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
Friday, August 1. 2014
Dr. Bliss' Blissful Fish Stock (Fumet)
Clam chowder is very good, but cod chowder is great. Here's how I begin:
Chop up a hunk of salt pork into 1/2" or 1" pieces. Bacon is a poor second choice. Plus some butter. Chop carrots or parsnips, onion, garlic, celery - easy on the celery, one or two stalks. Sautee in the pork and butter until soft. There's your mirepoix.
Toss that into a stewpot, then a pile of fish heads and/or bones (from lean fish - no salmon, trout, tuna, bluefish etc. Heads are the best - your fishmonger has 'em and will happily give them to you). Add black crushed peppercorns, a bay leaf, some parsley, and one clove. A sprig of thyme is good. Cover with water and a cup or two or three of drinkable white wine, and simmer, covered, for an hour or two, while consuming the rest of the wine.
Cool it, strain preferably through cheesecloth but I use a strainer, chill in fridge then remove any fat on the surface. Some people like to find some bacon or salt pork in their chowder, so you can salvage them from the strainer, or make new.
You can reduce it or use as it is (I always thicken chowder with corn starch), as the base for fish soup or fish chowder. Don't use it as a base for New England clam chowder, though, because the fumet will overpower the delicate clammy flavor.
Clam Chowda requires a different recipe.
I've been preaching this ad nauseam but everybody has his own food religion based on superstition, old wive's tales, antiquated misinformation, and various quackeries.
If ignorance floats your boat, then go for it and be happy, but just do not pretend that it makes sense.
There is no reason at all to avoid dietary fats, and this has been well-known for over a decade. I was wrong - we should be feasting on fat, says Dr. Mosley.
Eat all the carbs you want, too, unless you want or need to lose weight. If you wish to be more slim, trim, and muscular, quit the carbs and exercise hard. And, for God's sake, quit with the stupid organic stuff. It's just marketing. Marketing genius for sure, just like the people who sell water in bottles.
Commenter "Monster from the Id" on Belmont's Lost in Translation:
Evil exists because human beings exist. No other living thing, and no inanimate object, is capable of being, thinking, feeling evil or of committing evil acts. Only us.
"The world" is not a wicked place. And Humanity is not a wicked thing. Evil is just one of many capabilities we possess. We have to recognize it and (if we're sane) choose not to indulge in it. That's not easy. Most of all, we shouldn't deny evil or act all surprised when it turns up. Like it or not, it's business as usual for us humans.
Fortunately, it's not the WHOLE business. We can do better...
Photo via Theo
Amusing comments, of course.
Celebrating 25 Years with the Backpack of a Lifetime
New York Times Reporter: ‘Some People Are Deserving of Incivility’
The dangers in frank discussion of homophones
How to Whistle With Your Fingers
Study Finds College Still More Worthwhile Than Spending 4 Years Chained To Radiator
Marriage Won’t End Poverty. But It Will Help (A Lot).
"Three Lost Decades" – How The American Middle Class Is 20% Poorer Now Vs. 1984
The ‘Billionaire’s Club’ Behind the Green Movement
Border security is national security:
Here’s What Wall Street Bulls Were Saying In December 2007: Read And Take Cover!
Report reveals ‘disturbing trend’ of brazen attacks against border security by gangs, drug and human traffickers
White House is Begging for Impeachment
CIA Admits Spying On Senate Computers
US Attorney to Cuomo: Witness tampering and obstruction are still illegal, you know
Qatari tech helps Hamas in tunnels, rockets: Expert
Kidnappings and oil sales: How al Qaeda, Islamic State reap millions
Toon via SDA
Thursday, July 31. 2014
If you have some savings (which most responsible people sacrifice comforts and luxuries to have), what do you do with it? Investing how? Or not investing?
- Short-term savings (might possibly need within a year or three)
- Long-term (might need someday, or might wish to leave to kids if you croak soon enough)
Inquiring people want to know what you do with your money. If I get some comments, I'll show you mine.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:07 | Comments (28) | Trackbacks (0)
Is there any reason for NATO to exist now? I don't think so, but typically organizations, once born, find reasons to rationalize their immortality. Just like government programs.
Here's a case in point: Ukraine Crisis Reminds Americans Why NATO Should Not Expand
Europe is not part of the US. They are old enough to put on big boy pants. Russia is not scary, just corrupt, obnoxious, and untrustworthy. It's their culture.
Image from Am. Digest.
A taxicab's day - This visualization displays the data for one random NYC yellow taxi on a single day in 2013. See where it operated, how much money it made, and how busy it was over 24 hours.
