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.
So when there was once a bimodal distribution of mortality - infancy and youth, and then old age, now there is only one. All of those deaths in youth skew average or median statistics to the point of meaninglessness. Antibiotics and immunization have made a huge difference.
Regarding infant mortality, it is difficult to compare the rates across countries because it depends on at what point the medical system declares an infant viable. In the US, where almost every infant is viewed as possibly viable, many more infancy deaths are named as such than in other places. It's the same phenomenon that rates Sloan-Kettering (cancer) hospital the worst hospital in the US. Many of their patients do not survive, obviously, despite possibly being the best cancer center in the world.
After the huge effect of public health, immunization, and antibiotics, medical advances have accomplished remarkable things in improving the function and independence of the elder cohort even though I have seen no stats to measure and compare this. In some ways, this is more valuable than life span alone. A generation or two ago you never saw people in their 80s playing tennis, skiing, or hiking up Mt. Washington. Now, it's common in the US (not so much in Europe).
The blessing we all have now, whether we are the half who live past the mid-late 70s, or the half who do not, is the opportunity to live what we're given with as much richness and independence as possible.
With the upcoming Super Bowl, is it any surprise that race politics dominate the pre-coverage of the game? At one time enjoying professional sports provided a respite from all the mind-numbing back-and-forth of politics. Those days have been stolen from us since former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick disgraced our National Anthem in protest to a perceived injustice involving police use of force against black males—none of which is supported by evidence or data.
It's a topic which is rarely discussed, but one which can make a big difference. After all, almost no exercise is improved by holding one's breath during its execution.
-Aerobic exertions (ie, not sprints which are anaerobic, but swims, runs, biking, elliptical, etc) call for a good breathing rhythm. A typical aerobic breathing rhythm is 2:2, that is, breathing in for 2 steps and exhaling during 2 steps. Swimmers know all about breathing rhythm, typically one breath every two strokes or maybe every three strokes, and exhaling with face down in the water. I like to swim with breaths every 4 strokes, but it's just endurance swims, not speed.
- Breathing during sprints (as in HIIT): Sprints are of short duration. Many sprinters inhale once every 10-20 yards. Slow deep breaths, slow exhales. Panting is counterproductive. However you breathe in sprints of any sort, you will not keep up with oxygen needs. You can pant and gasp after you finish.
- Breathing during planks: Planks are typically 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Lots of trainers' advice is slow "in thru nose, out thru mouth," while others suggest in and out both thru nose. The latter is better.
- Breathing with resistance work: As the weights get heavier, breathing patterns become more important. Typically, inhaling during the eccentric motion and exhaling during the concentric motion. (Eccentric and Concentric movements). An exception might be an exertion which demands special core stability, like weighted squats. In such cases, a deep breath can be taken before the eccentric movement begins, and the breath held until exhaled on the concentric stand-up.
Also, with the powerlifts, there is no federal law against taking an extra breath after 5 or 6 reps of an eight rep set, at the end of a concentric motion. Why not? It's not meant to be a sprint. The purpose of weights is just to stress the heck out of muscle to the point of some micro-tears, not to be anaerobic cardio even if it tends to be.
Fitter or younger people than I am have far more ambitious programs, but we all do what we can.
Not including my two calisthenics days (which are, say 60% HIIT or regular cardio), I fit in two pure cardio days partly as recovery days from my weight-lifting days. Those two days are constructed (all workouts have to be planned) for heart strength and hill-hiking endurance and speed. Something like this:
- 10-min elliptical warm-up - 5 mins misc jump rope drills. I'm working on one-footed, but it doesn't come easily to me - 45 mins treadmill drill - A5 min/1 min/30-second/1 min pattern, like this: 5 mins 3.2 mph walk at 8-10 incline; 1 min slow walk at 2 mph at 1.5 incline; 30-45 second sprint at 7-9 mph,;1 min slow walk; 5min jog at 4-5 mph with a 2 incline; 30-second "sprint" at 7-9 mph; then the 1 min slow walk. Rinse and repeat according to time availability. It's not boring because it is always changing. - Finish up with 10 mins on the stairmaster, not too fast, to make sure I am a wobbly physical wreck by the time I am done.
I'm sure some readers can handle a more intense program, but I think mixing it up like this at whatever intensity one can handle is far more effective than monotonous trudging along for 60-70 minutes - that's a waste of time unless in cardiac rehab. Ya gotta push it to improve.
