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, April 24. 2014
The US geography of chain coffee shops
Get Ready for Powdered Alcohol to Hit Liquor Stores This Fall
Bridal Lingerie Trends 2014
The Salmon are back! But the enviros are not happy
The world-wide Rise of the Fatty
Is Sitting For Long Hours At Work The New Smoking?
Cuz of global warmening, of course
Adding to ye olde blogroll: The Federalist
Matt Walsh hates affirmative action
The Dem Mead on Inequality Today: The Left-Liberal Narrative
Justice Sotomayor and the affirmative action bitter-enders have lost bigtime
Science and politics in the academy today
Wednesday, April 23. 2014
A stunning brief (14 min) documentary.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:38 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
A reader sent that pic of an American Egret in New England, with dramatic breeding plumage.
Nepal's Sherpas Cancel the 2014 Climbing Season
Good riddance. The entire Everest Carnival is plain stupid. Unemployed Sherpas are welcome to apply for work at the Farm.
The 7500 Square Foot Soho Loft That Just Sold For $27 Million
Exploding student debt threatens families
The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest
We need more capitalism, not less: Piketty Gets It Wrong - Instead of berating capitalists, we need to make it easier for workers to join their ranks.
In the US, it's not the 0.01% of movie stars, rock stars, sports stars, hedgie stars, and NYC heiresses. It's the other end - single parents. Anyway, Piketty is French and thus not worth thinking about.
Mozilla, Duck Dynasty, Chick-fil-A, and the politicization of everything
I entirely agree with the administration on that. In fact, I would go much further.
Re Sotomayor: "Her argument amounts to an assertion that a ban on racial discrimination
CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend - Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
Tuesday, April 22. 2014
If you don't have the sort of habitat that Bluebirds like, the houses will likely be inhabited by Wrens, House Sparrows, Tree Swallows (if there is any water nearby), Chickadees - or mice.
The point of Bluebird houses is Bluebirds. They will only nest in holes, and there's lots of competition for holes because lots of critters who need holes are not able to make them.
What's Bluebird habitat? They do not live in the woods, and they don't live in suburbia unless it's 5+ acre zoning. They like woodland edges, hedge rows, meadows with fences and large (5+ acres) lawns, large gardens, old apple trees. They do not mind living with humans, and often seem to like having barns and sheds around. To make it simple, if you see them hanging around in April, it means it's the right area for them. You can't really attract them - they have to want to be there in the first place. Like their competitor Tree Swallows, they like their nest boxes in open spaces, not so much on trees but on barns seems OK.
Another factoid about Bluebirds is that, if you have one pair around, there are probably more, and they do not seem to mind sharing an area: you can put up two boxes per acre, maybe more. People build Bluebird Trails in exurban, semi-rural, and rural areas because everybody likes to see them.
At the Farm, I have my own Bluebird Trail of around 20 nest boxes, mostly nailed to fence posts, some to utility poles. Generally about half of mine are used by Bluebirds, half by other things. In a good year, Bluebirds can raise two broods. Snakes are the main predators of nestlings, so metal poles are probably best but I don't bother much about that.
I recommend the one pictured, via Best Nest. The extra piece of wood is to deter predators. Easy to make them yourself, though. Just make the hole the right size (1 1/2" diam), and place them properly. When I was young, my brother and I made them on an assembly line, using Dad's table saw and the free pine scraps from the lumber yard. If you do, don't paint or stain them. Birds prefer plain wood, rough and un-sanded preferably.
Or does looking good matter, in general?
Oh noes: A salt crisis
Government intervention needed immediately to improve the plebs against their will!
Oklahoma will charge homeowners who generate their own power
...if it moves, tax it....
Jim DeMint: ‘Big Government Benefits the Rich’
George Will: Democrats are making income inequality worse
Sen. Harry Reid’s baseless ‘domestic terror’ accusations
Does the need to maintain a successful political community create an obligation to obey the law?
Rudolf Havenstein Draghi Speaks: Debt Default Is Our Aim; Hidden Wage Depreciation Is Our Means
Tackling ‘Placetimematter’ - Educational researchers study the darnedest things.
Climategate in review
That will help the kids improve themselves
We drove through Millington (CT) Green en route to fishing last weekend. Appealing Yankeeland architecture. The village was settled in 1704.
Here's a Saltbox:
A few more below the fold -
Continue reading "Around Millington Green"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:05 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, April 21. 2014
Spring Peepers. They aren't called Hyla crucifer anymore, but I stick with the old name. They are the first musicians in the spring chorus emanating from the vernal pools, swamps, and ponds at night as soon as the ice begins to melt.
People rarely see them because they are so tiny, and nocturnal. After breeding, they leave the water as do Wood Frogs, Grey Tree Frogs, Leopard Frogs, and of course the toads.
Those two pics are Spring Peepers. They are usually grey-brown, but I have seen them turn green on a leaf.
It's worth living near a marsh in the Eastern US just for the two months of free nachtmusik from our amphibian friends. By mid-May, the toads and larger frogs will join the chorus.
