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, September 23. 2014
This is not surprising, but it is interesting. "Schizophrenia" really meant miscellaneous chronic psychosis. We have all always felt that the paranoid psychoses were a different animal. Time will tell whether this information will have any practical value.
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
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.
I am convinced there is nothing they would enjoy more than to be targets of America. It elevates them. It's a booby trap, and beheadings are the bait. You can find as many justifications for attacking Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, or Saudi Arabia for that matter. The Jihad of the True Believers will never end, at least in our lifetimes. They are convinced they are doing God's work and do not mind dying for that. It's been going on for 1500 years.
As for borders in the ME, they are all bogus anyway. The concept of the nation-state is not really in their lexicon. Caliphate is - Kingdom of Allah on earth, won by arms if not by faith. It's a culture.
Related, the concept of the nation-state is relatively recent, and possibly obsolete: Did Industry Cause Nations?
Did Industry Cause Nations?
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?
Wednesday, September 17. 2014
No, not if you ask me. The more people are able to get out of their comfort zones, the better. Furthermore, the only brake I know to slow the rapid passage of time in life is new experiences, new places, new stimulation, new people, and new ideas. Otherwise, it can all just be a blur of same, same and, next thing you know, seven years have passed.
Tuesday, September 16. 2014
- Boiled new potato with mint
Hardly needs a recipe. Salt and pepper, and chopped mint mixed in with a little olive oil. A Med. classic
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Some people seem stingy to the point of sadism, cruelty. Envelopes in Marriott hotels invite tips for maids
Marriott is right to do that. Like restaurant servers, these people live on their tips. Leave the $ on the table each morning and, if you stay a few days in a place, you will get better attention and a grateful attitude.
Always tip generously. It's an easy way to make the world a more pleasant and cheerful place for all. In the US, roughly 20% in restaurants. In European restaurants, they usually include the gratuity in the bill but I always add a bit to it especially if the service is attentive. They do know that I am American, after all.
Addendum: Man, did that get some debate. Really, except at Dunkin Donuts, better not to tip at all rather than to leave a one dollar tip. It's insulting. A good rule of thumb: Always tip helpers to show gratitude. Including barbers.
Sunday, September 14. 2014
My Mom always put up tons of these pickled string beans from my Dad's garden. When you take some out, people eat them like popcorn.
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
Friday, September 12. 2014
I finished off the peaches with something like this tonight - my own recipe:
I had only around 20 peaches from my tree left after my previous chutney cooking. Skinned and roughly chopped them. There were plenty of bad spots.
Then threw in the pile of chopped peaches to brew on a high simmer for around 40 or more minutes to simmer some of the juice off and to blend the flavors.
Wish I could tell you how this smells, and how that sauce tastes. Spicy indeed. I'll call this one Ginger-Pepper-Peach-Garlic Chutney. It will cure cancer and chase away the Devil - and Mrs. BD loves it on grilled or broiled salmon. The modern wife likes to be well-taken care of by a farmer spouse while she tends to the young'uns.
I'll freeze doses of this in freezer bags. Now I have a winter supply of mildly-peppery, and of highly-peppery, home-grown ("organic"!) peach chutney. Do you know how good this stuff is with cheese, meat, or even on crackers with cream cheese?
Iraq? We should have left it to Saddam. He understood that craphole same as Quaddaffi did his: government terrorism works better than random, volunteer terrorism. All governments use fear, to varying degrees of barbarity. If some Americans want to bomb bad people, how about bombing the Castros out of Cuba? They have been "Death to America" for generations.
I want to visit Cuba, though, before Capitalism ruins it (and turns it into a new Miami). For the slumming and the cheap stuff and the incredibly beautiful women. Seriously though, for the fishing.
Susan Rice on ISIS: There’s a difference between a war and a counterterrorism operation, you know
Teach me, Susan Rice. Funny how they always leave you out of the loop.
Thursday, September 11. 2014
The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious - How the worst apple took over the United States, and continues to spread
At the Maggie's HQ, the current favorite seems to be Fuji but I am fine with the old MacIntosh.
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
Tuesday, September 9. 2014
As I mentioned, we emptied the peach tree just in time to keep the possums from eating them all.
Some were ripe (the peaches, not the possums), some still hard, and some over-ripe with moldy or mealy spots. The ripe ones are for eating today. The semi-hard ones go on the table in the sun. The hard ones, and the marred or half-bad ones, are for chutney. Some had a worm but I cut them out along with the bad spots. Worms do not eat much, and I don't bother spraying.
