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
Friday, September 25. 2015
Have you had a better one lately?
By request -
The program I have taken on is quite different from the ones that have been discussed here. I understand that strength-building resistance work is important even if you do not want to model underwear, because strength is needed to maximize your general fitness exercises and recreational activities.
I am a young guy luckily without any need to build muscles at this point. I am doing general fitness and cardio to feel good, to have energy, to prepare for skiing season, and so as not to look like a soft slob before I hit 35 or 40. Every gal and guy I know works out in some form. White-collar people have to keep moving or we will decay.
The only sport I play these days is basketball on Sunday night. We have a good group and we invade the pub afterwards in our sweats. I'd like to assemble squash or racketball group for Saturdays but I haven't arranged it yet. My self-directed general fitness program combines plyometrics with calisthenics on 3 days a week, and cardio 3 days a week. I rarely miss a day because when I am out of town I can do it too. I do these early, on the way to work. No resistance exercises per se at this point.
My pure cardio is 30-40 minutes of running sprint intervals on the treadmill. I would prefer running my intervals outdoors but I have genes for bad knees and the treadmill is joint-friendly. Sometimes I do intervals on the elliptical, bike, or Stairmaster instead, for variety. I finish it up with calf lifts and calf stretches, and throw in a plank if I have time.
For my plyo/calisthenic days (plyo and calisthenics have some overlap) I do an hour, more or less. I use "plyo" to refer to exercises requiring quick bursts of high energy, like box jumps, burpees, mountain-climbers, medicine ball throws and smashes; and the term "calisthenics" for any other high-rep body-weight exercises (or with light weights) like planks, Bird Dogs, kettle-ball walks, step-ups, jumping jacks, ropes, pushups, pullups, jump rope, lunges, squats, jumping squats, etc. This combines general fitness with cardio as there is no time to rest in my schedule. Heart rate never normalizes but you do need to catch your breath.
Then shower and shave in the gym, suit up, and get to the office by 7. Great way to start a day. I got professional help designing this workout with the goals of endurance, muscle-toning, agility, vigor, and general full-body fitness. Not for fat loss or muscle building. On Sunday morning, I go to church instead. Redeemer: a good Christian workout with a wonderful community of friends and new friends.
- A large assortment of Plyometric Exercises
For the first two weeks, I felt exhausted every day. After a month of it, I am feeling good, sleep better, have more appetite (I am a small-eater as in coffee for breakfast and a half-sandwich for lunch), and I think I have more energy. It's good for my head too. Use it or lose it.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:39 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Image stolen from Never Yet Melted
Kids Are Tossing Their Government-Mandated Fruit Straight In The Trash
The Real Reason We Need to Stop Trying to Protect Everyone’s Feelings
How reliable are the climate models?
How to Build a Clock Just Like Ahmed Mohamed in Only 20 Seconds
to Build a Clock Just Like Ahmed Mohamed in Only 20 Seconds - See more
Beneath Chicago’s Gloss - How it is possible for a city this booming to be this broke?
Hillary Screams at Obama: 'Call Off Your F-ing Dogs'
How I learned to stop worrying about immigration and love the Bushies
Marco Rubio Still Promoting Welfare And Full Citizenship For Illegal Aliens
What If Russia’s Foreign Minister Conducted Official Business on an Unsecured Private Server?
US-Trained Syrian Rebel Leader Defects to Al-Qaeda
The Refugee Crisis and Sweden's Perfect Storm
"if liberals are looking for some vacant space, the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard are sparsely populated. Those would be good places to house 50,000 or 100,000 migrants."
The US has 45 million foreign-born residents
Thursday, September 24. 2015
I am seeing that the NJ and Bulldog are getting on board. Good American fitness and strength in mind, morals, body, and spirit is what we're about (we hope). Mens sana in corpore sano.
Can I confess how freaking hard it is becoming? My trainer keeps ramping up his demands as I enter my 6th month of intense, six-day/wk fitness training program. It's up there with the hardest work I have ever encountered, mentally and physically. Boot Camp. It is hard, and it hurts. It stretches one's capacity for discipline and effort, same or more than studying Physical Chemistry.
In the process, I discover things about myself. For one thing, I learn that when I think I am beat, I can still do a little more if I get my head around it to fully engage my will. In some ways, I am weaker in will than I like to think. Will, self-control, and self-discipline are the keys to so many achievements and accomplishments in life. It is part of what is termed "executive functioning." Overall life effectiveness in pursuing goals.
Another thing I have found interesting is that, just as in a job, or in therapy, or in a church group, AA, a military platoon, or on a sports team, it is relationship which brings out the most we can do and pushes us forward. On my own, I could never have accomplished what I have done thus far had I read read instructions in a book. I am amazed by how this middle-aged bod can adapt to physical demands despite the inevitable aches and pains and injuries of intense exercises. This body is harder than it has ever been, no soft spots and no fat except for some (genetic?) but shrinking love handles.
