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 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)
Saturday, July 24. 2021
Just anchor the boat in some cove, and have at it. Water fun.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:46 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, July 22. 2021
I am good enough, but not the best, at my day job. I tend to be interested in general life competencies which have less relation to profitable pursuits.
Long-time readers know my list of life competencies. Nobody needs to excel at them, but the more of these you can sort-of handle, the richer life can be:
Friendships - most important of all
Swimming, snorkeling, and, best, diving
Doing some religion
Fishing of any or all sorts
Sports - the more, the better
Physical training and weight training
Handiman skills - the more, the better
Handling canoe, kayaks, sailboats, powerboats
Developing an art skill whether musical or other
Financial management - not rocket science. Just an estate guy and Vanguard funds.
Hiking, camping, basic climbing, and orienting abilities
Dog-handling and training
Natural history - knowing the trees, plants, bugs, birds, geography, geology, etc. makes being outdoors much more interesting
What would you add or delete, in comments?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:45 | Comments (16) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, July 18. 2021
What's your favorite cold summer sandwich? (I say cold to eliminate things like burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, and meatball grinders.)
I'll include roll-ups as sandwiches, just to be kind to roll-up-eaters.
My go-to summer sandwich is a Turkey Club on white toast with extra mayo, and chips on the side. At this point in life, I'll take a "Junior Club," which is just one layer of the stuff.
What are your favorites?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:09 | Comments (27) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, July 17. 2021
From 2018, Peterson interviewed by Helen Lewis:
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:32 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, July 16. 2021
The best people I have met are the men and women of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.
As serious boaters, they know water vessels, but they volunteer their time for boat checks and boating skills. Even if you pass their checks, they have lots of useful info.
Never refuse their offers.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:33 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, July 12. 2021
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:15 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, July 11. 2021
About one of the great books: Episode 184: Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:27 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Part 1 is here
Now to the related topic of Satiety.
It was not long ago that being pudgy or having a bit of a gut signaled prosperity, and leanness signaled lower class. Now it's the opposite. With incredible food abundance, and with obesity always in the news, funding for nutrition-related studies has grown. So now we know a lot more about how insulin works and about how the three food categories (fats and oils, carbs, and protein) are handled by the body. We are also learning about how hunger and satiety work. It's quite interesting but complicated.
These are "First World issues." In our world of nutritional abundance, recreational, social, and emotional eating, and the constant temptation of food porn, "hunger" often does not denote a need for nutrition except for the skinny, and satiety is often over-ridden by habit, speed-eating, stomach-stretching, delicious foods, sugar-and-carb dosing, and insulin-resistance. That is what it means when overweight people, who have no pressing energy needs at all other than water, vitamins, and minerals, eat hungrily two or three times a day. We term that appetite "false hunger" not because the appetite is not subjectively experienced but because appetite has, for them, disconnected from nutritional need and satiety signals (which are very slow to go into effect). That luxury used to be only for the wealthy.
It's like the flip side of anorexia. Anorexia nervosa is famously difficult to ameliorate, but it is not too difficult for most pudgy or fat people to re-set their bio-psycho-social food-o-stat if they want to. For starters, that entails small portions, plenty of protein to satisfy the hormones, and very slow eating so as not to short-circuit the awareness of the moment at which "That's enough to sustain me, because I don't feel hunger anymore." That way, the "Eat 'til I'm filled or stuffed...now I'm stuffed" effect never has to happen.
In the Western world, "sufficient" can be the stopping point, not "filled." Except Thanksgiving, when feeling ill from getting stuffed with stuffing is expected.
Being too scrawny, with underdeveloped muscle and bone, is life-limiting and unhealthy, but not as life-limiting as carrying excess fat around with its lengthy list of associated ailments. There's no need to carry it on your body, because there's a pizza joint on every corner to prevent sudden death from starvation. Most people, fortunately, make themselves sensitive to satiety signals most of the time so most active adults are neither significantly under- or over-weight.
Obviously, little of this applies to most children and adolescents.
Sunday, July 4. 2021
You have to know what you are doing, or disaster. (Thanks reader for this one). Very cool.
This cat is rigged for serious. It is athletic.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:49 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Doing some reading, and musing, on this 245th year of the greatness which is our fine nation. Right now, we live in a world where we're supposed to be humble, and there are factions which would prefer to not tout American Greatness. Still others believe our best years are behind us. My view is some of our best years are behind us, but our very best is still ahead, as long as we understand where we've come from, and the principles for which we stand.
I don't believe in being humble about our national identity. No other nation has done many of the things our nation has. Our Constitution was one of the very first, and certainly the first that enshrined individual rights as primary over the predations of a government. Our Constitution started a period of constitutional revolution which spread around most of the world at that time. And while our nations' flaws are evident, we are among the few nations which air our dirty laundry, not proudly, but to learn and improve. Other nations can point to civil or human rights failings we have now, or have had in the past, but none of them have a track record better than ours improving these rights.
Continue reading "Happy Independence Day"
Friday, July 2. 2021
It's about his life.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:22 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, July 1. 2021
I have had to re-learn much of what I once was comfortable with about boat-handling. Midlife crisis issues, I guess.
Gotta keep learning or re-learning skills, or decay. I am blessed with many interests and hobbies, but am at best mediocre with all of them. Due to time spent, I am at my best at my day job.
- This craft is a deep-V single diesel Downeast-style thing, Maine-style, lobster-boat-style. Heavy. Pretty, I feel. Designed to go from place to place regardless of weather and not a toy boat.
- It's all about "feel". Each boat has her own handling qualities. Like a horse, you have to know it, learn how she responds to things, make her an extension of your brain and body. Takes me many, many hours to do this without causing a problem. Maybe more hours than I have left. Mrs. BD: "Aw, you'll get used to it. It's just bigger." Good, bold life attitude on her part.
- Boats steer by the stern. Turning left makes the stern turns right to reorient the vessel. Duh. I knew that. It makes the stern turn into the damn dock.
- A rudder does not work in reverse. Duh. Well, you can steer in reverse with an outboard or sterndrive, but otherwise, not really. Easiest to handle is twin engines because you can steer with the engines alone. I don't have that so I have to learn like the guys with their lobster boats. We actually wanted a twin diesel but could not find one we liked from up north even down to Texas. Boats are in short supply right now.
- Docking and mooring in wind is as much of a bitch as it ever was. Can I back this boat into a slip? No way, even without wind. Well, probably could on a calm lake but not on real water.
- When over age 45, scrambling around a slippery bow deck feels (is) treacherous. Gotta hold on to something.
- Winds and currents can mess up your best intentions.
- Checklists. Gotta use them for everything. It's tough to remember everything, which is why pilots use them. Very easy to forget to check the oil in the generator.
- Put a little bleach in the water tank, and a little water-softener in the head to keep it sweet.
- Nighttime boating? I am so past that, and there are idiots out there. Could include me I guess.
- I do love the chug of a diesel engine. They just want to work hard at 3000 rpm. Work makes them happy.
- New GPS. I have little problem plotting a course on a chart. Not used to GPS plotting, but I will get it after a while. Anyway, 90% of the challenge of boat handling is at docks and in harbors and marinas.
- The basic knots? It you knew them once, they will come back. But they should be automatic. Clove hitch, bowline...Darn.
- Dockhands? God bless 'em. When they are around at the fuel dock.
Do we have any salt-water boater readers?
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:37 | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)