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, August 22. 2014
Russell Kirk: A great American thinker ready to be rediscovered
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:43 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
How much of it is vanity, and how much functionality?
It seems clear that if you are fly-fishing for big fish, you might need a decent drag, etc. I have a cheap Cabela's 4-weight reel for small trout on small streams, and for drag, if ever needed, I can just palm it. It's just a line-holder really.
Over time, I have turned against fancy, expensive sporting equipment. What makes a fly reel worth the money?
If you google the question, you get many opinions.
I have often fished for big fish, but never fly-fishing.
Life has become a complicated muddle, hasn't it? There are many big decisions. Should you become a newsreader because you have a lisp? Should you become an athlete because you're missing limbs? Should you join the military because you're a pacifist?
College calls. It needs deconstructivists like you. The NBA needs midgets, and the NFL needs gay men. International politics needs a low handicap, and international banking needs wizened ovaries, bad. There's a place for everybody, and you just have to follow the signs and portents to figure out where you fit in.
The only really big question is if you should have any hair below your eyebrows. The rest is easy.
Attention bosses: Set up a strong hierarchy and your workers will function better.
Thursday, August 21. 2014
with some references to autism
We have commented on the subject of the human diet and health before, but it's time for another comment, because the NYT Science Times has written on it.
"Healthy food" has been an on-and-off American obsession, comparable to the obsession with flavor in France.
Since Rev. Sylvester Graham, a minister, vegetarian, and food-obsessive invented the Graham Cracker in the 1820s to provide "digestive fiber," Americans have been food faddists and vulnerable to food quackery.
More famously, Dr. John Kellogg of Battle Creek, Michigan, an 1870s charlatan with a diet fad, fooled Americans into thinking that cereal was breakfast food. It is not. In Yankee-land, breakfast is eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, potatoes, fruit and apple pie.
Eat what you want, and be happy. All humans are prone to "magical thinking" - aka "wishful thinking." We'd like to imagine that we have some control over things like health, and that things we put in our mouths will make a difference. There is essentially no evidence for that idea, assuming absence of a disease, or a problem like high cholesterol, or pregnant, etc.
Even being fat doesn't seem to make any significant difference to health. (Being obese is a bad plan, though.) I advise patients to eat plenty of salmon, trout and char for their magical properties, and whatever else they want; to exercise and work out if they want to be strong and fit but not because they will live forever; to lose weight if they want to look better and feel less tired; to eat all the salt and steak they want; and to avoid magical health diets. Vegetarian? Fine. Leaves more lamb and steak for me. Just don't imagine that it's about health. What's a healthy diet? Any average mix of stuff, but most of all - enjoy it, and don't fuss about it too much.
(Image from the excellent medical blog Kevin, MD. That steak could be a bit more rare, if you ask me.)
Re the Government-Academic Industrial Complex:
Almost all lies are acts, and speech has no part in them.
Lots more here.
Does anybody use bathtubs anymore? I mean, unless they have 1940s-era bathrooms?
I don't mean big Jacuzzis, or outdoor hot tubs, but real old-fashioned bathtubs. Does anybody use them anymore, unless they are just the antique bottom of a nice shower?
Who would want to float in dirty, soapy water?
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:59 | Comments (16) | Trackbacks (0)
I only read the "newspapers" when I cover for Bird Dog. Do you people really read that stuff, and act on what you've read as if it's informative?
Oops, did I just call our readers "you people"? Jeez, I'm sorry. I meant to say, Do us people really read this stuff...
No, that won't do. Does we people really reads that stuff...
I can't remember all that subjunctive gobbletygook from my McGuffey's Reader, so let's just agree that the newspapers all suck and move on. On to the news -- or whatever it is:
There's a lot of words until you get to that paragraph right there, the only one worth mentioning: It really doesn't matter what crazy people believe. They're crazy.
A Norwegian extrovert looks at your shoes when he's talking instead of his own.
Wow, Nancy Sinatra sure was a sh*tty singer.
Wednesday, August 20. 2014
I have never had a super-rich client, but I have dealt with many wills and estates.
Some people say "Die broke." Most prefer to leave something for their kids and grandkids and make some modest sacrifices to do that. There is no "should." People ought to do whatever they want, even if it ruins their kids.
I am completely opposed to any death taxes. They are legal theft, and the money has already been taxed once. When families can accumulate assets over generations, families achieve independence and freedom.
