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.
An 1866 lithograph by Robert Dudley shows the HMS Agamemnon, one of the first ships to attempt to lay a transatlantic telegraph cable, dwarfed by the SS Great Eastern, the ship that eventually accomplished the task, and the first one large enough to carry the entire cable length by itself.
The story here: A Wire Across the Ocean - The first telegraph cable to span the Atlantic revolutionized communication, but it also transformed business, politics, and even language.
The number of so-called "expediters" is a valuable signal for how complex and damaging a city's regulations have become. These middlemen manage the constantly changing rules and endless delays in processing that come with doing business with the city. New York City's expediters once numbered between 300 and 400; today they total more than 8,300 strong. This complexity generates a new business opportunity for regulatory experts. Larger, incumbent businesses can manage to navigate this process, but it is much harder for the small businessman, particularly if he is working a 9-to-5 job or if English is his second language.
You have to credit the Left: Its strategy is deft. If you can make enough noise that sounds approximately like a moral crisis, then you can in effect create a moral crisis. Never mind that the underlying argument — “Something bad has happened to somebody else, and so you must give us something we want!” — is entirely specious; it is effective.
I saw that my three kids are a team. They are all quite different in interests, temperament, etc., but they support each other, help each other, enjoy each other, text each other, love each other. Bonded despite all of their differences in literary tastes and curiousnesses. Fortunately but probably not by accident, we all have dwellings within 40 miles of each other (2 have beginning NYC careers, and the third did but moved on/out). My theory is that every kid needs to confront NYC at least in youth. Good for humility if nothing else.
As readers know, I get a huge kick out of NYC. Have theater tix for next Sat., and dinner, which is good, but just wandering around is a blast for a country boy like me.
It is a comfort and a pleasure to a middle-aged fellow to see that they will remain a bonded family when we parents are dead and gone. I imagine their future Thanksgivings and Christmases, and maybe continuing the ritual Cape Cod family reunions with our annual family morning Wellfleet Triathlon with all of my sibs and any available kids (bike around 15 miles ending up at Long Pond, race across Long Pond and back maybe 1/2 mile or more and try not to drown, then run about 7 miles back home for a hearty breakfast. Better yet, to the Lighthouse for blueberry pancakes, bacon and eggs). Family traditions are important life foundations. Body-surfing in the ocean in the cool north Atlantic. The annual family baseball was good too. Batter Up! My Mom at 84! She knew how to hit a baseball and to do lots of other things too.
Their being fond of, and grateful to, their parents is good too. Already, they will drop anything to give us a hand when needed. Blessed, I guess. Will do the same for them as best we can.
- He claims that the harder you exercise, the more your appetite tends to diminish. I find that to be true. He had to ask Mrs. BD to make sure I eat four bites of protein daily at the least, for nourishment. Like a hard-boiled egg or a slice of ham. I don't want it and I often don't do it. As I have reported, he works me quite hard so that I stumble out of there with weariness and muscles burning. I don't want to eat hardly anything anymore. He insists I have to have at least a small amount of carbs daily too, but I usually just don't want it. It's an interesting phenomenon. All I want is water and caffeine, and a little wholesome (organic) Indian tobacco. Before this process began, I was mostly ready for anything tasty (but nothing suqary) despite having no meaningful weight issue. Now, I have little appetite and can never come close to finishing a really nice restaurant meal. I try to force it to be sociable, but I can't do it. Everything is a doggy bag worth two more left-over suppers. We go out to places with friends often, weekly at least, and I feel embarrassed by how little delicious stuff I want.
- He seems to feel I can lose another few lbs or so, around my middle. I can see what he means, but my trousers are already trying to fall off. Says it can only be done by the right diet - meat and eggs, low carbs. No problem. He says people tend to feel that they have to finish their meals - whatever they are served - and thus lose their sense of what is sufficient. They ignore the moment when any hunger they may have felt is gone and disconnect from their bodies. Stop then. Don't just go on eating mindlessly until the thing is finished, as if somebody else was in control of you. "Clean your plate" was a Depression-era admonishment for children which created two generations of fat people. What is sufficient to maintain, even under a rigorous fitness program, is not very much as long as it is protein-heavy in proportion. Buffets are the worst.
- He says "Lite Aerobics," like fast walking, jogging, road bicycling, or 40 minutes on the elliptical or the treadmill, are better than sedentary but not valuable for building fitness, endurance, or for fat-burning. They can keep you mobile but not improve fitness. He says ten minutes of maximum-intensity aerobics is much better. For now, for my "off-days" he likes 10 min intense bike for warm-up, then a rest, then 10 mins intense elliptical, then maybe 5-10 mins intense rowing. Or 2 out of the 3, mix and match. Efficient exercise. I still cannot do 10 mins of intense elliptical but I can do "relaxed" elliptical for an hour. Waste of time, he says - and boring. I am also told by my doc that it is the intensity which burns a little fat, enhances endurance, and induces collateral cardiac supply (which will help you survive your first heart attack). Those are good things. Gotta feel the burn or it isn't worth your time. No pain, no gain. That applies to all exercise, apparently. Brief, high intensity for resistance or for cardio rather than time spent. My doc is in great shape.
- Factoid to remember: Even high-intensity aerobics, verging on anaerobic, will not burn your fat if you have carbs on board. Your body preferentially burns bagels over body fat. It's easier because carbs become sugar - cheap energy - during digestion. A bagel = sugar.
- Overloading muscles is the only way to improve strength. You injure your muscles, and they come back stronger. That strength is what improves endurance. A surprising amount of that "good" damage comes from the Eccentric Phase of weight exercises - not when you are pulling or pushing, but when you are doing the opposite in a slow, controlled fashion. He thinks I am ready for "Negative Reps." He advised me not to bother with high-rep exercises.
Well, it's all interesting physiology. Physiology is a fascinating topic.