Totten: Welcome to Vietnam
The Overblown Stigma of Genital Herpes
Here's what the numbers on your credit card really mean
Sipp: I've written from time to time about homeschooling, but no one pays any attention to anything I say about it:
Michelle Nunn: Favorable Media Bias Part of Democrat Campaign Strategy
Obama Administration Suing Pa. State Police Over Physical Fitness Tests
De Blasio’s Policing Dilemma - The Gotham mayor must decide whether to listen to his police commissioner or the New York Times.
Italian journalist leaves Gaza, tells truth once free from Hamas retaliation
Wednesday, July 30. 2014
Grilled marinated pork chops and grilled asparagus with some steamed yellow squash on the side. Here's a tip: There's no need to cook the heck out of a nice 1 1/2-inch-thick Costco pork chop anymore. Trichinosis is a thing of the past. Pink inside is perfect.
I don't know what practicing clinician has time to write guidelines for other docs, but guidelines are nothing but trouble. The best medical care is both art and science. Knowledge is always incomplete, patients are individuals with unique situations, and all docs have their own preferences and points of view. Guidelines end up being little more than fodder for tort lawyers and time-wasters.
Worst of all, young docs feel as if they have to follow them. Many things go wrong when practicing by the book. Medicine is an art and a science.
A while ago, a reader made the point that schoolteachers rarely teach kids to read and to do basic arithmetic these days because most people learn these things from their moms and/or dads, at home.
In a society with essentially-universal literacy, is it a school's job to do those basic things anymore?
Photo: A friend's pic of a fruit dish for a baby shower
"Even knowing Charles was juggling multiple partners, I never doubted how important I was to him..."
Now it's called "juggling"?
Study Finds That Men Like Nice Women, But Not the Other Way Around
Amazon Is Unprofitable — and It's Completely on Purpose
The Battle of Alexandria - How riverside parks & hotels threaten a model of American urbanism
Common Core Supporters: We’ve Just Been Too Darned Principled!
Collect More Than $7,000 Per Month for 'Fostering' Adult Illegal Aliens
Democrats Admit Amnesty Is For Political Purposes
Scientists blame the polar vortex alternatively on global warming and global cooling
Just TWO climate committee MPs clash with IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
Government Paying $140,368 to Take 10 Students on a ‘Climate Change Journey’
Dodd-Frank’s Achilles’ heel
By the way, Hamas is using a hospital as its operations hub in Gaza
Spanish Writer Says Israel's War in Gaza Justifies Expulsion of Jews
The Demand and Supply of Sex
The Demand and Supply of Sex
Tuesday, July 29. 2014
The two best uses of big Quahogs are Stuffies and Chowda.
Here's a good Stuffy recipe from Emeril (who is from Fall River - in the general neighborhood).
Pic on loan from the NYT article -
I've been a Roger Angell reader for most of my life. Whether interested in baseball or not, I recommend his prose to you. He just turned 93, has retired to Maine, is planning a second marriage, and is being honored in Cooperstown for his contributions to baseball.
Maureen Dowd (of all people) interviewed him, and it's a nice interview.
For even more fun, he wrote a piece for The New Yorker in February: This Old Man - Life in the nineties. He begins:
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:11 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Are there any nations which have willingly voted for open borders? Or for entry from a foreign place with no passport, or for any residency without a visa?
Many pundits from across the political spectrum are advocating open borders for the US, most recently George Will.
Now with Central American, and Chinese, immigrants coming via Mexico, my question for the open borders crowd is "How many, who, and from where?" Or is there no limit and no choice to be made by Americans? I thought we ran this joint.
There are an estimated 3 billion in poverty on this planet, many living without WiFi or big-screen TVs, and I am sure a large fraction of them would welcome the opportunity to take advantage of American material abundance.
Why don't people just fix their own places?
Image via Eratosthenes
The Myth Of College “Hookup Culture”
Is One of the Most Popular Psychology Experiments Worthless?
As Recalls Mount, Was It Worth Bailing Out the 'Old GM'?
Harvard Prof Flies Around Globe, Decries Climate Change ‘Deniers
The Government Is Cracking Down on School Bake Sales
Children crossing border: 'Obama will take care of us'
And Now... Europe's Kristallnacht
Why a Gaza Cease Fire Doesn't Help
Meet the Hamas billionaires
Why More Israelis Should Die: The Left's Twisted Logic
Monday, July 28. 2014
It took me a little while to realize why.
