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
Monday, February 20. 2017
George Washington: founder for all Americans
Humans Aren't Monogamous by Nature
Duh. By nature, we are apes.
Oil – Where did it come from?
Book publishers now hiring ‘sensitivity readers’ to look for ‘offensive’ material
A History of the Jewish War, AD 66–74
A history professor delves into the world of Jewish counterfactual history – like what if Israel had been established in East Africa?
Internet-Regulating FEC Commissioner to Resign
Jon Haidt Hopes Libertarians Can Save Us From Coddled Campus Culture - The social psychologist openly admits he wants to create a schism in academia.
"I propose that we teach death ed in all of our high schools. I see this curriculum as a civic responsibility."
Military wife mourning fallen Green Beret in viral video is hailed as 'patriot'
Fake News Rap Sheet: Last Week the MSM Was Caught Telling FORTY Lies
THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF THE WAR FOR PUBLIC OPINION
Democrats’ Real Global Warming Fraud Revealed
Scott Pruitt’s Back-to-Basics Agenda for the EPA - The new administrator plans to follow his statutory mandate—clean air and water—and to respect states’ rights
Musings Of An Average Joe: The Left's Selective Love For The Constitution, Law, And Historical Precedent
BLUMENTHAL SHOULD CUT AND RUN WHENEVER ANY VETERANS APPEAR
He self-identifies as a Vietnam Vet
McCain Drives Into the Ditch
Every Republican is "the most extreme ever"
People who feel sad when they can't find racism
'SNL' should test Trump, but how about challenging a Dem for once?
Althouse on Trump's Florida rally
After 8 Years of Campaigner-in-Chief Obama, NPR Accuses Trump of ‘Permanent Campaign’
Angela Merkel says Europe must take MORE refugees and Islam 'isn't source of terror'
Why the lie?
Pope Francis: 'Muslim Terrorism Does Not Exist'
Why the lie?
There Is No Solution in Afghanistan
Sunday, February 19. 2017
Greenfield on the Elites vs. the Americans:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:06 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
This is an annual reposting:
Just a couple of weeks left to get your new Wood Duck houses up, and, if you want to place your boxes in water, it's easier to do if you can walk on the ice and punch a hole to hammer a post into the shallows. That is, if you have any sturdy ice left on your pond or marsh.
The males arrive to their breeding grounds in March, and hunt for nesting boxes and holes and crevices in trees before the gals arrive later in April.
If you have a stream or fresh water pond or marsh nearby, they will welcome your effort. Remember, there is no limit to the number of boxes you can place in or near a marsh - these birds are not territorial. I try to add one each year.
I place them on dead trees in the beaver marsh, and nail a 3' aluminum flashing on the tree to deter coons and Blacksnakes. Some I put on a post in about 3-6' of water with a strong cement base. I always add a few inches of wood shavings on the bottom.
You can also put them in trees near ponds and marshes,
Our piece on Wood Duck here. I won't shoot a Wood Duck unless by mistake. They are highly edible, but too small. My joy is just to see them around.
The best wood duck houses: http://www.bestnest.com/bestnest/duck_houses.asp (fixed). I had planned to build a few more this winter, but I never got to it.
Here's the Ducks Unlimited site on building and situating Wood Duck houses.
We have tried dozens of meatloaf recipes over the years, some complex and some not. We have settled on our favorite, which is also the simplest.
This ought to make 2 loaves:
3/4 lb. ground chuck
Mix thoroughly with your hands. Put in meat loaf thing - do not pack or compress it - at 350 for an hour or so, when it has a good crust. Serve with mashed taters, and salad if you must. It's a damn good supper, but even better in a sandwich with mayo afterwards.
Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18
From a friend skiing at Crested Butte yesterday. I have skied Telluride, which is up the road a piece, but not Crested. More dramatic views than New England, but all ski views are wonderful.
Saturday, February 18. 2017
It's time up here to put in orders for bare root trees, whether fruit trees or otherwise. We use Musser Forests, Stark Bros, and other websites where we can find what we want.
While November might have been the best time to plant them, the second-best time is as soon as you can get a shovel into the thawing ground.
Bare root trees establish themselves quicker than burlapped or potted plants. There are many sites and Youtubes which explain how to properly plant bare root plants. It's not a bad idea to soak the roots for a few hours before planting. When you plant them in dormancy, water them in well and then withhold any watering until green shoots appear.
In the first summer, a deep watering once or twice a week works well. After the first summer around here, no watering is needed after that. In the first Spring, it's recommended to pinch off any fruit tree blossoms that appear, so the plant can devote itself to establishing itself in its home.
I have ordered three Crabapples (edible crabapple, semi-dwarf,as in photo. Not the ornamental) to put in as soon as we get some thaw. Right now we have 12" of snow and the soil is like a rock.
I regret any times I have linked those sorts of things because everybody's starting point is different and natural strength and body type vary enormously across people. For example, shorter guys with shorter arms can lift much better than taller guys. While I feel it is essential to have exercise goals to avoid going through the motions, the only reasonable short-term goals are to be stronger and fitter than you were a month ago.
