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
Thursday, August 21. 2014
Re the Government-Academic Industrial Complex:
Almost all lies are acts, and speech has no part in them.
Lots more here.
Does anybody use bathtubs anymore? I mean, unless they have 1940s-era bathrooms?
I don't mean big Jacuzzis, or outdoor hot tubs, but real old-fashioned bathtubs. Does anybody use them anymore, unless they are just the antique bottom of a nice shower?
Who would want to float in dirty, soapy water?
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:59 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
I only read the "newspapers" when I cover for Bird Dog. Do you people really read that stuff, and act on what you've read as if it's informative?
Oops, did I just call our readers "you people"? Jeez, I'm sorry. I meant to say, Do us people really read this stuff...
No, that won't do. Does we people really reads that stuff...
I can't remember all that subjunctive gobbletygook from my McGuffey's Reader, so let's just agree that the newspapers all suck and move on. On to the news -- or whatever it is:
There's a lot of words until you get to that paragraph right there, the only one worth mentioning: It really doesn't matter what crazy people believe. They're crazy.
A Norwegian extrovert looks at your shoes when he's talking instead of his own.
Wow, Nancy Sinatra sure was a sh*tty singer.
Wednesday, August 20. 2014
I have never had a super-rich client, but I have dealt with many wills and estates.
Some people say "Die broke." Most prefer to leave something for their kids and grandkids and make some modest sacrifices to do that. There is no "should." People ought to do whatever they want, even if it ruins their kids.
I am completely opposed to any death taxes. They are legal theft, and the money has already been taxed once. When families can accumulate assets over generations, families achieve independence and freedom.
More from McArdle: Money Won't Buy Your Kids a Future
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:37 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
However, I will tell that all there really ever is in my pockets are my wallet, a pocketknife, some crumbled-up paper money, and a few coins. Nothing interesting.
A charming essay by G.K. Chesterton: What I Found in My Pocket
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:02 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
"Atheists weren’t always as intellectually lazy as Dawkins and his ilk." Atheists Used to Take the Idea of God Seriously. That’s Why They Mattered.
A remarkable article (h/t, reader)
Running kind of late this morning. I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!
On to the links:
40 maps that explain the Roman Empire
This is where Janet Yellen's funny money ends up, one way or the other: Dissipated when there's nothing productive for it to do.
Have a nice Wednesday.
Tuesday, August 19. 2014
The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles
Coolidge by Amity Schlaes
High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery
Generation X Goes to College: An Eye-Opening Account of Teaching in Postmodern America
Dalrymple: Threats of Pain and Ruin
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:40 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Readers know that the Soft-Shelled Crab (ie moulting Blue Crab) in all of its forms is perhaps my favorite food. My friends and I would catch them at the shore with bacon tied to string and bring a bucket of them home to Mom. She'd steam the hard-shelled ones, and sautee the soft-shells.
I love the soft-shells fried, sauteed, in a sandwich with mayo, Chinese-style - or anything. A perfect combination of juiciness and crunchiness, and you just eat the whole darn thing feathers and all.
Here's an easy one: Soft-Shelled Crabs on Toast.
Methods of crabbing.
Delicious photos of soft-shell crab recipes.
Soft-shells are often frozen for use through the crab season.
It's a cliche because there is so much truth in that expression that it is at least half-true. You could make the same case for bad luck.
I advise the youth to regard life as a conveyor belt of opportunities rolling past you. Experiences, jobs, relationships, books, learning, etc. They roll by, but almost never come back. If you grab enough of them, some will work out. On the other hand, the same bad selections that life offers keep returning, don't they?
I have been lucky in ways that I had nothing at all to do with (raised in an educated, middle-upper middle class church-going American family with no divorce), decent genes, a functional and honest personality (despite my share of flaws which nobody really knows about but one of which happens to be a lack of talent for anything requiring talent), etc. However, I give myself credit for making the most of those gifts in my pursuit of happiness and satisfaction. I suppose that I "could have made more of myself," but I didn't want to.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:57 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
I've decided not to riot today. I'm fairly certain I'm not going to loot anything. I don't feel like overcoming, or singing about overcoming. I'm overcome with not overcoming, actually. I believe I can resist the urge to lock arms for days at a time. I do not wish to be quoted in the press. You can quote me on that. On to the news.
In the Image of God: John Comenius and the First Children’s Picture Book
Baseball Bat With an Axe Handle Brings More Power, Fewer Injuries
There is a story about the great Catalan surrealist painter Salvador Dali. It is said that in the last years of his life, when he was already famous, he signed checks knowing that they would not be submitted to the bank for payment. Rather, after partying with his friends and consuming the most expensive items the restaurants had to offer, he would ask for the bill, pull out one of his checks, write the amount, and sign it. Before handing over the check, he quickly turned it around, made a drawing on the back and autographed it. Dali knew the owner of the restaurant would not cash the check but keep it,put it in a frame, and display it in the most prominent place in the restaurant: “An original Dali.”