More from McArdle: Money Won't Buy Your Kids a Future
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:37 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
However, I will tell that all there really ever is in my pockets are my wallet, a pocketknife, some crumbled-up paper money, and a few coins. Nothing interesting.
A charming essay by G.K. Chesterton: What I Found in My Pocket
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:02 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
"Atheists weren’t always as intellectually lazy as Dawkins and his ilk." Atheists Used to Take the Idea of God Seriously. That’s Why They Mattered.
A remarkable article (h/t, reader)
Running kind of late this morning. I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!
On to the links:
40 maps that explain the Roman Empire
This is where Janet Yellen's funny money ends up, one way or the other: Dissipated when there's nothing productive for it to do.
Have a nice Wednesday.
Tuesday, August 19. 2014
The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles
Coolidge by Amity Schlaes
High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery
Generation X Goes to College: An Eye-Opening Account of Teaching in Postmodern America
Dalrymple: Threats of Pain and Ruin
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:40 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Readers know that the Soft-Shelled Crab (ie moulting Blue Crab) in all of its forms is perhaps my favorite food. My friends and I would catch them at the shore with bacon tied to string and bring a bucket of them home to Mom. She'd steam the hard-shelled ones, and sautee the soft-shells.
I love the soft-shells fried, sauteed, in a sandwich with mayo, Chinese-style - or anything. A perfect combination of juiciness and crunchiness, and you just eat the whole darn thing feathers and all.
Here's an easy one: Soft-Shelled Crabs on Toast.
Methods of crabbing.
Delicious photos of soft-shell crab recipes.
Soft-shells are often frozen for use through the crab season.
It's a cliche because there is so much truth in that expression that it is at least half-true. You could make the same case for bad luck.
I advise the youth to regard life as a conveyor belt of opportunities rolling past you. Experiences, jobs, relationships, books, learning, etc. They roll by, but almost never come back. If you grab enough of them, some will work out. On the other hand, the same bad selections that life offers keep returning, don't they?
I have been lucky in ways that I had nothing at all to do with (raised in an educated, middle-upper middle class church-going American family with no divorce), decent genes, a functional and honest personality (despite my share of flaws which nobody really knows about but one of which happens to be a lack of talent for anything requiring talent), etc. However, I give myself credit for making the most of those gifts in my pursuit of happiness and satisfaction. I suppose that I "could have made more of myself," but I didn't want to.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:57 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
I've decided not to riot today. I'm fairly certain I'm not going to loot anything. I don't feel like overcoming, or singing about overcoming. I'm overcome with not overcoming, actually. I believe I can resist the urge to lock arms for days at a time. I do not wish to be quoted in the press. You can quote me on that. On to the news.
In the Image of God: John Comenius and the First Children’s Picture Book
Baseball Bat With an Axe Handle Brings More Power, Fewer Injuries
There is a story about the great Catalan surrealist painter Salvador Dali. It is said that in the last years of his life, when he was already famous, he signed checks knowing that they would not be submitted to the bank for payment. Rather, after partying with his friends and consuming the most expensive items the restaurants had to offer, he would ask for the bill, pull out one of his checks, write the amount, and sign it. Before handing over the check, he quickly turned it around, made a drawing on the back and autographed it. Dali knew the owner of the restaurant would not cash the check but keep it,put it in a frame, and display it in the most prominent place in the restaurant: “An original Dali.”
My new hero.
History may be evolving away from the Westphalian State, with its unitary national culture, flags and traditions and moving towards affinity groups whose allegiance is primarily to themselves; which only form temporary alliances based on expedience in competition with other affinity groups.
I know a couple of daycare centers like that.
It’s hip, it’s entertaining—but where are the families?What is a city for? Ever since cities first emerged thousands of years ago, they have been places where families could congregate and flourish.
A city is a place where everyone is lonely together.
Monday, August 18. 2014
What a fine fellow he was:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:54 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Garlic is one of the most popular flavorings on the planet, and rightly so. There is no point to growing it, because it is so cheap and abundant. Like taters and like pasta. Who would bother growing pasta these days?
Despite not being an Italian "garlic-eater", I love garlic. I am informed that I occasionally reek of it. Too bad. Actually it seems that the Chinese consume the most.
Various garlic types are wild all around the world. I was interested to learn that the handy Elephant Garlic is not really garlic - it's a Leek sort of thing.
"Humming is to marriage as singing is to courtship."
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