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, July 24. 2017
Bear chases 200 sheep over cliff edge
Where was the shepherd?
Killing feral horses
Falling in love with your friend’s spouse?
Charlie Gard And The Experts
Vatican archbishop: All should accept that global warming is a fact
Hot Temperatures In Summer Have Been Declining For Decades
Former UN climate chief: Only three years left to save the planet
Ozone Hole was life or death issue
The 'Amazon Washington Post,' and Why It Needs to Be Destroyed
ICE Plans Crackdown On Teen Gang Members, Which Is Apparently A Bad Thing Or Something
Dear Sanctuary Cities: ICE Is “Open For Business”
AN ANTI-KOCH RAMPAGE AT WAKE FOREST
Professor Wants to Combat Merit by Basing Admissions on Lottery
A Word of Thanks From a Welfare Recipient
‘Buy American’ has little meaning in today’s world of globalized supply chains
Remembering a WSJ Pulitzer winner: Joseph Rago’s column on the wacky comparisons between Trump and ‘1984’
Will Progressive Democrats Abandon Busybody Dream Of Perfecting Humanity?
To read Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd is to return to highschool, where eye-rolling is argument, and lack of style is a sin.
Mueller found the man (Trump), now he’ll find the crime - If Bloomberg News report is accurate as to expanded probe of Trump, then we’re heading into Soviet territory.
Germany: NO GROPING, DAMN IT!
A New Look at the Death of Europe
Poland appears to be dismantling its own hard-won democracy
Dutch Euthanasia is “Killing”
Israeli 'mental first-aid' method offered to attack victims abroad
Operation Good Neighbor: Israel reveals its massive humanitarian aid to Syria
Sunday, July 23. 2017
This hike pic from the Isle of Harris looks unchallenging, doesn't it? The pic does not show what was needed to get to that plateau - or to get down from it. As our guide said, "Be careful with your steps. This hike has consequences." Meaning a possible violent death. I'd rate the challenge of our 9-mile hike up and around Hushinish a 2, but for fear and danger...difficult to rate 8-10" rocky and unstable sheep trails along cliff edges.
Can't be chickenshit in life. Go go hi ho. It's always worth it when you get to the top.
More pics from the Isles of Harris and Lewis when I get them organized.
There are so many rating systems that it can be confusing or misleading. And when it comes to off-trail wilderness hiking, which we did a lot of in the Outer Hebrides, you really need a guide who knows the terrain to estimate what sorts of challenges you can handle. In less wilderness areas, of course, we all get a kick out of doing off-trail explorations on our own. Not always a good idea.
Many difficulty- rating systems are based on altitude changes, steepness of grade, length, agility-requirements, and risks (eg weather, cliffs, boulder fields, etc.). Other rating systems are based on technical difficulty alone.
I'll pick one example: the famous and popular Tuckerman Ravine trail up New Hampshire's Mount Washington. Alltrails rates it as Hard on their Easy/Moderate/Hard system. But what does that really mean? 9 year-olds prance up it with daypacks. What it means is that there is a substantial altitude change, variable weather (foolishly-unprepared people have died of exposure up there but it would be difficult to be that stupid), and high rocky steps at times, but it is a relatively easy hike if you are in good health and cardio condition. It's a 7-hr hike up to Lion's Head and back down - what Europeans call "hill-walking." In the European system, the Tuck hike probably would be rated in the 2 range on their 1-5 rating system.
Several of our Hebrides hikes would be rated Hard (if you sometimes have to be on your hands and knees grasping rocks and heather to get up the steeps) in some US systems, but all were around level 2-2.3 in the Euro system. I like that Euro system which takes into account your fitness level and the hike's challenges.
In my view, though, those Euro ratings - "Easy" to "Expedition-Level" - do underestimate the challenges. The Euro level 2 to 2.3 range is plenty for me. On level 3, I suspect that I would be a slowpoke in a group. People do not like to have to wait for the slowpokes. On straight steep uphills, off-trail, with unstable footing, I need a minute to catch my breath every 20-30 steps. I call that "admiring the scenery" or "taking a picture."