Here are the frogs and toads of the Eastern US. Mostly northeastern. I've never seen a Mink Frog, but we have all of the others at the Farm. The Grey Tree frogs make a racket, but they are rarely seen because their camo on trees and bushes changes to match the bark. All you can see are their eyes.
I think it's fun to identify them all by their Spring mating calls, especially because (like owls) you rarely see them. This site gives a brief description and a recording of their individual calls.
When Lenin backtracked on Bolshevism
Hottest magazine right now for young women: Real Simple
Why It's a Big Deal That Half of the Great Lakes Are Still Covered in Ice
Shortest US graduation speech ever? Nobel economist Thomas Sargent’s list of 12 valuable economic lessons
De Blasio vs. carriage horses
What about the Amish horses?
Under The Streets Of Naples, A Way Out For Local Kids
An Obituary For High Frequency Trading: The Adaptive Genius Of Rigged Markets
I don't think HFT is so bad
Marxism is back, and Thomas Piketty’s new book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” might be its new Bible. But both
Politics as class warfare
Our Nudge in Chief: How, and why, Cass Sunstein believes laws and public policies should help save us from our irrational impulses
His faith in the sublime wisdom of politicians, bureaucrats and experts amazes me.
Hinderaker: The War On Standards Comes to College Debate
Liberals now love Barry Goldwater, but his 1964 loss won the GOP’s future
Resegregation in the American South - Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, the schools in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, show how separate and unequal education is coming back.
Taranto: "This column probably isn't the first to notice a recent intensification of liberal and Democratic rhetoric about race."
Krauthammer on how campaign disclosure got screwed up
WH Counterterror Chief: Parents Need to Watch for ‘Sudden Personality Changes in Their Children’
Dem consultants telling candidates not to use the word 'recovery'
Or the word Obamacare
Warmists explain that skeptics have mental problems
The United States of SWAT? Military-style units from government agencies are wreaking havoc on non-violent citizens.
“86M Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers”
Pro-Labor Media Group Resists Own Staff’s Unionization
The Middle East War on Christians - Muslim-majority nations are doing to followers of Jesus what they did to the Jews.
Big Revamp of Pentagon’s Troubled Mission to Find Missing Soldiers Looks a Lot Like Old Revamp
Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers” - See
more at: http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=53371#sthash.ZTFVSwXO.dpuf
Sunday, April 20. 2014
Mark 16, 1-8
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"
4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' "
8Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
I cannot hear this one without tearing up. We ask non-believer and other-believer readers to be tolerant of all of our Holy Week posts: it's just my "spiritual orientation," ya dig? In my blood. At Maggie's, all spiritual orientations are welcome.
Everybody has his own spiritual orientation, like it or not. It's human. Christians orient themselves to Christ, who we see as the Messiah who was promised, our North Star, rock, redeemer and salvation. As apes, there may be only a little good in us, but we can be changed. That's the offer. Take it or leave it. Speaking only for myself, I don't care at all about eternal life but I care very much about the richness and depth of my life today.
A view from ye olde fishing club yesterday morning.
Bird list, while trying to focus on the fishing: GB Heron, Mallards, Bluebirds, Robin, RW Blackbird, Carolina Wren, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Downy WP, Red Bellied WP, WB Nuthatch, Tree Swallows, Turkey Vulture, Sharp Shinned Hawk, Red-Tailed Hawk, Phoebe.
There was a good hatch yesterday including Mayflies.
A few more stream/fishing pics, and related pics, below the fold -
Continue reading "Yesterday, outdoors all day in the woods with bamboo fly rods"
Saturday, April 19. 2014
Using this recipe, more or less - whole critter, head on of course, caught today: BAKED TROUT WITH SOUR CREAM
Update: Delicious, and that big trout was enough for three of us.
Our fishing friend Harry Briscoe of Hexagraph Fly Rod Company sends us this email:
The Song of Wandering Aengus
I went out to the hazel wood,
Pic is a sea-run Brown Trout we caught from a stream in Long Island a couple of years ago. Sea-run trout is a story in itself.
At our little New England Congregational church Lift High The Cross is sung each Lenten Sunday, and that tradition is much-loved. Here's another little church, Episcopal (corrected that) and full of old people, with the hymn. My church is packed with young people and their little kids, making me feel old.
This was my Mom's bird bath, now in its new home in our little entry garden. An heirloom of sorts.
It could have been forest green (and maybe used to be), but I went with black to be safe.
Like my Mom, Mrs. BD understands the structural requirements of garden design. Focal points, structured areas, plantings for interest each season, etc. We do gardens.
Friday, April 18. 2014
An old folk hymn for Good Friday. h/t Nice Deb
Why not become whores?
Adultery site big in Japan where marriage reigns
Oh, No, Not Another College Tour! Every school has gone green. How about telling us something interesting?
In the business world, it's called "green marketing." It's gone out of style though.
Wild Horse Crisis - What’s the best way to control an invasive species: Round them up or shoot them?
