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, June 13. 2017
Image stolen from Ace
Why Is the Speed of Light So Slow?
Why Derek Jeter doesn’t feel prepared for fatherhood
Euthanasia for existential anguish?
GuideStar Marks Family Research Council as a 'Hate Group'
'Horrendous storm' to hit stocks, Wall Street not rational: David Stockman
Militant Homosexuality: Leftist Politics by Other Means
Rolling Stone settles rape hoax case
Puerto Rico votes in favor of statehood
But the US doesn't want them. Why would we? Give it back to Spain.
WaPo Writes Islamic Terrorism Out Of The Pulse Nightclub Shooting
Robert Mueller should step aside: Friends shouldn’t be investigating friends
Best pals, gunning for the rebel Trump. The empire strikes back.
Steyn: Comey is a 6'8" gummy worm
Best comment I've seen: Comey said that, as he was leaving the room with Trump, Trump grabbed his pussy
Comey Suspected of Other Leaks to the New York Times Dating Back to at Least March
Trump Is Beating the Media at Its Own Game
Kimball: Trumping the narrative
Senator Graham: Trump may 'go down' because of inappropriate statements
Why Are There No Good Samaritans In China?
A tidal creek off the Pitasqua River, from last week's hike
Monday, June 12. 2017
You will hear the territorial calls of most of the birds in your neighborhood. These will mostly quiet down as the sun comes up and the birds get busy finding breakfast for themselves and/or their chicks.
If you are like me, you will not be able to identify all of those calls. As time goes on, I have become more determined to ID birds by song. It's tough for me because I have a tin ear. I still confuse the Oriole with the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak.
For beginners. Best to start with the easy ones. It is handy to tell a Wood Thrush from a Hermit Thrush. Also handy to know the "broken typewriter" Marsh Wren because, like thrushes (except Robins and Bluebirds) you hardly ever see them.
A cool trick I recently learned is to put a Screech Owl recording on your phone. If you play that a bit in a brushy area or in a place where you can't quite get your binoculars on a bird, it's likely that some birds will approach the sound of the little owl and you can get a closer look.
California´s huge snowfall will keep some ski resorts open until August
I blame global warming
Sex Scandal: When colleges treat men and women the same — women get hurt, author says
The Latest: L.A. pride parade renamed 'ResistMarch'
What are they pissed about?
Opioid dealers embrace the internet
Delta, Bank of America End Sponsorship of New York's Public Theater Over Trump-Like 'Julius Caesar'
Wow, so edgy! Don't they see how juvenile they are?
Basically, stop falling into traps
The Fourth Turning: A Summer Of Rage And The Total Eclipse Of The Deep State
Loretta Lynch, Swamp Thing
At Least 9 of 38 Deep State ‘Leaks’ to Media Outlets Are Linked or Related to James Comey
Mueller adds muscle for Russia investigation
Witch hunts always find witches
Former AG Mukasey: Lynch Made DOJ ‘An Arm Of The Clinton Campaign’
Pathetic endings to prosecutorial careers of James Comey and Loretta Lynch - Their reputations were taken down not by Donald Trump, but by their attempts to take down Trump.
Bill and Hillary received $2.85M selling U.S. uranium to the Russians
Trump’s Election Is Turning The Left Into A Breeding Ground For Conspiracy Theorists
Scott Johnson gets tangled in the web
That seems incredible
I think they just want to cripple him, same as with Bush-Hitler
New Leftist Fantasy: Decision On Paris Climate Agreement Is Impeachable Offense
Van Jones laughs at Hillary
Germany Wrestles With Migrant ‘Fake Father’ Scam - Immigrants paying German men to claim paternity.
Per usual, socialism has done a good job of spreading the poverty and hopelessness
Facts about Qatar
Sunday, June 11. 2017
Baptisia is an excellent 3+-ft. high border perennial. It's a late-spring/early-summer bloomer, likes full sun to half-day sun but can get leggy without enough sun.
It's a tough and vigorous perennial - once it is established. It grows deep roots, so it can unfortunately take a couple of years to reach its full effect.
The three new ones I planted in the fall are pathetic now, but next Spring they should be ready to show some vigor and bloom.
Many good things need patience. For instant color, go with annuals.
