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.
It's well-known that the Chinese rightly love Western music, and love our "serious" music more than our pop music (not that I believe that any music is really "serious"). It is no surprise that they love ours, because their traditional music is hideous.
China made 379,746 pianos last year, 77 per cent of global output, almost all of it for domestic sale. Multiply that by ten for second-hand sales and you are still nowhere near the popular estimate that 60 million Chinese children are currently playing the piano, equivalent to the entire population of the United Kingdom sitting down every evening and practising scales for two hours.
I wish that I had had a better piano teacher when I was a kid but that sounds like lame excuse-making. I have no musical talent at all, but I always have wanted to make just a little music for myself instead of pushing a button for it like a king with his court musicians. I wanted to understand what was behind the pieces I was learning to play, and she kept saying "that's for later." Then, eventually, there was no later. I should have been learning scales, and why scales exist. Or maybe not. I have a friend who is taking up piano in middle age, and is having a wonderful time with it. Great delight learning scales and jazz chords.
Every home needs at least one person practicing music, however well or poorly.
Maybe this is like our post about new math. You either have it, or you don't, but there is a gray zone.
A while ago, I mentioned how my math education was almost destroyed by New Math. Even my math teachers didn't get the point of it even though they were required to teach it. Base Nine. Base 11? WTF? I am not an Einstein and do not need my math deconstructed. Base 10 is plenty enough to keep my brain challenged.
Once I recovered from the now-discarded New Math (it took me 3 years), I was fine. One regret I have with my career, among others, is that it does not require any sophisticated math. I still believe that the Calculus is a beautiful gift from God and the real shiny toy of education.
And statistics remain a perfect tool to fool juries with no math knowledge.
A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease." "That depends, sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."
"He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill
"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." - Clarence Darrow
"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas
"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain
"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." - Oscar Wilde
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one." - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill, "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one." - Winston Churchill, in response.
"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." - Stephen Bishop
"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." - John Bright
"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." - Irvin S. Cobb
"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others." - Samuel Johnson
"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." - Paul Keating
"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." - Charles, Count Talleyrand
"He loves nature, in spite of what it did to him." - Forrest Tucker
"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" - Mark Twain
"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." - Mae West
“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." - Oscar Wilde
"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination." - Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
"He has Van Gogh's ear for Music." - Billy Wilder
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." - Groucho Marx
Skunks are cute, adaptable little critters (weasel family), but their only real predator is the Great Horned Owl.My family never had a dog who didn't get skunked once, or a dog who never got slapped by a Porkie.The hard but non-fatal lessons of life.
I don't think she is blaming the booze business for this. Women have always had their secret Mothers' Little Helpers, of one sort or another, since the beginning of time. Laudanum, alcohol, coca leaf, tobacco, areca nut and betel leaf, you name it - long before TV advertising and Mad Men.
Any party that cannot successfully sell freedom and personal liberty doesn’t deserve power. The trick will be to explain — by word and deed — that the Democrats’ Manichean choice (Big Brother or the orphanage) is a false one, that less can be more, and that the restoration of a Republic of self-reliant citizens will benefit all Americans — not simply the government class and its clients.
Science, strictly speaking, explains everything but creativity. Not only that, but in its reductionist mania, it generally attempts to explain the creative via the uncreative, the intelligent via the mindless, freedom via necessity, and the living via the lifeless. It just waves a magic wand over the ontological discontinuities and pretends this is an explanation.
I noticed this yesterday while thumbing through a recent Scientific American in the orthopedist's office. No matter what subject they touched -- the Big Bang, the origin of life, the intersection of ideology and science -- every author had the same adolescent tone of smug superiority to go along with their dull absence of style and their one-dimensional shallowness of thought.
"The Facebook event page, also indicates that the six-day program will include a clothed event called “Stripping Privilege: Undressing the Isms” on Wednesday which will include discussion on “power, privilege, race, class, gender, ability, and other isms how they intersect with nudity, body image, nudity in relation to (de)sexuality, etc.”"
We will plant Dad's ashes next to Mom's at the Congo church cemetery in the Massachusetts Berkshires in a week or two. I have some ancestors buried there, but the older ones were buried on the farm's own adjacent cemetery because the church and its burial ground were not built until 1817. I have always appreciated the olde epitaph:
Behold my friends as you pass by As you are now, so once was I As I am now, soon you shall be Give thyself to God and follow me.