"You know, it's kind of sad to see journos getting all pissypants about being yelled at to "learn to code" on social media because they've been laid off. Their attitude is, like, what did we ever do to deserve such calumny. Well, let me tell you: I think the reason you see so many commenters on my side of the aisle sporting such gigantic schadenboners because of the loss of jobs in "journalism" is the fact that modern journalism is nothing but a litany of failure, and it's chief perpetrators refuse to see it, or even see there that there even might be a credibility problem: The UVA rapes that never happened, Duke Lacrosse rape case, Covington Catholic, the NAACP "bombing" that wasn’t, church fires and swastikas painted on synagogues that turn out to be set by liberal activists, attacks by Trump supporters, that weren't, the Jewish cemetery vandalism, racist remarks scribbled on credit card receipts at restaurants, etc. And all reported with hair-on-fire urgency and hyped 24/7. And all fake news. And the bad actors never seem to suffer any consequences for their spreading of fake news. They just drop the fake story and go on to the next fake story. And it's not like they get a few things wrong, they seem to get everything wrong. And the more they screw it up, the more outraged they become when we sneer at them. It's like they're not real journalists. They've killed real journalism and they're now walking around in journalism's skin and demanding respect."
I worked late last night, so Mrs. BD and her Dad brought me a take-out Osso Bucco from one of our favorite Italian trattorias where they had had dinner.
I've made it several times, and have eaten it out for dinner several times too. This was the best. Done right, the veal shank meat falls off the bone and can be cut with a fork. The jus has to be thick, flavor-packed, with no darn tomato in it. Porcinis - ok. They added a handful of small apple cubes towards the end of the long cook which added a bit of sweetness to the jus - perfect touch.
It was on a very small bed of papparedelle - my favorite. Just enough to grab some jus. Since it's a northern Italian specialty, it's sometimes served on a bed of polenta or rice. Or just plain.
That's real Italian cuisine. My advice: Have a great one in an excellent restaurant, and then try to copy it at home. No tomato.
An old aphorism states, “Life is a series of lessons. Each lesson will be repeated until you learn it. At that point you will be given a new lesson.” There’s humor in that both dark and deep. I’ve had my share of lessons that are very hard to learn, lessons that I find I have failed at again and again. There have been lessons I learned wrongly, lives and people I have let go too lightly, and lives and people I have hung onto too long. I’ve been complicit in ending lives at the beginning and at the very end. Was I right to do so? I believed I was at the time I was called upon to make these decisions. Would I agree to these decisions now? I believe I would not.
A parlor is something like the room in which you welcome smaller groups of guests, without TV, clutter, or junk like that in it. Same idea as a "sitting room" or a "drawing room" (to go back in time). Or to go into the 1950s, what's a "den"?
There's another old-fashioned room: the Library. Pretentious rich people still build them, and let their decorators fill them with books. But any room can contain your most precious books...
What's a "living room," and what's a "family room"? The uses of home spaces has changed over time. In past, when the priest or pastor came to call for tea or a Scotch, you would meet in the parlor. Today, he or she would probably prefer to meet in the kitchen or the "family room". Life, even for the very wealthy, has become more relaxed and informal. Small "d" democratic.
What has changed? Middle class living and relative prosperity, TV (the electronic hearth), and the decline of formality with the decline of aristocracy and the rise of meritocracy.
Anyway, I suppose the question is whether you have a relatively formal (tidy, no TV etc) living space, and, if so, how often is it used?
And maybe, of more general interest, how do you use your home's public spaces?
I did a double-take when I passed one of these guys perched on a tree beside the highway. In winter, hawks along a highway are generally always Red-Tails, so this smaller guy's rusty chest in the sunlight surprised me.
Red-Shoulders tend to be birds of the lowlands, but in migration times you can see anything anywhere.
I've tended to think of this passage as a sort of description of a congregation, but on re-reading it, I see it is more than that.
Photo is the Lyme, CT Congregational Church
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
12:12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
12:13 For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
12:14 Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.
12:15 If the foot would say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body.
12:16 And if the ear would say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body.
12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?
12:18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.
12:19 If all were a single member, where would the body be?
12:20 As it is, there are many members, yet one body.
12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
12:22 On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
12:23 and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect;
12:24 whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member,
12:25 that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another.
12:26 If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
12:27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
12:28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues.
12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
12:30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?
Asolo and Merrill hiking boots on sale at Sierra Trading. Almost half-price. Good products. Gotta pick the right weight. You don't need mountaineering boots for day hikes.
The Asolos are good for 40-50 years of moderate (weekend) use - and can be re-soled. (I like my medium-weight Meindls for any purpose I might encounter, but for no specific reason except that mine are well-broken in and will last my lifetime or more. They feel kinda heavy, though, being mostly leather.)
A goal in life could be to wear out a pair of good quality hiking/hunting boots before death or disability.
The irresponsible media did no due diligence or fact-checking. That is standard operating procedure for them. More disappointing was that some conservative writers and media elites ran after this shiny object seeing it as an opportunity to morally cleanse themselves of implicit bias by running to the well to drink of the water of moral purity and bathe in the fountain of virtue signaling. As a conservative, this phony self-righteousness should be seen not as an act of what is good. In my view, it is a display of a white guilt complex for an injustice (slavery) that occurred before they were born and that they or their ancestors had nothing to do with. It’s self-flagellation of the worst kind.