I think it is fun to make 4-month fitness goals, but they should be based on where you are, and not somebody else's (except your trainer's, if you use one).
Look, nobody reading Maggie's (I think) is a Lifter-lifter. They are fitness lifters like me. This is reasonable: How Strong Should I Be For My Age, Size, Height, Weight & Gender?
Photos of the week
Everything We Know So Far About the Howards End TV Show
Every vehicle in the presidential motorcade, explained
How Often Do Airplanes Hit Deer?
Cartwheeling Substitute Teacher Exposed Self To High School Choir Class
Do as I say, not as I do - Chicago Public Schools
From California, a Progressive Cry for State’s Rights - The birthplace of the modern conservative movement is now the leader of a Trump resistance founded on federalism.
FRACKERS HAVE DONE MORE THAN THE SIERRA CLUB EVER DID
Do agencies run this country?
Note to the Left: Four Years Ago, Conservatives Were Just as Depressed
Washington Post: We Aren’t Biased!
With One Tweet, Chuck Todd Reveals The Truth About the Mainstream Media
A Sign That Obamacare Exchanges Are Failing
Killing ObamaCare the Cloward-Piven Way
Same here.Not a job for the Feds
No 'strongman,' Trump is besieged by institutions
Black Trump Supporter Blasts Sanctuary Cities: “All the Jobs Are Going to Illegals!” "When my people do a crime, they get three strikes, your people do a crime, they get amnesty"
Trump Declares CNN, NYT, CBS, ABC And NBC Are "The Enemy of The American People"
The Anti-Trump ‘Resistance’ in Red States - “This isn’t a fad, it’s not going away, and there’s nothing coastal or elite about it.”
France's Le Pen faces new challenges from EU Parliament, UN
"Far right wing"? No she is not
A short excerpt from Snowbound: A Winter Idyl (1866):
Yet, haply, in some lull of life,
Ahhh, the benediction of the air. Read the entire wonderful but old-fashioned-sounding 1865 poem by the great north of Boston newspaper editor and abolitionist here.
He made a lot of money from that poem. Whittier's home, to which the poem refers, stands in Haverhill, MA. It's a sentimental poem you can read to the kids - with feeling! Especially on a snowbound day.
Sounds like a fine nickname for a beloved female. Not to mention that this bird's loud springtime call is "Peter,Peter,Peter."
These chickadee-like non-migratory birds of the eastern US are mostly invisible most of the year except around winter bird-feeders when they welcome handouts of sunflower seeds.
Friday, February 17. 2017
I like a walking stick - a fallen branch broken to length - when taking a tramp without a firearm. It just feels good. Fact is that a walking stick or hiking poles put you almost on three or four legs, and also lessen the wear and tear on middle-aged joints. Especially on hills.
I thought they were nurdy until I saw everybody using them (except us) during our hiking trip in the Dolomites. My Mom always used them after her knees went sour.
We have a hiking trip coming up in a while to the Hebrides and Outer Hebrides (quite similar to Johnson and Boswell's), and their main recommendations are rain gear, hiking poles, day-pack, and waterproof hiking boots. Leave the sun screen at home. I assume they provide the whiskey. The hiking part will be about 7 hrs/day, with fishing boat lifts between islands. Spartan B&Bs with Highland "cuisine." Hmmmm.
It's gloomy and nasty up there in Trump's maternal homeland (Stornaway), and it's easy to understand why so many of them jumped on boats in Glasgow and Liverpool to come to America where the livin' is easy and there ain't no Lairds.
BTW, if you are new to the delightful Boswell, I recommend all of his stuff. In many ways, he was more interesting and amusing than Dr. Johnson who was pedantic - but who could also slide the knife deftly into somebody's pretensions. Johnson knew everything.
Pic is LL Bean telescoping poles.
Donald, the anti-hero and anti-politician, is one heck of a politician. Finally, the news is fun again and Washington a circus again. Journalists whisper "This is insane." Wrong again. Journalists don't get it. Why should they be expected to? They are just bystanders in life, outside the arena.
I once imagined the idea of an academic life, but quickly learned that I was not a genius even though I have some flair for teaching and perhaps a bit of a calling for it. I might have been a beloved and valued private secondary school teacher, but that turned out not to be my fated path. It could be a good retirement path for me, however. I could teach Civics, history, Art History, Law, Latin, and Government, and I can coach Baseball and Soccer. That won't happen, though, because life is too short for everything and retirement from my post is not on my agenda. I like being the boss of me and I do not like answering to anybody.
A Harvard writing instructor discusses 'The Great Shame of Our Profession'
The Ultimate Pursuit in Hunting: Bighorn Sheep
Every Picture Tells - The art world is now a province of politics, alas.
Use By' Date on Your Milk May Start to Actually Mean Something Soon
What's the Reno Cure for Valentines Gone Wrong? D-I-V-O-R-C-E.