This year, I am making some of it with light brown sugar, slivered red onions, cider vinegar, roughly-chopped jalapenos (lots - 5 of them in that pot), roughly-chopped fresh ginger so you can bite into a piece (lots), a big box of golden raisins, a little salt. I use recipes as rough suggestions. For hot peppers, I always triple whatever they say.
Best not to overcook a chutney (or it will taste homogeneous and gooey like Major Grey's), and best to use it fresh. I'll freeze the excess - no need to can it. Too much trouble, and comes out tasting less fresh. Go easy on the vinegar, and add more if needed because peaches produce a lot of liquid themselves especially if they are near-ripe or over-ripe.
Peach Chutney - good with fish, steak, chicken, pork, or on a ham or turkey sammich. Google it and find a wide variety of recipes.
Below is a pic of a slightly-cooked one with a light honey sauce and a splash of vinegar, and a little chopped cilantro - some restaurants will make it like that, fresh every couple of days, as a fancy condiment for sole or chicken:
Monday, September 8. 2014
"If you don't want my peaches, don't shake my tree." That's a line from one of the versions of Blind Lemon Jefferson's perfect song from 1927 - "Matchbox Blues." I don't think Albert King used those lines in this version with Stevie Ray, though. I could listen to Albert all day long.
Our peaches up here in Yankeeland begin to ripen right about now. I get a good crop from this tree every other year, but this is the second great year in a row. I see peach pies in my near future, and maybe a year's worth of canned peach chutney. Also, a good supply of fresh peach chutney, which is better than canned: takes about 15 minutes to make. Photo is from this afternoon:
Got em all picked tonight with a pal - on ladders in the dark while Mrs. BD held failing flashlight. Then saw this: Ancient peach stones offer clues to fruit’s origins
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.
Thursday, September 4. 2014
Jason Riley believes that African Americans ought to pursue their lives like everybody else does. In other words, he does not see brown-skinned people as handicapped or as government-dependents.
"Married black Americans in the US have the same average incomes as married white Americans."
Guy is telling the truth.
Wednesday, September 3. 2014
Nature's alterations to the landscape never end, and mankind gets in the way.
Billingsgate Island, once the site of a lighthouse, a school, and over 30 houses, is now Billingsgate Shoal. It used to be a popular picnic destination, big clambakes.
Some of it is above water now, during low tides. Best explanation I've heard is that destroying the salt marshes that protected it from Cape Cod Bay (for salt hay to feed the critters) is what destroyed it.
This photo shows what agriculture and deforestation (by the Indians and then by the Europeans with their farms and cattle) did to the soil of the outer Cape: it's down to sand and sweet-smelling scrub now:
Interesting piece on the topic below the fold -
Continue reading "Man vs. nature on Cape Cod"
Many years too late, the MSM and the government are getting the obvious message which docs have known all along. Unless you do manual work all day and are skinny, you don't need hardly any carbs to be fit and healthy. What carbs to eat very sparingly, if at all, to be strong and lithe? See below the basic list of the bad things which few Americans need to thrive:
All fruit (except strawberries and blueberries). Fruit is just flavored sugar, as are fruit juices
Carb-produced fat on your body is the worst thing for your heart, your joints, some cancers, your sex drive, and your youthfulness, vigor, and energy. If you are skinny and fairly muscular, ignore this.
Unless you are too skinny or healthily-skinny, I suggest one to one and a half smallish meals per day, mainly meat, eggs, greens, and vegetables. Why Westerners decided three meals daily was needed is a historical mystery, and very wrong unless you were a farmer or a growing child: most people used to be farmers, who worked until they dropped and their little kids helped all day too. Being overweight was a sign of wealth, and now it sort of functions as a sign of poverty and the underclass.
OK, a sugary dessert once weekly as a special treat. Alcohol as desired. Your hunger and your stomach will shrink quickly, as will your burdensome lard.
You will feel better and more vigorous, if that is what you want. Some people want that, some do not. Our current prosperity gives us that free choice, in the Western world.
From Lind's The Origins of Our Distress (h/t Vanderleun):
Good article. Readers know that my opinion is that all of the insanity of this conflict-ridden world is not my problem. I do not really care what Putin does (a "Hitler"? Give me a break). Iraq? I don't care. Memo To Washington: Iraq Is Not A Nation And You Can’t Build One There With Bombs
This administration goes from stupid to stupid, but so did the Bush admin. I am in favor of benign neglect unless those morons step on my toes in NYC or anywhere else in the US. Most other places are just tar babies, and ungrateful in the end. Beheading people? That's what they like to do. Everybody knows that. I am not shocked, but it's news to John Kerry.
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