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
Saturday, October 25. 2014
A repost from last November -
A great hunt this morning at a pal's rod and gun club. Heavy snow flurries and a stiff breeze made things interesting. Had two good Labs working for us today. Had to break the ice in their water tubs. Being Labs, naturally one insisted on climbing into the water tub to play with the floating hunks of ice and was not eager to come out.
Before a late lunch we had some venison sausage and I fixed myself a Clamato Bloody Mary while we cleaned and oiled our weapons. For lunch, they made us rare roast beef with Onion Pie, with a nice Chateau Simard '86 (Simard remains an excellent wine for the price). I do not know whether it was just the effect of a long cold day in the field, but this onion pie was about the tastiest, most savory thing I have ever eaten. The cook made it with a plain white-cracker piecrust and maybe sprinkled cracker crumbs over the top. This pie is to a kiche as a Grizzly Bear is to a Teddy Bear. Rice Pudding for dessert, of course: what else would you serve at an old-fashioned guy's club where women are not allowed?
As my friends know all too well, it's great to have somebody else to drive so I can indulge a post-prandial, post-hunt snoring snooze. I do not know why my friends put up with me.
1 unbaked pie shell - try a plain cracker crumb crust
2 or 3 very large white onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 lb. Swiss cheese cut into 1/2" or 1" chunks
1 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. milk or light cream
1/8 tsp. pepper
Prepare unbaked pie shell. Start heating oven to 400 degrees. Saute onions in butter and dump into pie shell. Toss the cheese with flour, sprinkle over onions. Beat eggs well. Stir in milk or cream, salt and pepper. Pour over cheese. Sprinkle crack crumbs on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Then reduce oven heat to 300 degrees and bake 25 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve hot, in wedges.
That is soul food with a rare roast beef. Might be a good treat for a holday, too, as an alternative to creamed baby onions (which I also love).
We have seen plenty of marble quarries up on high hills around Italy and in Sicily too.
Here's an up-close view (video)
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:01 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Frank Serpico speaks
Thirty-Three-Hit Wonder - Billy Joel still lives on Long Island, still rules the Garden.
Big Taxi is doomed
Idaho city ordinance bans distribution of Bible to children
Study Says Deer Hunting Helps to Replenish Forests
Problem is that we eliminated their natural predators
Save the fishes! Drill offshore
Prohibition Redux: Pennsylvania to Destroy Thousands of Bottles of Wine - Owner violated archaic liquor laws
Krauthammer: Barack Obama, Bewildered Bystander - He’s angry, but not angry enough to fix what’s wrong.
Hillary Clinton Says, “Don’t Let Anyone Tell You It’s Corporations and Businesses That Create Jobs”
Dems on FEC move to regulate Internet campaigns, blogs, Drudge
The UK wants people to exercise to save $ for the NHS
But aren't people cheaper if dead?
John Kerry Thinks Climate Change Causes Radical Islam
North Korea warns against anti-Pyongyang leaflet drop
Shooting balloons is the most fun you can have in NoKo
The House Of Clouds
I would build a cloudy House
For my thoughts to live in;
When for earth too fancy-loose
And too low for Heaven!
Hush! I talk my dream aloud
I build it bright to see,
I build it on the moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee.
Cloud-walls of the morning's grey,
Faced with amber column,
Crowned with crimson cupola
From a sunset solemn!
May mists, for the casements, fetch,
Pale and glimmering;
With a sunbeam hid in each,
And a smell of spring.
Build the entrance high and proud,
Darkening and then brightening,
If a riven thunder-cloud,
Veined by the lightning.
Use one with an iris-stain,
For the door within;
Turning to a sound like rain,
As I enter in.
Build a spacious hall thereby:
Boldly, never fearing.
Use the blue place of the sky,
Which the wind is clearing;
Branched with corridors sublime,
Flecked with winding stairs
Such as children wish to climb,
Following their own prayers.
In the mutest of the house,
I will have my chamber:
Silence at the door shall use
Evening's light of amber,
Solemnising every mood,
Softening in degree,
Turning sadness into good,
As I turn the key.
Be my chamber tapestried
With the showers of summer,
Close, but soundless - glorified
When the sunbeams come here;
Wandering harpers, harping on
Waters stringed for such,
Drawing colours, for a tune,
With a vibrant touch.
