We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
“Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.
Thanks to readers for comments on the exercise diet and weight gain issue. I am digesting, as it were, the idea that I need to eat more. That will have to mean 5-6 small meals/snacks per day because I am rarely hungry despite my weigh training plus my cardio and calisthenics on "off" days.
My goals with all this, as I have mentioned, are to improve and maintain strength, agility, endurance, and energy in the face of Father Time and the dread apoptosis. While some muscle hypertrophy is inevitable and amusing, wiry strength is more what I want to pursue.
With increasing resistance, you might be able to barely gain, at most, one lb. of muscle mass per month. Doubtful, because even that is a lot unless you live in the gym or in jail. Strength, however, can be increased without much measurable muscle mass.
Cardio and calisthenics, as we have explained, build strength minimally if at all but seem good for agility, endurance, and general athleticism. In other words, worth doing as part of the triad of Resistance, Cardio, and Calisthenics.
With the help of my nutritionally-knowledgeable trainer, we have worked out a nutrition plan for the next 3 months, with the goal of gaining 2 useful lbs per month (possibly - but doubtful - 1 of muscle, and 1 of fat - can't gain one without the other unless you are already overweight) while upping my carb intake to speed exercise recovery and to increase energy. To be a good client, I will do my best with something like the below, but I will take a several weeks to work up to this much daily volume ( the "/" means "or"):
- After morning work-out, a 20- gm protein 200 cal. shake or 2 scrambled eggs with tomato and cheese - Mid-morning, a banana/handful of Greek olives/half an apple, and a small glass of whole milk (I can't drink a large glassful) - Mid-day, a slice of meat/hard-boiled egg, and an avocado/cup or so of vegetables with salt and olive oil - Mid-afternoon, peanut butter on a slice of toast/some cheese and crackers/some yogurt with berries/some cottage cheese - Supper, a couple of slices of meat or equivalent, a tater/rice/bread, a veggie or salad, maybe a little ice cream or other dessert.
We'll see whether this experiment works to gain 5-6 lbs of red meat by November. I am skeptical. If I gain in the waist, it's a no-go because my trousers fit fine now.
While we were in the Czech Republic, we had a wonderful dessert concoction known as Tredlnik. It's a doughnut-like pastry wrapped around a rotating spit, fired over charcoal, then dipped in a sugary glaze and covered with cinnamon. The inside is coated with chocolate, and you can choose a variety of fillings. Ice cream is popular, but I really liked the strawberries and whipped cream.
It's one of the least healthy but most delightful snacks I've had. If you've never seen or had it, I would best describe it as an ice cream cone, but it's softer, there's a hole in the bottom, and it's served warm (even hot) - so while ice cream works in it, you'd better eat it fast.
The lines at Prague's Tredlnik stands were always long, particularly after 11pm when the drinking crowd started showing up in force. Lines often included young men on their bachelor party, forced to wear dresses, and often being held up by their buddies. When I woke up early to visit the Charles Bridge (you really do have to wake up early if you want pictures of it without crowds), I was stunned to see the same women I'd seen the night before around midnight, firing up their Tredlnik fires and making the dough. I wasn't sure if they were just finishing up from the night before and about to be replaced by the next shift, or if they were really hardcore workers.
I recently returned from 2 weeks in Austria and the Czech Republic. We were taking a trip to Prague to see my niece compete in a Under 18 international hockey tournament. Since my sister lives with her family in Vienna, we felt the best solution was fly to Vienna, stay a few days, rent a car, drive to Prague, take in some sights. We left the boys at home to care for the dog, watch the house and earn some income before heading back to school, and jetted off to Vienna.
Upon arrival, we were told to take the CAT (City Airport Train) into Wien Mitte station, and grab a cab. Not knowing the city, this was our solution, and it paid off. Cabs are expensive, but our cab driver gave us great information about using public transport, and helped us figure out what parts of the city to see. A wonderful fellow, he was a graduate of U of Cal Santa Barbara and spoke perfect English. Gave us insight on how cabs operate, what to be careful of so we didn't get ripped off, etc. It's amazing how much information can be shared in a 15 minute cab ride. I didn't think a picture of the subway was enticing, so I'm opting for a view of the city from the high swing at the Prater (I wanted to ride the ferris wheel from The Third Man, but that took too long, so we hopped on the swing):
Because there is no evidence that education dollars correlate with schools' success. Rich schools are not the "best" schools, but kids in schools in more prosperous districts tend to perform best because kids perform best in areas where the parents tend to have their act together.
It's the kids that make a school look "good", not the school itself. Teachers want to teach but not all kids are interested in this project. For example, in my state student performance correlates almost exactly to the average town income, regardless of per pupil expenditures (which tend to be highest in "low-performing" urban schools). Thus the "best schools" are in solidly middle-to-upper-middle class, homogeneous towns with no new immigrants, no out of wedlock kids, and minimal social dysfunction.
Schools do not "perform." Kids perform, or not.
Education does not cost too much. Just ask any home-schooler, or any Charter School.
They come in many different color morphs, sometimes rings and sometimes splotches so they can be confusing.
They seem to like forest edges and will hang out in old barns, garages, and buildings. The last two I've seen in Massachusetts had been hiding under old piles of boards outside the barn abd the garage. They are mainly nocturnal hunters.
I always wonder how snakes find their mates in the Spring.
Controlled harvesting of eastern America's Diamondback Terrapin continues today. It's a wonder to me, because I know nobody who eats them. This handsome turtle of salt marshes and brackish estuaries lives from MA to Texas, but is endangered in some states.
They eat snails, small mollusks, and crustaceans like crabs and fiddler crabs that they crush with their beaks. Fish, if they can catch 'em. They only leave the water to lay eggs. They sometimes get ensnared in crab pots and drown.
Whenever we went to Chinatown when I was young, I would always bring a box and some money to buy as many of the terrapins that I could afford from the big crates full of them on the sidewalk. I think they were $5 apiece. I would release them in a couple of good salt marshes in CT. My Dad would chip in a bit for the cause.
Readers know we love our turtles at Maggie's, except we do not love Snapping Turtles. I once stepped on the back of one in a marsh, thinking it was a mossy rock. Big surprise when it moved and a long neck with an open, hissing mouth shot out. It's time I did a post on them, though, unloveable as they are.