Wednesday, September 5

I’ve always wanted to be good at lots of things. Actually, that’s not quite true: I’ve always thought that serious people are good at lots of things. I blame some of this on Robert Heinlein, and more of it on my parents.1 The conceptual model of useful I inherited from them is, it turns out, well above the American cultural median.

Handle livestock, grow a garden, plant a field, build most of your own furniture, fix the plumbing, weld, sew, knit, quilt, turn wood, run a combine, drive a truck, cut down a tree, back a trailer, split a log, start a fire, cook, bake, can, do your taxes, make paper, shoot, lay tile, pour concrete, build a barn, fix the roof, dig a posthole, build fence, change a tire, teach, sing,

(false start, but I’ll come back to this)

1. Of course, this is circular - my dad is responsible for buying all those novels in the first place. And in another life, one with more rockets and polygamy, I suspect he might have been a Heinlein character himself.

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