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
Friday, January 10. 2020
Malcolm Gladwell’s cool, playful intelligence has made him one of our leading public thinkers, and he has a host of imitators. But, in a time of antagonistic debate and polarised opinion, does he still have something to say?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:09 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, January 8. 2020
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:10 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, January 7. 2020
Saturday, January 4. 2020
Much of the stuff we own, or which we even value, has minimal monetary value or might even cost money to get rid of. It might be useful to us or of sentimental value or other sorts of personal value (that is true value, emotional value I suppose) but of no value to anybody else. Talking about meaning.
Monetary value is less than you think, and the effort to unload a possession of any monetary value is large. Just try getting rid of an over-aged piano. Pianos have life spans, unlike violins.
American Scholar's podcast on The Global Garage Sale. The interviewer is a bit of a nut, but the guy is interesting. They are both sort-of anti-consumption with a minimalist ethic. For the "environment," of course...Lots of our "good" stuff ends up in landfills despire our virtuous intentions.
I do know some people for whom the only value of anything is monetary.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:00 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, December 30. 2019
For your pilot, you want a certain talent stack: ACTUAL DUAL ENGINE FAILURE IN A CITATION JET
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:22 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, December 28. 2019
This is part1, the first leg of the trip
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:28 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, December 25. 2019
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 (98) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, December 24. 2019
Moore is buried uptown. We almost got to that cemetary on our last urban hike.
Somewhat related, The story of the Christmas tree is one of resistance, breakthrough, and change. From the NY Times, 1883:
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:57 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, December 13. 2019
This frivolous topic comes up because a friend teased me last night at a Christmas party about my shirt. Being sort of conservative types, we 3 guys devouring the sliced filet were all wearing Brooks shirts (and jolly ties and jackets, as befitting the event). Not Barney's shopper types, or Armani types.
We stupidly got on the topic of dress shirts, and the friend accused me of wearing a Milano. Guess what? Brooks now makes 5 fits of their classic dress shirts.
It's about time. You could fit two people in my old Brooks shirts. Here's a related topic: They still have the classic cotton, but their big sellers are the no-iron ones. The no-iron ones feel less comfortable to me but they do not wrinkle up in one day and save a lot on laundry bills.
Re Christmas, most women appreciate a Brooks silk blouse. Silk seems to feel good to female skin.
Founded in 1818 and still in the rag trade. A brief history of the brand.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:00 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, December 11. 2019
Perhaps my favorite contemporary novelist, the late Walker Percy: Walker Percy Ponders The Joy And Risk Of Naming The World. In newly published material, the late author complains that linguists can explain lots of things about language--except meaning.
I hear you asking about my other favorite contemporary novelists. OK, Mark Helprin and Cormac McCarthy, not including beach books with snappy, wacky, sociopathic dialog like Carl Hiassen.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:42 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, December 9. 2019
Lots of Saturnalian and also northern European pagan aspects to this season around this part of the world. It's a multicultural festival season.
- Cocktail parties, lots of them. Saturnalian, but on a civilized level. Time to look great and behave well. Get hair done and dig out that tux for the fancy ones. Gotta show up or people will forget that you exist.
- Excesses of foods and hors d'oevres. Saturnalian. Control oneself.
- Random reckless holiday drunken sex. Saturnalian. Sounds exciting, but I have not seen this yet around my neighborhood, so no worries.
- Decorated evergreen trees. Ain't they purty? Pagan German/Scandinavian. I do not think baby Jesus had one, though. We bought one for outdoors and one for indoors. Almost bought a fake one for indoors. It looked perfect, and had 1000 lights but I hate white lights. They look like a bank lobby and if you're not sensible, you might need to visit the bank for Christmas anyway.
- Presents? Sort-of Saturnalian (jewels for your mistresses - they can give you Viagra), sort of European with St. Nicholas. And the wise men with their perfume and stuff. You know what She wants - A Pucci scarf and ballet tickets. We guys generally want nothing other than family happiness. Presents are the worst thing about Christmas unless they are food (we like rare stinky cheeses). We go with 1/person only to keep the tradition going. Yes I know - little kids love opening gifts. Adults don't.
