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, July 7. 2015
Henry Knox before he was a fort
Are Cats Really Wild Animals?
How they make Kiwi Shoe Polish
Flamin' Hot Cheetos Are the American Dream
I have to try them
The Deadlift: 3 Reasons Why Just Picking Up Heavy Things Replaces Most of Your Gym
I "enjoy" the exercises which involve multiple muscle groups. Not only are they extremely stressful and fatiguing, but they seem to be more useful for life than fussing over small muscle groups. For another example, combining squats with military lifts is another hell of an exercise. Also, lunges with heavy hands - and ropes. You know it's tough when your grunts turn into 4-letter words.
The Church of Sustainability now sweeping college campuses is really primitivism and unsustainable
Rock Climbing in the Middle of New York City’s Central Park
After 167 years, Chicago futures pits will mostly shut down
"... when he can’t pay, it’s the fault of the evil banks for having “loaded him with debt”"
Oregon Democrats Want Public Scholarships For Illegal Aliens
The NYT Unintentionally Presents Evidence Against the Minimum Wage
How the Affordable Care Act Is Reducing Competition
Mexican Elites Secretly Agree With Donald Trump
Another Gun Control Claim Bites the Dust
TANCREDO: INDEPENDENCE DAY, TIME TO THINK RADICAL THOUGHTS
VDH: Obama has built a legacy, all right: appeasement, staggering debt, racial animosity . . .
‘Morning Joe’ Crew Guffaws as Hillary Clinton’s Director of Communications Tries to Explain Rope Barrier
As Hillary Clinton stumps at Dartmouth, College Democrats no-shows, College Republicans turned away
Can Airbnb Help Turn Cuba Capitalist?
Cuba has universal poverty (except for govt officials). If the govt released their controls on commerce, that poverty would be reduced overnight.
Trade with Cuba? We already do $300 million worth
Monday, July 6. 2015
July is Hydrangea bloom around here. A wonderful thing.
Gardeners want their shrub and/or perennial borders to have fun blooms to look at for as long as possible, and that takes thought and planning. (May is Azaleas, June is roses, etc). Hydrangeas want more sun than is often claimed, but too much will give them daytime wilt which weakens them. As their name indicates, they like some water (but the Oakleafs don't need it). It's complicated.
Even the pros get confused about how to grow the hundreds of cultivars of the beloved Hydrangea family of flowering shrubs. Each Spring, I renew my confusion - especially when it comes to the topic of pruning the different categories. Not to mention the newer ever-blooming types.
Most nursery plants are Asian in origin (obviously with plenty of genetic engineering applied to them for blooming purposes), but the old-fashioned Arborescens group derives from the North American wild plant. My favorites are the lacecap types, but I admire them all.
Here are a few things I have learned, none of which applies to all Hydrangeas:
- Hydrangeas like water, and generally do not prefer full-day sun. At least half-day is fine, preferably in the morning. Full shade does not work.
- The pink and/or blue hydrangeas are indeed acidity-sensitive in flower color
- Planting them where they are free to attain their full size without normal pruning (other than that all deciduous shrubs, once they are established and healthy, benefit from removal of 1/4 to 1/3 of the plant down to the ground, or at least the leggy or woody stems, each year) eliminates a lot of complexity.
- Save the dang plant label in a file (best to do with any new plant)
- Hydrangeas do not like much nitrogen fertilizing: it makes them grow leaves, not blooms.
- If you trim or prune your plant wrong, or at the wrong time, you won't get any bloom. Some bloom on new growth, some on last year's growth, and some seem just to do their own thing.
Here's a very basic Identify your hydrangea.
Here are some basics on growing Hydrangeas
Photo on top: A lacecap, "Blue Wave"
Some pics from this week, below the fold - we went through a Hydrangea phase before our Hosta phase before....well, gardening never ends.
Continue reading "Hydrangea Season and Hydrangea Confusion"
Image from Eratosthenes' Recent Hairpin Turns in Our Nationalized Moral Reasoning
The Placebo Effect
"What’s most striking is that most of them hadn’t exercised vigorously their entire lives, but rather started late in life."
WHICH IS BETTER, EXERCISING BEFORE OR AFTER WORK?
What is "sexual health"?
Just protecting government jobs
The Federal Reserve Hasn’t Reduced Frequency of Recessions. Why Is It Necessary Again?
What the Role of ‘We the People’ Is
Best of Enemies- Bill Buckley vs Gore Vidal
“Green” Taxes Out of Control in Great Britain
Sorry, Donald Trump Has A Point
Kate Steinle was Murdered by a Sanctuary City
It’s Bernie Sanders’ America: 5 “radical” ideas Americans strongly support
Jim Webb Writes His Own Books - Meet the new candidate when he was revered novelist James Webb.
Fading Dowager Empress of Chappaqua Refuses to ‘Take Back Seat’ to Other Socialists - Even though Her Highness hasn't driven a car since Lenin was a pup.
Reporters Had the Rare Opportunity to Question Hillary Clinton — Here’s What They Asked
Fine with me. War on Drugs was a bust
Don’t Lose any Sleep Over United Church of Christ Divestment
Think Greece can’t happen here? You’re wrong
Tallying Right-Wing Terror vs. Jihad
Will we let Ukraine die?
