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, August 31. 2016
Bone weakness is mainly seen in post-menopausal women. It is asymptomatic until a bone breaks and you face a real problem. When men have it, it tends to be at least ten years later than women, on average.
You do not need to appear frail to have bone fragility, but osteopenia is one component of what we term "frailty" - vulnerability to things breaking. While being underweight is one risk factor, being heavy is not a protection. Vit D deficiency and inactivity are other factors, along with bad habits, unlucky genes, and a life style lacking in daily resistance exertion.
Hip fractures are one of the common presentations of previously-undiagnosed bone weakness. Contrary to common belief, people do not "fall and break their hip." It is usually the opposite: their femur just fractures from weakness, causing them to fall. People with bone weakness, though, are more prone to any bone fracture anytime they fall or have an accident.
Diagnosis is usually via a routine Bone Density Scan or after a fracture.
Prevention and Treatment: Besides getting some sunshine daily (not just on your face) and taking Vit D along with a good diet, the prevention and treatment for bone weakness is strength training. The medicines for osteoporosis are problematic and often ineffective. Cardio exercises - things like walking, running, swimming, etc. are not effective in building muscle or bone strength. (It is not unusual for runners to be weak-muscled - or for weight-lifters to be unable to run a mile. Balanced fitness means strength, a little cardio, and calisthenics for athleticism but only the strength component is relevant here). Some full-body calisthenics might be helpful (eg squats, farmer's walks, push-ups, step and press) but what really helps is moving heavy weights against gravity with all the muscles you can engage for a couple of hours each week.
That works because muscle stress and muscle growth put the good kind of stress on the bones to which they are attached. This naturally stimulates bone development. Bone-ligament-muscle is a functional unit. Weight training can not damage your bones. Quite the opposite.
For strength training for post-menopausal women, I recommend working towards multi-muscle-group exertions like barbell or goblet squats, bench press, deadlifts, assisted pull-ups, military press, leg press, etc with ever-increasing resistance. The uninitiated should not do these things without an experienced and savvy trainer with some nutritional sophistication. Being overweight is no obstacle to strength training, but a low BMI is a major obstacle to strength-building and requires remediation.
Bone weakness aside, any non-casual fitness program should include strength training, some cardio, and calisthenics. In addition, a nutritional plan that supports your conditioning goals.
We eat supper out a fair bit. One marital date nite per week, one or two social nights out, and a fair amount of take-out because it is easy, tasty, healthy, and cheap. A couple of times each month I'll do a guy's nite out or a guy's breakfast out with a friend or two. Mrs. BD only wants to cook for guests or holidays after cooking for the family for many years, and I only cook when inspired and for guests.
Himalayan bus ride
It is not for me.
How Central Park's lampposts can keep you from getting lost
Obama Designates Maine’s North Woods as National Monument
Lots and lots of trigger warnings
Did Welfare Reform Reduce Poverty? Define 'Poverty'
How do you define poverty in a welfare state where the poor are overweight or have big TVs and $200 sneakers?
Armageddon and The New New Malthusians
George Soros is a brilliant mastermind, the closest thing to a real-life Bond villain in human history
John Kerry actually said this
Merkel defends immigration decision on one-year anniversary of ‘wir schaffen das’
Mexico issues transit visas (to the US) to surge of African migrants
The Democrats Own the Ills of the Inner Cities
Nobody knows how to fix subcultural ills
FBI finds up to 30 deleted Benghazi emails Clinton did not turn over
Here's A Case Study In How Journalists Protect Hillary Clinton From Bad News
TRUMP to Speak Before 25,000-30,000 Indian Americans at ‘Humanity United Against Terror’ Event
Finland will try Free Money
Towards the beach at Duck Harbor, on Cape Cod Bay. I do love it out there in Wellfleet and Truro with the sand and the salty breeze that prevents biting bugs and the piney smell and the miles of protected and undevelopable land. Also, the multi-mile-long beaches with nobody on them except you and the seals.
Wellfleeters know that Duck Harbor used to be a harbor. Currents and storms closed it off with these low dunes, and now the old harbor is a gnarly, impenetrable (I know) fresh-water wetland, full of wildlife and highbush blueberries.
Tuesday, August 30. 2016
Vienna was our base, as my sister and her family live there. The hockey tournament was in Prague. So, 5 days in Vienna, drive 3 hours and spend 5 days in Prague, then drive back and enjoy 2 final days in Vienna.
Vienna offers the ability to take boat/train/bus to Bratislava and Budapest for the day. It's proximity to Prague was obviously useful, and the road there allowed us to stop in Heldenberg to see the Spanish Riding School's summer stables, then stop in Telc for lunch (or Jihlava for lunch on the return).
