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
Thursday, October 27. 2016
They currently have a show on Ros Chast's cartoons. I get a kick out of them.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:35 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, October 26. 2016
"There are two methods, or means, and only two, whereby man's needs and desires can be satisfied. One is the production and exchange of wealth; this is the economic means. The other is the uncompensated appropriation of wealth produced by others; this is the political means. The primitive exercise of the political means was, as we have seen, by conquest, confiscation, expropriation, and the introduction of a slave-economy. The conqueror parcelled out the conquered territory among beneficiaries, who thenceforth satisfied their needs and desires by exploiting the labour of the enslaved inhabitants. The feudal State, and the merchant-State, wherever found, merely took over and developed successively the heritage of character, intention and apparatus of exploitation which the primitive State transmitted to them; they are in essence merely higher integrations of the primitive State.
The State, then, whether primitive, feudal or merchant, is the organization of the political means. Now, since man tends always to satisfy his needs and desires with the least possible exertion, he will employ the political means whenever he can – exclusively, if possible; otherwise, in association with the economic."
Albert J. Nock, Our Enemy the State, 1935 (h/t Reader)
From Peter Robb's Midnight in Sicily: On Art, Food, History, Travel and la Cosa Nostra:
That is an Italian luncheon. Until halfway through the book when I decided to google her, I had thought that Marta was fictional. Nope. She befriended the author. While married to Count Umberto Marzotto, she managed a long affair with Sicilian artist, movie-maker and famous Communist Renato Guttoso who figures prominently in the book. A close pal of Picasso. Colorful people, adding a lot of life to life. La dolce vita, so different from life in Yankeeland.
Tuesday, October 25. 2016
Long-distance migration remains a mystery, at least partly, in birds.
The Amazing Science Behind Pets That Find Their Way Home
How Do Animals Keep from Getting Lost?
Monday, October 24. 2016
You do this by arching your upper back and raising your chest (while keeping butt on bench) as you lower the bar to your chest, then flattening your upper back against the bench during the press. While this will help you move more weight over time, what matters more is that it stresses more muscle groups in the same exertion.
Remember that eccentric exertion, aka "negatives," are a valuable component of strength conditioning.
This guy tries to explain it:
Took this pic of a grand pair of early 19th C. houses in downtown Nantucket. For some reason, I always expect to see a funeral home sign in front of Greek Revivals. Merchants or sea captains? I forget. Nantucket went through a brief period of prosperity then, not to see wealth again until its fashionable real estate boom since the 1970s: NYC money, mostly.
Interestingly, Greek Revival architecture was introduced to Greece by Greece's early 19th C. monarchs, King Otto from Bavaria and King George from Denmark.
- Ah, yes. Reader reminds me that these homes were built by the Starbuck family. Great name.
Here's a more humble Greek Revival from the same era in Nantucket, which I found for sale on line today for a lousy $1.2 million:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:00 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, October 23. 2016
And those are just the ones that were reported.
I am reposting this because I had a chimney fire yesterday morning, shortly after our men's Bible study group left my study. This has been my second chimney fire here. Fortunately, I am not too far from the firehouse. I had this flue cleaned last winter, and my sweep was scheduled to come again next week. (I use my fireplace daily.) I climbed a ladder and sprayed the top of the chimney with a lawn hose. Seemed to work.
If you ever use a fireplace, you need a chimney sweep. In the past ten years, we have had two chimney fires here, and one at the Farm. It's not a joke.
Spring and summer are the cheapest times to get it done.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:32 | Comments (21) | Trackbacks (0)
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
Saturday, October 22. 2016
Due to their long history of Arab occupation, Sicilians cook with a lot of mint. A typical side dish for grilled meat is boiled potato with mint. Easier than pie.
Boil up a bunch of potatoes to firm with a few sprigs of mint in the water. If big, then quarter them. If small, leave alone. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then throw a generous handful of chopped mint +/- parsley on top. Done.
Speaking of cultural appropriation, mint is middle-eastern/Egyptian, and potatoes are from South America. Go figger.