South Carolina Boeing workers reject unionization bid
Obama Stimulus Funds Went to California Dam in ‘Good Shape,’ But Not Oroville
A Climate Scientist Is Smeared for Blowing the Whistle on ‘Corrected’ Data
FAKE SCIENCE GETS SMOKED—AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE
Race and Rising Violent Crime
Illegal aliens too terrified to apply for welfare
Nearly 2 million non-citizen Hispanics illegally registered to vote - Survey bolsters analysis by professors
Olympic Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad Joins the Hate Hoax List
And yet another: Another Fake Hate Crime Exposed
60% of Refugee Arrivals Since Judge Halted Trump’s Order Come From 5 Terror-Prone Countries
U.S. Economy Hits All-Time Low in Freedom Index
Trump's new strategy: Hulk smash
Trump’s in trouble. Is it Christie time already?
Welcome Back to the Medical Underwriting Circle of Hell
The Media Bulls Have Met Their Matador in Trump
In Fiery, "Surreal" Press Conference, Trump Launches War On The Media
They declared war on him months ago
A Renaissance for Small Aircraft Carriers?
Thursday, February 16. 2017
In my view, climate science and weather science are interesting but not very important. If the tropospheric temps go up a degree or two per century, who cares? It's just a political hobby horse. If anybody thinks a "carbon tax" could change the earth's climate they are insane. It would enrich government, however.
Whatever causes climate variations in the present and caused drastic variations through the history of the planet, nothing can be done about it and, furthermore, who can define an ideal climate for the planet anyway? Nobody. All anybody can say for sure is that warmer is better than colder.
George Leef: Enough of the College-for-Everyone Agenda
I see it as a sign of health that she hates the dumb job. Modern women do not want to be public ornaments to their husbands' lives or, in this case, political accessories. I think the Donald is ok with that.
Donald's new job has not enhanced her life. It has damaged her life. Where did this "first lady" idea come from, anyway? Is it like a sort of queen or something? I am glad Melania has no interest in being a celeb. She doesn't need it, and she seems shy anyway. She should live the way she wants, as best she can with the current restraints. Maybe she can trample this "first lady" thing just as Bill Clinton would have done had Hillary won.
Strength + Calisthenics + Cardio = A balanced diet of exercise for all ages
We need strength training (weight training) to prevent muscle atrophy, to build muscle and bone, to maintain our best functionality, and so we can do Calisthenics and play sports with force. Also, to look good. Looking good does matter in life.
We need Calisthenics (which includes sports) to make full use of all of our muscles, to maintain athleticism, endurance, sexuality, general vigor, and mental happiness
We need some high-intensity Cardio to build or maintain endurance and heart strength
- A person can be very strong but have terrible cardio endurance and terrible agility; runners can have great aerobic cardio endurance but be weak in bone and muscle and unable to handle an hour of intense calis because they have mistakenly aerobically-trained exclusively. The aerobic cardio fitness fad of recent decades was/is greatly overrated. It was over-sold and it damaged a lot of joints. Anyway, the three components are interdependent and overlap to varying degrees: lunges are strength + calis, jump rope and jumping jacks are calis+ cardio, all weight training provides brief but intense cardio stress, etc.
- As a footnote, but not a trivial one, I usually add proper nutrition because a demanding fitness program requires it. The 5-hr/wk program we espouse for general Fitness For Life (approx 2 hrs of weights, approx 1 hr of Calis, and approx 1 hr of cardio (2 half-hr sessions of cardio intervals) demands more protein and maybe more carbs than the ordinary sedentary person needs to survive. If your fitness requires weight gain for bone and muscle development, obviously more protein, fats, and carbs. If your fitness requires fat loss, obviously less carbs. Hard exercise can never eliminate excess fat but it can inspire nutritional sanity.
Photo from Bus Stories (lots of photos)
Women over 40 used to let themselves go and look like frumpy old grandmas, over the hill. Cultural change.
California Today: Why Does It Cost So Much to Live in California?
This Robot Could Be the Future of Home Farming
California Governor Spends $25 Billion Per Year On Illegals, Officials Warned Dam Failing 12 Years Ago
CA schools cut protein cuz global warming
"Without Us, Your Country Is Paralyzed" - Undocumented Workers Plan Boycott "Day Without Immigrants"
That word "systemic"
Court OKs Federal Officials Taking Control Of Private Lands To Save Endangered Frogs That Don’t Live There
Dying From a Terrorist Attack Is Different than Slipping in Your Bathtub
Surprise: At the End, Obama Administration Gave NSA Broad New Powers
These are police state powers
Obamacare is in the ICU
President Trump takes first steps to change Obamacare
The White House: Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?
They are amateurs
House committee launches investigation into Donald Trump's security breaches at Mar-a-Lago
Stupid, and amateurs
NATO Responds to Trump
Getting Innovative: Catapult Seized at U.S.-Mexico Border
Wednesday, February 15. 2017
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