Since we're talking about hill-walking - all-terrain hiking - and not technical mountaineering, we are mostly talking about stamina and cardio conditioning. Strength is not a major factor but mental and physical stamina are.
Trailmaster posts about two common American rating systems in Choosing a Difficulty Level for Your Hike is a Key to Wise Hike Planning
Here's another piece about different rating systems for hikes and mountain bikers: TRAIL DIFFICULTY RATINGS SIGNS
And yet another to rate hikes you have taken: Hike Evaluation Calculator
Photo is from the popular hill walk/climb, Breakneck Ridge Trail in the very pleasant village of Cold Spring, NY. It's a 6-mile hill walk but the first mile involves lots of scrambling and a 2000-foot altitude change which is why some people rate it at a rather high - too high - 3 because anybody in decent shape can do it.
Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24
Saturday, July 22. 2017
Below, I have the now-infamous Marc Morano 'Climate Hustle' documentary that so unnerved the delegates at the Paris climate accords in December of 2015.
Luckily, Mr. Moreno skipped town just before the storm troopers arrived.
Close one, Marc!
Before we get to the video, allow me to set the background with a few relevant links and quotes. You're welcome to skip ahead and watch it, of course; I'm just posting the following to show that the claims made in the documentary are hardly unique.
Continue reading "(We've been...) Climate Hustled"
No One Hates Your Transgender Child. We Hate What You Are Doing to Him
How fentanyl is making deadly drugs even deadlier
Loving a Borderline
Idleness kills manliness
How Capitalism Averted The Bee-Pocalypse
The Man Who Got Americans To Eat Trash Fish Is Now A Billionaire
The 20 most in-demand jobs that pay more than $100,000
World War II Military Surplus 1911’s Coming To Store Shelves
Ice cover in Greenland is steadily increasing, in defiance of rising carbon levels and even greater levels of green rhetoric.
Claremont McKenna Punishes 7 Students Over Blockade Of Heather Mac Donald Speech
California College Chancellor Wants To Abolish Algebra Requirement, Calls It A ‘Civil Rights Issue’
How bad is grade inflation?
Minnesota Schools Adopt Transgender Toolkit for Kindergartners
I think the real problem is that he’s embarrassed them by solving the problem quickly, easily, and cheaply. That is unforgivable.
Food Stamp Use Falls to Lowest Level in Seven Years
Political Intolerance Is Rising
Where did white voters back Hillary Clinton?
Clinton Scandal Only Deepens — So Why Is Trump, Not Hillary, Targeted For Investigation?
Latest Deep State Leak Proves Obama Was Spying on Trump Campaign Early On
MUELLER EXPANDS HIS PROBE AGAIN - It’s all Russia, Russia and Trump, Trump -- all the time.
Mike Pompeo: Russia Interfered In The 2016 Campaign — And Campaigns Before That
[Fill in Name of Government Program] Would Have Worked Had the Right Person Been Running It
President Trump Kills 16 Regulations For Every New One, Crushing 2-For-1 Goal
Slovenia’s Side of Melania’s Story: How the First Lady’s Upbringing in Communist Eastern Europe Shaped Her Fight for Freedom in America
Amsterdam to punish unsuccessful dating attempts
Sweden: A Failed State?
The Red Cross and the Holocaust
Iran’s terrorism goliath - The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps terrorizes its own people and casts a dark shadow over the world
Not expensive. Group sizes are 2-8 people. They will expect you to be in fair physical shape, regardless of age.
Also, if you ever do find yourself out there, here's a cool day trip from Skye: GO TO ST KILDA
Friday, July 21. 2017
Labeled as "boot camp" and "toning" for women, it's really just progressive calisthenic routines and is just as good for men, and for any age. Calisthenics don't care about gender. These sorts of cali routines combine cardio, so doing this sort of program for several weeks covers both, while keeping your muscles in use and building stamina and agility.
