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.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, October 31. 2012
A friend asks, "Isn’t is surpassingly strange that no reporter, anywhere, has managed to track down a single survivor of the Benghazi attack for an interview?"
Probably a combination of they being kept under wraps by the State Dept., and there are not many reporters who are investigating Benghazigate.
LIVING WILL FORM
After the stress of jetting around the US to keep her personal gravy train rolling, where will Michelle Obama go on vacation soon after the November 6 election, when it will still be on the taxpayers' credit cards? For a clue, here's some snapshots from her photo book of her previous vacations.
Bonus question: If she and Barack have to pay themselves for their vacations, where will that be to?
I mean just going to Mars.
That's from this delightful little piece.
Yet every other day you see this rubbish:
The point is, we've had half a century to work on this problem, and apart from slapping a few treadmills around, not only have they not gained any ground, but the problems are only getting worse. As durations in space last longer and longer, more and more problems arise. Blindness occurring later in life is the latest small snag.
Then there was the day I broke so many hearts by reporting that mermaids don't exist. Rarely have I been so cruel.
Now here's the latest little dream to be shattered like glass:
Yeah, well, welcome to the Hollywood Curse. Probably 50 million people believe the global warming horrors they saw in The Day After Tomorrow are real. Another 50 mil probably think the government can watch your every step via spy satellite as in Enemy Of The State. Another 50 mil probably believe President Kennedy wasn't assassinated by a lone gunman thanks to Oliver Stone's JFK. The list goes on and on.
But still, no horrific velociraptors eviscerating us with their 6-inch talons in the noonday sun, spilling our entrails onto the ground as they enjoy a tasty little snack?
It's sad, sometimes, when life doesn't imitate art.
Bird Dog has not yet floated ashore, or is he floating away the storm effects in his wine cellar? Concerned citizens want to know.
Be careful when you open the door tonight for trick-or-treaters:
Tuesday, October 30. 2012
My friend at the Mellow Jihadi is the first I've seen to suggest that the former Navy SEALs who went against orders and so bravely risked and lost all, taking down so many of the enemy, deserve to receive the Presidential Medal Of Freedom (being out of military service, the Congressional Medal Of Honor doesn't apply). Surely, as well, they should receive stars in the CIA's lobby.
My only question is whether it will be President Obama who makes the award, the hypocrisy of he doing so wouldn't faze him, or President Romney, who will in the citation reveal much that is now hidden by the Obama administration and its media lackeys.
I haven't heard from Bird Dog, so he's somewhere MIA in the Big Muddy of Connecticutt.
Jerry Brown urges student vote for tax measure, $250 refund : Payola for votes to increase taxes on parents and taxpayers
10 Worst States to Retire 2012 :Blues in Blue States
Is there a Benghazi media coverup? - Do Bears sh*t in the woods?
The new China looks too much like the old one : thugocracy -- Corruption in China Isn’t Just a Local Story : “the annual 2011 Hurun report on the wealthiest Chinese reveals that the top seventy members of the National People’s Congress are worth a combined total of $89.8 billion; in contrast, the net worth of the top 660 U.S. officials is only $7.5 billion.”
Danger on the Mekong : thugocracy, also, to enrich the top guys.
UK academic union faces claims of ‘institutional anti-Semitism’ :Severe anti-Israel bias ‘makes Jews feel uncomfortable and unwelcome,’ lecturer charges in landmark tribunal
Here's entry number one in the fish stories competition for Hurricane Sandy:
Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/10/jerry-brown-urges-student-vote-for-tax-measure-250-refund.html#storylink=cpy
Monday, October 29. 2012
Crew of tall ship HMS Bounty abandons ship 90 miles off of Hatteras
What the heck were they doing there?
Insane on so many levels
Romney pulls ahead in Ohio
This was inevitable
Desperation driving Obama
Is the Obama Machine Running Out of Steam?
Article is an analysis of the machine
Dem Pat Caddell disgusted with Obama and media collusion to re-elect Obama at all costs (h/t Nice Deb):
Gee whiz, it's getting breezy and blustery in Yankeeland today. Expecting to lose power to our servers any minute. If I lived near the shore, I'd throw out an anchor. But on to more interesting topics than the weather -
My pic in an oil shop in Spello, last summer. They have little paper cups for tasting. People design their own blends:
My lad quipped yesterday, as I was dressing the salad I had brought for Dad's birthday, "America needs to free itself from dependence on imported olive oil."
I was using a super-special oil I had smuggled home from Umbria along some of my precious but tiny supply of 25 year-old Balsamic that friends gave us as a dinner gift.
One of my brothers-in-law brought up a book he had just read: Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil. He recommends it.
A few points about olive oil:
- As with wine in the past, California olive oil is now competing with Europe's finest.
- The fresher it is, the tastier and more fragrant. We use a lot of it here.
- To really taste it, dip a piece of bread in it - or just sip it to taste it as housewives and chefs do in Italy in the oil shops.
