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
Sunday, August 31. 2014
Scruton actually composed an opera, says it was the most difficult task he has ever undertaken. One quote:
Aren't modern musicals operas? Or operettas?
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:39 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, August 30. 2014
Il Gattopardo. A wonderful novel which will help you understand Sicily when you visit (which you should - it's not the same old Italy - it's not really Italy at all). Wonderful place, insanely governed (like most places) but the people seem to ignore the government. They have been ignoring governments for thousands of years, despite constant invasions by everybody - including the Vikings.
The movie starred Burt Lancaster. I haven't seen the movie.
By coincidence, I have just finished a birthday book, Di Lampedusa's novella, The Professor and the Siren. It reads like poetry.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:50 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, August 29. 2014
High tide, inner harbor, 5:15 am with dog and fresh Cumbie coffee
There is far more to do up there than one could do in a month - or a summer. Very pleasant not to own a place - no real work. The locals grow the local veggies for us. Cheap and good. We had 9 of us just in our (large) place alone including my vigorous in-laws (and not counting the rambunctious 2 year-old), and my relatives were all local too for a week or two. One bought a place up there, but I prefer the freedom of renting: ownership is just work, worry, and expense. With the $ from a second home one could explore the world for the rest of one's life. Why bother, unless a billionaire with servants and property managers? What's the point of ownership? We are brief sojourners here on earth, and all is on lease from God if not from a bank or a landlord.
August is an annual family tradition up there on the Cape. A fine thing indeed, but still a little strange with my parents gone even tho my fun sibs (5 of us) and their kids pop in daily for coffee or free beer, or a harbor swim with our pup.
- Two stage theaters and ye olde South Wellfleet Drive In - no time for that this year
- Body-surfing on the ocean at low tide - 2 times - not enuf. It's the supreme activity, IMO, along with skiing and sex. Is it cold? You betcha. Glacial. The gals use boogie boards to minimize the fun of boobs popping out; I just use my youthful body the way my Dad taught me to.
- Pond swimming to de-salt after ocean - only twice. My bro introduced me to Dyer Pond though - you hike through the woods to find it. It's another kettle pond way off the roads. Post-glacial.
- Long swims in the harbor with the pup, in our back yard - daily at higher tides
- Breakfast at The Lighthouse with all - once. Waffles or pancakes with eggs and bacon.
- Lobster supper buffet for BD and Mrs. BD's birthdays for 22 people - family and friends - at our place - only once! Twenty-two 1 1/2 lb. lobsters (thanks, Pops) plus wine, beer, potato salad, green salad, grilled corn on the cob, and birthday cake.
- Swims at Duck Harbor - twice and nother time to play with the rugrat.
- Great Island 7-mile hike - once
- 5 am walk in the harbor over Uncle Tim's bridge for the pup to sniff around and poo - daily
- Dinners out: Once at Pearl, only once at Mac's, once at Moby's. Mac's is perhaps best, but I just like the Moby's family place. I had the gluten-free chocolate cake at Mac's for dessert, but I had to ask for extra gluten because of my gluten-deficiency disorder.
- Dog woods hike - once. Lots of poison ivy but lots of ripe wild blackberries
- Marsh kayaking and pond kayaking - no time on this trip
- Fishing - not enuf time
- Whaler rental to zoom all around - a pupette did that with her friend. Great fun of course. Dramatic arrival to our birthday party
- Lunch at The Beachcomber - no time
- Biking - the lad did quite a bit with the rugrat in the bike trailer. The Cape seems designed for biking.
- Harbor Freeze for after-dinner ice cream - only twice. The gals like peppermint with sprinkles and chocolate sauce. Sheesh.
- Time lazing on some beach like a lazy lump - zero, as usual. Our family is terribly lacking in the decadent talent of "relaxing". Relax when dead.
- All the galleries - we always stroll through many of them. John Grillo still alive and working at 92.
- Shakespeare in the Park - no time for it
- Tennis at the club - only once
- Shopping? Only for seafood and produce. Lots of it. Oh - some wine and beer too.
- Yoga? The gals were too busy.
- Golf? Our golfer was home with a new little bitty one but there is a lovely links-style course there
- Daily morning 5-10 mile run concluding with a one-mile pond swim? My sibs do that, often with their kids. I provide coffee or water for them. Lunatics. I usta do that, but it no longer charms me.
- TV and/or movies? Zero
- Surfing internets? Zero
- Clamming ? - no time to even get the license. Tons of them, tho, in the mudflats.
Carpe diem, friends.
Thursday, August 28. 2014
Wednesday, August 27. 2014
In my view, of course not. Science cannot even answer science questions but can only offer up their best theories du jour. Just ask Feynman. That's what he always said. Science is a method of pursuit, rarely gives us permanent facts.
About Sam Harris’ Claim That Science Can Answer Moral Questions
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:50 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, August 26. 2014
From our sandy back yard
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:54 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
I always figured that it was because my friends are friendlier, wittier, and more fun than I am.
Sunday, August 24. 2014
Please don't do this when there is a line of ten people at a busy Dunkin Donuts in Wellfleet at 9 am, as happened on Thursday:
A chubby short gal around 40 finally gets to the front of the line. Nice lady asks her for her order. "Let me think," as she scans the overhead menu which has been in full view of the line. She decides on the #8. OK. Then, "but can I have it on a croissant instead of a bagel?" Nice lady says OK. Then, "I want extra mayo on that too."
