Friends

So, my son was telling me last night about his imaginary friends. He apparently has two imaginary friends. Luke Skywalker and WS. We spoke mostly about WS, because this was the first I've heard him talk about him. (He loves Luke Skywalker from the original Star Wars movies and the Lego Star Wars games that he enjoys playing.)

WS is a boy with short brown hair and brown eyes. He sometimes stays at our house, sometimes at other houses, and sometimes lives in the trees. (We had this talk while driving, so the trees might have been added simply because they were part of the scenery.) He said that they shared their food (he shared his food with WX and WX shared his with Tre as well). He told me that sometimes WS's food was good and sometimes it was yucky.

Anyway, it may be a very passing thing, but I wanted to make notes so that he would remember as he grows up... if I had imaginary friends growing up, I don't remember anything about them. And in that respect, I'll continue to add more detail as I hear more about him.


Pretty, Pretty

So, I've been futzing with layouts on various sites. And I've decided that this is really the way I want just about everything to look. I love the colors, love the fonts, love the simplicity.

The tan and blue combination is very attractive to me. I tried going primarily blue, but that's just overwhelming. With tan as the primary, the focus actually ends up being more on the blue. I kept black and white for readability of key portions. The limited number of colors keeps things simple, which I find attractive in and of itself.

The primary font I'm using is "Comic Sans," one that I believe comes default on Microsoft systems. (It should revert to Arial if you don't have Comic Sans.) Comic Sans is a fairly neat print font. The page title font, you'll probably see as Comic Sans as well. That's not the way I'd prefer it, but most people don't have the "ShelleyVolante" font (my first choice) on their computer. Shelley Volante is a gorgeous script font with very fine lines. I think of it as very beautiful, neat cursive writing. Both ShelleyVolante and Comic Sans seem somewhat like handwriting to me, and therefore seem a bit more personal than most other fonts I've come across.

If you're interested in trying to get Shelley Volante (or my slight modification of it, Shelley Evenstar), please send me a note and I'll see what I can do.


Fat Secret

So, I'm going to try something a bit different with my attempt to control my weight. I've just joined a free community that lets me track my weight loss progress and interact with others on the same or similar paths. Anyway, to that end, I'll be adding the following tracking bar somewhere on my blog. It will keep everyone informed as to my progress and be a subtle push for me to stay on track.