Our favorite potatoes are roasted potatoes with rosemary. Quarter the taters, cover with olive oil, add s and p, then sprinkle with rosemary (fresh preferably) and roast in oven until the surfaces are brown but the insides creamy. Turn occasionally until browned.
It's getting to that time of year. Identify that shotgun.
Friday, October 21. 2016
This is just one of many of Bob's confessional songs (eg What Good Am I, etc). His recorded version of Every Grain of Sand is powerful but it's not on Youtube. Sweet Emmylou just makes the darkness and pain of confession a bit too sing-songy but you get the gist.
If you are an exerciser, do you do a dedicated Leg Day? Many people do.
I mix leg strength in with the other items (ie Strength, Cardio, and Calisthenics) instead of doing a Leg Day. My legs are skinny and weak from a strength standpoint, but I can hike up mountains all day long and can ski all day long. However, that is Endurance, not Strength. I tend to have more Endurance than Strength. Sometimes I wonder why I want or need more leg strength, but in the end I just do what I am told like a good soldier and trust that my genius trainer has my best interest at heart. He wants to build me up but we are all limited by the physique we were given.
The leg strength exercises are great for my posture. People notice that. It's that Posterior Chain of ankle-to-neck that the good deads stress the most.
Mrs. BD says that when she pats me on the ass she now feels muscle instead of bone, so that is good. I deserve more spanks than pats, but whatever. I do deserve spanks when caught with tobacco even though I am part Indian and have that excuse, and sometimes I do deserve them after boys' nites out but boys have to be boys. I still need to gain 4-5 pounds of muscle and sinew and then I'll be set. Gaining the good kind of weight is not easy at all because it requires working harder than you like and eating more than you want to. I hate hard effort and I do not love eating, even in Italy. I like food when required but do not love it and enough is enough.
For lower body strength, I do deadlift, barbell squat, squat and press, step-up-and-press, and lunges with weights. Except for deadlift, it is all very unpleasant. Also, calf lifts on my cardio days just for something extra to do.
What about you?
Thursday, October 20. 2016
In Soprano Country, they refer to that disgusting red tomato sauce for pasta as "gravy" as in "I'll take some more gravy for my macaroni."
Generally speaking, I am not a big fan of pastas. Peasant food! Packed with Evil Gluten! Well, a small primi of pappardelle with a (fresh) porcini sauce decorated with chopped parsley is very fine so I can make some exceptions.
I will admit to being a food snob when it comes to Italian. Pasta is not a meal unless you plan to run a marathon in a couple of hours. It can be a small primi but there are many sorts of primi. And cappucino is only a breakfast coffee. Italians do not eat meatballs. The best pizzas in the world are in America because we think a pizza is a meal, not the nutrition-free street snack that it is. I could go on and annoy everybody.
That is the House Mouse who, along with the Fruit Fly and E. Coli, may be the most important scientific lab animals that exist.
These cute, prolific little buggers have been carried around the world from their native origin in north India. They thrive in and around human habitat and, as the temperatures cool in the Fall, they are more likely to try to settle indoors.
Cats and mousetraps are made for them. It's October, and we have them now.
Chuck Berry, pioneer of rock and roll, celebrates 90th birthday by announcing he has a new album coming
How to exit a party
A biography of Diane Arbus offers a detailed portrait of an artist longing for connection
Mario Batali's Italian White House menu
That's the real Italian food - and no noodles either
Millennial Men Rush to Restore Their Foreskins, ‘Feel Whole Again’
Sagging NFL TV ratings leave owners scrambling for answers
Largest Catholic University Blasts 'Unborn Lives Matter' as 'Bigotry'
University of Florida offers counseling for students offended by Halloween costumes
The Slow, Painful Death of the Media's Cash Cow
Reminder: Washington Hates America
The Government Puts A Gigantic Lead Weight On The Scale Of This And Every Election
The Elite "Have No Idea" - Society Is Near The Breaking Point
The WSJ Warns America: "You've Been Played"
BLM flag flutters over quad at ISU
The Donald just not prepared for the job
Dem Operative Who Oversaw Trump Rally Agitators Visited White House 342 Times
Newt Gingrich on Veritas Videos: 'Where's the FBI?'
