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
Tuesday, February 21. 2017
Studying literature at Harvard is a lot like learning about women at the Mayo Clinic.
Roy Blount Jr.
Worship Music: What Is It Good For?
I find it embarassing
In photos: Dubai's massive desalination plant
A book by the new NSA head: Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam
Science journalism is going full leftist
Education for "racial beings"
Wegmans supermarket sells out of Trump wine after proposed boycott
Why a Gay Liberal from New York Came Out as Conservative
Nestle Leaves California to Get Away from Anti-Capitalist Lawmakers and Activists - The exodus from the Golden State continues.
"Liberals may feel energized by a surge in political activism, and a unified stance against a president they see as irresponsible and even dangerous."..."But that momentum is provoking an equal and opposite reaction on the right.
FAKE NEWS: Trump Never Said There Was a Terror Attack in Sweden – Liberal Media MADE IT UP
´Trump Trance´? Media Sure It ´Heard´Sweden Comment Trump Never Said
The Press vs. the President - both unreliable
Election of outsider Trump rankles federal bureaucrats
It's not business as usual
Meanwhile, Rioting Breaks Out In Sweden
NIKKI HALEY PUTS UN ANTI-ISRAELISM IN CROSSHAIRS
Monday, February 20. 2017
Mrs. BD and a daughter say that the protagonist, Jimmy Perez, is their dream male. They both binge-watched it on their laptops, and I am certain now that I must be inadequate by comparison. Bummer.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:18 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)
George Washington: founder for all Americans
Humans Aren't Monogamous by Nature
Duh. By nature, we are apes.
Oil – Where did it come from?
Book publishers now hiring ‘sensitivity readers’ to look for ‘offensive’ material
A History of the Jewish War, AD 66–74
A history professor delves into the world of Jewish counterfactual history – like what if Israel had been established in East Africa?
Internet-Regulating FEC Commissioner to Resign
Jon Haidt Hopes Libertarians Can Save Us From Coddled Campus Culture - The social psychologist openly admits he wants to create a schism in academia.
"I propose that we teach death ed in all of our high schools. I see this curriculum as a civic responsibility."
Military wife mourning fallen Green Beret in viral video is hailed as 'patriot'
Fake News Rap Sheet: Last Week the MSM Was Caught Telling FORTY Lies
THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF THE WAR FOR PUBLIC OPINION
Democrats’ Real Global Warming Fraud Revealed
Scott Pruitt’s Back-to-Basics Agenda for the EPA - The new administrator plans to follow his statutory mandate—clean air and water—and to respect states’ rights
Musings Of An Average Joe: The Left's Selective Love For The Constitution, Law, And Historical Precedent
BLUMENTHAL SHOULD CUT AND RUN WHENEVER ANY VETERANS APPEAR
He self-identifies as a Vietnam Vet
McCain Drives Into the Ditch
Every Republican is "the most extreme ever"
People who feel sad when they can't find racism
'SNL' should test Trump, but how about challenging a Dem for once?
Althouse on Trump's Florida rally
After 8 Years of Campaigner-in-Chief Obama, NPR Accuses Trump of ‘Permanent Campaign’
Angela Merkel says Europe must take MORE refugees and Islam 'isn't source of terror'
Why the lie?
Pope Francis: 'Muslim Terrorism Does Not Exist'
Why the lie?
There Is No Solution in Afghanistan
Sunday, February 19. 2017
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:06 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
This is an annual reposting:
Just a couple of weeks left to get your new Wood Duck houses up, and, if you want to place your boxes in water, it's easier to do if you can walk on the ice and punch a hole to hammer a post into the shallows. That is, if you have any sturdy ice left on your pond or marsh.
The males arrive to their breeding grounds in March, and hunt for nesting boxes and holes and crevices in trees before the gals arrive later in April.
If you have a stream or fresh water pond or marsh nearby, they will welcome your effort. Remember, there is no limit to the number of boxes you can place in or near a marsh - these birds are not territorial. I try to add one each year.
I place them on dead trees in the beaver marsh, and nail a 3' aluminum flashing on the tree to deter coons and Blacksnakes. Some I put on a post in about 3-6' of water with a strong cement base. I always add a few inches of wood shavings on the bottom.
You can also put them in trees near ponds and marshes,
Our piece on Wood Duck here. I won't shoot a Wood Duck unless by mistake. They are highly edible, but too small. My joy is just to see them around.
