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, October 22. 2016
Due to their long history of Arab occupation, Sicilians cook with a lot of mint. A typical side dish for grilled meat is boiled potato with mint. Easier than pie.
Boil up a bunch of potatoes to firm with a few sprigs of mint in the water. If big, then quarter them. If small, leave alone. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then throw a generous handful of chopped mint +/- parsley on top. Done.
Speaking of cultural appropriation, mint is middle-eastern/Egyptian, and potatoes are from South America. Go figger.
Our favorite potatoes are roasted potatoes with rosemary. Quarter the taters, cover with olive oil, add s and p, then sprinkle with rosemary (fresh preferably) and roast in oven until the surfaces are brown but the insides creamy. Turn occasionally until browned.
One thing to bear in mind is that your excess, old, or even antique furniture, however sentimentally-attached to it you might feel, is worth very little. Probably a tenth of what was paid for it. Brown-colored furniture (ie antiques or old stuff with dark-stained wood) is particularly undesirable. If you think it's worth $500, it might be saleable for $20-40 at best. Many people use Craig's just to get a few bucks to have somebody take it away because stuff has little value unless somebody wants/needs that exact thing at that exact moment.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:29 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Almost Saturday Night is a Dave Edmunds song. I know you're going to tell me in the comments that John Fogerty wrote it. I also know that you're going to tell me in the comments that John Fogerty wrote it, but you're going to spell it Fogarty. I know you pretty good, don't I? I know you pretty well, too.
It's a Dave Edmunds song to me because he did it best, or at least made it first to my ear at the appropriate time. He was the first with the most, as they say. That's how the world keeps score. Once you make a recording, it's an artifact. Artifacts don't change. They can be replayed, and judged. The music industry got really big when it began to produce artifacts that could be made on a relative shoestring and then sold on a mass scale. There's a limited amount of performances you can make money from. Records made lots of people rich for the same reason Bill Gates got rich. Once you've made your one thing, you can sell it as many times as you like.
The Beatles are the first musicians I can recall who produced artifacts that were substantially more than captured noises from a performance. That turned the music business into an artifact horserace. In this race, I say Edmunds won. You're going to disagree with me in the comments, I know it. And I also know you're going to spell Edmunds, Edmonds, and Fogerty, Fogarty.
All music is entirely artificial now. Nothing of it has much to do with the performer. They're just nailed to the prow of the artifact ship. There's a navy of men and robots manning the ProTools oars. People won't have it any other way at this point. They prefer the artificial over the real, because that's all they know.
There's a word for people who know real from ersatz, and deliberately choose ersatz. I don't have time to call people names, though. It's almost Saturday night.
People don't buy newspapers to make money. They buy newspapers to wield power. The destruction of the revenue at the New York Times bothers the Pinchy family not one whit. The employees suffer. The people who own the paper get to decide who will get the blame for all the layoffs. Hint: it's not them.
Via the Instapundit, who no doubt filed this one under "Too good to check." It's a tooth from an old excavator bucket.
I like reading the Z Man, and Zero Hedge, too. Great fun. They're like prophets standing on the corner averring that the world will end yesterday.
Nothing economically productive has happened in the last ten years. Those who ended up in charge can't produce anything of value, and they can't even keep the lights on.
In case you're thinking about chortling at tubby guys with neckbeards and trilbys over a Linux exploit, think again. Linux is the OS on lots and lots of servers. Lots.
Well, Saturdays are slow around the internet, and busy around the farm, so that's all the links you get. Don't despair; it's almost Saturday Night.
It's getting to that time of year. Identify that shotgun.
Friday, October 21. 2016
This is just one of many of Bob's confessional songs (eg What Good Am I, etc). His recorded version of Every Grain of Sand is powerful but it's not on Youtube. Sweet Emmylou just makes the darkness and pain of confession a bit too sing-songy but you get the gist.
If you are an exerciser, do you do a dedicated Leg Day? Many people do.
I mix leg strength in with the other items (ie Strength, Cardio, and Calisthenics) instead of doing a Leg Day. My legs are skinny and weak from a strength standpoint, but I can hike up mountains all day long and can ski all day long. However, that is Endurance, not Strength. I tend to have more Endurance than Strength. Sometimes I wonder why I want or need more leg strength, but in the end I just do what I am told like a good soldier and trust that my genius trainer has my best interest at heart. He wants to build me up but we are all limited by the physique we were given.
The leg strength exercises are great for my posture. People notice that. It's that Posterior Chain of ankle-to-neck that the good deads stress the most.