Hardly a crisis, I think. There used to be bison, before that wild camels and all sorts of ungulates in the American West. The Indians killed 'em all except for the bison. What is best? I don't know. The wild horses are eating the food of the cattle.
Bloomberg always wants people to be just like him, like an old-time NY Jewish mother. "It's raining. Put on your rubbers or you'll catch a cold." Otherwise, he'll try to make laws to make you act that way.
Antisemitism Explained From An Objectivist Perspective
There is a lot packed into that essay
Also, a lot in this one: Blame George Washington - The first president and the origins of American corporate welfare - link fixed
Should We Force People to Save for Retirement?
How government medical care in Russia takes care of cancer patients
An amusing Klavan vid here, discussing Libs and Conservatives.
Censorship is Coming! New Jersey College Silences a Professor Over a ‘Game of Thrones’ T-shirt
High School Girl Screamed at for Carrying Bible in Hallway
Steyn: The slow death of free speech - How the Left, here and abroad, is trying to shut down debate — from Islam and Israel to global warming and gay marriage
Krauthammer Against the Tyrants - It's official: The Left is out of control.
Proposed Common Core standards omit ‘liberty’ from list of America’s founding principles
A voice from an American rebel: The Pig Trap
Selfless Crusader Against Income Inequality to Heroically Accept
When I was a kid, there didn't use to be weather, but I blame the Weather Channel.
Telling ‘Noble Lies’ About Climate Change Will Backfire - Doing the right things for the wrong reasons is a serious mistake
Megan McArdle goes off on suspicious Census Bureau/Obamacare methodology switch
Sultan on Passover: From slavery to freedom
Jesus Arrested: "Am I not to drink the cup?"
After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, For whom are you looking? 5They answered, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus replied, I am he. Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6When Jesus said to them, I am he, they stepped back and fell to the ground. 7Again he asked them, For whom are you looking? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. 8Jesus answered, I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go. 9This was to fulfil the word that he had spoken, I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me. 10Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave's name was Malchus. 11Jesus said to Peter, Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?
12 So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him. 13First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people.
Peter denies knowing Jesus
15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. 17The woman said to Peter, You are not also one of this man's disciples, are you? He said, I am not. 18Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing round it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.
The rest of the story is below the fold -
Continue reading "Good Friday: John 18"
Thursday, April 17. 2014
The applause for a requiem seems strange.
Zenpundit's Requiem post also has the Defiant Requiem - Remembering the Holocaust
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:10 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Here in New England, the spring migration is underway. Blackbirds came a month ago, and are still passing through, but the hardy songbirds are beginning to show up despite yesterday's light snow.
The Juncos headed north a couple of weeks ago, and now most of the White Throats have left too. I heard the first Towhee of the Spring this morning.
How quick can bird migration be? Brazil to Pennsylvania in 13 days.
Photo is our Eastern Towhee. Unmistakable, loud call, "Drink your teeeee"
Here's a chilly male Cardinal. Due to global warming, it was a wicked winter and a cold early Spring this year.
Photo is Czech Easter eggs
The iPad is everywhere, Android tablets not so much
Brief excerpt from the video The invention of the teenager
This 300 ft Wall in Bolivia has over 5000 Dinosaur Footprints
A Christian pastor’s Passover sermon
As an American, I disapprove of the glorification of presidents
Not a Joke→ UN Says Vacuuming CO2 Out of Air May Be Only Way to Save Planet Earth
L.I. High School Students Suspended Indefinitely For Displaying Confederate Flag
What's wrong with that?
Is the wind lobby’s most precious subsidy finally losing steam in Congress?
What the Left and Right Both Get Wrong About the Moynihan Report
Brandeis Feminists Fail the Historical Moment
Who Was Ho Chi Minh? A Deceitful Mass Murderer.
Israeli workers pay less income tax than workers in the US or Europe, a new
"The Last Supper" is thought to have been a Passover seder. That supper was the source of Communion: "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes again."
In our church, we remember this event with a group Passover supper on Maundy (Middle English, "holy") Thursday, eaten in silence. No wine, though, as a consideration to the abstinent.
Below, Bassano's Last Supper (1542), depicting the reaction to Jesus' prediction that one of them would betray him.
Wednesday, April 16. 2014
Your tax dollars at work: Review: The Traveling Government Global Warming Play
IRS data: The top 1% pay 37% of all taxes, the bottom half pay 2%, a blubbering David Letterman can’t believe the facts
Bookworm: My annual Passover post
Northwestern U hosts event for female students who are ‘having trouble masturbating’
Sowell: Women and Statistical Frauds
Dr. Helen: Sexism Sent Me To the ER!
EPA Concedes: We Can’t Produce All the Data Justifying Clean Air Rules
Those evil Koch Bros: Dem donors
How the Dems are The Paranoid Party
Brandeis University Faculty Sent Letter Demanding School Rescind Ayaan Hirsi Ali Honorary Degree
Concedes: We Can’t Produce All the Data Justifying Clean Air Rules” -
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