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
Monday, October 31. 2016
From a Yalie (h/t, reader), We’re A Culture, Not A Costume:
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:04 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
University of Texas issues 29-point checklist on offensive Halloween costume.
A big thank you to Roger and Bruce for keeping the daily linkies flowing here at Maggie's. Y'all deserve some Reeses's cups tonight. Steal them from the brats when they fall asleep.
Sad about Norcia, one of our favorite villages in Italy. We got an email last night from our friends, the monks of Norcia (Benedictines), that they are all ok and have moved into their mountain quarters.
Pope heads to Sweden to commemorate Martin Luther
CNN Source Fed Clinton Camp Information
Google Chairman Wanted To Be Clinton Campaign’s ‘Head Outside Advisor’
History Repeats: A Nixonian Cover-up in the Home Stretch of the Campaign
Clinton campaign scrambles to respond to renewed FBI investigation
Is this getting crazy enuf yet?
The meteor that just slammed into the Clinton campaign thanks to the FBI
Should Clinton step aside?
Sunday, October 30. 2016
I told my father-in-law tonight (a darn good sport to take care of our pup for 12 days) that the high point of our trip was the High Mass Sunday morning a week ago at the Seville Cathedral, the largest cathedral in the world. Second was probably seeing the gigantic Garden of Earthly Delights in the Prado. I did not realize that this altarpiece is about 12' wide and 6' high.
Delightful surprises were encountering two dear old couple friends by complete serendipity. First was a couple we have known from church and many other things. Mrs. BD said, as we were having cafe con leche in the garden cafe of the Parador de Granada (which is inside the walls of the Alhambra) "You won't believe this, but I think the ___s are sitting over there." They were two tables away. Good fun. Plus their room at the Parador was next to ours. The other one was Friday when we were having high tea in the garden at the Madrid Ritz. One of my closest pals and long-time confidantes ambled over past the fountain and said how fitting it is to run into the Bird Dogs having tea at the Ritz. I love things like that.
Anyway, we managed to catch two flamenco shows at tiny little venues in Seville. This was one (approximately) of the performances we saw at the Flamenco Museum. Good luck finding that amongst the crazy maze of medieval alleys where the phone GPS won't work. The dancing is mostly improv. The clapping styles are remarkable. Very strange, emotional stuff. Ole.
A fine motto from Charles V, here in a floor tile of Seville's Alcazar.
How can one evaluate a landscape architect whose greatest achievement was to create the profession of landscape architecture itself?
He was a prolific and graceful author too. A quote from the article:
Saturday, October 29. 2016
There are many versions. Here's one:
A quaint topic, isn't it? To us it is not quaint. Manly Honor: What Is Honor?
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:56 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
An enjoyable reminder (h/t Small Dead Animals)
Pic is a crowded Cape Cod beach - the bay, at Wellfleet. Duck Harbor. You can walk it for hours, if you bring enough water. Can take dogs there, off leash of course. Do dogs love that? Guess. At low tide, it is dog heaven.
I have all of these books, and love them:
Richardson: The House on Nauset Marsh: A Cape Cod Memoir
Schwind: Cape Cod Fisherman
Henry David Thoreau: Cape Cod
John Hay: The Great Beach
Mitcham's Provincetown Seafood Cookbook. His Kale Soup and Haddock Almondine, along with all the rest of his Portuguese-influenced recipes - are immortal, but his Baked Stuffed Cod is the best. The whole Cape area has lots of Portuguese descended from the visiting Cod fishermen (Emeril, from Fall River, is one.) Interesting fellow, Mitcham. Highly productive in his life; rarely, if ever, sober from what I heard. Dead now, at 77.
I have a few other out of print Cape Cod area history books that I won't link because even Abe's doesn't have them.
NEW YORK POST:
DICKILEAKS-FBI REOPENS E-MAIL CASE
STROKING GUN- WEINER SEXT PROBE FOUND HILL EVIDENCE
Here's a virtual tourist guide.
The medieval citta alta overlooks a clearly prosperous modern town. We parked the car and took the funicular up to the old hilltop town. We strolled around the town and had a great lunch. Most of my pics are food, classic Lombardy cooking.
They are famous for a polenta-based dessert.