- For salads and for dressing cooked vegetables (eg asparagus, spinach, cauliflower, carrots, raw tomatoes, etc, with or without garlic), use the best you can get. For cooking, I don't think it matters too much but gourmets would dispute that.
- Costco's house brand oil (Kirkland) is much better than any supermarket brand for an everyday oil. It comes from their Tuscan orchards. Naturally, Dean & DeLuca has good oils. Cold-pressed extra virgin.
- High-end Italian oils are often blends of olive varieties from neighboring orchards. Reminds me that I have a friend who owns an olive orchard in Greece on a hill overlooking the Aegean, and each year he ships home 100 small casks of his own orchard's first pressing to give friends as Christmas presents. Nice.
- Do not dress a salad until immediately before it is to be offered. Also, never serve a salad with a meal. Only before. There are many good reasons for that.
- Do you prefer red wine vinegar to Balsamic? The store stuff is terrible. Make your own. When you drink a bottle of decent red wine, leave an inch or two in the bottle if you have the moral fortitude to do so, stick the cork back on top lightly or leave it off, and put it in the pantry. In a couple of weeks, it's good wine vinegar. The better the vino, the better the flavor. It's possible to go overboard with this.
- As I posted a while ago, Balsamic Vinegar is not really vinegar. Here's my post on that topic.
Here's how we make and dress a simple Italian-style, home-style salad: Buttercrunch or Boston Lettuce, thinly sliced bell peppers - all 4 colors, red onion quartered then sliced thin, 1" tomato chunks. Then I drizzle a little balsamic over it - not too much - and toss gently. Then I drizzle the oil over it, season with salt and pepper, and toss gently again. Always the vinegar before the oil.
For fancy dinners, plain frizze or mache with balsamic and oil.
Storm stuff: Yesterday, we all gave my Dad a good birthday party, had good fun tossing a football around, took a long autumn walk with my sibs, spouses, kids and the dogs, and then packed Mom and Dad off to one of my sisters' houses over in northern Connecticut so they will have some help when the power inevitably does down. I am parking my car up the road in a spot with no trees to fall on it, and so I don't get blocked in by big fallen trees. Got gas and oil for the chain saw, though. I love harvesting free firewood. Also, tipped over everything outdoors that could be damaged by wind. Daughter and Yorkie got out of NYC because her building on the Hudson River was evacuated. Last but not least, switched my office phone to link over to my iPhone. Hope it's not a big dud.
Hurricane Sandy: 10 statistics that place this powerful storm in perspective
New Yorkers and New York lovers thank you for this, John Paulson
The real Paleo diet, with wine
Intellectual Standards = a Politics of Exclusion?
Sometimes it’s healthier to be plagued by self-doubt than blessed by a sense of righteous self-certainty.
Think food is more expensive today than in the past? It’s not, it’s now cheaper than ever before.
Sure is. I always pick up a whole rotisserie-roasted chicken at Costco for $4.99. Delicious. Some days, they are $3.99.
Europe left behind as shale shock drives America’s industrial resurgence
Harry Reid's Graveyard - Senate Democrats are promising pre-emptive gridlock for 2013.
Independents’ Day - Romney’s advantage with unaffiliated voters could prove key
Minnesota, Now In Play
One of the most striking oddities of the Obama campaign’s appeal to women, indeed, is how it not only objectifies them but even reduces them to their “lady parts.”
Jeb Bush: Obama Campaigning Like '10-Year-Old'
Obama's big reason for going small: Kurtz:
Like we said last week
Obama's Homeless - If they were Ronald Reagan's, they would not be ignored
Pics from a family walk yesterday at my parents' place
Comfortable cobbled house down the road a piece
I found this in the woods. I want one. I could build that:
Sunday, October 28. 2012
We tend to lose power and all other utilities with storms. If this is like the past, it could take days to restore utilities. I just heard on the radio that utility bucket truck convoys are already heading east from Iowa. Thanks, Iowa.
This storm is huge - only Cat 1 but possibly the largest storm, in area affected, ever seen in the North Atlantic. I'd get out of low-lying coastal areas about now, from the south coast of Cape Cod through Jersey due to the predicted storm surges. I'd get out of river flood plains too. This storm will plow well inland after it goes feet dry.
Too bad I never bought that generator I wanted.
Latest from Weather Nerd.
I am voting for Romney-Ryan because there are probably two Supreme Court vacancies coming up soon.
It's getting difficult to decide which Obama ad is the sickest, but this is really bad
Erosion from Sandy, Vero Beach FL
Topsail Beach, NC, with sandbags:
These ugly places deserve to be washed away. More here
We recently posted a report of the closing of the last brownstone quarry in the US. Manhattan and Brooklyn have tons of old brownstone buildings, commonly entire blocks of them. Some people like the look and some do not, but it is not a very durable building stone.
I stumbled on this brownstone for sale on the Upper West Side (87th St, just off the Park). If I were a rich guy, I'd enjoy owning a place like this with the top floor used as living quarters for the help. Like most buildings from the era (1850-1910), each brownstone has a garden out back. Looks great from theoutside, but if you look at the video you'll hate what they did inside when converting it to apartments.