The best wood duck houses: http://www.bestnest.com/bestnest/duck_houses.asp (fixed). I had planned to build a few more this winter, but I never got to it.
Here's the Ducks Unlimited site on building and situating Wood Duck houses.
We have tried dozens of meatloaf recipes over the years, some complex and some not. We have settled on our favorite, which is also the simplest.
This ought to make 2 loaves:
3/4 lb. ground chuck
Mix thoroughly with your hands. Put in meat loaf thing - do not pack or compress it - at 350 for an hour or so, when it has a good crust. Serve with mashed taters, and salad if you must. It's a damn good supper, but even better in a sandwich with mayo afterwards.
Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18
From a friend skiing at Crested Butte yesterday. I have skied Telluride, which is up the road a piece, but not Crested. More dramatic views than New England, but all ski views are wonderful.
Saturday, February 18. 2017
I regret any times I have linked those sorts of things because everybody's starting point is different and natural strength and body type vary enormously across people. For example, shorter guys with shorter arms can lift much better than taller guys. While I feel it is essential to have exercise goals to avoid going through the motions, the only reasonable short-term goals are to be stronger and fitter than you were a month ago.
I think it is fun to make 4-month fitness goals, but they should be based on where you are, and not somebody else's (except your trainer's, if you use one).
Look, nobody reading Maggie's (I think) is a Lifter-lifter. They are fitness lifters like me. This is reasonable: How Strong Should I Be For My Age, Size, Height, Weight & Gender?
Photos of the week
Everything We Know So Far About the Howards End TV Show
Every vehicle in the presidential motorcade, explained
How Often Do Airplanes Hit Deer?
Cartwheeling Substitute Teacher Exposed Self To High School Choir Class
Do as I say, not as I do - Chicago Public Schools
From California, a Progressive Cry for State’s Rights - The birthplace of the modern conservative movement is now the leader of a Trump resistance founded on federalism.
FRACKERS HAVE DONE MORE THAN THE SIERRA CLUB EVER DID
Do agencies run this country?
Note to the Left: Four Years Ago, Conservatives Were Just as Depressed
Washington Post: We Aren’t Biased!
With One Tweet, Chuck Todd Reveals The Truth About the Mainstream Media
A Sign That Obamacare Exchanges Are Failing
Killing ObamaCare the Cloward-Piven Way
Same here.Not a job for the Feds
No 'strongman,' Trump is besieged by institutions
Black Trump Supporter Blasts Sanctuary Cities: “All the Jobs Are Going to Illegals!” "When my people do a crime, they get three strikes, your people do a crime, they get amnesty"
Trump Declares CNN, NYT, CBS, ABC And NBC Are "The Enemy of The American People"
The Anti-Trump ‘Resistance’ in Red States - “This isn’t a fad, it’s not going away, and there’s nothing coastal or elite about it.”
France's Le Pen faces new challenges from EU Parliament, UN
"Far right wing"? No she is not
A short excerpt from Snowbound: A Winter Idyl (1866):
Yet, haply, in some lull of life,
Ahhh, the benediction of the air. Read the entire wonderful but old-fashioned-sounding 1865 poem by the great north of Boston newspaper editor and abolitionist here.
He made a lot of money from that poem. Whittier's home, to which the poem refers, stands in Haverhill, MA. It's a sentimental poem you can read to the kids - with feeling! Especially on a snowbound day.
Sounds like a fine nickname for a beloved female. Not to mention that this bird's loud springtime call is "Peter,Peter,Peter."
These chickadee-like non-migratory birds of the eastern US are mostly invisible most of the year except around winter bird-feeders when they welcome handouts of sunflower seeds.
Friday, February 17. 2017
I like a walking stick - a fallen branch broken to length - when taking a tramp without a firearm. It just feels good. Fact is that a walking stick or hiking poles put you almost on three or four legs, and also lessen the wear and tear on middle-aged joints. Especially on hills.
I thought they were nurdy until I saw everybody using them (except us) during our hiking trip in the Dolomites. My Mom always used them after her knees went sour.
We have a hiking trip coming up in a while to the Hebrides and Outer Hebrides (quite similar to Johnson and Boswell's), and their main recommendations are rain gear, hiking poles, day-pack, and waterproof hiking boots. Leave the sun screen at home. I assume they provide the whiskey. The hiking part will be about 7 hrs/day, with fishing boat lifts between islands. Spartan B&Bs with Highland "cuisine." Hmmmm.