More Bergamo pics below the fold -
Continue reading "Northern Italy 2013, #1: Bergamo, with food - reposted"
Friday, October 28. 2016
When I discuss fitness and conditioning, I use the categories of Strength Training, Endurance Training, General Athleticism Training, and Nutritional "Training."
Naturally, different regimens address each fitness category with some specificity but with some overlap. To get stronger, you have to stress nerves and damage muscle fibers by moving weight. For endurance training, 20 mins of intense interval exercise seems to beat out longer low-intensity aerobic cardio. All categories feed into General Athleticism which is most peoples' real goal - Fitness for whatever life brings - but we address it specifically with calisthenics and by playing recreational sports and other outdoor vigorous activities.
These categories of activity use different combinations of energy systems. Animal bodies have three energy systems, each with different purposes.Just as nerve pathways can improve with stress and challenge, cellular energy systems can be bolstered with stress. When you think about it, a fair amount of stress is good for both body and soul.
Your energy systems are the Phosphagen System, the Gycolysis System, and the Aerobic Oxygen System. In a balanced Conditioning regimen of Strength, Endurance, and General, all three energy systems adapt to being stressed and, ideally, exhausted. Your body will build up those systems, over time, to meet the challenge. That is called "more energy."
For one example, the Phosphagen metabolic system can be stressed or depleted by ten heavy ball floor slams or by a 30-second full-out sprint. That system is for quick bursts of maximum power.
This site, The Three Metabolic Energy Systems, explains the basic physiology of the three energy systems with a discussion of how each is best stressed (but unfortunately that discussion only addresses things like running rather than the other exercise categories which also make specific demands on the 3 energy systems).
I once drove over the St. Bernard Pass. Dramatic drive for sure. This is a train tunnel.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:56 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Reclaiming Toxic Masculinity. One quote:
Anybody with the Y chromosome can be male, but it's not easy to be a man. It is, in fact, a lofty goal depending on your definition. Like most guys, I measure myself against my father and my peers in terms of success, strength, integrity, religious progress, friendships, knowledge, good cheer, self-restraint, seeking responsibility and independence, courage, etc. Not saying these are distinctly male aspirations, just that it's hard to be an adult person and it is not easy to become a man.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:34 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
So, movies are important. We talked a little about one movie yesterday, and it elicited a discussion of many. What do movies mean?
Movies are stories. Some people think movies and other forms of visual entertainment like TV shows are inferior to reading books. I think that's sort of true. If your mind is forced to picture something that has been transmitted to you by the written word, the gray-matter horsepower it takes to make the picture in your head improves its effect somehow. Even a story spoken to you is like that a little. Having all the visual work done for you dulls the effect. It attenuates other effects, though. It's a form of mind control. You'll see my story the way I want it seen, or you won't see it at all.
It's the same for writing. Writing a word with a pencil on paper makes you understand it better than selecting it on a tablet computer. That's one of 6,176,158 reasons why is our children not learning.
Movies aren't more sophisticated than text. I think movies are actually closer to the normal way our pit-scratching, mammoth-pestering ancestors communicated ideas and feelings. The parts that work are a throwback. A pantomime by the firelight. Show, not tell. Or at least, tell, not labor over commas. People are affected by movies and television. Or more to the point, people are influenced by movies and TV.
There's a reason why everyone wears their hair like Laura Petrie one day and talks like Dirty Harry the next. There's a reason why the same people we used to treat like lowlifes -- because they are -- get made into griots and petty Caesars, raised on a pedestal of their residuals. There's a reason why colleges had toga parties in the early sixties, and then again in the eighties when Animal House reminded everyone of reminding everyone about sword and sandal epics like Ben-Hur. Our behavior, mores, speech, and appearance are affected by what we see on the screen. Unfortunately, right now, what we see is pandaemonium.
Let's see what Pandora's up to these days:
Wow, there are actual male humans on that list. I thought it would be Audrey Hepburn 10 times. It's a little light on Clint Eastwood, though, isn't it? You had to wear Dirty Harry glasses in the '70s. It was like a law.
Mel Gibson must be rehabilitated because he makes money in Hollywood. He kisses their ring, and they kiss his ass. Simple, really.