Inexpensive Heart Conditioning: Walking, Brisk Walking, Jogging, Climbing, Running, Sprinting - and Hiking
"Cardio" is obviously mainly about general vigor - heart conditioning plus muscle maintenance (rather than muscle-strengthening) and general endurance. Ordinary walking, as opposed to Strolling, hardly meets the minimal standard for "exercise" because it is non-exertional except for the elderly or the overweight. (Housework, strolling, gardening are too low-intensity to call exercise at all.) For most people, "walking" means a speed under 3.4 mph. "Brisk walking" or "Fast Walking" is any speed between around 3.5 mph and the point at which you have to break into a jog or a run (somewhere over 4 mph for most people).
More maybe-interesting info below the fold -
Continue reading "Inexpensive Heart Conditioning: Walking, Brisk Walking, Jogging, Climbing, Running, Sprinting - and Hiking"
Saturday, June 10. 2017
Photo: finally got the pic of my friend's backyard Barred Owl
THE ROCKING DEAD - The Grateful Dead’s Cornell 1977 concert release
Berserkers In Mesopotamia, Europe And India: Old Tradition Of Mad Fighting Dates Back At Least 3000 BC
Oldest Homo sapiens fossils discovered in Morocco
Lonely in suburbia
Evergreen State Officials Ask Student Vigilantes To Stop Patrolling Campus With Baseball Bats
Professor At Evergreen College Backs Bret Weinstein, Expects To Be Called A Racist
Lunatics running asylum
Harvard History Prof doesn't know her history
MUGGING MR. MURRAY: MURRAY SPEAKS
Great Legislative Ideas To Fight Hotcoldwetdry We Can All Agree On
Dumping Dodd-Frank: How we get our economy back
Why Not Try 'Medicare for All'? Glad You Asked
Biology Professor: Trauma Of Trump Presidency Will Mutate Human Genome For All Eternity
Krauthammer: You can’t govern by id
Schlicter: From Russia With Stupidity
BBC Reporter’s False Trump Tweet Reveals a Sad Truth - James Landale of the BBC posted two tweets about Donald Trump. One was true, one was false. Guess which one went viral?
sultan on DC today:
Comey’s Weak Case
7 Unexpected Takeaways From James Comey’s Testimony
Theresa May’s Call for Internet Censorship Isn't Limited to Fighting Terrorism - Using fear of terrorists to try to control what you can see online
The Astonishing Israeli Concession of 1967 - In a triumphant moment, Israel’s flag was hoisted over the newly conquered Temple Mount—then quickly taken down.
COMMUNISM VICTIMS REMEMBER - Powerful testimony of personal experiences with communism’s horrors.
QATAR, TRUMP AND DOUBLE GAMES - Qatar’s role in undermining the stability of the Islamic world has been second only to Iran’s.
How Israel spots lone-wolf attackers - Algorithms monitor social-media posts of Palestinians
The boy stood on the burning deck,
Friday, June 9. 2017
Lines of code in a car
Selling Stuff Is No Longer the Point of Retail Stores
Number of Job Openings Hits Record-High at 6 Million
Is College Worth It? Increasing Numbers Say No
Captain Capitalism: Life's too short for politics
Questioning Government Is What Makes You An American
How Conservatives Were Tricked Into Opposing The Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid Act
" The truly sad part is that they THINK they’re smart and intellectual. "
#FakeNews CNN Tries to Railroad Weather Channel Founder, Gets Schooled on Climate Change Instead
Report On Russian Contacts With Trump Campaign Was Mostly Wrong (Update: Times Responds)
Sen. McCain Blames Late-Night Baseball Game For Strange Questioning
Dershowitz: Trump did not obstruct justice
These Photos of Sad Brooklyn Hipsters in a Bar Watching the Comey Hearing Are Hilarious
Don't they have jobs?
CNN’s King Admits Media Will Bury Comey’s ‘Damning Account’ of Lynch’s Behavior on Hillary
Chris Matthews: Trump-Russia collusion theory 'came apart' with Comey testimony
Trump doesn't understand that there is no such thing as casual chat when president
Will Theresa May resign? PM scrambles to stay in power by doing deal with DUP after disastrous gamble ended in hung Parliament
French-German TV network shelves documentary that revealed European funding for antisemitic groups
Lots of Common Eiders out there with newly-hatched fluffball chicks.
