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
Friday, October 21. 2022
It's Burpee Day
All calisthenics are fairly intense, but the Burpee is up there. Burpee basics, re-posted:
Posted by Bird Dog in Physical Fitness at 14:38 | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)
Three terms in English
True colors (or colours). Naval war etiquette required taking down your false flag before initiating battle.
Learning the ropes. Sailing ships had over 300 ropes and lines. Newbies had to learn them all, on the double.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:18 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Pumpkins are tasty food
For pottage and puddings and custards and pies
Pilgrim verse, circa 1633
Pumpkins are just one variety of winter squash. Winter Squash have the virtues of being harvested in the fall, and easily storable for keeping through the winter in a root cellar as long as they do not freeze. All winter squash (Butternut, Acorn, etc) taste pretty similar and are more or less interchangeable in recipes.
Winter Squash, along with string beans, maize (which we call "corn" in the US, and many other foods like peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes) were first genetically modified for agriculture by American Indians.
Eastern Indians had large fields in which they grew winter squash, maize, and beans (which climbed up the corn stalks) together. In fact, one of the reasons the Pilgrims decided to stay in Plymouth was for the 50-acre and 100-acre planting fields that the Indians (recently dead probably from European diseases brought in by explorers and fishermen) had prepared there.
The Pumpkin of the Americas quickly became a popular crop in many parts of the world. Our Philippino nanny rarely made a Phillipino stew without pumpkin chunks in it. (Loved that Oxtail stew with peanut sauce, potato, and pumpkin, or her winter squash and string bean stew with coconut milk plus some shrimp or chicken chunks.) And people who have read Alexander McCall Smith's series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, know how popular pumpkin became in the African diet. As for Pumpkin pasta recipes, there are tons of them.
Here's 41 Yummy Pumpkin Recipes.
Mashed pumpkin with salt, pepper and butter is great. Same with steamed pumpkin chunks. A little chopped fresh Sage is good with them. Never boil winter squash. Steam or roast, or it will get too soggy.
As for the olde standbys, Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Soup, those are OK too but the spices tend to obscure the subtle flavors of the winter squashes used. (Re Pumpkin Pie, the Maggie's Farm advice is to go very light on the sugar, and serve with a spoonful of whipped cream, then drizzled with 100% Maple Syrup.)
Megan McArdle wrote this: Yes, Some of US Really Like Pumpkin
Kenyan Pumpkin Curry Recipe
EAST AFRICAN PUMPKIN STEW
Posted by Bird Dog in Food and Drink at 10:15 | Comments (25) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, October 20. 2022
HMS Victory: Sailing & Fighting a Napoleonic Warship
Posted by The News Junkie in History at 13:31 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:26 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Amateurs, but not complete beginners
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:33 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, October 19. 2022
The Last Cape Horners; The End of the Great Sailing Ship Era.
Posted by The News Junkie in History at 12:34 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
As someone who mostly learned about the Northeastern tribes, this book holds many surprises.
Posted by The Barrister in History at 11:43 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)
The Farmer's Walk
It is a functional total body stressor, especially as your kettlebells or dumbells get heavier. If you get to a weight where your grip fails due to grip strength or sweat, you can use a towel around the weight. Maintain posture. It's sort of fun to walk until failure.
Farmer's Walk: Benefits, Techniques, and Muscles Worked
Posted by Bird Dog in Physical Fitness at 11:38 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
Gerard's interview with Allen Ginsberg
Those were the days...Allen Ginsberg: The Interview
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 11:32 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, October 18. 2022
Let's talk about infidelity
Is monogamy "natural"? Of course not, because of the unrelenting sex drive of humans. Humans are always in heat, especially when younger but it never stops entirely. Regardless of how committed one is, all anybody needs to do is to check your fantasies. Temptation abounds.
Infidelity Reconsidered - As a society, we should not presume to judge the relationships of others based on our own moral code.
Really? I advise people to check with their spouse first. And yes, I know, it "happens" all the time.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in Psychology, and Dr. Bliss at 15:49 | Comments (25) | Trackbacks (0)
The sailing route to Australia
Their route took advantage of the westerly winds to circle the globe in the Roaring Forties around the Cape of Good Hope, to Australia, then east around Cape Horn. 11 months or so.
Posted by The News Junkie in History at 12:38 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Questions about pooping
It Was Once Someone’s Job to Chat With the King of England While He Used the Toilet, “Groom of the Stool” could be a crappy role, but it came with great benefits.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in Medical at 11:56 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, October 17. 2022
The Divine Language
About the book.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:46 | Comments (11) | Trackbacks (0)
What does the government have to do with your nutrition?
The Executive Branch should tell me what to eat and drink as if I were an infant? Apparently people want to increase the $750/month SNAP poverty allowance for food.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in Psychology, and Dr. Bliss at 12:59 | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)
Life in The Big House
Living with dangerous people in cages
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:44 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
The Abeille Flandre, the tug of the impossible
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:27 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, October 16. 2022
Do time and space exist?
Do they exist, or are they just humble human efforts to grasp the structure of creation?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:14 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Talking with Roger Waters
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:55 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
From today's Lectionary:
121:1 I lift up my eyes to the hills-- from where will my help come?
121:2 My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
121:3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
121:4 He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
121:5 The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand.
121:6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
121:7 The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
121:8 The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.
Posted by Bird Dog at 05:45 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, October 15. 2022
A Boomer treat
Posted by Bird Dog in Music at 15:07 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
A rail history of Alaska
Posted by The News Junkie in History at 12:25 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
The Raft of the Medusa (1819)
Deeper thoughts about Gericault's painting
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:22 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, October 14. 2022
Sex (gender) changes
So I do not hate cosmetic surgery. It makes plenty of doctors very wealthy, but it is not me. When it comes to elective sexual mutilation, though, I have to draw some sort of a line. In fact, I can't imagine a physician who would be willing to do it.
See this: Doctors against dissent, trans edition
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in Psychology, and Dr. Bliss at 13:36 | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)
What are your criteria?
That topic came up over beers with friends a few nights ago. It was like a college bull session for adults. When I was younger I would have considered it to be an American bourgeois question, unworthy of consideration by sophisticated kids like we were. We were all young idiots and certain about everything as only youth can be.
Assuming that we all have plenty of flaws, what would it take for a person to achieve the label of Solid Citizen? And is it worth thinking about?
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