Bring a shadow green and still
From the chestnut forest,
Bring a purple from the hill,
When the heat is sorest;
Spread them out from wall to wall,
Whereupon the foot shall fall
In light instead of sound.
Bring the fantasque cloudlets home
From the noontide zenith
Ranged, for sculptures, round the room,
Named as Fancy weeneth:
Some be Junos, without eyes;
Naiads, without sources
Some be birds of paradise,
Some, Olympian horses.
Bring the dews the birds shake off,
Waking in the hedges,
Those too, perfumed for a proof,
From the lilies' edges:
From our England's field and moor,
Bring them calm and white in;
Whence to form a mirror pure,
For Love's self-delighting.
Bring a grey cloud from the east,
Where the lark is singing;
Something of the song at least,
Unlost in the bringing:
That shall be a morning chair,
Poet-dream may sit in,
When it leans out on the air,
Unrhymed and unwritten.
Bring the red cloud from the sun
While he sinketh, catch it.
That shall be a couch, with one
Sidelong star to watch it,
Fit for poet's finest Thought,
At the curfew-sounding;
Things unseen being nearer brought
Than the seen, around him.
Poet's thought, not poet's sigh!
'Las, they come together!
Cloudy walls divide and fly,
As in April weather!
Cupola and column proud,
Structure bright to see -
Gone - except that moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee!
Let them! Wipe such visionings
From the Fancy's cartel
Love secures some fairer things
Dowered with his immortal.
The sun may darken - heaven be bowed -
But still, unchanged shall be,
Here in my soul, that moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with THEE!
Friday, October 24. 2014
It's the time of year when I stock up on bags of Cranberries and throw them in the freezer.
The canned cranberry "sauce" pictured is garbage. It's just congealed sweetened cranberry juice.
The recipe on the Ocean Spray bags is pretty good, but I cut the sugar they recommend in half. It's nothing but water, fresh or frozen berries, and sugar.
A great food, the Cranberry. I love to put them in pancakes (the combination of the sweetness of the maple syrup and the tartness of the cranberries is perfect).
Here's our old post on Cranberry Season and the Heart.
Funny thing about Cranberries: not many animals or birds like to eat them. Maybe bears? I've seen Box Turtles take a bite out of one, but I've never seen anything else eat them. I love Cranberries, as long as they aren't cooked too sweet. Here's a tiny Massachusetts Cranberry bog, flooded for harvest:
Here's how it's done on a larger scale:
Weather Channel Founder John Coleman: There is no significant man-made global warming at this time
Football Coach Fired Because Eating Watermelon Is Racist - Parents from other schools felt smashing a watermelon and eating it after games was inappropriate.
Related, architecture is racist too
Most racist thing? An architect eating a watermelon
Death Threats Aimed at Boy, 11, Who Bagged Rare Albino Deer
Can't Afford a House? Don't Buy One
Op-Ed: What Would Toscanini Do?
Andrew Klavan: Just Say No To Feminism
The War on Poverty Turns 50 - Are We Winning Yet?
Sex and politics: poor Lewinsky didn't know the game
Michael Brown’s Granny & Mother Brawl in Street Over T-Shirts & Swag
Mark Steyn: Doesn’t Matter If GOP Win Midterms, Liberals Winning ‘Other 364 Days,’ Culture Wars
Yucca Mountain safe for nuke storage
Syria tribal revolt against Islamic State ignored
H.R. McMaster: Thinking Clearly about War and the Future of Warfare – The US Army Operating Concept
Navy's Top Admiral: Long Deployments are 'Unsustainable'
Thursday, October 23. 2014
The most valuable and unequal things we inherit are not dollars, but dollars are good too
The Dodge Brothers and Henry Ford: A Brief History
Confessions Of An AP Teacher: College Board’s New History Curriculum Is Terrible
Abusing Federal Paid Leave
Union enrollment plummets for Wisconsin teachers under tough law
"Tough"? The old law was tough.
Special interest licensing: A Confused Progressive Case Against Occupational Licensing Abuse
The Real Story on How Much Obamacare Increased Coverage
The incredible cost savings that are possible when patients can actually shop around
Infected by Politics - The public-health profession is more committed to social justice than to sound science.