Doing it daily in a group, or with a group of pals, works best but anybody ought to be able to follow this path which begins fairly easy, about an hour daily, and ramps up in challenge but not in time spent.
For each week, you would do the routine 5 days. It doesn't require a gym or any special equipment besides hand weights. If you start now, you should be "well-toned" and fit by Labor Day: Get Toned Fast
Right here and now I issue a challenge to some of our guy readers who are sarcastic or dismissive about structured fitness to give this a 6-week try at 5 days per week, and then get back to me with a report. Nothing to lose, and no need to tell anybody it's a girl program. Mr. Bliss is doing it with me, before work each morning, as a summer break from his usual gym routine.
When I first encountered this program, I had to check out what they meant by some of the terms on Youtube. Try the Turkish Get-Up. I'd advise against the crunches. Do V-ups instead.
Why ‘Vogue’’s Attempt to Embrace ‘Gender Fluidity’ Backfired
Why We Should Allow Boys to Fight
Taking Care of a Friend’s Dog For The Weekend? Better Have a License, NYC Says
NPR: Having That Extra Child Could Cause “Climate Trauma”
Want To Stop Global Warming? Stop Having Kids And Eating Hamburgers
LIBERAL TALKING HEADS TURN AGAINST THE WEST
When Institutions Go Left
John McCain's unfortunate news: What does it mean?
Run, Kamala, Run
President Trump's Voter Fraud Commission Meets, Smeared by Deniers
The U.S. Military Rewrites the Basic Laws of Biology...What's Next?
Thursday, July 20. 2017
What most people want from fitness, probably only second to looking good/feeling good, is Stamina.
I like that word better than "endurance" which sounds painful and tedious, while "stamina" connotes an energetic or even joyful get-up-and-go attitude while including the ability to keep going when the going gets tough, pushing the point of fatigue further out while taking some pleasure or satisfaction in a strenuous or stressful life.
The older we get, or the heavier we get, the more difficult it becomes to maintain or build physical stamina. Unfortunately, it requires psychological stamina (ie, the talent to seek or invent, engage, and push through difficult challenges and opportunities. The most common adaptation for those lacking that talent is old-fashioned self-discipline) to build or maintain physical stamina. As the experts say, the day you "don't feel like" exercising is the day your body and mind need it most.
"I don't feel like it ..." is one of the most insidious, anti-life, anti-energy phrases ever invented. Why not try "I wish I hadn't been born on this planet with this annoying gravity and all these interesting and difficult things to do"? Unless they are clinically depressed, there is no cure for low-energy or relaxation-oriented people for whom inactivity or passive activity is the default setting or the desired state. Indolent is just the way they are made. Some people are naturally vigorous, some indolent, and most somewhere in-between. It's a Bell Curve of a partly-genetic and partly-cultural personality trait and it is quite obvious in what people do when given the choice.
I am on board with the Maggie's Fitness Doctrine that strength is foundational, but that strength is just a tool for building functional physical conditioning to apply to the average active and athletic American life. (Average Americans, unlike Europeans, are prone to engage in sports and/or challenging exercise.) Decent strength makes general conditioning exercises - cardio and calisthenics - more possible, more forceful, more energetic, and more enjoyable. Strength itself is great for schlepping stuff, but the general conditioning reward of strength is to be able to be more fully-engaged in all the cool things life offers - including physical chores, adventures, sex, and sports.
This is why I believe that a couple of half-hours of cardio HIIT, and a couple of hours of intense calis, are the best plan for building stamina for life for ordinary people. For beginners, get those muscles woken up with weight-training, hard and and grooving, and then move on to the challenging moving that really applies to living this brief and precious life to the fullest.
My personal test to assess people, including myself, on the Vigor-Indolence Scale is below the fold -
Continue reading "Stamina and Psychological Stamina"
How did dogs become our best friends? New evidence
´Let them eat food off the floor, play in the soil!´: It IS important to expose your children to germs to boost their immune system, expert urges
At age 111, America's oldest veteran is still smoking cigars, drinking whiskey and loving life
The Royal Family's dress code uncovered
Why Americans Are Having Less Sex
Perfect: Listen, Area Boss Gets It
Green Cronyism Gone Wild: It Looks Like The State Of California Is Bailing Out Tesla
What Facebook Can Learn From Company Towns - As the technology firm plans to build a village in Silicon Valley, history suggests what can sustain a company town long after its founders are gone.
