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
Wednesday, July 27. 2016
Tuesday, July 26. 2016
Brought to mind by Am. Digest
Unless you have a nice big greenhouse (which I would have if I were rich), growing backyard tomatoes north of Zone 7 is a waste of time, money, and effort. If you calculate the value of those things, your tomatoes come out to over $20/lb depending on how you value your time. I value mine highly, because life is short and my Wanna-Do List is long.
Still, most people do tomatoes anyway. We do it because for 5 or, with luck, 6 weeks we get to pick and eat truly delicious tomatoes. Farmer's Market tomatoes are mediocre, and supermarket tomatoes are terrible. Nothing to do with health - just flavor and juiciness.
Two of my sisters in Massachusetts quit tomatoes years ago. Not worth the effort, and they both have such active and busy professional, social, and athletic lives that they have no time for relatively-unrewarding pursuits. Sensible priorities. Let others grow them. Division of labor.
So I am the stupid one. It is late July, and I have harvested just a single cherry tomato. Chipmunks ate the other two that ripened thus far. The plants themselves are large and lush and laden with swelling greenies. Fried green tomatoes? I do like them.
When I consider the illusion or delusion of the imaginary productivity of some things I do such as hunting, gardening, and fishing I am forced to conclude that the only thing that would be truly cost-effective might be shooting and storing a couple of backyard Bambis in the freezer. (I maybe could add fruit tree gardening to that short list because it is close to effortless, but store fruit is cheap and excellent and I don't like fruit anyway except maybe ripe pears, and peach jam.)
Every other activity belongs in the "hobby" category. That is tomatoes - it's fun to eat home-grown and to pretend it's a worthwhile accomplishment but "It is illogical, Captain".
Homo economicus is just a sliver of human nature once survival is assured. Most of us do lots of things that feel good but make no logical sense. With our free time we rarely calculate cost-effectiveness or opportunity cost. Editing Maggie's Farm might be a prime example...but your readership is our thin reward.
Photo is Fried Green Tomatoes.
I would like to see Stockman and Kudlow in a Trump administration.
It's a case of organized gentrification. Upscale pubs replace discount stores, and the place becomes safe at night. A more organic gentrification is going on right now in NYC in Hell's Kitchen. As in NYC's East Village, the pioneers are the young looking for affordable living quarters.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:53 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Hillary Corrupts Everything: The DNC Story
"Instead it should be asking, What did Hillary Clinton know and when did she know it?"
"I had to wonder whether this article from Qualitative Inquiry wasn’t a Sokal-style hoax..."
Embattled dean retires after unrelenting protests
And this is in the USA, not a totalitarian state
Life in Kalispell
About The Guardian: How To Lose Money In Very Large Quantities
Citing Alleged Threats, FL Democrat Seeks to Ban ‘Hillary’s America’; Claims ‘Democrat Lives Matter’
While we were all watching the GOP convention, Humana dropped out of most Obamacare markets
The Public Pension Problem: It's Much Worse Than It Appears
Happy Birthday, Dodd-Frank Law -- Now Please Kill It
Hindus for Donald Trump
Union Leaders Throw Their Backs Out Trying to Oppose Trump - How can construction bosses oppose a construction tycoon?
Paul Krugman’s Bubble - The New York Times columnist should leave the Upper West Side once in a while.
Refugee Jihad Spreads in Germany - Why the recent wave of attacks is only the beginning.
How Israel’s Air Force Dominates the Sky
Not Combat Ready: U.S. Marine Corps
Turkey-Russia Pact Threatens Western Interestsin the Middle East
" The most amusing economic news in recent years was when a senior Chinese official basically explained that the welfare state in Europe makes people lazy."
Ten years after last Lebanon war, Israel warns next one will be far worse
Erdogan’s Self-Serving Purge Has Gone Too Far
Monday, July 25. 2016
Impressive take-off by the stunning 737 at the 2016 Farnborough Air Show. I am eager to fly in one of these new airplanes - especially if we have enough miles to bump up to biz class.
FOX is no Republican megaphone. Just ask Mrs. BD, who almost threw a string bean at the TV last night.
DNC Wikileaks hack outs Hillary shill at Washington Post
Meet the Press Panel Gushes Over Dem Convention, No Mocking Hillary!
Dissenters to the Groupthink afraid to show it
I do not think that anybody views Mrs. Bill Clinton as a truthful person, or as a person of good moral character. Those things are not required of politicians, and certainly not expected of the Clintons. However, she did tell the truth yesterday: "I often feel like there’s the Hillary standard and then there’s the standard for everybody else."