My new hero.
History may be evolving away from the Westphalian State, with its unitary national culture, flags and traditions and moving towards affinity groups whose allegiance is primarily to themselves; which only form temporary alliances based on expedience in competition with other affinity groups.
I know a couple of daycare centers like that.
It’s hip, it’s entertaining—but where are the families?What is a city for? Ever since cities first emerged thousands of years ago, they have been places where families could congregate and flourish.
A city is a place where everyone is lonely together.
Monday, August 18. 2014
What a fine fellow he was:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:54 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Garlic is one of the most popular flavorings on the planet, and rightly so. There is no point to growing it, because it is so cheap and abundant. Like taters and like pasta. Who would bother growing pasta these days?
Despite not being an Italian "garlic-eater", I love garlic. I am informed that I occasionally reek of it. Too bad. Actually it seems that the Chinese consume the most.
Various garlic types are wild all around the world. I was interested to learn that the handy Elephant Garlic is not really garlic - it's a Leek sort of thing.
"Humming is to marriage as singing is to courtship."
One can dream: How to Eliminate Almost Every Federal Agency
Well, happy Monday to you. That's Bird Dog at the beach. He's older than that now, and the trucks are rustier. He left me in charge, and I ran out of his bourbon yesterday, and he won't be back for a week. He asked me to look after his Australian Goldfish, too, and that's not going so well, either. I assume they're Australian, because they're floating upside down right now, and they're so somnolent, I think they think it's nighttime. Ah, well, here's the links:
When deciding whether Google should spend millions or even billions of dollars in acquiring a new company, its chief executive, Larry Page, asks whether the acquisition passes the toothbrush test: Is it something you will use once or twice a day, and does it make your life better?
Venture Capitalists Get Paid Well to Lose Money
Feds: Red light camera firm paid for Chicago official’s car, condo
Starbucks to Revise Policies to End Irregular Schedules for Its 130,000 Baristas
15 Signs You're an Entrepreneur
SF cabdrivers vote to unionize as industry continues to take beating from ride services
Also from San Fran: Soccer program gives homeless chance to succeed
How To Make An Animated GIF From A YouTube Video
I Quit Liking Things On Facebook for Two Weeks. Here’s How It Changed My View of Humanity.
Well, why not go out there and change your view of humanity today. Drive to a Starbucks in a unionized cab, and try not to run over the homeless people playing soccer in the parking lot. But whatever you do, don't like anyone on Facebook.
Sunday, August 17. 2014
No visit to NYC is complete without a little side trip to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. The old Little Italy in downtown Manhattan has mostly been invaded by new Chinese immigrants who have been expanding Chinatown, and the Italians have moved through the tunnel to Jersey. Don't ask me why.
Is it a "safe" neighborhood? Hardly need to ask that about a heavily Italian neighborhood in New York, for several reasons. You do not need to lock your car. Many in the metropolitan area come by just to shop for Italian delicacies.
The restaurants do not take reservations, so you have to plan it out, be early, or wait in line a bit. Lots of folks I know like Roberto. I need to get there soon.
This person documented and photographed her routine shopping outings to Arthur Avenue.
We've been posting about fly fishing. Is it an effete hobby for the elite?
God knows, it's a harmless and pleasant hobby, requiring art, skills, knowledge, and only minimal intelligence. As we say, it's no way to make sure you have supper because bait on a hook is the best way to do that whether in pond, stream, lake, or ocean. You can catch a trout with a worm in ten seconds.
Bamboo fly rods can cost anywhere from near a thousand to a few thousand, and fancy fly reels can be expensive too even though they are hardly needed. Purists scoff at fiberglass or graphite fly rods, partly because they are non-traditional and partly because they are a little easier to use. Many trout streams are limited to fly fishing.
For me, fishing, hunting, and hiking a trail are just excuses to spend time outdoors enjoying God's creation and taking not of every critter, tree and plant, and the geology. It's good fun to shoot a bird, catch a trout or a Striped Bass on a fly, etc., but that is a different sort of day than going to the store to get them.
Sport is sport and shopping is shopping.
The skills and lore of fly fishing are endless and great time-wasters for fellows and for a few special gals. Lots of guys spend hours tying their own flies, inventing their own flies, practicing the various sorts of casts, trying for salmon, salt-water game fish, etc.
Who could object or take offense?
We have had a decade or two of some experts preaching that fat and salt will kill you. Many of us docs have been debunking those old claims, to little avail.
Pour on the Salt? New Research Suggests More Is OK
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