Thursday, June 8. 2017
Photo is the Meindl Burma
Our commenters to our Hiking Footwear post were well-informed, experienced, and helpful. Appreciate all of those offerings. Lots of hikers, hunters, and some field geologists among our readers.
Two basics about boot sizing: Your dress shoe or sneaker size might be small for boots. Try the boot at the end of the day when your foot is most expanded. With the heaviest socks you might wear with them, but unlaced, check to make sure you can fit your index finger down the heel.
- Good website: Cool Hiking Gear
This is useful too:
Ace's Good Morning:
Invisible dots from printers
‘Diversity of Opinion’ Is ‘White Supremacist Bullsh*t’
Rust Belt Connecticut
Mandatory spending deprives your vote of power
Fast and Furious hearing rips Holder, DOJ for deception in gun-running scandal
The sad spectacle of Hillary Clinton’s slow-motion breakdown
In quest for a Trump crime, Dems refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer
Puerto Rico's bankruptcy leaves US island facing hard times
From Fort Foster Park on the Maine side. Those large box-like structures in the water are WW2 anti-sub net platforms. Portsmouth is a hopping little city, prosperous, very pleasant.
It's easy to see why this general area is popular with retirees.
Wednesday, June 7. 2017
"I wanted to write songs like nobody had heard before."
Image via Moonbattery
Dr. Paul Ekman PhD: The Truth Behind Lie to Me
Why Are So Many Young Men Taking A Pass On College?
What if Charles Murray Is Right?
Fear of deportation drives people off food stamps in US
What the AP’s Collaboration With the Nazis Should Teach Us About Reporting the News
Powerline: FROM FAKE NEWS TO FAKE POLLS
Brookings Institution -- The Progressive Jukebox Funded By U.S. Taxpayers
While dissing Trump for pulling out of the #ParisAgreement, the EU’s CO2 Emissions Are On The Rise
Hillary Clinton: The Solution To Terrorism Is To “Understand” Muslim Food
VDH: Hypocrisy is destroying the Democrats
McArdle: In favor of partisan battles
Scarborough: Trump a “Schmuck”
Germany: Surge in Stabbings and Knife Crimes
British Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn: ISIS Members Should Not Be Prosecuted For “Expressing A Political Point Of View”…
Iran Revolutionary Guards ‘protecting Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim inside his palace’
PALESTINIAN SUFFERING AND ISRAEL - The Palestinians the international media don't talk about -- and the reason why.
Continue reading "A Maine marsh, with a bird list"
Tuesday, June 6. 2017
La Campanella by Franz Liszt is considered one of the most difficult piano pieces. This piece is like an acid trip.
Here's my chance to elicit opinions from readers about hiking gear.
I'll limit the discussion to footwear for relatively rugged lengthy day hikes on uneven, sometimes wet, sometimes rocky, steep, or unstable ground with no more weight on your back than a full daypack (in other words, not real backpacking but not ordinary walking either. Something that would be good for our 9-mile urban hikes too). And I will stipulate that merino wool or wicking synthetic socks, with or without liner socks, are important for this sort of thing to prevent blisters. One blister or hot spot can ruin an outing - or a week.
I'm thinking of footwear that would be good for scrambling up Tuckerman's Ravine, for woodsy hikes through hill and dale, and for boggy spots. So I think we're in the realm of what they call "Light Hiking" or "medium duty" waterproof boots with good arch and ankle support, without the weight of those monster boots designed for mountain hikes with a 40 lb pack on your back - or 60 lbs of fresh elk meat.
I've done a lot of hiking in running shoes and it's not ideal but it is blister-free. I have also done a lot of backwoods all-day hunting in things like wellies, LL Bean Maine boots, and heavy snow boots. Those things are not great for distances - at least for me, they become fatiguing to wear after a couple of hours. I guess I am more experienced with the Hunting Boot category (though I don't know why they are different from the hiking boot category except that hunting boots are higher and often insulated - here's a good hunting boot) and with the steel-toed Work Boot category than I am with the Hiking Boot category. I have worn out many pairs of Work Boots at the farm.