- Snow and cold. Not real Christmassy - northern European. Lucky for me, I like snow and cold and the only thing I love as much around here as a powerful hurricane is a beautiful blizzard that stops life in its tracks and gives us time to not be busy.
- The Messiah. It was written for Easter, for heaven's sake.
- Christmas - it was illegal to celebrate it in New England until, like, a few years ago. You could go to jail for making a savory mince-meat pie at Christmastime. They had pie-police sniffing on the streets of Boston. I have (well, had) and old-tyme Connnecticut Congregationalist pal whose family still refused to acknowledge Christmas. As a Congregationalist by ancient family tradition, I do not think of Christmas as "holy" either but there is nothing not to like about it and the hymns and carols are as good as it gets.
- As for me, any excuse for assembling family is good. I have a big one (5 sibs), and I love them all. Not certain about vice-versa... The holiday decorations are fun, and lovely. Church on Christmas Eve always brings tears to me but whether they are holy or sentimental is hard to tell. All has little to do with whether I am a Jesus-follower or not but yeah, I feel He's worth following as best one can and I take it seriously. Not a grinch, not a scrooge. Birth (Christmas), or re-birth (Easter) - all good lives of the living Spirit.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:29 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, December 8. 2019
As a college junior, he wrote an illustrated history of trout — and he’s been an outside-the-box artist ever since.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:30 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, December 7. 2019
Friday, December 6. 2019
Sunday, December 1. 2019
My love is grouse hunting in the North Woods. BD is the same. Hours of tramping over hill and dale and marsh, hoping to find a stray grouse or woodcock. With dog, of course, preferably pointer. You barely need 12 bullets in your pocket for a whole day and if you come back to the lodge with a grouse or two, it's a banner day.
Both strenuous activities require layering and you need to add an inch to your trousers to handle cold weather under-stuff. Also, if age adds an inch (which it should not, God forbid), take it into account too. Best thing: suspenders. Filson tincloth winter gear requires them. This gear is not for "bird" hunting in the southland but it is good for brush-busting in the northern regions.
Hiking, especially mountain hiking, keeps you warm and you peel layers off into your daypack as you begin to sweat. Bird hunting is slower and colder, more methodical, tactical, and there is no daypack to put stuff into.
Duck and goose hunting is another story entirely.
What is your experience?
Friday, November 29. 2019
Do the young'uns these days live on their ipads and junk like that? It's a damn shame.
If you have kids, or grandkids, let's get back to good toys and things which add real life, vs virtual life, to real living.
I am thinking of blocks, pick-up-sticks, wooden train sets, Legos, Chess (can be learned at 5), board games, card games, etc. Poker should be learned as young as possible, because it's part of life. Books at their levels, of course. Real books. Older kids, BB guns, bows and arrows, etc. By age 10-13, fishing rods, 28 ga shotguns, .22s, and big boy and girl toys like that.
Everything imaginable is on Amazon.
What ideas do our readers have for kids, for Christmas things?
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:21 | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, November 24. 2019
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:55 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Who were these people who put the England into New England? Certainly, an unusual group.
The great Prof. Andrew Delbanco: Vexed and Troubled Englishmen. How should we remember the Puritans?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:48 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, November 22. 2019
Tuesday, November 19. 2019
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:16 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, November 16. 2019
Sunday, November 10. 2019
A wonderful story, beautiful car
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:29 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Trailer of a 2004 film about the photographer
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:41 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, November 8. 2019
It sure can feel like it. Mr. Vanderleun considers the topic with a little Leonard Cohen and this bit which barely fits his theme:
In the beginning, I never thought that with all his warts and his tweets and all his rants and ravings that the broken human named Donald Trump could be God’s chosen instrument to try and mend this broken kingdom, but there he sits astride the world like some Strange Colossus.
This feels like it comes from some supernatural place:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:46 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)