Free Inquiry vs. Social Justice at Brown University
Our Greatest Enemy: Optimism - Why optimistic groupthink is a threat to humanity
NASA: Global Warming Observations Need a Further 19% UPWARD Adjustment
They want to change past numbers TO FIT THEIR MODELS
John Kerry says air conditioner and refrigerator chemicals are as threatening to human life as ISIS
Why Do the Police Shoot Unarmed Suspects?
Chris Matthews: Using Big-City Names is Racist 'Coded Language' - Is anything NOT racist to these guys?
Psychodynamics of Obama's and Hillary's 'White Guilt Forever' Conversation
Tim Kaine’s Islamist Ties
Tim Kaine: The Jokes Just Write Themselves
McAuliffe To Circumvent VA Supreme Court Ruling On Felon Voter Rights, Will Issue 200,000 Clemency Grants
Leaked Emails Show DNC Officials Planned Anti-Trump Protests
Leaked DNC Emails Confirm Democrats Rigged Primary, Reveal Extensive Media Collusion
Check Your Amnesia, Dude: On the Vox Generation of Punditry
Trump Policy Will Unravel Traditional Neocons - Trump's divergence from the conventional Republican platform is generating indignant punditry from neocons and neoliberals alike
Is America Ready for a Disruptive President?
Trump's Speech Signalled the End of an Era for the GOP
Trump Is Right about Crime - The media rushes to downplay the post-Ferguson shooting and homicide surge—and its effect on black lives.
Kristof tried to prove Trump a racist. Proves he is not
Conrad Black: The genius of Donald Trump
Wikileaks: What the DNC Really Thinks About Latinos -
Why Can’t Hillary Stop Fudging the Truth? Email-gate is only the latest instance in a 25-year habit of dissembling.
What the DNC Really Thinks About Latinos - See more at:
What the DNC Really Thinks About Latinos - See more at:
The Real Reason for Obama’s Cuba Breakthrough
Brexit is already proving to be a huge victory for global free trade
Angela Merkel to face new backlash over open door immigration policy after new German attack by Syrian refugee
Why Would the BBC Scrub 'Ali' From Munich Shooter's Name?
Sunday, July 24. 2016
In the US, I mean. An astute reader commented here yesterday:
A pure Conservative, as I see it, would run on issues like this: Handcuffing the Administrate State, privatizing Social Security, eliminating the federal Department of Education and HUD, abolishing government unions, and lots of other things along those lines. Well that's just my opinion. (Related, Trump as a transitional figure).
Today's Survey question: Could a pure Conservative, somehow defined, with a cheerful and winning personality win a national election today?
I say, regretfully, No.
Heat wave in the Northeast due to global warming. We never used to have heat waves. Spent two hours in and out of a pool. Water was too warm, not too refreshing. Needed some giant ice floes in it, hold the Polar Bear. The good part was that Mrs. BD ordered me a tuna melt on white toast with lots of jalapeno slices in the cheese. Chips on the side. A perfect lunch.
Can you eat a sandwich without potato chips on the side? I can not and will not. Impossible. Our place fries their own daily. A bit thick and just slightly burnt. Fried in beef lard, I think. Delicious. A loud, hearty crunch. Easy to make at home with a mandoline.
Saturday, July 23. 2016
We are dealing with a corrupt press. More of the same can be assumed. Here's how it all works, with MSNBC as an example.
Andy, you and your NR pals need to get over it. You do not own the Party. Times have changed. Primary voters nominated somebody they felt could be a winner. Simple as that. They might be right, after listening to Trump's speech. Nobody else could beat Hillary and her money + press machine.
Manuel, that is, from Fawlty Towers. Here's his story.
"Mrs. Fawlty, she go craaaazy!" Actor Sachs was significantly injured twice during the filming - once when Cleese hit him on the head with a real pan instead of the prop pan. Here is some Manuel:
and just for the hell of it, a bonus John Cleese:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:45 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
With age, gravity tends to give us a larger foot size. Our feet expand under our weight.
I have a couple of pairs of expensive (well, expensive for me) and highly-durable Brooks Brothers loafers which I am loathe to part with but are no longer comfortable. 20 years can do that. Mrs. BD says I am silly not to replace them, but I tried some tricks of the trade first. It is not unusual to be like me, with feet of slightly different sizes but who will not spend the money for custom shoes in London.