FBI Document Dump Proves This Woman Has No Business Anywhere Near Power
Judicial Watch: New Emails Show Hillary Clinton Contacts with Bryan Pagliano – Raise New Questions About Her Sworn Testimony
Clinton sleaze is baked in the cake, makes no difference
Lib Journalist Budowsky Called Out on Live TV Over His Podesta Emails
CEO Of Google’s Parent Company Works Directly With Clinton Cam
Trump Eviscerated Hillary in Debate #3. What Difference, at This Point, Does It Make?
Hillary Is Not a "Soulless, Pragmatic Corporatist Who Will Preserve the Status Quo," as Pro-Hillary "Conservatives" Claim. She Sees Herself as a Messianic Joan of Arc to Deliver the Left's Revelation to the Earth.
For the children...
Clinton campaign manager: Avoid talk about Israel, to keep Democrats happy
"America Has Lost" - Duterte Announces "Separation" From United States, Alligns With China
Wednesday, October 19. 2016
I am not asking for a weight room, just some cardio machines, some light weights, some floor mats, some hard and soft boxes, some bars for pull-ups, etc. Simple but with room to move. Charge me extra. Maybe a shower too.
On our upcoming flight, we are going First Class thanks to the gift of miles from my in-laws. Still I'd take a gym over the bigger seat and the legroom - because I am not a sitter. As for airplane food, regardless of class, no thanks. Grab a sandwich or a yoghurt in the airport. And they toss you this crap as if you were some starving dog in a dog shelter.
When I told my trainer about this desire for airplane gyms, he emailed me the below. I think that flight was wasted without a girlfriend or wife to spice it up. This dude is a jackass:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 18:03 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
I am all in favor of "functional fitness." Beginning around 35, the human body begins to deteriorate. Unless you are a competitive athlete, fitness is for daily life. One of my daughters was talking about fitness this weekend and opined that a Div 1 singles tennis match was a good work-out. I asked "Are you sure?" After a moment's thought she revised her opinion: No, I guess the physical training is the prep/work-out, and the competition is just the reward.
Playing sports is mostly calisthenics at best. Many sports require strength and athleticism, but actually playing the game is not the same as a work-out. Think baseball, or the several seconds of effort in a football game. Training is for life and games, but they are not training.
I thought this approach was interesting and it sounds even more fun than Crossfit: Get Fit Like a Wild Man: A Primer on MovNat
More on MoveNat
As I said, it sounds like great fun and challenge and bonding but it amounts to heavy calisthenics, which is just one of the three components, in my view, of a balanced fitness program.
I guess you could call it drawing. It is fun to draw along with him while you watch.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:44 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Harambe Costumes Are ‘Cultural Appropriation’
Now I'm really confused
A Baby With 3 Parents Has Been Born. These Are the Dangers You Should Know About.
This was done for a reason - mitochondrial disorder
Unraveling your parents' possessions
Something I would not eat
Administration Wants to Designate More LGBTQ Landmarks
What happened to GI Joe?
The Ridiculous Crusade for Gender-Neutral Toys
Climate Alarmists Try To Redefine What A Hurricane Is So We’ll Have More Of Them
Can investors really continue to get more for less? Three reasons the passive-investing revolution is set to last.
Does it work if everybody does it?
Is Administrative Law unlawful?
If you can't ask black guys whether they've been in jail, people might be reluctant to hire black guys
Self-proclaimed media of record try their best to ignore wrongdoing by powerful liberals
Obamacare: Citing Costs, Frustrated Doctors Say US Healthcare Headed in Wrong Direction
Michelle Obama has rhythm
He was famous for it
CLINTON CONFUSION: Bill says ‘I’ve tried to run for her on her behalf’
Hillary’s Henchmen Pressured FBI on Classification of Documents
Impossible to keep up with the revelations of Clintonian slime. Well, Howard Dean can’t keep up either
And now there is this Big Story
Former White House Chef: Hillary Clinton Called Black Servant the ‘N-Word’
Hillary’s State Dept security detail really hated her
She's a nasty, entitled, arrogant lesbian bitch. So what? That's not news.
