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.
And if you are out there in your gardens, now is a good time, and the last chance, to shear back the late summer and fall-blooming perennials that you don't want to grow too tall and scraggly, eg Asters, Daisies, and Seaside Daisies.
It's been a cold Spring in New England. Tomato plants aren't growing vigorously. New England is marginal for tomato compared to New Jersey or South Carolina, but home-growns are so tasty that we persist anyway. We really only get a crop in July-Sept while in south Jersey they can be harvesting garden tomatoes June-October. Unless you have a greenhouse. Some days, like today, I wish I had one. But naw, not really. Who wants the hassle?
Heard my first cicadas of the summer yesterday - just a few, and just for about an hour or two, but these are probably early risers - first emergers from the soil, practicing playing their instruments. Maybe this will be a good year for them.
It means that in a few days we will be hearing the remarkably loud raspy buzzing from the tree-tops on every hot sunny day - the characteristic sound of high summer in New England, until replaced by the more refined Katydid's evening song as late summer comes.
We have both 13-year and 17-year cicadas - that's how long the two species live as larvae underground, sucking on tree roots, before they emerge to mate, breed, and die.
Their life is a metaphor.
Cicadas are edible, but I don't know anyone who eats them regularly except birds who have great sport chasing them when they fly from tree to tree. We often find their empty exoskelatons attached to tree trunks - as they grow, they crawl out of their old coat.
The article begins by discussing the transformation of NYC's Fresh Kills landfill (dump) back to a sort-of natural wetland. However, the author takes the opportunity to discuss modern ecological theory.
No reason not to set high, but realistic and not grandiose goals in fitness as in everything else.The ideal goal is just to be better than you were 2 weeks ago, whether in strength, agility, cardio endurance or cardio intensity. Or body weight adjustment. But it's difficult for humans not to set specific goals in life to which to aspire.
As I have confessed, I am a small-boned (now 5'11", once 6', 165 lb) late-middle aged guy who imagines he is still 25, without the genes for a mighty physique, with the genes for a dad bod - ie sloppy gut, but blessed with the genes or temperament for perseverance. I'll share my fitness goals for the next 5-6 months:
- Dead around 275-300 one rep - Run a 7 minute mile. - Squat 200 one rep - 10 pullups or chin ups - 50 pushups non-stop - no bench press goals, just reps, due to bum shoulder - Lose another 4 lbs of fat and gain 2 lbs of muscle (my trainer can tell by looking). Like to get to 15% body fat, but beer. - Survive the most challenging cardio/athletic class at my gym without taking any 45-60 second breaks - Getting hit on more often by young blonde chicks in the gym Mrs. BD
For some, those might be modest goals, but not for me.
It's meadow mowing season in New England. Haying season too.
There was never a sound beside the wood but one, And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground. What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself; Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun, Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound-- And that was why it whispered and did not speak. It was no dream of the gift of idle hours, Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf: Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows, Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers (Pale orchises), and scared a bright green snake. The fact is the sweetest dream that labour knows. My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.
When you take a walk on the High Line, at the northern end you can watch the construction of what is, in effect, a new city in itself. It's a sight to behold, a boom town. It will even have its own schools, parks, everything.
Will the 60,000 new apartments lower Manhattan rents? I'd guess no. And Brooklyn is a boom town too. However you may feel about NYC, a lot of people want to live there and I don't blame them because it's a high-energy place.
They still got a few shots in, because they do have their sheep to tend to. But at least on the main point, they admit he not only is doing what Obama tried to do, but also signed an agreement critical of Russia. Because that's what Russian agents do.
Laws against homosexual practice or marriage are clearly a freedom issue. Abortion, of course, is an impossible issue. I would prefer that people talk about freedom rather than rights. Laws are mostly made to restrict freedom but a rare few are made to assert freedom. For me, when in doubt, freedom is the default position. Courts do not "invent" rights but, when necessary, they should reveal freedoms when laws attempt to obscure them. Our Bill of Rights was forced to make this explicit:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
In 1971, during one of his retirements, my father went to Mexico City for six months and loved it. My father could pass for Mexican, about 5'5", pudgy, dark complexion, black hair, did not speak Spanish but smiled and said Si to everything. Ever since, Mexico City has been on my bucket list. Last week, my sons away, I went. Literally, everything and every moment was a great favorable surprise.
There is a darn good reason why people avoid heavy lifting, whether they are cardio fitness nuts or just people looking for work. Heavy lifting is stressful, unpleasant - other than facing the challenge.
Many people avoid stress, some to the point of avoiding life itself. The thing is, painful stress, whether emotional, physical, or intellectual, is what builds strength and effectiveness for life.
If you lift enough, at some point that 60 lb. bag of cement mix will feel light as a feather. Same goes for all other stressors.