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
Saturday, September 18. 2021
Wednesday, September 15. 2021
What does "social equality" mean anyway?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:52 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)
Verbal communication has become more casual, hasn't it?
Althouse discusses diagramming complex sentences.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:02 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, September 14. 2021
His name came up in conversation this weekend and I figured Bulldog would have included his famous arch in Washington Square in our urban hike plans. I'm wondering whether there might be other White buildings near our hike.
White was a bad guy by today's standards but nobody complains about his architecture. He had a crazy, reckless life (and dramatic death), but nobody at McKim, Mead, and White made an issue of it. It's not clear to me whether his wife cared either. Despite his behavior, he was friends with everybody including Mark Twain.
Yes, he did design Rosecliff in Newport (been there?) and tons of other appealing places:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:16 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
"Shall" is a dandy word, but not used much in the USA anymore. Perhaps it sounds stuffy, or maybe people do not know how to use it. You can say "I shall attend" but you can also say "You shall take out the garbage"
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:46 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, September 11. 2021
I admire this man's skills. I admire all skills. I have to pay real money for people who can do these things and feel defective in not knowing how.
This guy has one eye, plays cello and banjo, so he has talents beyond talking.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:50 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, September 9. 2021
Physicists Have Successfully Advanced a Key Device For Producing Fusion Power
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:10 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, September 6. 2021
I repost this about every four years. I think, a good reminder. Below is a repost of a column I wrote at another venue for Labor Day 2006 and posted again here in 2011 and 2014 and 2018:
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.
Thursday, September 2. 2021
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:46 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, September 1. 2021
The New Thermodynamic Understanding of Clocks.
Studies of the simplest possible clocks have revealed their fundamental limitations — as well as insights into the nature of time itself.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 08:35 | Comments (11) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, August 25. 2021
Tuesday, August 24. 2021
However charming and quaint, wooden boats were never build to last forever. His lovely wooden 1930s cruiser, like many restored (aka rebuilt) wooden boats, is a sight for sore eyes. On the other hand, his boat is his home and his entire lifestyle.
I believe he is a professional carpenter, a semi-professional electrician, and repairs his cars and knows engines.
All the same, people who do those sorts of deeply impractical things make life more charming for the rest of us.
Not that guy's boat, but a 1939 wooden Chris Craft (for sale):
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 09:54 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, August 14. 2021
Her hull and balance are basically Maine lobster boat/pilot boat, but re-made into a cruising trawler. At 36', she's not a toy boat and she doesn't seem to care what the seas are like.
Her range at "slow cruise" is 1000 miles on a tank of diesel. Sheesh. Not a speed boat, doesn't really go on plane much but if you were ambitious, with time on your hands, you could take her from Texas to Maine in a leisurely way with fun stops for looking around, food, and fuel. And pump-outs.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:45 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, August 13. 2021
Thursday, August 12. 2021
As they say with boats, things always go wrong, and usually at night. What a good couple they are.
Seems as if English is the new langua franca.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 18:03 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, August 9. 2021
Do you think boating is a simple pastime?
We all see boats happily zooming around on nice days. I've been around boats all of my life but handling a larger powerboat in biggish water takes lots of practice and learning. Brains + Feel, like a Farmall on slanty fields.
At sea, except for storms and high seas, it's easy to get around with a Marine GPS. We have a semi-displacement boat so she is heavy, steady and comfortable unless there is a reason to clamber up to the bow to do things. A trained monkey would be better than me.
Besides heavy seas and storms, the challenge to boating is when you approach land: docking and mooring. In that way, boating is like airplane flying if less dangerous. Planes are meant for the air, and boats are designed for sea.
Besides all that, you need to understand the seacocks, the engine and oil (fairly new tough Yanmar diesel engine) the generator, the electronics (we got a new very complex marine GPS which I do not understand), the water systems, radar, etc. And that's just if it is a serious powerboat. For sail-boaters, there is a ton more to learn but I kinda have a feel for sail. Of course, sailboats have to maneuver under power often, near port and outside too.
I will not do nighttime or fog boating. Done with that.
My Skipper, Mrs. BD, is getting better. I am First Mate cuz it is her beautiful Maine-style, lobster boat hull "midlife" boat. She has driven it on the Atlantic with giant swells, but I will not do that.
I will never be able to dock this boat backwards into a slip. If she were a Hinkley with a joystick, I could dock her in the darn Grand Canyon but those boats are not for heavy seas, really.
Funny thing happened yesterday evening. We're about to leave dock after washing down, and a big Hinckley tries to dock next to us. From Newport. He is single-handed so I wait to help handle his lines because it is quite wavy gravy with 20 k wind. Tied up, he offers me a $20 dollar bill. I say thanks, but I am not a dockhand! Just do us a favor and help us push off. He did.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:05 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, August 6. 2021
Mrs. B. says "Bach isn't classical music - he's Baroque." OK.
I keep it simple: There is folk/pop/Broadway music, and there is more demanding music. No idea about where to put jazz. I won't obsess about the categories because jazz makes me focus completely. Keith Jarrett. I enjoy all sorts of music but music which demands more of me, as a listener, keeps me interested longer.
But to obsess a little longer, are Verdi's operas pop, or other? What about Charles Ives, and Benjamin Britten? All music is for fun and entertainment, or for spiritual enhancement.
For the non-musically trained, I believe a bit of (legal) cannabis can enhance listening.
There was a time in north America, and lots of other places, when every kid had some musical instruction, whether voice or instrumental and regardless of talent.
This is apropos to MacDonald's Classical Music’s Suicide Pact (Part 1). Succumbing to specious charges of racism, America’s orchestras, opera companies, and conductors are abandoning the Western canon.
She quotes this:
I am in trouble, I guess. It's my Easter music, and I feel I have it memorized.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:40 | Comments (21) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, August 5. 2021
This lengthy piece at Quillette by Michael Robillard uses gender ideology as a case study about objective reality: The Incoherence of Gender Ideology.
He incudes this Dalrymple quote:
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:57 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, August 1. 2021
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:49 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
If your kids or grandkids do not know these American classics, it's about time. Robert McClosky was the author/illustrator.
The latter was my favorite. What a cool Dad.
Almost forgot that McCloskey wrote the two amusing stories about Homer Price. I loved those.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:46 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, July 31. 2021
Thursday, July 29. 2021
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:13 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, July 28. 2021
Tuesday, July 27. 2021
While out on an anchorage Sunday we were awakened by thunder and hailstones + heavy rain on the roof around 11:30 pm. It was pitch black outside and we realized with the lightning flashes that the other three boats in the anchorage had fled to some safe port. Oh, and it had been such a mild sea breeze that we had left all of the hatches and eisenglass windows open.
It was a dramatic hour or so on the water for us.
We have some serious boaters who read us. For them, stormy nighttime navigation is probably easy. I have been a day-boater, salt water, most of my life (sail and power), but I am not used to this sort of overnight thing away from port. We have to up our game but I guess that midlife requires new things. Decay, or grow.
Another problem I have with overnight boating is that I like to get to the gym early. It straightens out my brain and body. On a boat, at 5 AM, there is no escape and nothing to do but sit or eat, neither of which I like to do very much.
Ocean sailing with autopilot is another thing entirely. A quote from a commenter on Our Scariest Days At Sea (4 days from land):
"There are times when sailing feels like Murphy's Law in action. Because if anything can go wrong, it will. And, most likely, it will happen at night."
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:13 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
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