Mrs. BD says that when she pats me on the ass she now feels muscle instead of bone, so that is good. I deserve more spanks than pats, but whatever. I do deserve spanks when caught with tobacco even though I am part Indian and have that excuse, and sometimes I do deserve them after boys' nites out but boys have to be boys. I still need to gain 4-5 pounds of muscle and sinew and then I'll be set. Gaining the good kind of weight is not easy at all because it requires working harder than you like and eating more than you want to. I hate hard effort and I do not love eating, even in Italy. I like food when required but do not love it and enough is enough.
For lower body strength, I do deadlift, barbell squat, squat and press, step-up-and-press, and lunges with weights. Except for deadlift, it is all very unpleasant. Also, calf lifts on my cardio days just for something extra to do.
What about you?
"A third of Americans are obese"? Really? I don't think so but I do not see very many obese people in my life.
I could think that a third might be fat, though, aka "overweight." Being overweight is a bad idea because it slows you down, damages your joints, and plays a role in some diseases such as breast cancer and heart disease. Also, it is widely viewed as unattractive and as a sign of poor impulse control in Western cultures rather than a sign of prosperity as it is in some.
Donald Trump "fat-shamed" his employee "Miss Piggy" for being "an eating machine." Mr. Trump, who is fat, was attacked for that by Mrs. Clinton - who is fat and getting fatter. As for fat-shaming, even your doctor will do that to you when you visit.
I do not view being overweight or obese as a disease. They are physical "conditions." All behavior has physiological consequences and correlates, which does not make them diseases. We over-pathologize things these days in an effort to let people off the hook for their behavior or, sometimes, in search of an insurance code. In my view, if you do not mind being fat, that's fine. Your choice as long as you accept the consequences. Being underweight frightens me more, medically.
I'll briefly discuss two physiological correlates of overweight and obesity. First, satiety. A sense of satiety is managed by chemical signals from the gut to the brain. The signals are slow to inform you that "That's sufficient." Thus fast eaters do not get the memo in time to stop. Furthermore, some people have weak signaling, or just learn to ignore the signals. Heavy-duty eaters also have expanded stomachs which are less-readily satisfied and always seem to have room for more. Recreational eating is what I call that.
I think many people seem to ignore or misinterpret all sorts of physiologic signs and signals. Also, hedonism is, by definition, fun.
My second physiologic correlate for today concerns insulin. An excess of carbs (more than you need to stay alive that day) gradually causes "insulin resistance." That is not diabetes, but just an adaptation to the amount of carbs a person consumes. It is discussed here. It explains how carbs effect energy levels and fat accumulation.
A detailed examination of Medicare's problems, with some ideas for fixing them. Excellent if you think you may someday reach Medicare age without private insurance: Medicare’s Next 50 Years: Preserving the Program for Future Retiree.
History reminds us that Hillary was fired from the Watergate Commission staff for what? For "unethical conduct". So said her boss.
Today, it's "Lead us not into Penn Station."
I am skeptical.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:44 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, October 20. 2016
WIKILEAKS: Bill Clinton Receives ‘Expensive Gifts,’ Is Personally Paid By Clinton Foundation Sponsors
Francois Hollande admitted there are ‘too many immigrants’ in France and suggested Barack Obama was to blame for the rise of ISIS, claims new book
He can hardly form a coherent thought, period. Can not make an argument. I am sure he is a good deal-maker. He has my vote, holding nose, because he has hinted at supporting things that seem important to me. Many Clinton voters will be doing the same thing - a nose-holding election.
In Soprano Country, they refer to that disgusting red tomato sauce for pasta as "gravy" as in "I'll take some more gravy for my macaroni."
Generally speaking, I am not a big fan of pastas. Peasant food! Packed with Evil Gluten! Well, a small primi of pappardelle with a (fresh) porcini sauce decorated with chopped parsley is very fine so I can make some exceptions.
I will admit to being a food snob when it comes to Italian. Pasta is not a meal unless you plan to run a marathon in a couple of hours. It can be a small primi but there are many sorts of primi. And cappucino is only a breakfast coffee. Italians do not eat meatballs. The best pizzas in the world are in America because we think a pizza is a meal, not the nutrition-free street snack that it is. I could go on and annoy everybody.
That is the House Mouse who, along with the Fruit Fly and E. Coli, may be the most important scientific lab animals that exist.
These cute, prolific little buggers have been carried around the world from their native origin in north India. They thrive in and around human habitat and, as the temperatures cool in the Fall, they are more likely to try to settle indoors.
Cats and mousetraps are made for them. It's October, and we have them now.
I am grateful to live in a Belmont where most people aspire to be good upright contributing citizens, or at least to appear to be. A reminder of a modern sociological classic: Belmont & Fishtown - On diverging classes in the United States. (That is a link to his essay summary of the ideas in the book.)