Go figure. Kevin Costner's name in the same sentence as "fraud." Must be a day that ends in Y. Of course, he's on the receiving end for a change, instead of the audience. He always sounds like he's reading a phone book with a bite from a peanut butter and Seconal sandwich in his mouth to my ear.
Like I said yesterday, "Four Dozen Julia Roberts Legal Thrillers You May Have Missed."
Oh, brother. That little piece of purple prose is appended to a ranking of the best 6-second video clips on a defunct service cancelled by a soon to be forgotten caterwauling service. That's Remembrance of Things Past to a Millennial.
Well, that's the links for today. Vote for the best pair of sunglasses in the movies in the comments.
Thursday, October 27. 2016
Clinton headlined fundraiser for campaign group which gave $500,000 to wife of FBI boss who investigated her emails - and it's closely linked to Hillary's bid for power
Forget an EU Army. When close allies can’t even buy equipment together, closer defense cooperation is a pipe dream.
Leaked Memo Exposes Shady Dealings Between Clinton Foundation Donors And Bill's "For-Profit" Activities
They currently have a show on Ros Chast's cartoons. I get a kick out of them.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:35 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Only Prussians could have designed the industrial, military model that American public education has applied since the mid-1800s. Then head-in-the-clouds John Dewey screwed things up even more in the US.
One of the fallacies is that kids are passive recipients of something called education. Another fallacy is that all kids are "creative," curious creatures who can be excited about "learning."
The industrial model focuses on curriculum, as it were a nutritional plan. Of course a curriculum matters, but everybody has his own opinion on what every citizen ought to know. I know I do. However, curriculum planners like to pretend that 50% of students have below-average IQs.
Don't Blame the Teachers - Years of misguided curricular theories are at the core of America’s educational shortcomings.
That might be just one part of the issue. As a victim of The New Math, I can relate.
I've never really understood movie lists. They're always curated under titles like, "The 40 Greatest Zombie Love Stories," or, "Four Dozen Julia Roberts Legal Thrillers You May Have Missed." The ones I really don't get begin with, "The 100 Greatest...
I don't know about you, but I don't think there are 100 movies, total, worth watching twice. A list of 100 Greatest Movies wouldn't need any additional qualifiers. There are maybe a hundred great movies, period. Even a good movie is pretty rare. Office Space is a good movie.
It's good because it played small ball. It used offbeat actors and looked at mundane things in a fresh way. Your job sucks and you're lonesome and your boss is just going to have to go ahead and ask you to come in on Saturday. Galaxy Quest came out the same year, and had the same fresh feeling despite the subject matter being pretty well picked over already.
If I had to explain to an alien what the American cultural and business landscape looked like when the clock was about to strike the millennium, I'd show them Office Space. Since they were aliens, I'd have it dubbed in Spanish. The movie is a Swiss army knife of quotes, too. There's one for every occasion. Let's look at the business news today, and see if the little world Mike Judge invented between the lo-pile carpeting and the drop ceiling of Initech still holds up:
I was told that I could listen to the radio at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven, I told Bill that if Sandra is going to listen to her headphones while she's filing then I should be able to listen to the radio while I'm collating so I don't see why I should have to turn down the radio because I enjoy listening at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven.
I'll bet I'm the first one laid off! Just the thought of having to go to the state unemployment office and stand in line with those SCUMBAGS...
The ratio of people to cake is too big.
I don't know, man. I just get that feeling lookin' at her like she's the type of chick that just... [shudders]
We get caught laundering money, we're not going to white-collar resort prison. No, no, no. We're going to federal POUND ME IN THE *** prison.
So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life.
Good luck with your layoffs, all right? I hope your firings go really well.
I'm thinking I might take that new chick from Logistics. If things go well I might be showing her my O-face. "Oh... Oh... Oh!" You know what I'm talkin' about. "Oh!"
I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything that I thought it could be.
Milt, we're gonna need to go ahead and move you downstairs into storage B. We have some new people coming in, and we need all the space we can get. So if you could just go ahead and pack up your stuff and move it down there, that would be terrific, OK?
That's what I'm talkin' about when I talk about America!
Wednesday, October 26. 2016
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