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, June 20. 2015
In England, they call it "garden croquet" as opposed to formal croquet on a graded, manicured court.
We have neither a backyard pool nor a backyard tennis court, but we have an outdoor ping-pong table in the barn and, of course, a good English croquet set.
In time for Fathers' Day,your Quick Reference Guide for Backyard Croquet Rules
Friday, June 19. 2015
It seems to me that decent, spirited people always aspire to improve their souls, their brains and knowledge, their fitness, their appearance, their skills, their morals, their relationships, etc. etc. Giving up is not cool and shows no respect for God's gifts - and surely nobody wants their teeth to indicate that they might be from England or Bosnia.
Orthodontia in America: America’s obsession with perfecting its teeth.
Thursday, June 18. 2015
I'll confess that I do not greatly enjoy wedding events, and this season has been, and will be, heavy with these weekend social duties. Of course, I am always pleased when people find life partners, though.
In youth, attending friends' weddings was great fun. Drinking, smoking pot behind the church, getting dressed up, guys meeting new gals and vice versa, making out on the club porch with a new person after too many champagnes. Many youth meet their future mates at weddings, for good reason: they have been socio-culturally vetted.
I also understand that parents like to throw lavish weddings to entertain their friends, families, and business associates. An excuse to check that box. But only the youth really enjoy these things because it's new to them. As an adult, I do not really enjoy attending (although I feel hurt if not invited). They interfere with your whole day and go on too long.
An inconvenience, in fact, but showing up is an obligation to people you care about. It's important to them that you show up. A brief ceremony with sandwiches and drinks after would be fine with me, same as a funeral. Two hours, max, go through the receiving line, leave your gift on the pile, and then get to your tennis game. I've been to enough weddings (and enough funerals too). Throwing a wedding need not be a major imposition on your guests' lives.
- People do not realize that your wedding is not the only one they are obligated to go to this year. For them, it seems like a Big Deal.
- You get seated with people you have to make small talk with. Dull, usually. You keep wondering "Can we leave yet?"
- You have to pretend to have 'fun," and to be grateful for the abundant food, drink, loud music, and the opportunity to dance like a teenager. I do not need any of those things but the youngsters might.
- Old Yankee Rules: Excess and display are tacky. Old Puritan Rules: weddings are not religious matters. Marriage is not a Protestant sacrament but is a solemn, witnessed vow, and a secular contract.
- 67% of American marriages end in grisly divorce
- Weddings without children attending are just no darn good.
- Weddings are an industry today. $10,000 for flowers? For one afternoon?
I don't mean to sound like a curmudgeon (or do I?). Marriage is an essential institution and God bless all who partake and whose vows are deadly serious.
My idea of a wedding event for my kids would be old-time, slightly post-Puritan New England. Bring a fiddler and an accordionist to the town green with a pig roast, with kids crying and running around. Don't even get me started on beach weddings, mountaintop weddings, black tie weddings, and golf destination weddings. But we have boys so I will be mercifully out of the loop.
The "Honored Mother of the Bride"? Gag me.
Here's a traditional New England wedding:
The percentage of pregnant brides is said to have been quite high amongst the puritan Congregationalists, maybe 50% or more.
Wednesday, June 17. 2015
Indeed: After trans fat ban, what else should be removed from food?
Tuesday, June 16. 2015
Effortful physical exertion has many benefits (not walking or slow jogging, but heavy exertion) and should be pursued by anybody who desires to stay fit, but weight loss can only be achieved via diet. That means no carbs. It is settled science...
We take it for granted today, but it is an astonishing fact that, at least in the Western world, one of our challenges is dealing with too much cheap good high-caloric food. For regular folks, that's a first in human history.
Saturday, June 13. 2015
Sociopathy is common, ranging from violent to simply exploitative users (More). Don't be paranoid, but always make sure of people before welcoming them into your life. Superficial charm and pseudo-intimacy are clues. If they feel your pain, watch out.
