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.
"Don't Buy The Hype, College Education Is Not An Investment"
The article is referring to an expensive Liberal Arts education. However, most American higher ed does not involve the elite and expensive private colleges. Much higher ed is career-oriented at community colleges, for just one example.
Many colleges, even prestigious universities like Cornell, have a multitude of career-oriented colleges. Even Agriculture and Hospitality colleges. You can go to college to learn how to maintain golf courses. Such grads get instant jobs with big future potential.
I said I'd grab a few more pics of my late parents' home before we hurriedly plan to empty it out this week. Here's their living room. I think it is very pleasant, airy and and simple. Cathedral ceiling. A serene feeling. My Dad designed the whole house, and he was not an architect.
Large, wall-length fireplace on the left, with a raised hearth doubling as a bench, and with a 4'X4' antique oil portrait of a prize cow hanging over it.
No TV of course, but a radio for WQXR and a CD player on a bookshelf. Plus a piano in case you really love music enough to try to make some.
Can walk from there to our country 1763 Congregational Church. A nice 20-minute walk in any season, any weather.
Rehab can keep you away from whatever you abuse or are addicted to for a few weeks or even months, and introduce you to various programs, but rehab cannot help build or maintain a life of sobriety and sane behavior.
Neither rehab, nor AA, nor any other program "works." The person has to "work the program," and work it as if their life depended on it. Often, it does.
The questions of whether a program or plan "works" premises a medical patient model, a passive model, as if addiction and abuse were like pneumonia, curable by the best antibiotic. They are not. You do not "go through rehab" any more than you "go through AA."
It can take a lifetime of effort to climb out of the abyss of substance abuse, and a lot of it does not feel very good at all. I have seen plenty of people make the deliberate and conscious choice to live lives of substance abuse. It's a free country. I just resent it when they do it on my nickel.
- Ethanol-free gas (100% gasoline) for power tools is now available in some Home Depots
- For smaller trees and stumps, cut them to ground level with a reciprocating saw. I have a cordless Sawzall (wonderful tool), but the thought never occurred to me to do that. Chain saws can never touch dirt, but a Sawzall don't care.
I have a lot to catch up with after over a week in Wyoming, riding the ranges and the foothills with She Who Must Be Obeyed. Got lost a few times. High prairie. I always carry a compass in the great outdoors. A compass, the sun in the sky, and a pocket knife. A pocket GPS is cheating. Next time, I'll carry one anyway rather than following a fence line to nowhere.
After a few days, I can begin to adjust a bit to Western-style riding. Still, I do find it strange. Loping, galloping - different gaits from our refined Eastern style but at least the saddle has a handle! We saw Pronghorns, some Mulies, a few Golden Eagles and a Prairie Falcon. And lots of cattle, steak on the hoof.
Friends sometimes ask me why I never take photos. I never, ever, take pictures, even at Christmas. My eyes and brain are my camera; my hippocampus is my photo folder. Taking pictures can become a goal in itself, I found long ago, and interferes with fully "being there." So, rightly or wrongly, I quit it.
But on to today's link. I started college as an English Lit major. I liked talking about books. I liked writing essays. After a year or two, I began wondering why I was making my Dad spend money so I could do what I would do anyway in my spare time, so I switched to Chemistry. I love chemistry, but was not smart enough to make a career in it.
"Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge; I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers."
John Adams, Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law, 1765
12-20 hummers at the feeders - Rufus and Calliope. The Rufus migrate from winter breeding grounds in southern Mexico to summer HQ in southern Alaska. That's a female Rufus with the little red throat patch.
As my lad and I reviewed the jewelry and silver components of my parents' estate tonight, I happened to notice that he was not wearing a watch. He said that a watch in the summer just gets sweaty and, besides, who needs one? You just pull out your iPhone, and there's the time.
Just like an old-fashioned pocket watch, I observed. Then I pointed out one of my Grandpa's gold pocket watches on the jewelry list.
Then I had a thought. Why don't these modern phones have some clip-on chain-type things like the watch chains of the old days? It could be a new/old fashion, and useful too.
Which, of course, led to an email exchange in which we fit Animal House quotes to the event. If you're a fan of Animal House, or baseball, try it. As my brother says, it's like shooting fish in a barrel.
"Rodriguez, we've given this a lot of thought, your Delta Tau Chi name is "Juicer""
Found in the back of Dad's garage during clean-up and clean-out. It's a fairly old machine but in good shape. With his mild Parkinson's, I doubt he had used this saw for at least five years. Still, it tried to start up and then sputtered out.
Brought it in to my excellent local power tool guy. There was water in the tank. He blamed that on the ethanol in the gas. Had to clean and flush. Needed a tune-up and a new blade. Cleaned it up inside and out so it looks like new, too. I do know that, for power tools, it is best to drain the gas tank if they will not be needed for a few months. I just run 'em until they empty the tank. Only occasionally do I have a job that needs a full tank, so I rarely fill it up.
This lightweight Huskie will be a good alternative to my heavy Stihl Farm Boss, for smaller jobs.
View from that bed I posted yesterday. Our family camp is at the extreme end of a 40-minute dirt & rocky single-lane road. About 90 hard minutes and 2,500 vertical feet further up that hill, you can intersect the Pacific Crest Trail on the ridge barely visible through the trees. My dad's ashes are scattered on that rock ledge center left.
There are deep subtleties in the sexual peccadillo qualifications for public service. It's difficult to keep track of the changing rules. I think gay peccadillos are OK now, but it's difficult to be certain anymore. I think it all depends on R or D, or where you fall on the D spectrum.
It's the time of year when you send your kids or grandkids on the coast of New England out to the salt marshes and mudflats to dig Steamers at low tide. They are the most delicious seafood in the world. AKA Soft-Shelled Clams.
Digging for Steamers takes a bit of skill and gentle use of the right tool (a clam rake or, better yet, a clam fork), because you don't want to crack their fragile shells. And you have to know where to look, because they cluster. The fun part is getting covered with black marsh mud without having to pay for a spa.
You steam up a giant pot of them, just long enough for them to open and cook a bit, but not so long that they get tough or fall apart. You want to steam them, so don't use too much water in the pot. It's acceptable to throw a slice of onion in the water.
Then you pour everybody a mug of the broth from the pot and a heaping pile of clams. That broth is the essence of the sea and the marshes. And you give everybody a bowl of melted butter. I prefer them without the butter so you get the pure clammy flavor. You pull them out of the shell using their long necks as a handle, and I toss the necks to the gulls.
These in the photo below are not Steamers. These are Littleneck Clams, which should never, ever be cooked for any reason - which they have been in the photo. It's a disgrace. Cooking them turns them into clam-flavored chewing gum. They should only be slurped down fresh and alive:
These are Steamers. These precious critters are only eaten steamed, and I am convinced that God made them for that purpose: