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.
Not too much is left of the original castle or of the later palace. People were always renovating and modernizing these things, or else knocking them down. Dunnottar has been rebuilt to some extent for tourists. Lots of crazy Scottish history in it.
An old image of the castle below the fold, with some Dylan Scotland trivia too -
Well, as you know I love Maggie's Farm. I want to give back somehow. Consequently, I bring to your attention Collinsville, Connecticut. Formerly the home of the Collins Company, axe makers non pareil, it is a company town frozen in time right beside the Farmington river. Very picturesque, particularly at this time of year, and full of decent restaurants. And there is a museum there, full of Collins products. Heavenly.
I just bought three very old Collins axes on Ebay (not expensive) and will be restoring them into working instruments, Very satisfying!
I think the documentary seeks to fix the record in falsity. To take only one example, as I say in my “Notes,” Burns and his colleagues were apparently unable to find a soldier to recall his service in anything other than shades of disillusion, disgust and shame. Much more remains to be done on this deeply dishonest work to prevent it from becoming the received history of the war.
Epstein’s private jet, which transported his friends to Little St. James Island, was nicknamed “Lolita Express.” Initial records claimed that Bill Clinton was listed as a passenger on the jet at least 11 times between 2001 and 2003. That number was then changed to more than double with 26 trips, showing that Clinton flew on the plane at least once a month during the two-year period.
At long last, the people who do the strategic planning for Hillary Clinton and tell her what emotions she should imitate in response to various stimuli have weighed in and they have decided that Harvey Weinstein is not a nice man:
We go for natural or naturalistic plantings around here. Just a couple of perennial borders that we supplement with annuals. The fewer gardens you have, the less work.
Our best naturalistic plantings are a meadow hillside full of daffodils. At some point, you can just mow it with the tractor. We also have plenty of daylilies along walls. They make for an August delight.
Executive orders allowed the past administration to keep the program alive. They allow this administration to destroy it. Like his predecessor, President Donald Trump has been frustrated by lack of action in Congress on Obamacare. Like his predecessor, he has resorted to executive fiat to get around that obstruction. Only instead of frantically trying to save the troubled program, he is yanking out the life-support cords installed by President Barack Obama.
This week saw two executive actions. With the first, Trump is trying to expand health insurance options outside of the Obamacare exchange for individual insurance plans (which will have the side effect of making on-exchange policies less attractive to healthy customers).
The second is even more serious: After threatening it for months, the president has finally ended the cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers, which subsidize the provision of special policies with lower out-of-pocket expenses for people who make less than 250 percent of the federal poverty line. At the very least, this will probably mean a further increase in premiums, and growing instability in at least the parts of the individual market that aren’t eligible for subsidies to offset the increase. At worst, especially if it gets bogged down in lawsuits, it may cause insurers to say “enough is enough,” leaving broad areas of the country without any firm willing to sell individual policies through the Obamacare exchanges.
While the Congressional Budget Office has issued a delightfully counterintuitive forecast that ending the subsidies could actually increase insurance coverage, there’s little question in my mind that these policies are bad for the exchanges. 1 At the very least, I think we can all agree that they put the exchanges at greater risk. There is also little question that this is at least part of the reason that the administration is pursuing them. And yet, believe it or not, there are still arguments for both.
It has become evident that millions of uninsured Americans are uninterested in buying insurance on the exchanges, because it’s too expensive, or the “narrow networks” don’t cover enough doctors and hospitals. The new options the administration aims to create could be a genuine boon to those people. If you have spent years bemoaning the dire fate of the uninsured, you have to take that benefit seriously.
As for ending the subsidies … what am I, some sort of monster? Do I just hate the poor so much that I can’t stand to see them getting help paying for health care? Well, no. I have no particular objection to the payments as policy. Except for one small thing, which is that they seem to be sort of illegal...
In her first presentation at our 2015 Eucharistic Convention Leah Libresco spoke to her subject matter "Falling in Love with Math, Morality and Mercy - My Conversion Story. It's a witness, not a sermon.
I went through a deontology phase too. She's an obsessionally morally-interested joyful and charming mathematician whose intellectual adventures lead to Christ. Cool, but I wonder what she would say about cultural transmission of moralities and values.
For pottage and puddings and custards and pies Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies, We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon, If it were not for pumpkins we should be undoon."
Pilgrim verse, circa 1633
Pumpkins are just one variety of winter squash. Winter Squash have the virtues of being harvested in the fall, and easily storable for keeping through the winter in a root cellar as long as they do not freeze. All winter squash (Butternut, Acorn, etc) taste pretty similar and are more or less interchangeable in recipes.
Winter Squash, along with string beans, maize (which we call "corn" in the US, and many other foods like peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes) were first genetically modified for agriculture by American Indians.
Eastern Indians had large fields in which they grew winter squash, maize, and beans (which climbed up the corn stalks) together. In fact, one of the reasons the Pilgrims decided to stay in Plymouth was for the 50-acre and 100-acre planting fields that the Indians (recently dead probably from European diseases brought in by explorers and fishermen) had prepared there.
The Pumpkin of the Americas quickly became a popular crop in many parts of the world. Our Philippino nanny rarely made a Phillipino stew without pumpkin chunks in it. (Loved that Oxtail stew with peanut sauce, potato, and pumpkin, or her winter squash and string bean stew with coconut milk plus some shrimp or chicken chunks.) And people who have read Alexander McCall Smith's series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, know how popular pumpkin became in the African diet. As for Pumpkin pasta recipes, there are tons of them.
Mashed pumpkin with salt, pepper and butter is great. Same with steamed pumpkin chunks. A little chopped fresh Sage is good with them. Never boil winter squash. Steam or roast, or it will get too soggy.
As for the olde standbys, Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Soup, those are OK too but the spices tend to obscure the subtle flavors of the winter squashes used. (Re Pumpkin Pie, the Maggie's Farm advice is to go very light on the sugar, and serve with a spoonful of whipped cream, then drizzled with 100% Maple Syrup.)