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, January 23. 2022
Has this silly COVID phase eliminated the necktie?
As an old-time fuddy-duddy I guess, I have always thought these were the only things in a man's wardrobe that would provide some color or interest.
JFK eliminated mens' hats by never wearing them, but hats were already going out at the time. Now we're at baseball caps instead of fedoras.
What about our male readers? Women love scarves, and a tie is sort-of the same idea. Nice private schools - and charter schools, still require semi-formal dress or uniforms. It works, from the outside in.
How often do your put on a tie? Church, work, theater, nice restaurant, etc?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:42 | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, January 22. 2022
Was talking to a client yesterday and our conversation revolved around their mobile phone number, which indicated a South Jersey area code. They are in California. Another client is moving to California and has an NYC area code. Yet another is in Florida and has a North Jersey area code. I'm in NJ and have an NYC area code.
In some ways, the "anonymization" of life was one of the original draws of the internet. The classic New Yorker cartoon "on the internet, nobody knows you're a dog" was accurate, if not precise, at the time. It's absolutely NOT true today. It is this fact that keeps me working. In a panel discussion, I once pointed out to a college student, who said my company had "sold her data" (we do not, ever, sell data), I pointed out to her that many corporations do sell the data of their site visitors, but good corporations recognize the problems inherent in that behavor, so there are roles in my industry which exist precisely to keep that data safe - or as safe as it can be.
Maintaining a level of anonymity is important for the best parts of the internet to work as they were intended. Anonymity is often important to make meaningful commentary and points (Silence Dogood would approve). The fact the blockchain exists today is, in part, to solve some of these issues (the internet was not meant to be driven by advertising, but the lack of a good payments and anonymity system led to its development as one).
The days of knowing a location based on an area code may be coming to an end. In a lot of ways, that may be a good thing. Hopefully, the days of online anonymity will soon be back, though with some major revisions. It's hard to go back from where we are today. (Personal note - the EU's GPRA and California's CCPA do NOT provide you the protection you think they do, or that politicians have promoted)
Thursday, January 20. 2022
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:38 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, January 19. 2022
I've not been contributing since about September, and I apologize for the long gap. I apologize only because it's rude to disappear without letting people know where you're going and I do my best to avoid being rude. In a nutshell, I've been overwhelmed at work, which is a good thing. After not working for many months, I managed to land a (much lower level) position which is working out very well for me and my long-term prospects have improved dramatically in the last few weeks. Of course, improved opportunity means additional responsibilities. Which means more time at a desk, at least in my current role. At my age (pushing 60), that's something many others cannot say. They're either at or near the pinnacle of your career, or winding it down. As I have done 4 other times in my life, I'm winding up again and feeling great.
One thing I do is try to go for a walk each day for at least an hour. Fresh air and exercise enables me to be nimble of body and mind. I'll listen to history podcasts while I walk, or just think. Recently, after a particularly difficult conversation with a friend who has gone full-on Woke, I chewed the mental cud and began to wonder where all this Wokism is headed.
It suddenly struck me what the essential problem of Wokism and Cancel Culture represent. In the name of creating and expanding opportunity, these people are limiting it severely. I wondered what history would look like if Woke and Cancel mindsets had been in place for a longer time than just the last decade or so. Not that we need another discussion on Wokism, but I felt this was a good mental exercise.
Continue reading "Ruminating on Woke History"
Sunday, January 16. 2022
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:41 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, January 13. 2022
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:15 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, January 8. 2022
Thursday, January 6. 2022
Tuesday, January 4. 2022
I have written about "Psycho-utopianism" (my term, I think). The Garden of Eden had just two people, one god - and a snake. Quote:
Nobody ever promised us a rose garden.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:12 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Accidents happen in all areas of life. Often, they are statistically-predictable.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:53 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, January 2. 2022
A happy flock of Robins descended on ye olde HQ and stripped all our our holly shrubs and trees of their berries. (Photo above is Robins eating old apples.)
Our church was half-full on Christmas Eve. I believe many people were there online (we stream our services). Covid fears.
A friend gave an ageing relative a voice recorder for an oral history. It's not exactly a present except that it is an opportunity for the relative to hand down a gift of the past. Inspired us to do that with my father in law - he's an Irish shanachie and can tell all of the old stories. My life stories would be dull...
Yes, the old guy has COVID but it has not been bad other than the quarantine his residence requires. I assume omicron because he is triple-vaxed. Picked it up in some pub or restaurant. Can't keep a good man down.
Our wild and crazy NY Eve event was supper at a Thai place. I had 2 glasses of cheap Chardonnay with some max-hot Pad Thai with shrimp.