Am I Ukraine's keeper?
Sunday, July 5. 2015
Was human evolution inevitable, or do we owe our existence to a once-in-a-universe stroke of luck?
God puzzles me. I can see him creating a lion or a butterfly, but why such a mediocre thing as humans? Perhaps he was lonely, but he could have done better.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:13 | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)
Paul's letter to the Corinthians 12:7-10
..., to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated.
Ives' dad was a Civil War-era military bandleader and was practicing in the town park on the 3rd of July ... another military band, playing another patriotic song, marched through the first band ... the sound electrified little Charlie's brain, all his music tries to recapture that mystical strange eerie American song.
"Give Me Jesus - you can have all the the world, but give me Jesus."
Saturday, July 4. 2015
That is, the American-spirited Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys
Do boys still learn to box at the local Boy's Club? Man, I hated to get hit but I liked the hitting. Do Boy's Clubs still exist? Are they even legal? Teddy Roosevelt's stories about boxing as a child are hilarious. He was determined, despite asthma, to toughen up. He did.
A bad bad war, crazy. I mostly blame Lincoln but, in general, the northern Republicans. Any union ought to be voluntary. Slavery? That was going away anyway in the Western world. Today, we would say "negotiate." Result? 600,000 Americans dead, and a federal government with more power than it was ever intended to possess.
Tragic, all around. Liberia was a good solution and a good recompense, but I am glad for most of the African-American influence in American culture. Better off here than slaves of Moslems in Africa, but better if none of it ever happened.
Americans Don’t Know Why We Celebrate 4th of July
So much for government education
What kind of nation did the Founders aim to create?
America Isn't Getting More Liberal — It's Getting More Libertarian. Today the public is broadly more libertarian than it was just decades ago
The government wants you to grill fruit for the Fourth of July
Grilled pineapple slices are delicious - but why is this the gummint's job?
Fats and carbs: One of the Biggest Mistakes in Nutrition Research
Another quote: The intelligentsia … have encouraged the poor to believe that their poverty is caused by the rich – a message that may be a passing annoyance to the rich but a lasting handicap to the poor, who may see less need to make fundamental changes in their own lives that could lift them up, instead of focusing their efforts on tearing others down.
19.8% of U.S. Workforce Was Foreign-Born in June
That Didn’t Take Long: North & South Carolina Shark Attacks Blamed on Global Warming
Want to save Puerto Rico? Make it a U.S. state.
No thanks. Let it be its own tropical country.
The Tolerant Left
A Field Guide To Acela Republicans - To start with, Acela Republicans hate Republicans.
Politico: "As I noted last month with a link to an AEI infographic, if Clinton patiently endures her falls from public popularity she’s almost always rewarded with a rise."
"... at this very moment, politicians from Spain's Podemos to Italy's Five Star movement are drafting memos demanding that the IMF evaluate their own debt sustainability."
Except for London and Germany, Europe is a suicidal museum
Southern Italy, Europe’s soft underbelly
Southern Italy, Europe’s soft underbelly
Brzezinski on Russia: 'We Are Already In a Cold War'
The middle-east peace industry - Catch the Jew
Hamas, Under Fire from ISIS, Fractures Into Many Dangerous Pieces
Get all the trees, put 'em in a tree museum...iPhone pic sent from a BD daughter yesterday from the Muir Woods in Mill Valley. A magnificent country, isn't it?
A Teddy Roosevelt quote: "When I am here in California, I am not in the West. I am west of the West."
Friday, July 3. 2015
Charles Ives' Three Places were
I. The "St. Gaudens" in Boston Common (Col. Shaw and his Colored Regiment)
"Why would I want to do that?"
I'd say it's a handy expression, or query, or response, for the verbal toolbox, but it does not work as a response to many pleasant things (eg, "Mrs. Sippican, would you like some Strawberry Shortcake?" or "Mrs. Sippican, would you, the Mr., and the boys like to take a ride to Nice on my new G6 for a week at my villa in Cap d'Antibe?").
More on Asteroid Defense
When Sociologists Go Bad
The Fall and Rise and Fall of Pompeii - The famous archaeological treasure is
NYC's absurd rent control
Joel Osteen is Pastor of the Largest Protestant Church in the US. Is He Protesting Evangelism?
Are white men gods? (Part 2)
Feds Light Dummies on Fire to Warn About Sparklers, Fireworks
Oh, look, some Libertarians are having a few second thoughts about the goals of gay activists post-Obergefell
look, some Libertarians are having a few second thoughts about the
goals of gay activists post-Obergefell - See more at:
This Just In: America Still Racist
Oklahoma Constitution prohibits public display of Ten Commandments monument
Racist, Confederate-Flag Sporting Ex-CNN Reporter's Racist,
Climate Craziness of the Week: Center for Biological Diversity petitions EPA to list CO2 as a ‘toxic substance’
Obama Channels Reverend Wright
Even Jimmy Carter thinks Obama the worst president
Bernie Sanders sends a chilling message to Hillary campaign
Democratic ex-Va. Sen. Jim Webb announces presidential bid
Essay: The Middle East Studies Mess
Thursday, July 2. 2015
Like most other bugs, their "adult" reproductive phases are usually brief - a week or two. However, their time as eggs, larvae (in this case, caterpillars), and pupae varies depending on species and climate.
