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
Thursday, September 18. 2014
Our post on tipping the other day raised the issue. As Christmas season is quickly approaching, I reviewed in my mind all the people to whom I give gratuities (ie material Thank Yous) at Christmastime, and throughout the year.
- our two garbagemen - $50 each before Christmas - horrible job, hard work,
I believe that I am pretty much in the mainstream on this. I am missing a few on that list, can't remember them all.
What do you do?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:31 | Comments (18) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, September 16. 2014
Sunday, September 14. 2014
It's about global, disposable, rapid-response fashion. They won't sell in middle America - the Spanish company says the women are too fat for their stuff.
For good looking clothing, Mrs. BD says D&G is the best by far. Italian designers and artisans. It's wonderful that some people can wear it, and afford it. Zara does not copy D&G.
Photo is D&G, not Zara. I will admit it - that is art.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:16 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, September 13. 2014
Wednesday, September 10. 2014
Great advice and info, and amusing: A New Yorker Expertly Teaches The Unwritten Rules Of Living In NYC In These Illustrations
Monday, September 8. 2014
Interestingly to me, it's similar to how I dress today, and I was not even alive in 1948.
In 1948, college students believed that they were adults. Many had already been to war and were glad to get into sharp civvies and maybe meet a horny gal at a college tea.
What's the matter with the kids today?!?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:46 | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, September 5. 2014
There is great road food out there in the Northeast US, if you can find it. At Maggie's, we know a few of the best ones in the Northeast. McDonald's? Are you kidding? Never. Barf.
Take the Fairhaven exit (18), and drive south to the light, then take a right on the main drag. It's not too far, on the right side of the road. Do it - you will thank me. Try the fried oysters, or the fried clam bellies, or the codfish balls, or the fish and chips. Or anything else.
If I were Elvis, I'd send a chopper out there to fetch good snacks and meals. Cheap, too.
Yes, if you recall, Fairhaven MA is where Joshua Slocum found the Spray as a deteriorating hulk. If you have never read his book, then you can thank me for that too. First guy to sail around the world single-handed, in her.
Over the transom. I can't say, but I'd believe it. THESE ARE ACTUAL COMPLAINTS RECEIVED BY "THOMAS COOK VACATIONS" FROM DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS:
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:40 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, September 2. 2014
Monday, September 1. 2014
Some people (especially Leftists) bemoan how hard Americans work. Boo hoo.
They say Europeans have more leisure time. How's that working out for them? More time to drink in cafes? More time to wear thongs on the beach in Ibiza?
I always relate to farmers, other entrepreneurs, and self-employed people. We are on the job constantly, partly out of ambition, partly for survival, partly out of interest.
I am essentially self-employed, but of counsel for a law firm. I work around 55 hours/week, but only bill around 40. I'm not greedy. When I sit by the stream with a cigar and a scotch, I often think about knotty cases. It's fun.
How many hours do you work at remunerative work? If it's less than 50, you ain't really working.
Below is a repost of a column I wrote at another venue for Labor Day 2006 and posted again here in 2011:
What remains of Labor Day? Some speeches about the hard work of our parents or grandparents, and some newspaper articles about current difficulties getting established or obtaining benefits for today’s workers.
Conservatives are distinguished by particular respect for the hallowed history from which current and future advantages spring, without which we would be rootless and at the whim of passing fancies or incitements.
Supposedly, the virtues and rewards of hard work are among these cherished principles.
The Left trumpets redistributive schemes from the affluent or hard working to the poor or lazy, most of which have relatively little benefit to the poor but create newly enriched bureaucrats and union leaders.
Conservatives’ answer is usually more along the lines of how to preserve and protect the fruits of the labor by those in the middle and upper rungs of the economic ladder.
Sebastian Mallaby steps on the Left and Right’s toes today in the Washington Post.
Mallaby points out the futility of most of the Left’s prescriptions, to the “point the left begins to seethe.” He then focuses on reducing tax incentives that mostly accrue to the middle and upper classes, to free up a quarter of them for $180-billion that could be used for increased earned income credits and reduced regressive payroll taxes.
The problem with Mallaby’s arguments is that they are another, albeit better, form of redistribution, and government has repeatedly proven its penchant for wasting such billions on other than targeted needs. More necessary is the unbridling of energies and rewards for labor. That requires investment which creates demand for labor, and skills-oriented education that creates competitive wage earners to fill those new openings.
As Mallaby correctly argues, many of the poorest workers are in service trades not impacted by international competition. Such positions that were once beginning rungs on the ladder now face a gap of steps up due to lack of skills.
Instead of redistributing tax incentives, more needed is redistributing our already huge tax outlays on education from schemes that create administrative and union positions, and posh campuses, toward greater vocational and skills education.
That honors labor, by providing the tools for all to benefit from labor.
Sunday, August 31. 2014
Against happiness: Why we need a philosophy of failure
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.
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?
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
(Page 1 of 173, totaling 4323 entries) » next page