No Justification for Importing More Low-skilled Labor, Study Claims
The Myth of Technological Unemployment - If the nightmare of technological unemployment were true, it would already have happened, repeatedly and massively.
The Mother of All Disruptions - Yes, robots are coming to the workplace, fast—and yes, America will change.
These Technologies Are Changing Farms in Some Surprising Ways - As agriculture adopts recent advances in automation and data science, farms will become super-efficient — and perhaps a bit lonely.
My University Treated Me Like a Criminal Over a Joke
Why It's a Bad Idea to Tell Students Words Are Violence
The English Language Is Under Attack. We Must Defend It.
WaPo’s Latest Worries About How Somali Community Will React To Police Shooting
Epstein: The Single-Payer Siren
Ronald Reagan has the answer to GOP’s ObamaCare riddle
The Left’s ‘Hamburger Problem’ Is Not Going Away
Elizabeth Warren Attends Martha’s Vineyard Fundraising Dinner Hosted By Big Bank Executive
About erasing history:
While Nation Is Focused On Healthcare, The WH Press Corps Continue To Push Russia Conspiracies
Taxing Hospitals Is a Lousy Way to Fix Health Care- Higher hospital profits were a feature of Obamacare, not a bug.
Fmr. U.N. Amb. Power Emerges As Central Figure In Obama Unmasking Investigation - Congress demands answers on why Obama officials demanded classified intel that harmed Trump
Pavlich: Clinton’s Russia dirt
Tucker Carlson Calls Out Dems For Double Standard On Russia
USPS broke law in allowing workers to boost Clinton campaign, watchdog says
New Documents Suggest “Puff Pieces” On Dem Sen. Kamala Harris Due to Major Spending With PR Firm
Palestinians: Another Lopsided Deal
Palestinian Authority’s 2017 Budget Shows ‘Huge Increase’ in Funding for Terror Payments
UNESCO is an Immoral, Anti-Semitic Organization - Decent Countries Should Leave
Wednesday, July 19. 2017
I would file this report in the "Correlation is not Causation" file: An active sex life improves brain power in older adults
From Kimball's Populism, X: The imperative of freedom
Related from Coyote: For the Record, I Fear Pure Majoritarian Democracy as Well
Like many fans of 'NCIS', a big chuck of my interest in the show went out the window when Michael Weatherly left a season ago. It just wasn't going to be the same without our lovable ol' Tony.
Just to get us into that Tony mood, I'm going to include a couple of clips from his NCIS days, then we'll move on to his new show.
What's interesting is that Weatherly played a multi-faceted persona on the show, sometimes being sentimental, and sometimes comedic. Here's a short clip that puts both facets on display.
Gibbs has received (yet another) medal of achievement, doesn't even bother to attend the ceremony, so Tony accepts it in his stead, as usual.
More on this interesting story below the fold.
Continue reading "Whereupon Michael Weatherly morphs into Jason Bull"
Posted by Dr. Mercury in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:00 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
"Enjoy every sandwich."