Some even migrate (eg Monarchs) and some, like Mourning Cloaks, (photo) hibernate, which is why you sometimes see them fully-fledged on the first warm days of Spring. Tough buggers, live on tree sap.
How Long Do Butterflies Live?
Polyamory: She wants a husband, and new lovers too
Gee, how unusual to want that sometimes. All humans are polyamorous. You either turn hot romance into a loyal bond - or you don't.
First world problems: “We built a luxury dream home but can only afford to have two children.
Disney confirms selfie stick ban at theme parks
Never had a stick, and never went to a theme park
The Future of Sex Is Terrifying - Proposed changes to U.S. sex-crime laws seek to set new sexual norms by criminalizing ordinary behavior.
America Loses Its Mind… TV Land Pulls Reruns of ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ …They’re Racist!
Confederate flag kills 7 in Alabama
Video of the day: Northwestern University Professor Laura Kipnis on how campus feminism infantilizes women
Protecting Humanity from Ice Ages
Worth thinking about, but not on an emergency basis
The Media, the Court and the Slippery Sex Slope
About Justice Kennedy: The Liberty to Take Liberties with Reality
Nonprofits win exemption to LA minimum wage increase
An Inside Look at How Hillary Clinton Plays the Media - "Greta...is malleable."
Vote for Hillary Clinton, because she’s a woman.
Email bombshells from Hillary's secret account show she didn't know when cabinet meetings were held
Maybe she wasn't invited
Dowager Empress of Chappaqua will get to the Big House before the White House.
Budowsky: Obama could sink 2016 Dems
Declaring ‘This Is What Change Looks Like,’ Obama Re-opening Cuba Embassy
That's ok with me
85% of Greeks Believe the Jews Have Too Much Power Over Global Finance
What to Do About an Imperial Iran
Try doing nothing
Can We Trust How Iran Would Spend Funds From a Nuclear Deal?
That's a tough question
Why Terrorists Want To See the End of Tunisia
I've been there. Interesting place. Good food. Aggressive salesmen in the souk. A brief clip of the souk in Tunis. Fun place, not mainly meant for tourists.
Wednesday, July 1. 2015
Summer really begins this weekend, up here, with Independence Day. Just a few summery links:
At a wedding a couple of weeks ago, this is all they were serving. Gallons it it. Wine and beer too.
My favorite cocktail regardless of season is a gin Martini with four olives. Vegetarian, organic. I could use one or two right now before I head to the dentist.
What are your favorite summertime adult beverages?
Irish Pastor Faces Prison for Criticizing Islam
Boston doesn't want the Olympics
'Employee' Label Would End Uber as We Know It
“Time to legalize polygamy”
“Time to legalize polygamy”
Justices take up dispute over union fees
Publishing Company Under Fire for Putting Warning Label on Constitution
Environmental Benefits from Driving Electric Vehicles?
Scholar Speaks on Obama’s Red Mentor
Bobby Jindal and Liberals’ Racist Double-Standard
Millennials in Shock Over Hillary's Cribs
Test Pilot Admits the F-35 Can’t Dogfight - New stealth fighter is dead meat in an air battle
Europe’s dream is dying in Greece
A Greek Default Would Be a Valuable Lesson in Basic Economics
There is no democracy left in Europe, people have no direct say anymore, there’s just a two-pronged dictatorship
Israel says Syria's Assad may be left with rump state
Who Lost Iraq? Did George W. Bush create the Islamic State? Did Barack Obama? We asked the insiders to tell us who’s to blame.
Tuesday, June 30. 2015
Poached salmon with yoghurt dill sauce is one of our standards for bringing as our contribution to outdoor summer dinner parties. Asparagus is good on the side. Everybody loves it.
We also use this as our large group Christmas Eve after-church suppers for whoever is lucky enough to be invited to our place for supper around the fireplaces, with the tree (Christmas Eve requires seafood, and you can do this in the afternoon so it's ready when you get home.) One or two of those huge Costco filets, depending on numbers, is good to poach. Easy to do.
Recipe here. We poach the large filets intact and present them on a large tray. It's more appealing that way.
Unpaid Internships Are Worth it: Suck it Up Millennials
Building a Wattle and Daub Shelter for Dummies
Orthodox Christians Must Now Learn To Live as Exiles in Our Own Country
Why is that a bad thing?
It Was Always About The Christians
Kimball: Thoughts on satire and Juvenal
Why the College Board's New Standards Would Make Teaching History Even Worse
A Lifestyle So Good, It’s Mandatory - In California, it’s lifestyle liberalism versus nicotine vapors.
Christian farm family penalized in gay wedding refusal decries ‘orchestrated set-up’
Pope recruits Naomi Klein to fight Climate Change and Capitalism
Reality Is Now Discretionary
The Greek Crisis: Too Little Democracy, Too Much Bureaucracy
The payoff for Iran
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