Pic above is a Romney rally in Ohio
Sandy update: Current tracking predicts Sandy hitting south of New England, but with rain, flooding and wind from southern CT and south.
Magician pranks onlookers with ‘head drop’
Asian-Americans are now the country's best-educated, highest-earning and fastest-growing racial group. They share with American Jews both the distinction and the occasional burden of immigrant success.
George Will: Slouching towards disability:
I read in Mayflower about how the Pilgrims were astonished by the woodland autumn blaze of color. Europe doesn't have this. The storm will probably remove this year's magnificent display prematurely.
He also mentioned that America has 30 million Mayflower descendants. Not an exclusive club.
This is in one of our gardens:
Saturday, October 27. 2012
Wherever I go I hope there's rum! Think we'll just stay put and stand in awe of God and nature's power.
Jimmy's relentless good cheer is a blessing. It's a gift to the world, and I'd like all Maggie's Farmers to try to spread such good cheer and positivity to everybody in their lives. I try to do that all day long despite my innate Yankee reserve and crankiness.
Volcano, but same idea. However, I don't mind landing in no New York City. Love it despite being a country boy. Our gal Marianne did too.
Internet Explorer remains an excellent browser, and, according to the tests I've made with online speed test sites, it outperforms Firefox, Chrome and Opera. I tried it again last night with SpeedTest, MegaPath and BandwidthPlace. As we say in the broadband biz, your mileage may vary.
IE's one big problem is that it opens links, like on the Desktop or in email, to a half-screen-size window. AutoSizer solves this annoying little problem by expanding Internet Explorer windows to full-screen size. It can do this with any program, and can also open small programs, like Calculator, in the center of the screen.
The problem is that it doesn't work on 64-bit Windows 7 systems. For those of you in this dire predicament, I have solved this mighty poser.
Continue reading "Doc's Computin' Tips: AutoSizer update"
Tides are not all that easy to understand. For example, can you explain why there are no tides at the equator? It's complicated because the earth revolves and rotates, the moon revolves on an angle to the equator, and then there's the sun too. Lots of moving parts. Plus local factors.
My need to refresh my understanding arises because hurricane Sandy, who will likely be visiting the northeast somewhere between Chesapeake Bay and Boston at the end of this weekend, is coming during a full moon - the Hunter's Moon as the redskin Injuns termed it.
(The latest tracking guesses show it mostly missing New England and turning inland somewhere between Delmarva and Jersey. Meteorologists love this sort of unusual weather event. I heard one on the radio saying that he had always wondered why conditions were so rare for a storm to make a left turn due to a low cold front sucking in a storm. The Weather Nerd is following things, and posted this pic showing the Clash of Titans - the polar cold front and Sandy:)
Full Moons indicate that the moon and the sun are on the same side of the earth, illuminating the moon, and New Moons when they are pulling from opposite sides. Thus both of these phases exaggerate the tidal effect by combining lunar with solar gravity. They're called Spring Tides.
In Maggie's Farm's part of the world, high tide and low tide vary from 6-10' in each tide change, and increase around 20% during Spring Tides. Thus a storm surge during a Spring Tide is likely to cause more damage and flooding to structures (ie, structures which are built where they don't belong in the first place - on coastal beaches, waterfronts, flood plains, and on old marshes covered with a thin layer of fill back before the laws were changed).
Storm surges in New England, whether from Nor'easters or the occasional hurricane, can be 5-10 feet above high tide. A very large or slow-moving storm can effect more than one tide cycle.
Here's a simple, straightforward piece on tides.
Re storm prep, I fetched a fresh bottle of Dalwhinnie, some smokes, charcoal for cooking, good veggies to grill, and I topped off my gas can for the chain saw so I don't get trapped here by fallen trees and limbs. Firewood? Check. My ancient, second-hand diesel generator seems to be on the blink, but we can cope. Sometimes it will start if I kick it in the kidneys while pushing the button.
Meanwhile, I eagerly await the first lunatic to blame the storm on
Bring it on! Give us your best shot, Gaia.
Got yer Halloween outfit ready?
Barack Obama may win or lose the election in ten days, but, in either case, he will emerge much diminished by the sort of disgusting, mendacious, fear-mongering, low-life campaign he has run. A new low for the Presidency.
Wilson at Ricochet:
Mitt Romney: It’s time for real change, America
Romney goes deep - Blasts Bam for ‘dividing and demonizing’
Romney on economy: Obama 'made the problem worse'
Paul Ryan's appeal to America’s heart
A Brief History of Obama: How sarcasm and insult took over the Democratic Party:
Clinton brushes off e-mails, Senate staffers start investigation
Petraeus Throws Obama Under the Bus
Whether Obama wins or loses, this will be part of it: A star falls over chicago
Election considerations for Liberals: Melanie Sturm: Think Again - Restoring the last best hope of earth
BOMBSHELL: US Security Forces Would Not Have Been Painting Targets on Ground Unless There Was Air Support Overhead – But White House Called It Off
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