Solid, well-made leather shoes can be stretched between a half-size to a whole size. Inexpensive shoes can not take the stress of stretching - either the leather itself, or the stitching, will break.
Things to try:
Shoe stretchers will adjust width or length. Cheap on Amazon. Over a day or two, you keep increasing the tension in the stretcher. Heating the shoes with a hair dryer or in a hot sun makes the leather a bit more stretchable.
Wetting the shoe well with water or, better, isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) before stretching is what expert cobblers do.
Simpler, soak some heavy socks with water or rubbing alcohol and wear the shoes. If sitting, it should be painless.
Results of my experiments with these? Be careful not to overdo it or you can end up with loose shoes.
Other ideas: How to Stretch Shoes That Are Too Tight
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:29 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)
Pic: Some of my relatives at Cahoon's Hollow
Find the #1 Song on the Day You Were Born
Steal big: Billion-dollar Medicare fraud busted
The “Doc Fix” Is In: An Initial Assessment of
Vermont doctors push back against assisted-suicide requirement
Luckiest firearm shot EVER
Sea level rise normal for an interglacial
Weather and the Circle of Hotness
How Hamilton College’s Diversity Requirement Came About
LLoyd Marcus (of American Thinker) nails black lives matter (video)
Left? Why? Trump is no Conservative.
Prime-Time Trump Is Finally Here
Shaidle is not fond of Trump, but...
Sheesh. I thought he was mainly talking about peace and prosperity
Liking the Trump Spirit: Trump awakens the sleeping giant of America
Where Are the Academic Boycotts of Turkey?
Friday, July 22. 2016
"Would you prefer seeing Bill and Hillary Clinton decompose in front of your eyes for eight years, or watch the Trump family develop their dynasty?"
Well, that's a tough one! Everybody must admit that is one impressive and appealing large family. The analogy with the Kennedys is apt, I think. Brains, glamour, street smarts, high energy, self-confidence to a fault, and new money. Tabloid fodder for sure.
Pedigree may be more high society, but new does more things. These days, I think, pedigree is dead and long dead except for dogs. The Bushies are ancient history already. Fine family, though. Good neighbors.
Also, cool detail about last night: The impressively poised and articulate Ivanka was wearing one of her own dresses. Price $158. I like that. She looks good in it.
How anybody can drive up Route 91 through Vermont without stopping at Curtis' place (just west off the Putney exit (Exit 4), next to Ron's gas station) for some authentic Mississippi barbecue is beyond me. Curtis is a Mississippi-born and bred barbecuemaster, but he spends spring to fall in Putney, VT (of all places), cooking over hardwood smoke all day long, with his pet pig and dog following him around the smoky pit. Now he sells his own Curtis' Root Beer and Barbecue Sauce too - but only at his place.
He is a busy old codger, but he will chat with you if you have anything worth saying to him. It had better be interesting, though. You do not see many places like this in New England. I'd be willing to claim that it's the best southern barbecue in Vermont.
Continue reading "Curtis' Barbecue on Rte 91 in Vermont: A free ad for our pal Curtis"
What's the difference?
The only meaningful difference is that kosher pieces are larger, light flakes so that a tablespoon of table salt contains far more salt than a tablespoon of Kosher.
I do not know what that has to do with Kosher.
Voters want self-government back. Magnet begins:
Clean eating and dirty burgers: how food became a matter of morals
16,700-Year-Old Tools Found in Texas Change Known History of North America
Law schools worry bar-passage standard will undermine diversity
It's Peter Thiel's Republican Party Now... Or Should Be
MSNBC Warns 'Viewer Discretion Advised' ... Before Showing Anti-Hillary Campaign Buttons!
NYT After GOP Night 3: Trump as Nazi, Poor Persecuted Hillary, and Don’t Mention the Liberal Media
"Trump is definitely speaking to the moment. He may not be speaking to
"I’ve often argued that Buckley Conservatism was just anti-communism with
The World Looks at Trump, Confused
Good. He's not running for World President. Track record of American foreign policy has been terrible
Draft Dem platform doesn't even mention nuclear power
Hillary Clinton’s New College “Reforms”
Inside Erdogan’s palace: The £500 million mansion Turkey’s president calls home
German Officials Call for Compulsory Islam Classes in Schools After ISIS Axe Attack on Train
How Israeli hummus slaughters Palestinian children, from Campus activists who complain all the time are hurting their causes, students say