These stops were very nice. Telc, in particular, was a great 3 hour stop. Highly recommend it to anyone passing through. Wonderful town square, beautifully restored. Make sure you climb to the top of the (very claustrophobic and designed for short people) bell tower. But Prague was our main goal. Not just for the hockey (which didn't work out well for our side), but take in one of the most wonderful cities in Europe.
Continue reading "What I Did on My Summer Vacation - Prague"
I just thought these pics that Drudge had were strange.
Hillary leaving a fancy fund-raiser last week, looking like a patient leaving a hospital in her pajamas. She has put on a lot of weight.
Hillary and Huma. I think they have a relationship. Wouldn't a normal Mom be walking with her daughter at her side, instead of behind her and Huma in their twinsie outfits?
Many of our posts here are simply topics we research a bit, and then share the info with you. The assumption is that whatever we feel curious about is something somebody else might too.
Fall is the best planting season for shrubs and trees, hence this post on exposure. (Generally, I would never advise planting anything without an overall plan. I have learned from many landscape errors and I wish I had the money back from all of them. Learning is expensive.)
Plants do not thrive without a climate (of course), a soil they prefer, an exposure they prefer, the duration of sunlight they prefer, or the amount of moisture they prefer.
"Exposure" means the amount and direction of direct sunlight, or the lack thereof, on a given spot during growing season. Only a plant in the middle of a large field or large lawn has no limiting exposure. That is known as "Full Sun," 7+ hours of direct sunlight. Full sun is what is needed for vegetable gardens, hayfields and other farm crops, most trees, and many perennial plantings.
In most of the US, trees and buildings determine the exposure of a planting site. Before you plant anything or put in a garden, you need to determine the exposure and the hours of direct sun the spot gets. For example, an Eastern Exposure location gets direct morning sun for maybe 4-5 hrs. That is known as "Partial Sun" aka "Partial Shade." Many plants love that eastern exposure such as Dogwoods, Hydrangeas, Rhododendrons. Such plants hate the afternoon intensity of a Western Exposure so their Partial Sun needs to be morning.
OK. Before planting something, we need to determine the exposure and the amount of direct sunlight. There's another sun consideration too, though. As this site notes:
As you move towards more northern latitudes, the angle of sun varies seasonally, expanding and contracting exposure. A couple of my Western Exposure rhododendrons only get afternoon sun for several weeks in midsummer, and even that is too much for them. They survive but do not thrive. If they had afternoon "Dappled Shade," they would be fine. Which brings us to Dappled Shade and other definitions. Some good definitions from here:
Continue reading "Sun Exposure - useful info for fall planting"
Lots more good boat pics at Salt Water New England
Surprisingly Little Evidence for the Accepted Wisdom About Teeth
Biofuels not as ‘green’ as many think – may be worse than Gasoline
It's just Iowa vote-buying
Clemson stops man from praying on campus: ‘Not a free speech area’
Could More NFL Players Join Colin Kaepernick's Protest?
What does it mean to spend years as a Syrian refugee and then land in a brand new life in Erie, Pennsylvania?
Enjoy the Internet, Before Obama Abandons It to the UN
TRUMP ON FIRE in Iowa Speech: The Era of The Clintons is Over
Donna Brazile just made a startling admission in her defense of Clinton Foundation
Jesse Jackson gushes with praise for Donald Trump
Clinton debate prep is intense
Hillary’s schedule is a ‘tell’
Note to MSM: This Race Isn’t Over
Cairo returns to normal, NYT is sad
Nobody in Germany Wants to Hire Merkel's Rapists and Robbers
As the End Looms for Mutti Merkel, What Next?
Monday, August 29. 2016
This has been a great year for rodents in Yankeeland. I've never seen so many bunnies (Cottontail Rabbits) or Chipmunks around. Maybe somebody shot the Coyotes?
Like other ground squirrels, these cheerful little fellows don't climb often, and live in tunnels.
Mine have some burrows under my garden shed, and some live in a rock pile. They are rather tame, but the dog doesn't seem to be able to catch them. They like the free lunch of seed that falls off my bird feeder tray, so I can watch them poking around two feet from my window.
At Mohonk Mountain House in the Catskills (short video of that wonderful place here), they have always had a number of little Victorian-style chipmunk houses around the place. Like doll houses, but sturdy and shingled. They seem to like those houses.
When I was a kid I caught one in a Havahart trap and tried to tame it, but that plan did not work and I finally let it go. Sharp teeth, and loves freedom and independence.
You can read more about these fine critters here.
Lime's apartment building is almost next door to the Imperial Palace, in a fairly noteworthy section of the city. Yet you really wouldn't make the connection between reality and film if you weren't aware of its use, and I wasn't that first day. In fact, I wasn't clued in until my brother-in-law pointed it out to me on my last day in Vienna.
