Splendid post today by Ann Althouse on why she has her weblog. I'm so pleased with it, in fact, that I wish to make the following JFW proclamation: for the next week, I will be referring to the Control key on my keyboard as the "Ann" key and the Delete key as the "House" key, just so I can commemorate Ann each time I log in or reboot. Sadly, Ann is a Mac user, and so is likely unable to appreciate the magnitude of this honor. I suppose I can also honor her by having an alliterative post title, as she champions those.
Meanwhile, other weblogs have offered kudos to this post in a blog I don't normally read about writing and Shop-Vacs. One of my most pleased-with-myself-moments-ever happened when a friend who was short on cash had their basement flood and was trying to attack it with a combination of mops and sponges and paper towels. I did help them with this quixotic chore for awhile, but then, and far-FAR more effectively, I went out and bought them a Shop-Vac. This specific occasion inspired a personal maxim which has since been applicable to other instances: it is always great to help out friends with burdensome tasks, but it's even better--and usually well worth the expense--if you can just give them some Right Tool For The Job that will just eliminate the burdensomeness of the task for everyone, entirely, always. It's the consumer-technology equivalent of that old saying about how if you give a person a fish you feed them for a day but if you teach them how to fish they'll be able to swiftly purge their basements of any marine life forever.
Actually, it also inspired a second maxim: life is too short for anybody to own a floodable basement and not have a Shop-Vac. Especially since they're handy in so many other circumstances as well.