It's gloomy and nasty up there in Trump's maternal homeland (Stornaway), and it's easy to understand why so many of them jumped on boats in Glasgow and Liverpool to come to America where the livin' is easy and there ain't no Lairds.
BTW, if you are new to the delightful Boswell, I recommend all of his stuff. In many ways, he was more interesting and amusing than Dr. Johnson who was pedantic - but who could also slide the knife deftly into somebody's pretensions. Johnson knew everything.
Pic is LL Bean telescoping poles.
The Ultimate Pursuit in Hunting: Bighorn Sheep
Every Picture Tells - The art world is now a province of politics, alas.
Use By' Date on Your Milk May Start to Actually Mean Something Soon
What's the Reno Cure for Valentines Gone Wrong? D-I-V-O-R-C-E.
South Carolina Boeing workers reject unionization bid
Obama Stimulus Funds Went to California Dam in ‘Good Shape,’ But Not Oroville
A Climate Scientist Is Smeared for Blowing the Whistle on ‘Corrected’ Data
FAKE SCIENCE GETS SMOKED—AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE
Race and Rising Violent Crime
Illegal aliens too terrified to apply for welfare
Nearly 2 million non-citizen Hispanics illegally registered to vote - Survey bolsters analysis by professors
Olympic Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad Joins the Hate Hoax List
And yet another: Another Fake Hate Crime Exposed
60% of Refugee Arrivals Since Judge Halted Trump’s Order Come From 5 Terror-Prone Countries
U.S. Economy Hits All-Time Low in Freedom Index
Trump's new strategy: Hulk smash
Trump’s in trouble. Is it Christie time already?
Welcome Back to the Medical Underwriting Circle of Hell
The Media Bulls Have Met Their Matador in Trump
In Fiery, "Surreal" Press Conference, Trump Launches War On The Media
They declared war on him months ago
A Renaissance for Small Aircraft Carriers?
Thursday, February 16. 2017
Strength + Calisthenics + Cardio = A balanced diet of exercise for all ages
We need strength training (weight training) to prevent muscle atrophy, to build muscle and bone, to maintain our best functionality, and so we can do Calisthenics and play sports with force. Also, to look good. Looking good does matter in life.
We need Calisthenics (which includes sports) to make full use of all of our muscles, to maintain athleticism, endurance, sexuality, general vigor, and mental happiness
We need some high-intensity Cardio to build or maintain endurance and heart strength
- A person can be very strong but have terrible cardio endurance and terrible agility; runners can have great aerobic cardio endurance but be weak in bone and muscle and unable to handle an hour of intense calis because they have mistakenly aerobically-trained exclusively. The aerobic cardio fitness fad of recent decades was/is greatly overrated. It was over-sold and it damaged a lot of joints. Anyway, the three components are interdependent and overlap to varying degrees: lunges are strength + calis, jump rope and jumping jacks are calis+ cardio, all weight training provides brief but intense cardio stress, etc.
- As a footnote, but not a trivial one, I usually add proper nutrition because a demanding fitness program requires it. The 5-hr/wk program we espouse for general Fitness For Life (approx 2 hrs of weights, approx 1 hr of Calis, and approx 1 hr of cardio (2 half-hr sessions of cardio intervals) demands more protein and maybe more carbs than the ordinary sedentary person needs to survive. If your fitness requires weight gain for bone and muscle development, obviously more protein, fats, and carbs. If your fitness requires fat loss, obviously less carbs. Hard exercise can never eliminate excess fat but it can inspire nutritional sanity.
Photo from Bus Stories (lots of photos)
Women over 40 used to let themselves go and look like frumpy old grandmas, over the hill. Cultural change.
California Today: Why Does It Cost So Much to Live in California?
This Robot Could Be the Future of Home Farming
California Governor Spends $25 Billion Per Year On Illegals, Officials Warned Dam Failing 12 Years Ago
CA schools cut protein cuz global warming
"Without Us, Your Country Is Paralyzed" - Undocumented Workers Plan Boycott "Day Without Immigrants"
That word "systemic"
Court OKs Federal Officials Taking Control Of Private Lands To Save Endangered Frogs That Don’t Live There
Dying From a Terrorist Attack Is Different than Slipping in Your Bathtub
Surprise: At the End, Obama Administration Gave NSA Broad New Powers
These are police state powers
Obamacare is in the ICU
President Trump takes first steps to change Obamacare
The White House: Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?
