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
Wednesday, October 1. 2014
I was recently driving from New Haven to Boston and picked up the first hitchhiker I've seen in quite a while. He was hitching to Augusta, Maine, a Navy guy on leave.
I asked him why he did it. He told me had hitched since his early teens, and just liked it. I told him I used to hitch all over the Northeast, mostly going to see gals. Nobody gave me use of a car when I turned 16, or even when I graduated from college.
It seems to me that hitchhiking in the Northeast is a disappearing tradition. Too bad - it was a good thing, always interesting, but maybe that was a more innocent era.
Seen any lately? Given any a ride?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:28 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Bulldog and I have been working on this for a while.
The plan is to hike from the Battery - South Ferry - to Central Park South. Or maybe vice-versa - we'll let you know details. However, it will be a somewhat meandering route so as to capture some fun sights and neighborhoods, and for some fun beer and/or bathroom stops. We'll post a map of our route in advance.
As a result, it could be a 7-miler, a bit tiring for some but it's mostly all flat. We have no time frame for the hike (maybe 10 AM, until done). Totally doable in comfortable shoes. Cameras are good. If needed, we'll have a leader with an
Be there or be square. It's like, you know, like totally worth a trip to the city. Grab a hearty breakfast, because we aren't stopping for food. Backpack snacks if you need 'em.
Rain, snow, shine, or fire-and-brimstone. Bulldog and I will be there, News Junkie, family members, and whoever, at the start. Join us, whether a Maggie's reader or not. We are friendly (and we do not care about your politics or your religion).
Details to you if interested in a group hike - just leave your contact info in the comments below, or we will post further details soon. Yes means Yes, but not maybe.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:05 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, September 28. 2014
Thursday, September 25. 2014
No, we did not associate with the climate-communism marchers on Sunday. We went to the museum.
Mrs. BD thought you might like the current arrangements in the lobby. Hydrangea, curly willow, and something else. They are always spectacular.
More pics below the fold -
Continue reading "NYC, last Sunday"
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:00 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, September 23. 2014
Monday, September 22. 2014
Why Girls Tend to Get Better Grades Than Boys Do - New research shows that girls are ahead in every subject,
Does this question require research? Anybody who has ever sat in a classroom knows why.
Sunday, September 21. 2014
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 22:02 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
My neighborhood sweep stopped by yesterday for a routine cleaning, and informed me that I had some creosote glaze in the flue. (Like me, many of us up here burn firewood in our fireplaces daily, doing our part to fend off the coming Ice Age and to provide homey comfort and warmth to our humble abodes. The farm still has a good-sized mountain of hard coal in the basement to use when needed. You can just throw a few hunks on the fire if you want to.)
It's not not a good thing to have creosote glaze, because a sweep's brushes cannot remove it and it presents a chimney fire risk. He blamed it on my habit of burning green and damp wood, but said that any long-used flue will accumulate glaze over time.
There are these things too, at Amazon.
I ordered some. I wonder whether it would work on my coronary arteries.
Lastly, anybody with fire in the house needs one of these: Chimney Fire Suppressent
It's a career for people who do not wish to work in a cubicle. Our guy charges $125 per visit, and $50 for each additional chimney. (We have 3, so it's like a doctor's house call.)
He says he tries to do 8-10 calls per day, so this retired fireman makes $1200+ per work day, and takes the entire summer fishing on Cape Cod with his grandkids.
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?
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.
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?!?
Sunday, September 7. 2014
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)
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