I was doing some cleaning up to clear some space for my computer expert who needed to do a few essential jobs for me. Had to move some things out of the way, eg vacuum cleaner, book piles, chairs, piles of papers, baby stroller, etc.
Also two gun cases. That's what did it. Gun cases mean, to him, the best fun in the world. Find the bird! Reacts the same way when I pull boots out of a closet. I hate to disappoint a good dog, but he is going to Cape Cod in a few weeks and he'll get plenty of salty-dog swimming with the family out there. No hunting, alas.
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:50 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
Shut Up, Please - One man’s approach to a problem of modern music
P J O'Rourke on beaches: The water is freezing, the people are fat, and the sun will kill you.
Comparing Alcohol and Marijuana: Seriously
Eleanor Holmes Norton says 'you don't have a right to know' what's going on in government
NEW ENGLAND’S BLUE-STATE BLUES - Once known for its stiff-lipped prudence, the region is now a case study in fiscal insanity:
Ben Stein - Castrated by our president
Typical US Household Worth One-Third Less Than Under Bush
President’s “Corporate Deserters” Pay High Taxes
Russia Is Sick - Until someone lances the boil of denial by telling the truth, no one will be safe.
As Libya Implodes, “Smart Diplomacy” Becoming a Punch Line
Hamas Killed 160 Palestinian Children to Build Tunnels
In two hours, I splurged and spent a grand total of $17.50. Then we got hot dogs at Rawley's in Fairfield - best hot dogs in the world.Give them a try - right off I-95. Trust me on this because everyone I have ever taken there loves it, including Mrs. BD.
Sunday, July 27. 2014
"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."
Low-information voters often willingly confess that they know nothing despite their college paperwork, but in general ignorance begets confidence and wisdom destroys it. It's Dunning-Kruger.
We must be stupid. Year after year, we invest gardening effort to produce delicious home-grown varieties - and, if we're lucky, get to eat them for maybe 6 weeks. And part of that time, you are elsewhere.
Does that make sense? No, but it makes hobby-sense in the same way that trout-fishing does. Hobbies are not economic - which is why we term them hobbies. Do the math.
All that those good garden tomatoes do, for a few weeks from August to September, is to make you hate store-bought cardboard ones and restaurant ones for the rest of the year. Nobody in my large gardening family has harvested a single tomato yet this summer (OK, it's been a cold summer due to climate change), not even a single cherry tomato.
There are lots of vegetable crops one can grow successfully up here, and harvest sometime between June/July to frost in October: rhubarb, peas, beans, summer squash, winter squash and pumpkin, greens of all sorts, fruit trees of course and grapes, berries, root crops, onions, cucumber, corn, etc. Why bother with all that when those things are dirt-cheap at the store? What we really grow best in our gardens are fat deer, fat chipmunks, fat rabbits, and fat woodchucks.
Tomatoes? Not a one yet. I love a tomato sandwich: white bread, mayo, salt and pepper, and fat slices of tomato hot from the garden.
Why do we persist? I think it's about the power of intermittent positive reinforcement from a few of those tomato sandwiches. That's how fishing and hunting work, too.
We New England Yankees may have no sense, but we have our traditions and our seasonal habits which are the fabric of our lives, rational or not. Well, not rational at all if you value your free time above zero.
One tip for those in my situation: Buy big fat beefsteak tomatoes at the supermarket and grill them, sautee them, or bake them. Some flavor appears. Better than nothing.
A skilled writer can make anything interesting and absorbing.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:50 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
"Fishiest of all fishy paces was the Try Pots, which well deserves its name, for the pots there were always boiling chowders. Chowder for breakfast, and chowder for dinner, and chowder for supper, til you begin to look for fish bones coming through your clothes. The area before the house was paved with clamshells. Mrs. Hussey wore a necklace of polished codfish vertebrae and Hosea Hussey had his account books bound in superior old shark skin. There was a fish flavor to the milk, too, which I could not account for, till one morning happening to take a stroll along the beach among some fisherman's boats, I saw Hosea's brindled cow feeding on fish remnants, and marching along the sand with each foot in a cod's decapitated head, looking very slipshod, I assure ye."
Herman Melville, Moby Dick. It is The Great American Novel. There is no need to try to compete with him, so don't bother trying. Give up. That job is done.
They liked JFK, probably because he was Catholic (in name, anyway). They still refuse to hear anything about what decadent, manipulative and predatory sleazes that family consists of. Glamour. Rich. Sexy. Low-lifes. Catholic. Dem Party.
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