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.
A cup of seawater contains 100 million cells, which are preyed upon by billions of viruses. Fifty million tons of fungal spores are released into the atmosphere every year. And the human gut is home to somewhere between 500 and 1,000 species of bacteria. The more we learn about microbial biodiversity, the clearer it becomes that the vast majority of life has long gone unseen, and unobserved. The flowering of microbial science is revolutionizing biology and medicine in ways unimagined only a few years ago, and is inspiring a new view of what it means to be alive...
Good explanation about how regular people get screwed by the global elites. Rebel. Much smarter than reporters, and far more successful too. I enjoy the ways he calls out the NBC/Euronews reporter whenever needed.
My father-in-law said of the guy, "He's beginning to show his age." And so is Bush 41. There are many remarkable life stories out there that inspire awe in us regular folk with low-risk and low-drama lives.
Aggressive online virtue signaling is a fundamentally two-dimensional act. It has no human depth. It’s only when we snap out of it, see the world as it really is, and people as they really are, that we appreciate the destruction and human suffering we caused when we were trapped inside.
Men, and some women, love these activities. I do not mean lawn-mowing, I mean meadow maintenance without grazing animals on the land. Yeah, ideally you want cattle. Have you even found a pile of snake eggs beneath a cow pie? I did, once.
In New England, we have become so accustomed to the pastoral sight of meadows and fields that we forget that they are not natural. These were created out of the wilderness with tremendous effort for grazing and farming. Neglect them for 5 years, and they will be beyond repair because nature wants them to become woodland again.
At the farm, we have had meadows suitable for haying or grazing, areas that require annual brushwacking (because more brush than grasses in those areas), and steeps that need scything or something similar.
These sorts of land maintenance are deeply satisfying and, with machines, deeply relaxing with a cold beer or three. No lifting, work gets done. Somebody observed that open field maintenance is like running one's hand over the curves of one's beloved.
Haying for real hay is tricky. Timing is everything. Around here, July for commercial haying. You need the hay to go to seed, and then you need to let it dry after cut before the baler. No rain. Stored wet hay can spontaneously combust in storage, or, at least, turn moldy. You know that already.
With the dairy business moving out of New England, and horses fewer and fewer, we had no market for hay. We switched to conservation mode which is a non-economic mode.
The non-economic conservation mode for open-space maintenance is based on the idea that meadow critters (meadow-nesting birds, rodents, snakes, etc) are pretty much done by late July. However, many wildflowers are at their best in July and August and the bugs and butterflies rely on them.
We recommend mowing/brushwacking non-commercial, ungrazed meadows once per year in early September or late August. Let the mowings lie. They will mostly disintegrate by April.
If you like walking paths, keep them mowed like lawns, about 8' wide paths so you can stroll around your grounds with a coffee or whisky and ceegar without getting soaked with dew or infested with ticks while bird-watching.
We had a wet meadow in a flood plain along our trout stream (with trout pool for swimming) where the grasses and sedges grew so thick that once/year was not manageable. We had to brushwack that 5 acres patch twice/year or the machine could not handle the density of the lush growth. I was sadly aware, though, that the wetland meadow critters (Wood Turtles, Leopard Frogs, snakes, toads, etc) did not appreciate that at all and I felt bad about damaging that habitat and sometimes killing them. I wonder if it might have been left well-enough alone, but it's just what we always did.
And if you are out there in your gardens, now is a good time, and the last chance, to shear back the late summer and fall-blooming perennials that you don't want to grow too tall and scraggly, eg Asters, Daisies, and Seaside Daisies.
It's been a cold Spring in New England. Tomato plants aren't growing vigorously. New England is marginal for tomato compared to New Jersey or South Carolina, but home-growns are so tasty that we persist anyway. We really only get a crop in July-Sept while in south Jersey they can be harvesting garden tomatoes June-October. Unless you have a greenhouse. Some days, like today, I wish I had one. But naw, not really. Who wants the hassle?
Heard my first cicadas of the summer yesterday - just a few, and just for about an hour or two, but these are probably early risers - first emergers from the soil, practicing playing their instruments. Maybe this will be a good year for them.
It means that in a few days we will be hearing the remarkably loud raspy buzzing from the tree-tops on every hot sunny day - the characteristic sound of high summer in New England, until replaced by the more refined Katydid's evening song as late summer comes.
We have both 13-year and 17-year cicadas - that's how long the two species live as larvae underground, sucking on tree roots, before they emerge to mate, breed, and die.
Their life is a metaphor.
Cicadas are edible, but I don't know anyone who eats them regularly except birds who have great sport chasing them when they fly from tree to tree. We often find their empty exoskelatons attached to tree trunks - as they grow, they crawl out of their old coat.
The article begins by discussing the transformation of NYC's Fresh Kills landfill (dump) back to a sort-of natural wetland. However, the author takes the opportunity to discuss modern ecological theory.
No reason not to set high, but realistic and not grandiose goals in fitness as in everything else.The ideal goal is just to be better than you were 2 weeks ago, whether in strength, agility, cardio endurance or cardio intensity. Or body weight adjustment. But it's difficult for humans not to set specific goals in life to which to aspire.
As I have confessed, I am a small-boned (now 5'11", once 6', 165 lb) late-middle aged guy who imagines he is still 25, without the genes for a mighty physique, with the genes for a dad bod - ie sloppy gut tendency effectively-resisted, but blessed with the genes or temperament for perseverance. I'll share my fitness goals for the next 5-6 months:
- Dead around 275-300 one rep - Run a 7 minute mile (that's about 8.5 mph) - Squat 200 one rep - 10 pullups or chin ups - 50 pushups non-stop - no bench press goals, just reps, due to bum shoulder - Lose another 4 lbs of fat and gain 2 lbs of muscle (my trainer can tell by looking). Like to get to 15% body fat, but beer. - Survive the most challenging cardio/athletic class at my gym without taking any 45-60 second breaks - Getting hit on more often by young blonde chicks in the gym Mrs. BD
For some, those might be modest goals, but not for me.
It's meadow mowing season in New England. Haying season too.
There was never a sound beside the wood but one, And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground. What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself; Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun, Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound-- And that was why it whispered and did not speak. It was no dream of the gift of idle hours, Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf: Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows, Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers (Pale orchises), and scared a bright green snake. The fact is the sweetest dream that labour knows. My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.
When you take a walk on the High Line, at the northern end you can watch the construction of what is, in effect, a new city in itself. It's a sight to behold, a boom town. It will even have its own schools, parks, everything.
Will the 60,000 new apartments lower Manhattan rents? I'd guess no. And Brooklyn is a boom town too. However you may feel about NYC, a lot of people want to live there and I don't blame them because it's a high-energy place.
They still got a few shots in, because they do have their sheep to tend to. But at least on the main point, they admit he not only is doing what Obama tried to do, but also signed an agreement critical of Russia. Because that's what Russian agents do.
Laws against homosexual practice or marriage are clearly a freedom issue. Abortion, of course, is an impossible issue. I would prefer that people talk about freedom rather than rights. Laws are mostly made to restrict freedom but a rare few are made to assert freedom. For me, when in doubt, freedom is the default position. Courts do not "invent" rights but, when necessary, they should reveal freedoms when laws attempt to obscure them. Our Bill of Rights was forced to make this explicit:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.