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
Tuesday, May 28. 2013
Saturday Sunset in New England
Across some of our farm fields. After a cold, rainy day the clouds began to clear out, leaving fresh snow on top of the Berkshire hills and a frost on the grass. That's our Climate Change. We had spent the afternoon providing a much-needed, if late, pruning to the apple trees (not in photo). I like a fruit tree to have plenty of air and light in the middle, remove crossing branches, but the darn suckers take most of your time.
Also put up 6 new Bluebird houses. On Sunday morning, one had already been claimed. Birds are not stupid. They pay attention.
Tree on the left? Black Willow, on the riverbank. Looks like we're going to have a herd of yearling Black Angus in that field this summer. Very handy, because they can go down to the river to drink and will need no care other than fence maintenance (which is obviously needed). Plenty of grass. Barbed wire.
Our farm boasts the lack of several modern amenities: no shower, just old bathtubs; no TV; no cable; no internet; and you have to get on the tractor and drive up a hill to find a cell phone connection. Peaceful. The only radio we get is NPR from Albany. They are crazy, but have good music. The wallpaper is 70 years old but my Mom liked it. There is more to life than materialism and conveniences and comfort, and my Mom understood that, deeply. We did break down and install propane heat 2 years ago. Decadent, but welcome after a cold rainy day when you come in soaked.
We're 20 minutes from Tanglewood. That's a good thing. Civilized. Cold lobster and champagne on the lawn.
Posted by Bird Dog in Natural History and Conservation, Our Essays at 05:00 | Comments (11) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, May 27. 2013
This day in history
I imagine you've seen some pretty splashy 'doodles' in place of the 'Google' name when there's an important event to honor, like the birthday of some Italian painter from the 17th century. Lesser events, like the Junior League's Summer Cotillion or the Annual Cornhuskers County Fair, don't get any doodle at all.
Or Memorial Day.
After all, to the sensitive leftists who run Google, that would be glorifying war.
And we can't have any of that.
Now, I could be wrong and maybe they did this last year and I just didn't notice, but I went to Google just now and my jaw nearly hit the floor.
It practically leaps off the page!
Posted by Dr. Mercury in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 15:00 | Comments (13) | Trackbacks (0)
Pride in Vets
On Memorial Day, public pride in veterans, but at a distance
Posted by Bird Dog at 12:37 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Some thoughts about liberty on Decoration Day
David Limbaugh: Liberty, Where Have You Gone?
Posted by The Barrister at 10:52 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, May 26. 2013
The Brooklyn Bridge turned 130 this week
More pics here.
Posted by Bird Dog at 15:30 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Honor Systems, re-posted
At dinner Friday night I was chatting with a lady about all of the farm stands that were here in Connecticut when I was growing up. Every truck farm had one: a rickety structure on the roadside with a little dusty space to pull up on, with baskets of eggs, tomatoes, corn, eggplant, red and green peppers, cut flowers, potatoes, apples. melon, raspberries, blackberries, turnips, bundles of fresh herbs, honey, dried strawflowers, giant Sunflowers, squash, pumpkins, corn stalks for fall decorations - whatever was ready that day.
Business, if steady, was never sufficient to justify manning these roadside booths. They usually had the prices written on pieces of cardboard, and one of those large mason jars to leave your money in.
The nice lady told me that Holbrook Farm in Redding, CT still uses the honor system, but not during the height of the season when things are too busy. Hearing that cheered me very much.
No spy cameras either - just good old-fashioned American country-style trust in one's neighbor. I do not think I would like to live in a place where a shop could't have an honor system, but I guess credit cards and sales tax collection complicate things these days.
Collage below from the Holbrook Farm site -
Quick movie review: Watched Margin Call last night. A heck of a cast, and an authentic Wall Street ethos. Did not doze once.
How the Smartphone Killed the Three-Day Weekend
Kareem: 20 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Was 30
Reading Hayek in Beijing - A chronicler of Mao's depredations finds much to worry about in modern China.
Fired for word: 'Negro' in Spanish class
Even Politicians Tire of Failure-Prone, Freedom-Threatening DHS
Hate DHS? Hate the IRS? How about the idiocy of FEMA? FEMA Plans Clear-Cutting 85,000 Berkeley and Oakland Trees
Then covering the canyon with Agent Orange or something. That will keep us safe.
WHEN DID WE VOTE TO BECOME MEXICO?
Enough With the Bipartisanship - Republicans plus Democrats doesn’t equal good policy.
Whose Administration Is It, Anyway?