Crossfit (which I think is good but I don't do) gets that with their group fitness programs. The team cheers each other on, from the old or fat or heart-impaired to the young and strong. It's not so much competitive as it is relational (not that there is anything wrong with the competitive part because that is fun too). They do compete in weight loss, if they need that.
It's a love-hate adventure for me. There is an end point where it will be more about "maintain" instead of "progress." Not there yet, especially in the full-body endurance department. A few more months, I suspect. Can't do enough reps benching my weight either. I am more interested, though, in intense endurance than in plain muscle and my natural build is ectomorph with a meso tendency. Average. I want to do 30 minutes on the stair machine set on a fair speed, for example, or 50 medicine ball smashes without collapsing. My planks are getting longer though, to the point that my whole body quivers and shivers for 80 seconds. That's when my guy says "25 more seconds - c'mon, lock those elbows." So I do it and then fall on the floor.
In the end, it is for life functionality and fun, not for the gym. A little vanity is the dessert. Yes, my abs are shaping up but it's just for sex appeal...
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:55 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
My apologies but I forget where I found this toon.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:06 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
PJ O'Rourke wrote the text years ago: Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics
Have A Doughnut: FDA Transfat Scare Debunked by Study
53 Yogi Berra Quotes: His Funniest One-Liners and Witticisms
How an 18th-Century Philosopher Helped Solve My Midlife Crisis
Pope Francis Reverses Position On Capitalism After Seeing Wide Variety Of American Oreos
Faculty at American University: No Trigger Warnings
Insulation increases asthma and allergies
A million little pieces - How America’s smallest cabinet department became a mass of unkillable pet projects. A POLITICO investigation.
Remembering Carly Fiorina at HP
Let’s just keep insisting that those Hungarians are digging their heels in only because they’re bigots and xenophobes.
See the doom? From Watt's Quote of the Week: facts against the Mann:
Wednesday, September 23. 2015
Scientific studies reveal that most men feel attracted to sexy younger women. To all women, but especially the sexy, younger. (h/t Insty)
Thank God for scientific studies.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:27 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Where, oh where is dear little Nellie?
This custardy native North American fruit cannot be commercialized because it deteriorates so quickly after picking.
The plant can handle only so much direct summer sun. Stark sells some cold-hardy varieties.
My pals and I get a kick out of growing unlikely things in the chilly Northeast like fig, paw paw, and peach. It takes a green thumb. (Brown Turkey Fig can survive New England winters if properly protected. Just one plant can produce hundreds of fresh figs. The above-ground branches sometimes die back in winter here, but it comes back with a vengeance from the root in Spring.)
Tip: Since we are approaching ideal fruit tree planting season, that Mutsu Apple is delicious, bears heavily, has large fruit. My neighbor has kept us well-supplied with his over-abundant crop this fall.
OK, just this last boatload of refugees can come to Italy - then no more.
More below the fold -
Continue reading "Politically-incorrect images"
Photo: Yesterday's pickings from a friend's garden. That's some heritage tomato
Taking down the topmast
Yankees legend Yogi Berra dead at 90
Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum reopens to great acclaim
How Long Should Sex Actually Last?
Commercialization Of Legal Pot Has Led To ‘Epidemic’ For Colorado Kids
VW Scandal Will Speed Up Diesel's Demise
How Ideology Has Hindered Sociological Insight
Alexis de Tocqueville summarized the ideology of progressives by writing the following...
In praise of public housing
Some people just can't or won't make it on their own. Some people are not functional and lack family supports. Even England had poor-houses, as did colonial US.
Angry Muslims Taunt NJ School Officials: “We’re Going to Be the Majority Soon”
The Dream Is Gone: Leonard Cassuto's The Graduate School Mess
Kimball: The race post-Walker
Scott Walker wasn’t unlucky. He was clueless.
Pope Francis appeases the Castros in repressive Cuba
Wrong. Let Putin do the dirty work there. He's good at it. The US has no useful role in the ME messes other than being friendly to Egypt and Turkey.
Obama's Islamic State War Czar Stepping Down
I posted about garden cancer plants a while ago.
The Wisteria which shades our pergola and makes such a fine display in May sent runners around the porch and attacked our porch furniture like a Strangler Fig. Mind you, we cut the heck out of the thing back in early July but for 2 months it has been on an imperialist rampage.
Where can I buy some Agent Orange? Fighting this thing becomes tiresome. It wants to take over the world.
Tuesday, September 22. 2015
"Capitalism has done more for the world's poor in 200 years than the Catholic Church has done in 2000."
A commenter at Cafe Hayek
"For every PhD there is an equal and opposite PhD."
A commenter at Zero Hedge
The last time I looked, patents were government-protected monopolies. The benefits of patents are debatable in the discussion of free markets. Most economists recognize their value as an tool for creating the incentive for innovation. However, it is recognized as a temporarily assigned privilege.
I don't hold a particular stance on whether or not patents are viable tools. Unlike Jeffrey Tucker, I'd venture that removing patents altogether would not be good for innovation. I'm willing to accept his arguments, they do make a great deal of sense, I just don't think they have practical applications (I could be wrong...saying something doesn't have practical application just means it hasn't been tried, so we're wary. In fact, patents didn't exist for many years and humans still made tremendous innovations without intellectual property rights.)