Everybody in line is now rolling their eyes.
Nice lady explains that DD has no mayo at all. Short gal takes time to express her disappointment in DD. I'm thinking "Does she think this is a restaurant?"
Then she has to decide on how she wants her coffee. Decides on cream and double fake sugar, of course, because only fat people and anorectics use fake sugar. The nice lady at the counter then rings her up.
For some women in lines, this requirement to pay always comes as a surprise. She starts rummaging through her bag to try to find her freaking wallet amongst all the crap in there, and has to go through her change purse too. (Ever notice how guys always have the money in their hands when they order?)
She doesn't say "Thank you." I think she is still pissed about the mayo.
Don't be like this.
I eventually got to order two small black coffees, and asked the lady for extra mayo with them, and got a good jolly laugh out of her. One of my jobs in life is to lighten the loads of service people.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:34 | Comments (27) | Trackback (1)
Saturday, August 23. 2014
Friday, August 22. 2014
Thursday, August 21. 2014
Does anybody use bathtubs anymore? I mean, unless they have 1940s-era bathrooms?
I don't mean big Jacuzzis, or outdoor hot tubs, but real old-fashioned bathtubs. Does anybody use them anymore, unless they are just the antique bottom of a nice shower?
Who would want to float in dirty, soapy water?
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:59 | Comments (16) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, August 20. 2014
I have never had a super-rich client, but I have dealt with many wills and estates.
Some people say "Die broke." Most prefer to leave something for their kids and grandkids and make some modest sacrifices to do that. There is no "should." People ought to do whatever they want, even if it ruins their kids.
I am completely opposed to any death taxes. They are legal theft, and the money has already been taxed once. When families can accumulate assets over generations, families achieve independence and freedom.
More from McArdle: Money Won't Buy Your Kids a Future
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:37 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
However, I will tell that all there really ever is in my pockets are my wallet, a pocketknife, some crumbled-up paper money, and a few coins. Nothing interesting.
A charming essay by G.K. Chesterton: What I Found in My Pocket
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:02 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, August 19. 2014
The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles
Coolidge by Amity Schlaes
High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery
Generation X Goes to College: An Eye-Opening Account of Teaching in Postmodern America
Dalrymple: Threats of Pain and Ruin
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:40 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
It's a cliche because there is so much truth in that expression that it is at least half-true. You could make the same case for bad luck.
I advise the youth to regard life as a conveyor belt of opportunities rolling past you. Experiences, jobs, relationships, books, learning, etc. They roll by, but almost never come back. If you grab enough of them, some will work out. On the other hand, the same bad selections that life offers keep returning, don't they?
I have been lucky in ways that I had nothing at all to do with (raised in an educated, middle-upper middle class church-going American family with no divorce), decent genes, a functional and honest personality (despite my share of flaws which nobody really knows about but one of which happens to be a lack of talent for anything requiring talent), etc. However, I give myself credit for making the most of those gifts in my pursuit of happiness and satisfaction. I suppose that I "could have made more of myself," but I didn't want to.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:57 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, August 18. 2014
Sunday, August 17. 2014
Is metaphor a tool, a decoration, or just the way people think and talk?
Grand Affiliations. Aristotle: "...we can so seldom declare what a thing is, except by saying it is something else.”
Saturday, August 16. 2014
Good things for carrying anything and everything: eBags.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:33 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
I've been given an education this week on classic, old-timey flower styles via Mrs. BD. I always like to learn new things and I like purty flowers. Who doesn't? Flower design is just ephemeral sculpture and I like seeing and smelling them around the olde HQ. Any old cabin like ours is enlivened by floral productions.
Flowers are reproductive organs.
This is English Garden Style (c. 1920s):
More historical styles below the fold -
Continue reading " A few classic floral styles"
Wednesday, August 13. 2014
Tuesday, August 12. 2014
Thinking about the Great War 100 years ago. A terrible, pointless war that never should have happened. Historians say that WW2 was just a continuation of it.
The best movie I've seen about the Great War is The Shooting Party. There is no war in it except allusions to it in the last 30 seconds.
Two good pieces:
The World the Great War Swept Away - In 1914, Europe was prosperous and what followed was unimaginable.
The 100th Anniversary of the Great State Crime. He quotes the excellent Paul Fussell:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:17 | Comments (24) | Trackbacks (0)
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:38 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, August 11. 2014
I know a few guys who were dragged to see the Charles James Beyond Fashion show at the Metropolitan Museum. I was, last weekend. Lots of husbands there being good sports, and lots of fashionistas of all varieties (taking notes and detailed close-up photos of stitching, etc).
I can assert that I know more about couture dress-making now than I did before. It is complicated, detailed, and difficult to do.
More pics and a little info below the fold -
Continue reading "Now for something completely different: Charles James"
Was the "War On Drugs" mostly political? I will not defend drug use morally, spiritually, or otherwise, but the fact remains that you can buy anything you want on almost any selected street corner in the US. All that war seems to have done is to create gangs, enrich drug cartels, add lots of government employees, and put a lot of people in jail.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:49 | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, August 7. 2014
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