I didn't go to Vienna to do a tour of the film's locations, but trying to visit them will certainly give you a good understanding of the city and its history. It was filmed over some of the more interesting portions of town, and given the timing, the use of British and Soviet sectors helps keep that part of history alive and interesting. A tour of film locations is as good a way to see the city as any other.
To that end, there are some points of The Third Man worth addressing for modern viewers who aren't familiar with history. After all, Austria and its capital city, Vienna, were split by the Allies into zones of occupation and management much like Germany and Berlin. This continued for many years, ending in 1955 when secret negotiations between Austrian diplomats and the Soviets steered Austria into a neutral global position. (It may come as a surprise to some, but Vienna has tended to have a very cozy relationship with Socialism, and Communism in particular. While Austria has been a successful post-war 'Western' nation and economy, its capital city's cozy relationship with leftist politics are evident in location names (Friedrich-Engels Platz), tenement/museums (Karl-Marx-Hof, built in 1930), and even some of their monuments.) As a result, even though the war was long over, the military plays a primary role in the story.
Most of the film takes place in the British zone, which is where Lime's apartment is located. His address is 15 Stiftgasse, but the real location is the Palais Pallavicini, across from the Spanish Riding School in Michaelerplatz.
Since the film was shot in Vienna while it was still rebuilding after the war, in 1949, the devastation is still clear in many scenes. Most notably the road to the cemetery (south of the city toward the airport) or the lot next to the Cafe Mozart. The real Cafe Mozart wasn't used in the filming, as the location chosen was the Neuer Markt.
Continue reading "Vienna and The Third Man"
Richard Pryor in the Era of the 'New Racism'
The Problems with National Parks? Too Many People
Chancellor: Zero-coupon bonds are not a joke
Global central bankers, stuck at zero, unite in plea for help from governments
I want a thank you from Kaepernick
Department of Justice Releases Video Instructing Cops How to Use Proper Pronouns With Trangenders
Herky the Hawk’s grimace too ‘aggressive’ for fragile students, Iowa professor says
Mizzou Renames ‘Unisex’ Restrooms Because Term Isn’t Inclusive Enough
Feminism: When He Doesn't Call Back
U.S. to Resettle Nearly One Million Muslim Migrants Under One Term of Clinton Presidency
DNC Chair Brazile: Clinton Fdn Questions Attempt to ‘Criminalize Behavior That Is Normal’
Lots of Smoke Here, Hillary
Clinton’s Use Of Email Scrubbing Tool May Not Have Been Detectable To FBI, Developer Says
Hillary Gets (More Than) a Little Help from Her Media Friends
Theodore the Great: How Trump Channels Teddy
Claims of Racism Are The Last Refuge Of A Shrill Harridan
Trump's instincts are correct on Russia
Russia is not an enemy
This local news anchor from India definitely should’ve checked her T-shirt before going on air
Maybe she meant it
The Law is Clear – Israel is Not Occupying Anyone’s Land
Sunday, August 28. 2016
This one is for AVI: We are Many, We are One: Neo-Tribes and Tribal Analytics in 21st Century America by John Zogby
A big hit of Jo Stafford in 1952. Here's Bob's cover:
“Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.
John Maynard Keynes (of all people) as quoted at Zero Hedge's "We Are At A Point Where The Encroachment Of Government Power Has Historically Resulted In Rebellion"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:09 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Paul's letter to the Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
Saturday, August 27. 2016
Thanks to readers for comments on the exercise diet and weight gain issue. I am digesting, as it were, the idea that I need to eat more. That will have to mean 5-6 small meals/snacks per day because I am rarely hungry despite my weigh training plus my cardio and calisthenics on "off" days.
My goals with all this, as I have mentioned, are to improve and maintain strength, agility, endurance, and energy in the face of Father Time and the dread apoptosis. While some muscle hypertrophy is inevitable and amusing, wiry strength is more what I want to pursue.
With increasing resistance, you might be able to barely gain, at most, one lb. of muscle mass per month. Doubtful, because even that is a lot unless you live in the gym or in jail. Strength, however, can be increased without much measurable muscle mass.
Cardio and calisthenics, as we have explained, build strength minimally if at all but seem good for agility, endurance, and general athleticism. In other words, worth doing as part of the triad of Resistance, Cardio, and Calisthenics.