Obama the conservative
US Spends 30 Times More on Welfare Benefits Per Person Than Communist China
Thomas Sowell on ‘predatory lending’ and ‘predatory journalism’
Election season: Holder DOJ expert witness: blacks are dumber and less civic-minded than whites
Election season: Dem GOTV Group Caught on Camera Endorsing Voter Fraud
Election season: Scott Brown Nails Shaheen on Immigration: 'I Want to Fight for Jobs for New Hampshire' over Jobs for Illegal Aliens
Election season: Kimball - Dem Panic According to the New York Times
Why the Teenage Girls of Europe Are Joining ISIS - Because they want the same things that teenage boys want: a strong sense of meaning and purpose
No mention of devotion to Allah in that calculation?
Traffickers use abductions, prison ships to feed Asian slave trade
Defensible Borders in the Age of IS - What does the upheaval in the Middle East mean for Israel’s territorial needs?
Wednesday, October 22. 2014
Exploring southern Manhattan on foot, as if a tourist: A report from the First Annual Maggie's Urban Hike
We began our jolly urban hike on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, Battery Park, where the ferries depart to Staten Island, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty.
What is fatiguing is not the hiking itself - it's the overstimulation. So much going on, so much to look at.
Below the fold, a photo summary of our hike, with relevant links -
Continue reading "Exploring southern Manhattan on foot, as if a tourist: A report from the First Annual Maggie's Urban Hike"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:16 | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)
Pic is this 1959 Porsche-Diesel Junior Tractor
There's More to Life Than Being Happy - Meaning comes from the pursuit of more complex things than happiness
It's about Viktor Frankl
The Externalization of Responsibility: Monica Lewinsky’s Personal Shame
Election season: Dildos and Lynchings: Wendy Davis, Kay Hagan Campaigns Go Insane
Election season: CAUGHT ON TAPE: Dem Operative Stuffs Ballot Box in Arizona
Election season: Obama Admin: We May Need 'Surge' Of Millions Of Immigrant Ids 'For Any Number Of Reasons'
Green cards on the table -President Obama lets slip his scheme for a permanent majority
Future election season: Hillary Clinton Raises Record $2.1M At Jeffrey Katzenberg Co-Hosted Hollywood Fundraiser
Klavan: Knucklehead Row:
Tuesday, October 21. 2014
25 Is the New 21 - For some parents, the deadline for a kid's financial independence has gotten an extension.
The History of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, 50 Years After Its Construction - Built in 1964, the span still stands as Americas’ largest suspension bridge
Re AirBNB: Interesting, isn’t it, that most of our growth comes from the parts of
An Interview With the Repo Man
College Grads Flock to New Cities
New York Dominates 2014 List of America's Most Expensive ZIP Codes
Near the top - SoHo's industrial loft area
Why I love old people, but I will not accept Medicare
10 reasons why I love Medicare as a physician
Why doctors give Obamacare a failing grade
Secret Slack Shadows Job Market as Fed Weighs When to Lift Rates
I would suggest three years ago
SOURCE OF CURRENT EBOLA EPIDEMIC IDENTIFIED: Bat-Eating Family in Guinea Village
The guy is married to a Latina
Election season: Mary Landrieu: My Multimillion-Dollar Home Is Not a Mansion
For me, a 7000 sq' townhouse is just a humble pied a terre. BTW, how do politicians get so rich?
Government to Ordained Ministers: Celebrate Same-Sex Wedding or Go to Jail
Will that apply to Muslims too?
A New Start for Afghanistan: 3 Massive Challenges That Will Decide Its Future
Monday, October 20. 2014
The Case for Drinking as Much Coffee as You Like
'The Hobbit' In LEGO, In 72 Seconds
Why I visit prostitutes - Just as sex workers are shamed by society,
Taking Exception to Vermont's Proposed GMO Labeling Rules
Seattle’s Reds Have Minimum Wage Blues
Your Tax Dollars At Work: Liberal religious organizations make amnesty pay
The New York Times Editorial Board needs a copy of ‘Consumer Credit and the American Economy”
Government case implodes as its former lawyers allege fraud against Holder DOJ
Goodwin: A toxic president
Noonan: Who Do They Think We Are? The administration’s Ebola evasions reveal its disdain for the American people.
The nasty politicization of
Election season: Kay Hagan’s October Surprise - Her family’s businesses benefited from $400K in stimulus funds.
The Dead Hand of Socialism: State Ownership in the Arab World
Arab Uprisings May Doom Middle East Christians
Sunday, October 19. 2014
Cooked up a large casserole pan of this simple squash recipe last weekend. Everybody ate it all up.