They are amateurs
House committee launches investigation into Donald Trump's security breaches at Mar-a-Lago
Stupid, and amateurs
NATO Responds to Trump
Getting Innovative: Catapult Seized at U.S.-Mexico Border
Wednesday, February 15. 2017
Good goals for me would be just to get from the Novice to the Int. level for my age. That should be more than sufficient for general fitness but 10 pull-ups is pie in the sky for me now so maybe fully Novice is good enough. I had no idea of how weak I had become when I began my exercise program, because I was fully-functional and never challenged.
Anyway, I will never be a serious lifter. Just a middle-aged general fitness lifter. Glad I got ahead of the downward curve. Well, not ahead of it but at least before it became hopeless. I did nail 2 reps of my personal record deadlift this morning, and feel proud about that. (Hey, make sure you poop well before lifting or you could have a little problem.)
I made trainer feel good about himself, too. Loves to see his clients persist and succeed. Onward and upward.
Studying late at night for a Chem exam, resisting a donut, keeping climbing when your legs say "No," doing one more bench rep when your arms say "I can't", saying "Hi" to a pretty girl who is too good for you, giving your exasperating guitar practice one more half hour, bucking up for one more damn intimidating job interview, getting through a pile of paperwork. A doctor once told me that the toughest person he knew was a agoraphobic and social phobic who by sheer willpower forced herself to leave her house and re-enter society despite her terror.
Everybody wants to fight against his own limitations, fears, flaws, and weaknesses, and nobody wants to feel mentally or physically weak.
When I consider mental toughness I think of warriors facing a wall of spears or machine guns, but in our (or my) pampered and decadent American life we often have to go out of our way to seek out character tests and character challenges. We can easily avoid most of them if we wish to, but our life is diminished by it.
I think shame, self-disgust, and self-disappointment are some of the unpleasant consequences of confronting some of our weaknesses and limitations. It is failure, and we know it.
My genius trainer and I were discussing the topic a while ago. I told him that part of his added value to me was lending his mental strength to me. When my arms say "No," and he says "Two more - you can do it" - I do it. Alone, I "couldn't." That's my mental weakness. So we can gain strength from relationship. That's part of why marriage is so valuable. Friends, too.
He said that group exercise training works well not so much because of the competition but because of the combined spirit of effort, the esprit de corps. Of course, that group effect is an essential part of military training too. He says the reason most people fail in fitness programs is for lack of spirit and determination, not muscle.
I suppose good habits of toughness and perseverance can be nurtured from within from practice and from without with support and cheerleading. My mental toughness is not good enough to make me happy with myself, and probably never will be.
Here's a Grit Quiz. Not sure if such personality traits are measurable really, or whether they are even traits. Sometimes I have plenty of grit, sometimes very little.
What's your view on the subject?
Florida wants to register canoes and kayaks
Writing music for TV
Finding love on the subway
Kate Shaidle's tolerable marriage
That is honest
Marriage and Money
Univ. of Chicago goes kinky: Sex Week filled with flogging, petplay, rope bondage
Sounds like good clean wholesome fun, but what it has to do with higher ed escapes me
The Cohabitation Lie
Playing house is not marriage
Slavery and rape aren’t wrong when Muslims do it.
It's their culture
Boudreaux schools a Luddite
Re Yale: Rename everything
Politics offers a terrible spiritual danger
Trump Cabinet Science-Denial or Scientific Skepticism?
JUST AS PREDICTED: The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn
It's a war. Yes, The Empire Strikes Back
America's spies anonymously took down Michael Flynn. That is deeply worrying.
Polls: Majority Thinks Trump is a "Strong and Decisive Leader" Who "Keeps His Promises;" Public Supports Ending Sanctuary Cities and Deporting Criminals -- Including Hispanics
Democrats Are Losing Their War With Trump
Tuesday, February 14. 2017
"It is easy to forget that the memoirs of a little girl who watched Native Americans on horseback and saw herds of buffalo on the plains happened within living memory of my elders when I was born."
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:57 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Boswell to Dr. Johnson: My friend, Lord So And So from Edinburgh, has studied too deeply and aberrantly, has become a drinker, and has turned unfaithful (to the church).
Dr. Johnson: If he has drunk his way out of faith, he will in time drink his way back into it.
Gotta love James Boswell.
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