- Warren Zevon's advice to fans as he was dying of cancer
Why Andrew Wyeth’s Art – Once Derided – Has Outlived His Critics
Another Reason Men Don't Work: Imaginary World More Enjoyable Than The Real World
Disney Vows to Give Epcot a Magical, Long-Overdue Makeover
2 Monkeys Were Paid Unequally; See What Happens Next (video)
California: Golden No More
LINDA SARSOUR'S SAUDI ARABIA ARRESTS WOMAN IN SKIRT FOR "DISRESPECTING TEACHINGS OF ISLAM"
For Climate-Change Hypocrites, U.S. Is Too Frackin' Much
LGBT Mega-Donor Reveals Next Goal: 'Punish the Wicked' Gay Marriage Opponents
Leaked Email Shows Hillary Camp Internally Bragging About “Killing” a Story Linking Bill Clinton $500K Moscow Speech to Magnitsky Bill
What killed Senate health care bill? Liberal Medicaid alarmism
Democrats Will Soon Regret That Republicans Failed To Repeal ObamaCare
CBO Analysis of Trump Budget Shows Need for Entitlement Reform, Pro-Growth Tax Policies
Tuesday, July 18. 2017
His political incorrectness would get him instantly fired anywhere but in his own office, but his female assistants just get a kick out of his bawdiness and Trumpism. We always talk about weight lifting and hiking and a little about sex. Conversation becomes a bit one-sided once my mouth is full of cold stainless steel tools of torture, but I am getting the hang of it over time. I wish he were a bit slower, because yanking a bad tooth before the novocaine has taken full effect is unnerving, but getting out of there faster is preferable for me. Why does it help so much when that sweet Filipino gal puts her hand on my shoulder when the going gets tough? Filipino Magic. Wonderful people - the best.
He recently completed his 6th muti-day hiking and camping trip in the Grand Canyon with his brother, a buddy, and uncle. No wives signed on. 45-lb packs. I suggested that it might be time to try a new place, and he said they would, having done all the basic GC trails including the worst one which scared the crap out of him. Maybe the Indian Trail. Like me, he is acrophobic but does it anyway. (Lots of people hate heights, so it's really normal. Even when I am snorkeling somewhere, and there is a steep drop-off on a ledge or reef, it gives me the creeps but I generally conceal my fears as much as I can. It's a guy thing.)
Isn't facing down your fears the thing that builds the "can-do" in a person, whether male, female, or gender-confused? One of my greatest fears is walking into a dental office, but I take the valium he gives me, then man-up and walk in with a flirt with the sweet gals and a fresh joke ready - ready to act cool...like a mass-murderer to the execution room.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:41 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
There's nothing new about McCloskey's manifesto, but it makes clear some Maggie's Farm political issues.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
- Albert Einstein
Late due to extended delightful dental fun
There Is No Human Right to a Big Mac
EVANGELICAL FUNDAMENTALISM AND CATHOLIC INTEGRALISM IN THE USA: A SURPRISING ECUMENISM
“Do Not Cite Research By White Men”
6 behaviors making men unemployable
Do All Moms Truly Believe Their Boys Are Rapists?
Reynolds: How long do you want to live?
Amazon Prime does more for northern food security than federal subsidies, say Eskimos
That’s right: Nearly half of America’s Class of 2016 are A students.
The Yale Record Found Dave Brooks Scared-of-Sandwiches Friend
Why corporate elites support mass immigration
Jane Sanders: This Fraud Probe Is “Incredibly Sexist,” You Know
THAT "IRANIAN CANCER RESEARCHER" WHOM US BANNED WAS A JIHADIST
For Liberals, The Shadow Of Donald Trump Looms Far Larger Than The Man
The Myths of 1953 - Newly declassified documents reveal the CIA to have been mostly a bystander in the Iranian coup.
Israel and Hezbollah: The Battle before the Battle
Monday, July 17. 2017
Our group of 8 assembled at the Inverness train station, and proceeded by van through the mainland Highlands to Skye.
Highlands, where they cut down all the trees centuries ago:
Like many or most of the place names in the Hebrides, "Skye" is Norse. And speaking of languages, 60% of Hebrideans speak "Gallic." That's the Scottish Gaelic. All signs are in "Gallic" and English. Luckily, they also speak a strange form of English which is possible to understand at times.
Once over the new bridge to Skye, we took a 2-hr warm-up hike during which the weather changed from fog to drizzle to heavy rain to peeks of sun. A good intro to island weather. Not for sissies.
Lotsa stuff below the fold. We do it for you -
Continue reading "Skye and Outer Hebrides photo travelogue, #2 of 3: The Isle of Skye "