Since patents are a government rigging of market management (controlling production), perhaps the length of patents should be reduced. Or perhaps upon the sale of a patent, the protections are eliminated within a shortened time frame.
Patents are government regulation and an inhibition on markets. Thus, the government has the means to 'fix' what it broke with patents. That said, the journalist needs to learn quite a bit about what a free market is.
Late note: A comment mentions that Daraprim is off-patent and the firm purchased 'exclusive rights', which the journalist failed to look into and assumed was a patent. I looked into it at lunch, because I'd assume the same thing. There are no 'exclusive rights' without a patent. What the firm purchased was the only factory currently making the drug. There are no 'exclusive rights' at all. By keeping the price down, the current company was making a profit and reducing competition (which should have, oddly enough, brought it up on anti-trust laws). But the new owner may make a short term large margin, only to face a competitor who decides to now enter this market and drive prices down.
All in all, the free market is working far better than this journalist ever imagined, even if the short term hit for people is substantial. My guess is the competition will push the price for the drug far lower than it was previously.
Sex Reassignment Is Latest Company Benefit in Push for Equality
Insurance for cosmetic surgery?
Does Penis Size Matter?
Sex Would Be Simpler if We Were Bonobos
Jon Hamm Finally Won an Emmy. Here’s Why It Took So Long.
Ernst & Young Removes Degree Classification From Entry Criteria As There's 'No Evidence' University Equals Success
Another Faux Indian Turns Up in Academia: Susan Taffe Reed - See more at: http://moonbattery.com/#sthash.cg6xKM4j.dpuf
American Catholics Approve of Pope’s Direction, Poll Finds
George Will: Pope Is a False Prophet
Muslims March Through Streets of Denmark – Demanding a Caliphate
Academic psychologists value diversity, but now find that liberal psychology professors outnumber conservatives 14:1
A Truly Honest Leftist Says Our Incomes and property Are the “Rightful Property” of Government
Hillary! claims she "is a real person"
Monday, September 21. 2015
...of the Midsummer we saw on Saturday.
As Mrs. BD says, skilled theater reviewers can often write evocatively. A gift which I lack. This one nailed the spirit of the production I posted about: Review: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Tailored for Multitaskers.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 19:46 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
From Alva Noe's How Art Reveals the Limits of Neuroscience:
I am no skeptic about basic neuroscience. I am skeptical about its overeach, its hubris. Aesthetics can never be understood at a neuronal level of organization any more than a living cell can be understood at an atomic level.
Prayers for Mary Katherine and family
Palo Alto real estate
Average NYC school janitor makes $109K a year
A Canadian Survivor of Socialized Medicine
Colonel Connell: The Medal and the Man
School lunch study: Visual proof kids are tossing mandated fruits and veggies in trash. In perverse effect, USDA mandate decreased consumption, study shows
A Canadian Survivor of Socialized Medicine
Hoax Exposed: Muslim Student Ahmed Mohamed’s ‘Briefcase Clock’ is 1970s Digital Alarm Clock
Becoming America the not-so-beautiful
The Question No Candidate Will Answer
JEB BUSH IN A DRESS: Top 9 Fun Facts About Carly Fiorina
Pope Francis Misses The Sizable Moral Dimensions To Capitalism
Has the Vatican Already Forgotten the Lessons of John Paul II?
Four out of five migrants are NOT from Syria: EU figures expose the 'lie' that the majority of refugees are fleeing war zone
Migration Crisis: Germany Wants to Be "Miss Congeniality" - And Have Europe Pick Up the Tab
Castro Praises Pope For Using Global Warming to Spread Communism
Director David Zucker Targets ‘Idiotic’ Iran Deal With Satire
Xi’s Bluffing Hand*
Frustration grows with Obama over response to China hacks
The Islamic State's suspected inroads into America
Muslims of America terrorist training compounds
Sunday, September 20. 2015
We're getting into apple-picking season around here. Depending on the variety, it will run through October or early November. Apple trees prefer cold winters for their dormancy.
Cultivated apples are derived from a wild malus found in mountainous regions of Afghanistan and China. China is the world's largest apple producer today. All varieties have been genetically-modified from that wild plant which is a cousin of the rose.
Many apple varieties were carried to the New World by early colonists. They were not as flavorful or varied as the modern types, but it's all they had. The only apple species native to the New World is the (mostly) inedible crabapple.
Should we mention once again that apples are not particularly "healthy" as they are mainly sugar and water, but they do make a good sugary snack or dessert, especially with cheese. Like all fruits, they are designed to sweetly tempt critters to eat, and to later poop out their seeds to spread their genes around.
When you do a high-risk adventure, you are supposed to be willing to die doing it. Isn't that the point? Expecting others to rescue you at public expense and risk to themselves is wrong.
This Russki hunk of Polar Bear food got rescued. He'll try it again, though: Two days on ice with three polar bears
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:22 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)