The bureaucratic-administrative-regulatory State: The rise of the fourth branch of government
Eleven people across UK arrested for making 'racist or anti-religious' comments on Facebook and Twitter about British soldier's
Free speech is limited to Muslims, in the UK
By 22-Point Margin, Voters Favor Obamacare’s Repeal
Obama Says Don't Fear Gov't; Tell That To Fox News
McKinsey report: 12 disruptive technologies that will transform life, business, and the global economy
If a gay dude tries to hit on me in college, can he be thrown out?
‘Allahu Akbar. We Take the Money’
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 12:23 | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)
From today's Lectionary: Justified by faith
Posted by Bird Dog at 05:35 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Kenyon College Chapel
Kenyon College, founded by Episcopal Bishop Philander Chase in 1824. It's considered one of the "Hidden Ivies" or "New Ivies."
Alumni will be relieved to know that even Kenyon now offers a useful major in "Womens' and Gender Studies" but, other than a little token faddish nonsense, it's a serious and rigorous place.
Posted by Bird Dog in Education, Our Essays at 05:00 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, May 25. 2013
Spring Turkey Season
A pal had good luck last weekend, in upstate New York. Luck, and you have to get up early. 12 ga., turkey choke, try to call the gobblers in and hope they are around, head shots only.
The return of the Wild Turkey populations is a remarkable conservation success story. No, they do not taste like supermarket turkeys. They taste like Turkey.
Posted by Bird Dog at 17:33 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)
Can students be taught to write?
I believe that good writing is a talent, like music. You have a feel for it, or you don't. However, adequate, functional, expository writing ought to be within the grasp of most people who know how to talk and who read things. Clear writing requires clear thinking, but I often clarify my thinking by the task of writing.
However, this is High School training, not college.
Posted by The Barrister in Education, Our Essays at 15:32 | Comments (13) | Trackbacks (0)
I happen to love biscuits and pork sausage gravy. I had a friend from Harlan, Kentucky whose Mom always made "Hot Dog Gravy" for biscuits, substituting Coke for water and substituting sliced hot dogs for sausage. That is not for me.
Yankees often do not know that you split your biscuit, then spoon a pile of the custardy stuff on top of the halves. Yum. If you don't fall asleep after, it will fuel a good day's work.
Here's a good recipe.
I cheat and use Bisquick. What about you?
Posted by Bird Dog in Food and Drink, Our Essays at 14:41 | Comments (24) | Trackbacks (0)
Women... in the news!
Smart women, all!
Pic: Artist's concept of what smart women think about
Well, under the same heading, I just love what this lady did. It goes to the very core of pragmatism.
You're a cigarette smoker. You're seriously hooked. You've tried everything to stop, but you just keep failing.
So, as a last desperate resort, what do you do?
Woman Slaps Police Officer to Quit Smoking
When it comes to your health, you just gotta do what you just gotta do.
I was actually surprised how many commenters took the "Moron!" approach. I thought it was brilliant and daring. And the blotch on her 'permanent record' really won't make any big dif in the future, and any lawyer could get it expunged. But that week or two she spends in the hoosegow might make a very big difference when her grandchildren have a grandmother around to love and grow up with.
Well, now that we've got that 'smart' stuff out of the way, let's get down to the intrinsic, elemental, key role women play in the interwoven society of modern day life and what they bring to the table:
Other stuff and boobies. Right, that's it. I mean, I wouldn't want to shortchange the other body parts. That just wouldn't be manly.
And, speaking of boobies, what does a man really, really hunger for in life?
Good food surrounded by pleasant women who, as we've already proven, can be quite smart. You combine your smarts with hers, your wallet with her good looks (to make up for the lack of yours), and we're talkin' an equal deal here with no 'objectification' in sight.
It's all about balance and harmony.
Long live pleasant, smart women!
Posted by Dr. Mercury in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:45 | Comments (19) | Trackback (1)
Rotator Cuff injuries
I had the same experience as Insty did. I refused an MRI because I had zero interest in shoulder surgery and there is no point in paying for a medical test if you have no intention of doing anything about it. (Yes, I pay for my medical care.)
I did not bother with physical therapy, rested it from tennis and weights for a year, and it's pretty good now except that I have had to replace my fast serve with a spin serve - which is probably more effective anyway. It gets sore after four hours juggling a chain saw, but that's ok with me.
Posted by Bird Dog in Medical, Our Essays at 12:05 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday morning links
We're still waiting for the 17-year cicadas. Too wet and cold for them.
The Italian Invasion of American Culture
Another Reason for Daily Wine
Does high fructose corn syrup deserve such a bad rap?
Deep sea mining 'gold rush' moves closer
Mankiw: What Stock to Buy? Hey, Mom, Don’t Ask Me
Irish potato famine pathogen identified
Mimi Sheraton’s 10 Most Memorable Meals
Judge slashes sentence for Virginia teacher who slept with student, citing diagnosis of hypersexuality
They're calling her a nympho?
