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.
That was the New York Times' opinion of Patrick O'Brian's Jack Aubrey series of nautical novels, set during the Napoleonic wars. You might have seen the Russell Crowe movie about the first book of the series.
Royal Navy Master and Commander Aubrey and his ship's physician/spy Dr. Maturin are quite a pair. Maturin is the more interesting character, with his estate in Spain and his passion for natural history and for spying (for free). Aubrey is a skilled seaman and lucky warrior. The two men connect mostly by playing Handel on strings after dinner.
One theme of the series is that living on land is just too complex financially, romantically, socially, politically, and practically, while going to war at sea is comfortably simple with the possibility of becoming wealthy by seizing prizes. This series offers a similar delightful escape.
The sailing details are said to be remarkably accurate. You can learn a lot about topgallant sails. I had to look up quite a few antique nautical terms. I've never sailed on a square-rigger, but I would love to.
O'Brian died recently. We owe him many thanks for his efforts. Writing novels that anybody is willing to read, given limited free time to do so, is always remarkable.
Chanukah (Hannukah transliteration from the Hebrew for those who can't pronounce the guttural Ch) begins tonight. Many non-Jews also celebrate Chanukah for it common significance of overcoming religious oppression and rededication to sacred traditions and observance. It's also fun and a learning experience for children to see the lights glowing, to eat the tasty latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganyot (jelly donuts), and play dreidal (top) for gelt (chocolate coins or pennies).
And here's a brief video of how to light the candles.
The captain discusses some of the challenges in landing on a high-altitude airport like Nairobi's. Also interesting to hear about the cargo. I love this stuff. English seems to be the international flight language.
What pilots do. Like ship captains, these guys (or gals) have to have their wits about them. What a cool job.
Shakespeare probably wrote this sonnet in his late 30s, making it, I suppose, a creation of sentimental imagination. It seems to be addressed to a younger man. Here are some thoughts, etc about Sonnet 73. Interesting to me that John Berryman believed it to be the best poem written in English, despite its flaws.
That time of year thou may'st in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou see'st the twilight of such day, As after sunset fadeth in the west, Which by-and-by black night doth take away, Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the death-bed whereon it must expire Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by. This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
The great thing about the "lower body" powerlifts is that they are complex movements which train your entire body, not just legs.
I am talking about squats (barbell squats especially) and deadlifts. Here's 8 Reasons to Do Squat Exercises. Did I forget to mention that squats are hard? With weights, they are f-ing miserable. Body-weight squats are good fitness calis, but the weights are a bitch.
Lunges and step-ups are more purely leg focused, and in the calisthenic category even when done with dumbells. And the stair machines are great stressors, but mostly cardio and endurance.
I have found that doing five tough sets of barbell squats and 5 of deads (different days), plus, on different days, a set of goblet squats, of dumbell lunges, and a set of dumbell high step-ups, have improved my energy and ease of movement remarkably. Serious lifters would do those things twice weekly, but that's not me.
I can't credit at all to those, though, because I do other sorts of workouts each week too. Still, when you see progress with the weights you know it's all working.
Predictably, Donald Trump was attacked both by the establishment and the media as “crude,” “unpresidential,” and “gratuitous” for a recent series of blunt and graphic statements on a variety of current policies. Oddly, the implied charge this time around was not that Trump makes up stuff, but that he said things that were factual but should not be spoken.
"Bob Dylan in 2018 demands that you be in the moment. If you go with him, you will experience 120 minutes as intense and rewarding as any Dylan-trip you ever went on as a teenager — when you first discovered the magic of his eternal poetry and his American exceptionalism..."