There is also a good (video) talk by Murray at that link, about the book.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:08 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Now we have Thought Police and Science Police. We are sounding like the old Soviet Union where science had to fit the ideology.
Chuck Berry, pioneer of rock and roll, celebrates 90th birthday by announcing he has a new album coming
How to exit a party
A biography of Diane Arbus offers a detailed portrait of an artist longing for connection
Mario Batali's Italian White House menu
That's the real Italian food - and no noodles either
Millennial Men Rush to Restore Their Foreskins, ‘Feel Whole Again’
Sagging NFL TV ratings leave owners scrambling for answers
Largest Catholic University Blasts 'Unborn Lives Matter' as 'Bigotry'
University of Florida offers counseling for students offended by Halloween costumes
The Slow, Painful Death of the Media's Cash Cow
Reminder: Washington Hates America
The Government Puts A Gigantic Lead Weight On The Scale Of This And Every Election
The Elite "Have No Idea" - Society Is Near The Breaking Point
The WSJ Warns America: "You've Been Played"
BLM flag flutters over quad at ISU
The Donald just not prepared for the job
Dem Operative Who Oversaw Trump Rally Agitators Visited White House 342 Times
Newt Gingrich on Veritas Videos: 'Where's the FBI?'
FBI Document Dump Proves This Woman Has No Business Anywhere Near Power
Judicial Watch: New Emails Show Hillary Clinton Contacts with Bryan Pagliano – Raise New Questions About Her Sworn Testimony
Clinton sleaze is baked in the cake, makes no difference
Lib Journalist Budowsky Called Out on Live TV Over His Podesta Emails
CEO Of Google’s Parent Company Works Directly With Clinton Cam
Trump Eviscerated Hillary in Debate #3. What Difference, at This Point, Does It Make?
Hillary Is Not a "Soulless, Pragmatic Corporatist Who Will Preserve the Status Quo," as Pro-Hillary "Conservatives" Claim. She Sees Herself as a Messianic Joan of Arc to Deliver the Left's Revelation to the Earth.
For the children...
Clinton campaign manager: Avoid talk about Israel, to keep Democrats happy
"America Has Lost" - Duterte Announces "Separation" From United States, Alligns With China
Wednesday, October 19. 2016
Election is over. Hillary did not win, Trump lost a winnable contest. He lost it not because he is of below average intelligence but because he is not educable, not trainable. He is as disciplined as a 3 year-old, and that, rightly, worries people. He can't take anything seriously, and it's all about him. No serious campaign, just carney: Orange-faced Man! His opponent at least is consistent and predictable - if only consistently and predictably corrupt, venal, and dishonest. And consistently exercising poor judgement for further back than most people can remember.
For what it's worth (nothing), I will vote for Trump anyway. I think he would hire good people.
If I am wrong about the election, I will happily eat a few crows. But I am passing on "debate", aka The Donald Trump Show. If he were not in it, would anybody watch?
I am not asking for a weight room, just some cardio machines, some light weights, some floor mats, some hard and soft boxes, some bars for pull-ups, etc. Simple but with room to move. Charge me extra. Maybe a shower too.
On our upcoming flight, we are going First Class thanks to the gift of miles from my in-laws. Still I'd take a gym over the bigger seat and the legroom - because I am not a sitter. As for airplane food, regardless of class, no thanks. Grab a sandwich or a yoghurt in the airport. And they toss you this crap as if you were some starving dog in a dog shelter.
When I told my trainer about this desire for airplane gyms, he emailed me the below. I think that flight was wasted without a girlfriend or wife to spice it up. This dude is a jackass:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 18:03 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
I am all in favor of "functional fitness." Beginning around 35, the human body begins to deteriorate. Unless you are a competitive athlete, fitness is for daily life. One of my daughters was talking about fitness this weekend and opined that a Div 1 singles tennis match was a good work-out. I asked "Are you sure?" After a moment's thought she revised her opinion: No, I guess the physical training is the prep/work-out, and the competition is just the reward.
Playing sports is mostly calisthenics at best. Many sports require strength and athleticism, but actually playing the game is not the same as a work-out. Think baseball, or the several seconds of effort in a football game. Training is for life and games, but they are not training.
I thought this approach was interesting and it sounds even more fun than Crossfit: Get Fit Like a Wild Man: A Primer on MovNat
More on MoveNat
As I said, it sounds like great fun and challenge and bonding but it amounts to heavy calisthenics, which is just one of the three components, in my view, of a balanced fitness program.
The speech was delivered on Sept 19, 1796 in the nation's then-capitol of Philadelphia. While the speech embodied Washington's ideas, the actual writing was probably mostly drafted by Madison and Hamilton. Good people to have as your speechwriters.
You can read it here.
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