Time to leave – California wants to ban campfires at the beach
Mead: The Tyranny of College
Superstorm Who? Sandy’s Hard-Hit Beach Towns Reopen for Business
It’s easy to be smug when you think you’re smart and virtuous. Exhibit A: Lois Lerner
Reforming Social Security Benefits
Obama's long history of scandals--and escapes
London Beheader’s Imam: “When You Meet [Westerners], Slice their Own Necks.”
How the New York Times Shapes 'Correct' Perception of News
Reality Bites… Union Leaders Discover They Were Lied to and Millions of Members Will Lose Health Insurance
How Prosecutors Fought to Keep Rosen’s Warrant Secret
Imams beg to differ with PM Cameron:
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 06:24 | Comments (23) | Trackbacks (2)
Saturday Verse: Edward Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)
The House on the Hill
They are all gone away,
Through broken walls and gray
Nor is there one to-day
Why is it then we stray
And our poor fancy-play
There is ruin and decay
Posted by Bird Dog in Saturday Verse at 05:41 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Loading up the cars after Commencement
This building, now a dorm, may have been the first Gothic Revival building in the US.
Posted by Bird Dog at 04:56 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, May 24. 2013
Good cheap watches
Our friend at the Q&O site is having problems with his semi-expensive watch, so I thought I'd repost this.
We posted a while ago about expensive watches, Vacheron Constantin, Patek Phillippe, and all that. I've had a couple of moderately-expensive ones over the years but over time the repair and maintenance seemed foolish and, sad to say, an Accutron cannot be effectively repaired anymore.
As cheap watches go, I don't like digital watches. I like to see the sweep of time.
When I last went for a dreaded and long-delayed medical check up on the insistence of Mrs. BD, I noticed that my fancy doc wore the same one I did - a Timex Expedition. They are good for about ten years or more, and when you need to replace the leather band it comes with with a nice leather band, the band costs 3X more than the watch.
Any watch I wear gets banged around quite a bit, but I feel naked without one. Are they male jewelry, social signals, or are they tools?
Amazon sells them, real cheap. $31. That is indeed a fashion statement: it declares that you are a sensible person.
Posted by Bird Dog in Our Essays, The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:22 | Comments (18) | Trackbacks (0)
Are savages noble?
Are Savages Noble? The parts about war and sex (naturally) are especially interesting. So I guess war and sex are natural, too.
Posted by The Barrister in Our Essays, The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:03 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
The Great Liberal Death Wish, Swedish-style
‘They don’t want to integrate’: Fifth night of youth rioting rocks Stockholm:
Althouse has thoughts.
Posted by The News Junkie at 12:40 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
Buggy whip industry.
Herewith, I am going to spell out my own little list, dismantling each word in turn. While I'm aware some harsh critic could come along at any minute and point out how this is nothing more than an academic exercise in sophistry, solipsism and semantics, I'd like to go on record as stating that that's exactly what it is.
In a generally ascending order of interest and/or importance:
The Easy Ones:
So, let us begin.
Continue reading "Meaningless Words"
Posted by Dr. Mercury in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:00 | Comments (24) | Trackbacks (0)
Einstein the parrot
Posted by Bird Dog at 11:50 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday morning links
The London Terror Attack Was More Than 'Unforgivable' - Britain has been in denial about the Islamist threat. Time to face it down.
Were there no men on the street to defend the lad?
Woolwich attack: Watch shocking video of terrorists charging at police car in attempt to kill WPC
These people are paid more from Welfare than the murdered soldier made
Presbyterian youths riot in Sweden
Portland, Ore., rejects adding fluoride to water supply
Obama Administration Supports Fracking and Natural Gas, Despite Environmental Opposition
The Secret Donors Behind the Center for American Progress and Other Think Tanks
The least business-friendly states in the US
It Begins… Communist Indoctrination Included in Common Core Literature for First Graders
Steyn: The Autocrat Accountants - Once government is ensnared in every aspect of life, a bureaucracy grows increasingly capricious.
A Growing Fear in France - As political and financial crises deepen in Western Europe, French Jewry is facing a familiar test
France’s Outrageous Double Standard on Hezbollah and Terrorism
Saudi Arabia/United States: Strange Bedfellows in the Middle East
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 06:09 | Comments (26) | Trackbacks (2)
Another typical central Ohio farm
Posted by Bird Dog at 05:04 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, May 23. 2013
The white people at The New York Times have a deep understanding of what black people are like
These lyrics, for example. According to them that's The New Shakespeare. The true voice of black Americans.
If that is what brown-skinned Americans are all about, I guess I don't get out enough because I never see people talking or acting like that, regardless of skin tone.
Posted by The News Junkie in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects, Our Essays at 18:41 | Comments (18) | Trackbacks (0)
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