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.
Around ten years ago Mrs. BD made me leave the house for 8 hours. Sent me hunting or fishing or whatever. She had a dumpster outside. The guys took away everything in the attic. It is bare, still.
So it seems that the basement has become the storage place. Excess. A firetrap. Sentimental stuff mostly, but 2 brass beds and a nice carved wooden trundle bed. A pair of antique rockers. Sets of china. Punch bowls. Photo albums. Photos and prints. Books. Kids' memorabilia they don't want.
- If you don't use it and your kids don't want it, donate it or junk it. It's difficult to donate stuff nowadays unless it is desirable. In NYC it's easy because any stuff you put on the sidewalk evaporates in an hour or two. I don't live there though.
- If you don't use it ever, will it end in a dumpster when you croak? Save your kids the trouble, now.
- Extra shoes, boots, coats, clothes? Will live long enough to wear them out? Garbage. Donate only if in perfect shape.
- What about all the stuff from past hobbies? They are past, aren't they? Dust-collectors.
How do our readers do these things? Often, people wait until they move, or die.
It must have been over a year ago when we posted about using, or even rotating, the "good" china for everyday use. We asked "What are you saving it for?"
As we noted, the newer generations don't even like or want that stuff. Like old or antique brown furniture, it has no value today and likely never will. Well, maybe sentimental value which does matter. Mrs. BD and I switched to rotating our "good" china sets for everyday. Thai takeout looks better on it.
But what about silverware? Same thing, except silver has some value melted down. Why not use your wedding silver, or inherited silver, daily? It's heavy and attractive, and makes meals more meaningful. Not dishwasher-safe, but if you use it all the time it doesn't have time to tarnish.
We have noticed that Europeans use their "best stuff" all the time. Are we just lazy here? Do we not appreciate everyday elegance? La bella vita? La dolce vita?
To avoid pantry moths, keep food sealed. They are disgusting. For wool moths (I've had lots of problems with them), the solution for my closets - too late for some items - is pesticide spray. Set the thing off in a closet, and close ithe door. It works.
We've mentioned this common issue several times in the past, but I learned some cool new info from my office IT guy today.
First, I learned you can live-stream almost any radio station in the world from Tune In for $8/month. 100,000 radio stations. Sheesh. All I need is WQXR.
My main discovery is that SONOS makes a gizmo which will connect with your old sound systems. It's called SONOS Port. I do have two pairs of ridiculously fine speakers so I have to try this thing. I am giving a try just with a SONOS ONE speaker with the SONOS system, and am not impressed. Yeah, it's WiFi, and it's fine for background music but not for listening carefully. I like to listen attentively and, preferably, to be able to see the musicians in a real venue. How do people compose this stuff? Special brains, deserving of attention.
I like my CDs. Large collection.
Nothing against live music - we go to some at least once/weekend in winter - but I need to listen to pieces of music a bit before I hear them live. Nothing substitutes for live. My brain is slow to get the gist of adult music. Takes me time. Then, when it's live, I really start to get what's in it. A trip to a different world.
When I was young, I liked to focus on music with a little weed. Have not done for many decades, but it somehow opened my ears. (That's the only good it did for me. Otherwise, it's the stupid and lazy drug.)
Our musician readers can tell that I am borderline musically retarded, but it is important to me. I only hear pop music in the gym. Yes, Van Morrison is good for the gym. OK - Dylan is in a different category. Lots of his songs are hymns, of sorts.
But one that didn't spend time in the shop, and one that was sporty enough but not flashy, not a cop magnet. And that is affordable.
I've been driving my Stelvio for almost three years (thanks, Mrs. BD). Zero problems. It's just a Giulia with more space in back like a "crossover". Ferrari designed the fun engine. Just a click into all-wheel drive if you want it. Can drive it on automatic or manual. Zero problems thus far.
I have noticed that Italian police use them. It figures.
The uncomfortable truth that Raskolnikov discovers is that one’s inner self may be dark: cruel, evil, petty, and arrogant to the point of inhumanity. The hideous truth that Dostoevsky reveals is that perhaps one’s inner self is even usually this way.
Raskolnikov is ashamed of not feeling shame for his obsession with his own identity, and he covers up this shame with pride in himself, as though pride were the opposite of—and cure for—his shame.
I understand the naval and commercial things, and I understand the idea of racing boats and simple cruising, but so many of these cruisers just focus on getting to their destinations as fast as possible. If you just want to get it over with, why do it?
While banging around Provence in October, we checked out the de Sade family castle in Lacoste. It was ruined during the French Revolution. I can't find those photos right now. The Marquis liked it there.
de Sade represents the dark side of human nature, unleashed. The guy definitely was not in tune with bourgeois morals - but he was not bourgeois. A good writer. You can read Justine if you want to take a walk on the wild side.
It's no wonder that fish is so expensive. What does "fresh" mean? Usually that it was flash frozen, then thawed out. Nobody wants days-old fish. Almost all fish at the fish market was flash-frozen. It's not as if some local fishing boat goes out for a day and delivers fish to your fish market.
If never frozen (say, 5 days just on ice), quality deteriorates quickly. If you want fresh (same day) fish you had best go fishing yourself.
Generally I don't care about this stuff...but at a lunch recently some coworkers spent a good portion of the time talking about Harry and Meghan. I simply stated I don't generally pay attention to the details of this stuff, all humans are flawed and hero-worship isn't something I go for, generally speaking.
That said, I am a huge Anglophile, which may seem odd as I'm of Irish/German descent. Of course, the Saxe-Coburgs, or Windsors as they care to be known as now, are German, so maybe it's that part that has my pay any bit of attention. Standing in front of paintings and statues of William of Orange or Cromwell (as I have many times on my visits) leave me a bit cold, but I can appreciate the history they represent. Even Churchill, whose relationship with the Irish is tenuous at best, is one of the few politicians I look up to.
Being an Anglophile doesn't mean I'm a royal-watcher or a fan of the monarchy. I've often joked they are the wealthiest welfare family on the planet. This is a bit of a stretch, of course. The family does generate quite a bit of income on their own, with their holdings, and as a result of tourism and fandom. It would be a significant impact to the UK economy to see the end of the monarchy. That said, even today children grow up dreaming of being kings, queens, princes and princesses. As a child, I remember talking of being an astronaut, a fireman, a policeman, etc. So royalty, as a child's dream, is certainly not as awful as one may think.