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, August 26. 2014
From our sandy back yard
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:54 | Comments (0) | 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.”
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:10 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, August 16. 2014
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 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"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 21:50 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
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
Produced, we believe, by the Martis. On our lands at our summer place in the Sierra Nevada Mountains:
Posted by Gwynnie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 20:53 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:11 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, August 5. 2014
Handling money is almost, or more, complicated than handling love and sex. People want both so much that it often scrambles their brains and incites irrational or self-destructive behavior (see our morning links today).
Money is difficult to obtain, all too easy to get rid of. Romance and sex are easy to obtain, difficult to get rid of. Having some money put aside means security and power over a crazy world, and love and sex mean, well, whatever they mean to you.
I once lived beyond my means, and made all sorts of rationalizations for it (eg turning wants into needs, like shoes, luxurious impulses, and "therapeutic shopping"). I learned from that, and some discipline from a financial spouse helped. I was smart about love, but dumb about money even though, before I married, I worked for every penny.
This is right: Self-Control Makes for Savvy Saving. Wealthy people hate to spend money.
Re spending saved money, Actually, Some Material Goods Can Make You Happy
Sunday, August 3. 2014
She is one of the few in the Maggie's Pantheon.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:11 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Snaps from strolling around the little harbor village last Saturday
More below the fold -
Continue reading "New England architecture: Southport, CT"
Saturday, August 2. 2014
Yes, it's a comedy sketch, but young males need to know that women are always seeking guys, and young women need to know that guys are always seeking gals. Human nature. There is no need for anyone to be shy or non-judgemental.
Friday, August 1. 2014
Commenter "Monster from the Id" on Belmont's Lost in Translation:
Evil exists because human beings exist. No other living thing, and no inanimate object, is capable of being, thinking, feeling evil or of committing evil acts. Only us.
"The world" is not a wicked place. And Humanity is not a wicked thing. Evil is just one of many capabilities we possess. We have to recognize it and (if we're sane) choose not to indulge in it. That's not easy. Most of all, we shouldn't deny evil or act all surprised when it turns up. Like it or not, it's business as usual for us humans.
Fortunately, it's not the WHOLE business. We can do better...
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