Friday, June 12. 2015
Wednesday, June 10. 2015
Tuesday, June 9. 2015
Your Boss Wants You to Be Happier. This Is Not a Good Thing.
Right. Your happiness is not your boss' concern.
Thursday, June 4. 2015
Monday, June 1. 2015
Sunday, May 31. 2015
"...the wind of opinion in recent years appears to have begun to blow against those who insist that Western liberal societies owe nothing to the religion from which they arose. Partly because the more we become acquainted with other traditions, the harder it becomes to sustain. Indeed, although some people still hold out, it should be evident by now that the culture of human rights has more to do with the creed preached by Moses and Jesus of Nazareth than that of, say, Muhammad. Nevertheless, the question of whether this societal position is sustainable without reference to the beliefs that gave it birth remains deeply pregnant and troubling in the West."
Friday, May 29. 2015
A book, Gary Taubes: Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It
Thursday, May 28. 2015
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:10 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
From the article:
Saturday, May 23. 2015
Wednesday, May 20. 2015
I often write about dietary and nutritional issues here, trying to debunk the fads, but I think anything people do to keep moving with vigor in all stages of life improves the quality and functionality of life. Physical and mental challenges, constantly.
All kinds of resistance exercises are excellent for the regular sedentary Western person to maintain posture, balance, function, bone density, and muscle mass. The challenge is that middle-aged people develop aches and pains, reminding us that Nature and maybe God never intended us to live much beyond our prime breeding ages. But, there is a need for a few wise elders. Why not be one?
What exercise cannot do, unless you are hiking the Appalachian Trail (we did it as a between-jobs extended sabbatical, before kids - Georgia to Katahdin. A crazy 5-month honeymoon of bliss, bonding, and exertion. Youthful woodland passion from hill to dale, from state to state. God saw us. Then hubbie's "garden leave" ended, we started new jobs, I got an office, life returned, and kids came. I think we created our first one towards the end of that hike and we later nicknamed him "Trail," - short for Trail Mix) is get rid of fat. Only diet can do that.
When people have young kids, they rightly neglect their own well-being. Nature demands that. After that chapter, you either rise or fall.
These are averages for average-fit people, not what might be desired. Average sizes, not lifters and hard exercisers (for ages 30-60). These rough numbers are with reps, however many one can handle (1-10):
Average fit male can bench press his weight.
Monday, May 18. 2015
Certainly. It's part of the package or, if you will, part of the trip.
Friday, May 15. 2015
Princeton ethicist: it's 'reasonable' to kill disabled newborn babies
What does 'reasonable' have to do with ethics?
Thursday, May 14. 2015
The Economics of Tidying Up: An Economist Reads Marie Kondo. “People are wrong when they think that pair of jeans will ever fit again, Kondo is arguing. Optimistic predictions keep people from getting rid of things they don’t need.”
We adhere to the two-year rule except for jewelry, art, firearms, and heirlooms.
Wednesday, May 13. 2015
Watch out. Assess peoples' characters, if you can. Watch out for flatterers and users.
Saturday, May 9. 2015
Friday, May 8. 2015
Have trouble identifying the point at which you have had enough food to live on? Tend to eat as if in a race, too fast or more greedily than most other people? Tempted to eat impulsively between meals? Feel that you have to clean your plate without thinking, or without sensing normal satiety? Want a dessert even when you are full or over-full (not counting Thanksgiving)? Occasionally conceal your eating habits out of shame? Feel bad about yourself when you know you have eaten more than you need?
These are the main signs of a fairly-common "binge eating disorder." You do not have to pathologize it - it could also be called a "bad habit," or, from a moral standpoint, "gluttony," one of the Christian 7 deadlies. A First World problem, but not as much as you would think: there is more overweight among the "poor" around the world these days than among the more prosperous.
Like many so-called "disorders," it is mainly medically-defined as such for insurance purposes but it is a real pattern of impulsivity, often manifest in many areas. If it's a problem, it is easily addressed.
Binge Eating Disorder - Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Help