With the help of my nutritionally-knowledgeable trainer, we have worked out a nutrition plan for the next 3 months, with the goal of gaining 2 useful lbs per month (possibly - but doubtful - 1 of muscle, and 1 of fat - can't gain one without the other unless you are already overweight) while upping my carb intake to speed exercise recovery and to increase energy. To be a good client, I will do my best with something like the below, but I will take a several weeks to work up to this much daily volume ( the "/" means "or"):
- After morning work-out, a 20- gm protein 200 cal. shake or 2 scrambled eggs with tomato and cheese
We'll see whether this experiment works to gain 5-6 lbs of red meat by November. I am skeptical. If I gain in the waist, it's a no-go because my trousers fit fine now.
It's one of the least healthy but most delightful snacks I've had. If you've never seen or had it, I would best describe it as an ice cream cone, but it's softer, there's a hole in the bottom, and it's served warm (even hot) - so while ice cream works in it, you'd better eat it fast.
The lines at Prague's Tredlnik stands were always long, particularly after 11pm when the drinking crowd started showing up in force. Lines often included young men on their bachelor party, forced to wear dresses, and often being held up by their buddies. When I woke up early to visit the Charles Bridge (you really do have to wake up early if you want pictures of it without crowds), I was stunned to see the same women I'd seen the night before around midnight, firing up their Tredlnik fires and making the dough. I wasn't sure if they were just finishing up from the night before and about to be replaced by the next shift, or if they were really hardcore workers.
The case against privatizing national parks
Federal control of western land: two perspectives
Have More Kids. It's Good For the Planet
The Word On The Waltons: Then, Now, And Crazy Facts About The Show
Once again the only country of any size that, as far as I can see, emerges from the Olympic Games with any credit is India
NYT: We Messed Up In Our Louisiana Disaster Coverage (Maybe It's Because Bush Isn't President?)
This brilliant response to Obama’s ‘don’t discriminate’ warning to Louisiana is pure American gold
The Worst Union in America - How the California Teachers Association betrayed the schools and crippled the state
Sally Kohn Doubles Down on Her Defense of Sharia as 'Progressive'
Robot wars: Russian Armored Car Is Now Remote-Controllable
This Princeton health economist thinks Obamacare’s marketplaces are doomed
Does it matter?
The Clinton Foundation Is Not a Scandal. It’s a Phenomenal, Life-Saving Success.
Clinton's new strategy: I may be a crook, but he is a racist
Hillary’s Race War - Disgusting lies, smears and hate.
Hillary's Email Server Was Wiped Clean With Something Called 'BleachBit'
Was this done after they were requested?
Russian “New Generation” Warfare: Theory, Practice, and Lessons for U.S. Strategists
How Israel Became a Role Model in Fighting Terrorism
For sale, cheap: You Can Own Michelangelo's Tuscan Estate - Nestled in the hills near Castellina di Chianti, it comes with 200 olive trees and the original olive oil mill.
You know in your heart you always wanted to run a B&B in Tuscany.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:00 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, August 26. 2016
Upon arrival, we were told to take the CAT (City Airport Train) into Wien Mitte station, and grab a cab. Not knowing the city, this was our solution, and it paid off. Cabs are expensive, but our cab driver gave us great information about using public transport, and helped us figure out what parts of the city to see. A wonderful fellow, he was a graduate of U of Cal Santa Barbara and spoke perfect English. Gave us insight on how cabs operate, what to be careful of so we didn't get ripped off, etc. It's amazing how much information can be shared in a 15 minute cab ride. I didn't think a picture of the subway was enticing, so I'm opting for a view of the city from the high swing at the Prater (I wanted to ride the ferris wheel from The Third Man, but that took too long, so we hopped on the swing):
Continue reading "Vienna and Subways"
Killer mosquitoes. Be very, very afraid. The government is creating them.
Will they have GMO labels? At least, in Vermont? Sounds like Jurassic Park to me. I think these skeeters will be 3 ft. long in giant deadly swarms.
Why is that approach in error?
Because there is no evidence that education dollars correlate with schools' success. Rich schools are not the "best" schools, but kids in schools in more prosperous districts tend to perform best because kids perform best in areas where the parents tend to have their act together.
It's the kids that make a school look "good", not the school itself. Teachers want to teach but not all kids are interested in this project. For example, in my state student performance correlates almost exactly to the average town income, regardless of per pupil expenditures (which tend to be highest in "low-performing" urban schools). Thus the "best schools" are in solidly middle-to-upper-middle class, homogeneous towns with no new immigrants, no out of wedlock kids, and minimal social dysfunction.
Schools do not "perform." Kids perform, or not.
Education does not cost too much. Just ask any home-schooler, or any Charter School.
They come in many different color morphs, sometimes rings and sometimes splotches so they can be confusing.
They seem to like forest edges and will hang out in old barns, garages, and buildings. The last two I've seen in Massachusetts had been hiding under old piles of boards outside the barn abd the garage. They are mainly nocturnal hunters.
I always wonder how snakes find their mates in the Spring.
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