Next time, I'll grate more Parmesan for it.
Psalm 96:1-9, (10-13)
Saturday, October 18. 2014
Image: Sorry again - forgot where I stole that one
Students: Transgender Woman Can’t Be Diversity Officer Because She’s a White Man Now.
Biology is too confusing.
Rambunctious boys: The economic value of misbehavior
'Sex over Food the Clear Choice for Some Males,' Says Study
Whoda thunkit? Can eat later. Thank God for studies.
Why Germany Is So Much Better at Training Its Workers - America rarely uses an apprenticeship model to teach young people a trade. Could such a system help the unemployed?
A book people are discussing: How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness
"I fully admit to having a mild resentment toward rich people."
I envy wealth, but not enough to do anything about it. I know envy is a sin.
We've all heard of Government Cheese - but Government Beer?
A terrible bus ride in Baltimore
“Climate Change” To Cause More Severe Frosts
Of course, just as predicted
Surveillance-Proof - Technology companies take heat for making phones the government can’t tap.
Barrons: Investing in Do-Good Stocks Is Sustainable - More dollars should flow to socially responsible firms as Millennials and women gain influence in markets.
How's that for an insult to the intelligence of the youth and women?
Voting Out Incumbents Could Worsen Partisanship
So? Partisanship is good.
Figures. Obama Appoints Far Left Hack With Expertise in Revolutionary Politics as Ebola Czar
Election politics: Bloomberg fuels pro-Michelle Nunn Super PAC with $350,000 donation
Thomas Friedman: Those non-Islamist ISIS folks just need better schools
Go, Tom. Go and teach.
More evidence that Obama brought Enterovirus D-68 to US the with his illegal alien imports
BRITISH OFFICIALS UNCOVER HUNDREDS OF NEW CASES OF FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION IN THE UK
Poetic language is an intensification of the use of words. Prof Booth likes to look at the "physics" of poetic language. When a person gets into a poetry state, whether writing or reading, the mind can take over and let the inner physics of the thing just happen the same way you can hit a moving car with a snowball without knowing the math and the brain physiology of it.
I found this essay to be fascinating, and had to re-read it: Shakespeare’s Genius Is Nonsense - What the Bard can teach science about language and the limits of the human mind. One quote:
Friday, October 17. 2014
I told you that in Sicily this past Spring we had Parsley Pesto (with grilled swordfish) and Pistachio Pesto (with grilled pork), but we never saw a Basil Pesto. They do love their Pistachios in Sicily - they use them with everything. We brought a small, overpriced jar of pistachio pesto home, but it's fairly easy to make.
"Pesto" means something that is pestado - pounded or ground up, as in English "pestle and "paste." Walnut-Parsley is a popular combination. Also, fresh mint pesto. The Cuisinart is what made Pesto easy.
More: Move out the way, basil. Cheese + nuts + olive oil + garlic + whatever the hell you want = awesome pesto.
Why Kids Sext - An inquiry into one recent scandal reveals how kids think
The Rise of All-Purpose Antidepressants - Doctors are increasingly prescribing SSRIs to treat more than just depression
Who’s afraid of hedge funds? The folks with a vested interest in failed schools
Could the state of America get any worse?
During the October 3 airing of Real Time With Bill Maher, guest Ben Affleck joined Maher in talking about owning guns in order to protect their homes and their families.
Stockton’s Unlearned Lessons - The troubled California city could straighten out its finances, but its leaders don’t seem to want to.
The effects of cheap oil
Sultan is no fan of Islam
AP: Nearly 1 Million Americans Have Cast Ballots Already For Midterm Elections
Politics today: Udall is a rubber stamp
Politics today: Scott Brown can win
Politics today: The nation’s most effective welfare reformer may be the Republican governor of Maine, Paul LePage, and he’s under assault for it.
From Wiliamson's The Thirty Years’ War - What this country needs is a war of attrition against the welfare state and entrenched incompetency:
Hamburg has become the scene of street fighting between Islamic supporters of ISIS and expatriate Kurds
A final batch of my pal's pics from his trip to Zambia in August. I requested some pics from town and city but he says they spent their entire trip in tents in wilderness with native guides.
More below the fold -
Continue reading "Final batch"
Thursday, October 16. 2014
Video: Conveyor Belt Sushi, Japan
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:34 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
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