Got that one right
Seven Clinton Policy Priorities That Would Devastate America - Staring at years 9 to 12 of the Obama administration.
If that's what people want...however, I think people just wonder which is the more unpleasant individual. Only wonks worry about policy. Politics is high school.
EU nations are now paying countries to take back their migrants
Muslims Call for ‘Islamification’ of Sweden
Geert Wilders' trial to proceed on hate charges over "fewer Moroccans" comments in 2014 campaign
Tuesday, October 18. 2016
In my view, such prizes should only be for the sciences, but I am not the King of Sweden, alas.
Kyle Smith makes a good case for Why Bob Dylan Shouldn’t Have Won a Nobel Prize. One quote:
Yes, they can scald and soar when he sings them. I mainly refer to his lyrics to avoid getting a mondegreen in my head. I had one with Jokerman when I thought it was "with a small dark look in his face." That was pretty good, but Dylan's was better: "...with a small dog licking his face."
Roll On Bob - Bob Dylan is over-honored, but maybe his Nobel Prize will inspire him to finish his terrific memoirs.
Australian High School Students to Be Re-Educated on Male Privilege
Human Rights Campaign condemns Hopkins study as 'attack on LGBT communities'
Why Bill Nye Changed His Mind on GMOs
Anti-Catholics and Elitist Bigotry
“You Have a Constitutional Right to Record Public Officials in Public”
The Crony Economy - Bipartisan outrage doesn’t stop government picking winners and losers
Why Hillary and Her Wall Street Donors Don’t Want Trump’s Wall
Politico Reporter Offered Clinton Camp Chance to Edit Story - Glenn Thrush says 'I have become a hack' in offering Podesta chance to censure his article
It is a vast Left wing conspiracy
Hillary Right-Hand Man Patrick Kennedy Pressured FBI Agent to
Chuck Todd Hosted Swanky Dinner Party At His Home For Top Clinton Campaign Official
POSTAL WORKER Brags Online About Destroying Trump Ballots
That's old news
O’Keefe Video Sting Exposes ‘Bird-Dogging’ — Democrats’ Effort to Incite Violence at Trump Rallies
VDH: The case for Trump
All of this should be screaming front-page headlines in the NYT
Z-man on The Virtual Candidate
If anything, Cuba has become more oppressive since rapprochement
Monday, October 17. 2016
The full Stones' show at Desert Trip last week. These guys are in their mid-late 70s and, up close, they look like zombies. Great stuff.
We drove down from the Dolomiti and the Alps to Verona, which is immediately south of the foothills. Straight shot on the Autostrada (#22). Nice little Renaissance town. We stayed in the Old City (an old Roman city on the bend of the Aldige River) instead of venturing out into the modern city (pop. 275,000). Tourists hang around the old city, but plenty of Italians come into the old city for fun and shopping.
Verona is a charming old town, walkably-manageable in size although we did get a little lost walking out to see St. Zeno. Getting lost is not a bad thing because you see things. It is a bitch to drive into, though, once you get off the highway. Cops keep yelling at you for going the wrong way. Gotta laugh.
The Passagiata in Verona is wonderful, between 5 and 8 pm. It's a town of lovely women of all ages, and the Italian men look great with their fitted shirts and tailoring. We tourist men, not so great. All the kids in strollers and backpacks look good, and the women look feminine. Lots of real blondes in northern Italia.
In my view, all women and all men ought to try to look their best, in public at least. Being over 40 or 50 doesn't mean that you are dead. I just have no talent for style. I shoulda brought my red trousers with me.
Dinner is around 8-8:30, and afterwards the young and/or single people, looking good, fill the narrow streets and piazzas - I call them pizzas - and bars with laughter and flirtation. A jolly scene. Women hold hands, men kiss. Everybody drinks and smokes.
La dolce vita.
Lots more pics below the fold - Mrs. BD thought our lady readers might enjoy the clothing shops -
Continue reading "Northern Italy 2013, #5: Mostly random street photos in Verona, reposted from Sept. 2013"
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