Taking advantage of the slow week, we got our boat fully-registered and legal at the DMV. They were nice. We were already registered as a US Vessel by the Coast Guard, but needed that too. Paperwork.
Ever tried building Legos 8 1/2 level? Not easy.
Our Christmas gifts were mostly tickets - Met Opera, Carnegie Hall, NYC Ballet. Oh - boutique hotel rooms too. Nice. I was afraid that my wife would give me a new iphone, but luckily she didn't. Have I mentioned that I love visiting NYC?
I saw in the Orvis Christmas catalog fly rods costing $1500. Fly-fishing is a beautiful hobby but I do not need that.
Bulldog and I need to plan a Maggie's urban hike for 2022. This planning will be tough because we have already covered so much interesting territory, in rain and shine, over the years. We'll also plan a family+friends mountain hike - everybody wants to do Breakneck Ridge again (except Mrs. BD who has never loved rock scrambling)
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:22 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, December 31. 2021
Monday, December 27. 2021
Sunday, December 26. 2021
Are CDs obsolete? Are books obsolete?
I use both. I also have a turntable for old vinyl records.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:41 | Comments (17) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, December 25. 2021
A Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season to all of our readers and to all of our contributors, with thanks for being part of our humble Yankee enterprise
(No innocent trees were murdered for this card to compensate for murdering our Christmas tree)
I've been to a bunch of parties and some fancy parties this season, and heard some great music too, but the best was a neighborhood caroling get-together Friday night - adults and kids. Good food and drinks with around an hour of singing practice around the piano (divvying up the voices of the wise men, the soloist for O Holy Night, etc), then out tramping around and driving around in the dark to our target audiences. Shut-ins, an old friend and WW 2 Navy vet with Alzheimer's, guys on the job, friendly families. Mrs. BD feels that this neighborhood event is the most Christmassy thing we ever do.
I can guarantee that none of the kids who participate will ever forget it. Maybe they will pass it on when they grow up. Hope so. Fine traditions of family, friends, community, and faith do matter because they become embedded in our souls like little candlelights, lighting our dark corners through our entire lives.
O holy Child of Bethlehem
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:18 | Comments (115) | Trackback (1)
Thursday, December 23. 2021
I enjoy a nice party despite my natural shyness. The festivities began this week in my neck of the woods. I was at a fairly good one Friday night, and two last night. Some nights one has to party-hop, which I think is rude to do but also rude not to show up when invited. Not my fault that I am so popular... Yes, they had the traditional soft-boiled quail eggs on toasts with caviar on top. Dynamite.
I got this snapshot last night at a hot party before I was overwhelmed by lonely, hot, nubile females. Saturnalia, Bacchanalia, Holiday Season - whatever you call it. A good female/satyr ratio as you can see.
Christmastime is as secular or religious as one chooses. Seems quite secular to many. For me, both.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 18:54 | Comments (19) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, December 21. 2021
Saturday, December 18. 2021
Thursday, December 16. 2021
Wednesday, December 15. 2021
I have never seen his movies, but most people have. Call me what you will, I just do not want those images in my brain.
This is good: Brutal and Unreformed—Sam Peckinpah’s ‘Straw Dogs’ at 50
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:23 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, December 10. 2021
Monday, December 6. 2021
Let's say you are a guy, and you know your wife "needs" a Prada bag. Get her one. She can exchange it if she doesn't like it. Ha - reader reminds me that they are free in San Francisco. Cool.
Readers know from past postings that we prefer tickets and trips for presents (with the very rare exceptions of my birthday car and her birthday boat - no more of that is likely cuz her new bedroom fireplace is last on that list). Opening presents is mainly for kids except for diamonds and gold.
One thing anybody might like as a present is a hiking trip. Montana is great, so is Sedona or the Dolomites. Or just the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Backroads has tons of good hiking or biking tours ($), but we really got a kick out of our Wilderness Scotland Outer Hebrides trip. Small (10) group from all over the world, energetic people but not kids, superb Scots guide, semi-rustic places to stay. Kippers and Haggis for breakfast. Bring rain gear.
Carpe diem. Life is short.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:51 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, December 5. 2021
Via NYROB, a new, beautifully edited volume of Robert Frost’s letters finds him at the height of his artistic powers while suffering a series of losses almost unimaginable to the fortunate among us.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:51 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, November 30. 2021
From Jeffrey Polet's Negotiating “The Captive Mind” on American campuses:
I was not familiar with Milosz' 1953 The Captive Mind, but should have been.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:16 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, November 28. 2021
Detective Montalbano. It's a cool police series, based in Sicily. The series began in 1999 and is still going on.
The subtitles are good, or it's good practice for your Italian with some Sicilian dialect.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:23 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
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