In my research I have seen the yuuuge variety of offerings in the general category of Hiking Boots. Capitalism with competition certainly offers us endless choices in things and they all seem to be very good. These range from heavy-duty sneakers with heavy treads to slightly lightened, or ordinary, heavy-duty mountaineering backpacking boots. Some are higher, some lower, some softer, some harder. Some leather, some suede, some synthetics. Some insulated, most not. Hard leather boots need 20-40 miles of breaking in, others not so much. Waterproof usually has some Gore-Tex in it. Gore-Tex was one heck of an invention.
Well, maybe it makes sense to have a couple of different boots for different hiking purposes but I like the idea of a versatile boot which is well-broken-in, and I have no plans to do any mountaineering with a 40-lb. pack. I have not "done" the Presidential Range, but I would like to have done the Presidential Range just so I could say I did it.
What is your experience and what are your preferences?
Photo above is a Merrell Capra boot. A few random examples of pretty good boots below the fold -
Continue reading "Hiking Footwear"
A note from Vermont: Natural, shmatural - Mother Nature might be lovely, but moral she is not. She doesn’t love us or want what’s best for us
Those Who Dare to Criticize Ugly ‘Lace Shorts for Men’ Are Being Slammed as ‘Intolerant’
The Doctor Is In. Co-Pay? $40,000.
Mad Dog’ Mattis Rolls Back Obama-Era Decision To Let Transgender Individuals Serve in Military
The Paris Climate Deal Was A 'Fraud' And A 'Sham' ... Until Trump Decided To Ditch It
Future warming is, we hope, a possibility
WASHINGTON POST COVERS UP LEFT-WING VIOLENCE IN PORTLAND
Portland police shutter anti-Trump demonstration, make arrests after protesters throw bricks - Pro-Trump free speech rally not involved
DePaul revises speech policies to promote social justice
CNN Creates #FakeNews in London Following Terror Attacks, Stages Anti-ISIS Muslim Protesters
After London Bridge, The World Is Sick Of Politicians Downplaying Terrorism
Islamists want to impose sharia law on the West — which means all Islamists are ‘extremists.’
MacDonald: Run, Hide . . . Blame Trump - After yet another terror attack, liberals remain angrier about the president’s efforts to curtail immigration than about the jihadis in their midst.
You can say anything you want about any religion you want, except for Islam.
Surveillance in the Obama Era = Senator describes another potential abuse of intelligence powers, media yawns.
Trump’s Air Traffic Control Proposal Is Better for Safety, Cost, and Congestion
Israel: Six Days and 50 Years of War
Israel’s 1967 Victory Is Something to Celebrate
73 years ago: ORDEAL OF OMAHA BEACH
Monday, June 5. 2017
How to tell your friend to call off the wedding
Midlife Crisis? How About a Late-Life Crisis.
Ballet Dancer Leaps Onto Subway Tracks and Lifts Man to Safety
Journal that holds record for retracted papers also has a problem with editorial board members
EVERGREEN STATE’S RACIST SAFE SPACE HELL - The greatest threat to freedom is on campus.
Fox News’ Chris Wallace Confronts Al Gore With His Failed Global Warming Predictions
In Connecticut, the 'Blue State' Model Crashes and Burns
Politico’s Hillary Clinton Question: Why Do They Hate Her? Let Me Help You Out.
Today's politics and storming the cockpit
In the Face of Terror, Londoners Told to “Run, Hide, Tell”
Theresa May Urges Global Internet Regulation "To Deprive Terrorists Of 'Safe Spaces'"
'Oi, cowards!': Londoners fought back as killers rampaged
LONDON CITIZENS Had to THROW CHAIRS at Terrorists Because UNARMED POLICE RAN AWAY
Sunday, June 4. 2017
"...your harmlessness and naivete masquerading as virtue..."
The guy talks good, but will he ever sip his can of soda?
I will never forget two things that happened on Pentecost about twelve years ago. On the way to church, a dumb Box Turtle was perplexed in the middle of the busy road. Naturally, I stopped traffic and helped him across. Not a dove, but a cool turtle. Then during church, a bird appeared inside the sanctuary. Not a dove, but a Chimney Swift who had come down the chimney of the old church. We brought him outdoors and I felt blessed.