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.
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.
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.
In the US, I mean. An astute reader commented here yesterday:
He (Trump) is a moderate Republican in the traditional Northeast mold with a strong populist streak.
The majority of self-identified Republicans are not conservatives; they are moderates. Until the Reagan Revolution, the Republican Party could be described as center/left. Its mainstream leadership still is. There is no New Deal of Great Society program they oppose.
Until the realignment of the 1970's, the Republican Party was arguably to the left of the Democrat Party. It had its own progressives, like T. Roosevelt, Hoover, Wallace, Rockefeller, Lindsay, and, arguably, even Nixon and both Bushes.
Until the realignment, both parties were broad tent parties, coalitions of convenience of state parties, and included both conservatives and progressives, who fought for control. They had no real ideologies, and couldn't because of the very nature of the coalitions, which were intent on getting power.
The Democrats were arguably a broader party since they included both communists and racist segregationists. The Democrats are now a socialist party with a dominant communist wing. The Republican Party nowadays is broader and shifted to the right of the Democrats.
PS. I think it is clear that the neocons are not conservatives either. The older generation are mainly Jewish socialists, who shifted to the Republican Party because of perceived anti-Semitism in the Democrat Party, mainly due to lack of support for Israel. What was once perceived or inferred is now blatant: the Democrat Party is openly anti-Semitic (and anti-American).
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Haunting this year’s presidential contest is the sense that the U.S. government no longer belongs to the people and no longer represents them. And this uneasy feeling is not misplaced. It reflects the real state of affairs...