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.
Count me in with those who believe Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. After all, many Ponzis start with a surplus and garner interest, but over time the payouts exceed incoming revenues. All Ponzis are based on paying dividends to "investors" out of active money incoming from new "investors". But even Ponzis don't pay out additional money to people who petition for someone else's funds. If they did, I presume they would lower one person's payout to cover the person making the petition.
I'm not sure how long Social Security can last. A friend of mine who is dyed-in-the-wool liberal/progressive believes the upper range limit for SocSec payments should be eliminated and it should be handled the same way as an income tax. That is probably the first step that will be taken. Soak the Rich. This will extend the scheme for a few more years. Then they will undoubtedly implement means-testing, which will extend it a bit longer. At some point, all the financial engineering will fail. Until then, keep kicking the can down the road.
I'd rather play touch in the park with my old buddies than watch football on TV while eating junk food, but I guess it's a social ritual like secular Christmas.
Well, there are the top seeds in this game. Offense vs. defense, in a cool weather match-up of laundry vs. laundry with often amusing advertisements. Given Ground Hog day, I'll go with defense.
The game will be played in MetLife Stadium (aka Giants Stadium) in East Rutherford, NJ (aka New York). The stadium is part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, which was built on landfill on the vast New Jersey meadowlands (aka swamps and marshes), in view of Manhattan.
Everyone who has driven the NJ Turnpike has passed through those Meadowlands.
Those marshes are recent. A mere 3000 years ago those marshy lands were woodlands, and the Atlantic coast was 40 miles to the east. With the retreat of the last glacial incursion and the slow, steady sea-level rise of the post-glaciation, it became a estuary based on the route of the Hackensack River and a (no doubt lovely) White Cedar brackish swamp. The cedars were all cut down by settlers, for lumber.
Despite heavy industrial pollution (ended now), diking, ditching, impoundments, etc., these meadowlands are now mostly protected from development and are a wildlife resource despite the proliferation of Phragmites australis. You could not build Giant Stadium there, today.
There are nature tours, or you can rent canoes and kayaks to explore the 30+ square miles of these marshes.
At first, I was interested in the story about someone who could be married for 3 days on a subway.
My cousin forwarded this to me as a "true love" and/or "true love lost" story. I'm not sure it's anything at all like either of those. Sounds like a lonely guy trying to reconnect with his past. We all do that in different ways. Not sure I'd use Craigslist, though.
I posted this last February, shortly before my Mom - and then my Dad, died.
My sibs and I are sharing the pleasant job of keeping my Dad happily fed while Mom is struggling in the hospital.
I brought a crock pot pot roast before, and last weekend my Pasta Fagiole which came out perfectly if I do say so myself (see my photo at right). I like it creamy, not watery.
I borrowed from several recipes to try to make it come out just like Mrs. BD's Italian-born Grandma used to make it. That is real homey, filling, comforting peasant food. I did use a little tomato paste in it. If it gets too thick you just add more beef broth.
My Dad loved the PF so much that I am considering something similar for this weekend: Ribollita. Maybe make some for the kids, too.
Ribollita is a Northern Italian bean, kale, and bread concoction which is meant to use stale bread and other random leftovers. Here's one recipe. I will just get some French bread and let it go stale.
Next weekend, maybe some Kare Kare, Filipino Oxtail Stew with Peanut Sauce. Damn, is that good stuff. Our kids' Filipino nanny (a gift from God to our family) made it often, but with mango slices added. I have no doubt that Dad would like that. Oxtail is delicious meat, close to the bone.
The US government recommends 9-11 servings of fruits and/or vegetables daily.
What are they smoking? Unless a stalk of raw celery or a leaf of spinach counts as one vegetable.
If you ate all that, you would be obese, especially with the fruit which, as I always say, is God's dessert. Unless you are at a starvation weight, you don't need fruit. Fruit is just sugar, and you might just as well have some ice cream.
"What I like to do is to start businesses. It can be any kind of business, I've done everything from restaurants to specialty wire manufacturers. Most fail, some struggle along, some do OK, and occasionally there is a home run. It's great fun, all of it."
Is there any justification for that in a free country?
We debated the topic at dinner last night. At the end, I had to admit that sentiment and tradition were not adequate reasons for laws and, especially, criminalization. When I (rarely) refuse my hubbie nighttime pleasures, he has been known to mumble "I shoulda been a Mormon." I know he'd enjoy a threesome, in fantasy anyway, but that's not how I roll. I am a traditionalist.
I always grow a pot of Thyme on the back porch steps. It's my favorite herb. Savoury. It remains fresh and fragrant all winter. Just dust off some snow, break off a few sprigs, and toss them in ye olde stew pot. No need to dry it.
Learned that from my Mom. She was all about keeping her life simple but she sure enjoyed grand luxe for a change of pace.
I've reflected a little bit about our post about attire, posted yesterday. It was clearly about white-collar and professional work dress, but the general point about signaling is well-taken. People signal their real, or wannabe, personae.
It's impossible not to be signaling. It's what animals do. And if we wear nothing at all, that's a strong signal too.
A friend recently showed me his new Elmer Fudd hat that he bought on a skiing trip in Jackson Hole. A red-and-black-checked thing with a black tassel on top. Canadian hat. Hilarious-looking thing, but he could pull it off. He called it a Beaver-Trapping Hat...and I'm sure it attracts female glances of various sorts. It looks sort-of like this, but black and red checks:
For professional women in the early-mid stages of their careers (ie pre-Chanel and pre-St. John), we recommend Nora Gardner's line of conservative but flexible day-to-night attire for gals who are going places in life:
It's better to have three good suits or three good work dresses than to have closets full of mediocre stuff. If you have business or professional ambitions, look the part. I own only three good, conservative suits, but plenty of Brooks Brothers ties and shirts for variation. Forgot, also a summer suit. I have three sports jackets for "informal Fridays" and for church, etc. A blazer and two tweeds.
I have just three pairs of expensive dress shoes for work; brown, cordovan, and black. They ought to be good for 20-30 years at least. Somebody once told me that people always check out your footwear, and it is true. I never do that, but other people do.
If you look professional, chances are that you will be treated that way. It sounds shallow, but the way a person presents himself in public, comports himself, grooms himself, speaks, his posture, all makes a huge difference in a world in which people only have time for quick takes and generally are not very interested in you because they know enough people already. After all, how you look is your decision about how you have chosen to present yourself to others. If you look like a schlub, people will assume that that is what you are or what you aspire to. If you look too natty, or whorish, conclusions will also be drawn.
We identify ourselves, introduce ourselves, before we open our mouths. Do I appraise people on their appearance? Of course I do. Everybody does. It's termed "signaling." It's not always accurate for sure, but it's a rule of thumb for people with little time.
I saw him perform several times. Grew up middle class, went to prep school and Harvard, affected a working class style but I doubt any working class people were ever interested in him. A likeable old commie, naive and innocent to the end.