This will be my last “real” post until next week. I have to go to Las Vegas on business. Yes, it’s real business. I’m going on behalf of a client and have a pretty full schedule. Oh sure, there will be down time and I have little doubt that I’ll have ample opportunities to offer my tithe to the Gambling Gods, both downtown and on The Strip, but it is business. I plan on posting pics or Tweets or whatever throughout the week, technology permitting.
It’s the first time as an adult that I’ve ever traveled on a plane without Marie. It feels kind of weird. Of course, to her it feels really weird. She’s stuck in Michigan with snow on the ground, while I’m looking at sun and upper sixties.
The show seems to be picking up critical steam. Reviews and ratings are showing up at iTunes. Traffic to the TWE website has doubled (it’s still rather small compared with, say, TDE, but it is growing rapidly). The podcast itself is getting better, as I hone the technology and my unpolished delivery. Even my harshest critic says the podcast is hitting its stride.
So, if you would please help me push the podcast, that would be great: Give it a rating or a review on your Apple podcast app, like the Facebook page, and suggest the podcast to friends and family.
Show Notes for the Current Episode
650: So, if the Roman Empire didn’t fall in 476, when did it? Nobody really knows, but it’s probably safe to say that, by 650, Rome was gone and the Dark Ages had begun.
Thanksgiving: November has a lot to recommend it, but perhaps nothing as much as this: it’s the month for giving thanks. With the attitude of giving thanks, comes many blessings.
Lightning Segments: Hot Scandinavian women, a king’s life, who can you trust, and Oscar Levant.
The Tao: What is the Tao? I don’t know. But you can start to find it if you start to play.
Robin Daniels, The Virgin Eye
Winifred Gallagher, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life
I sat down with a bottle of wine and my miniature Big Carl glass last night to start this post. It’d been awhile since I drank wine. It went down smoothly.
I have a small headache this morning, but nothing bad. I felt good enough to celebrate the first snow of the year by waking up my kids with a snowball. It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1950s in my family. My dad loved to wake us up with snow in the bed on the first snow of the year. When I was in college, years after the tradition had passed, I happened to be home when the first snow hit. My dad was sitting at the kitchen table, reading the newspaper. I casually walked outside, got a snowball, and came in and whacked him right in the chest. It was pretty funny.
The world’s largest G&T was mixed in Las Vegas on Nov. 5 in a 300-gallon glass, required more than 400 bottles of gin, 165 gallons of tonic water and approximately 5.5 gallons of lime juice.
The party took place at the Palms Casino Resort. I’m not acquainted with it, but it appears to be about a half mile west of the Strip. I might go check out while I’m out there later this month. I wonder if they’ll have any left.
If you like using Amazon’s Alexa and you like drinking news, you might want to check out two Modern Drunkard Magazine skills:
People are healthiest in the blue zones. The top five: Sardinia, Okinawa, Nicoya (Costa Rica), Loma Linda (the country of California), and Ikaria (Greece). Link. What do people in blue zones have in common? Lots of constant activity:
They live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without even thinking about it. This means that they grow gardens, walk throughout the day, and minimize mechanical conveniences for house and yard work.
In fact, Blue Zones researchers determined that routine natural movement is one of the most impactful ways to increase your life span, and a common habit among the world’s longest-lived populations. Link.
Well, very good night for the Democrats. Plus 32 in the house was a huge victory, but minus 3 in the Senate tarnishes it. Blue wave? Nah. Blue wavish perhaps, but no wave.
It’s more troubling that very left-wing candidates are gaining traction. History repeats itself. We have a large, young underclass fueled by envy, with thousands of sparks being lit every day on college campuses by Marxist professors. I fear that’s where the real battleground is. We have to start over with the new generation, explaining why socialism doesn’t work. It’s a hard sell. The socialists have the stories to tell: the mother who lost healthcare insurance, the child without food to eat. The free marketers just have analysis . . . factual and truthful, but when stacked next to a sick mom without healthcare insurance, boring and non-persuasive facts.
If you haven’t heard, it’s election day. Get out and vote. The more people that vote, the more people that vote. Somehow, that’s supposed to be a good thing, though for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. I’ve never understood the rationale that it’s important for people to vote, even back before my libertarian days. What’s it matter?
Ah, that’s right: it encourages the politicians.
This is kinda scary: The banana is dying. The race is on to reinvent it before it’s too late. A fungus is spreading across the world, killing the kind of banana that is provided so cheaply to us year-round. They think they can work around it, but my anti-GMO colleagues are winning the ideological fight, so such work-arounds are being stuffed. But the new science of gene editing might be politically possible and scientifically sufficient to save the fruit that has done so much to keep my household food budget at reasonable levels for the past 20 years.
Gene editing, btw, is different that gene modification. When they gene edit, they are merely deleting genes, not adding or changing genes. That, anyway, is my understanding . . . and pretty much the sum total of my knowledge on the topic.
Well, a good weekend comes to a close. Middle daughter, Meg, placed 12th at the state cross-country meet on Saturday, garnishing her attention from an assortment of D1 and D2 colleges. Michigan rolled over the Pedophiles at State University, a program that shouldn’t even exist in light of its prolonged cover-up of Jerry Sandusky’s crimes. My Detroit Lions, well, they’re my Detroit Lions but I ain’t proud of it.
People occasionally question my ongoing disgust with Penn State. Here’s the thing: The football program itself covered up the Sandusky crimes, putting many more boys into that monster’s grip. But the sanctions were so mild, its program had snapped back into shape in just three years. Compare that to sanctions meted out to, say, Houston or Southern Methodist University. It’s simply an outrage.
I would, incidentally, be okay with the NCAA completely taking a hands-off approach and say, “If it doesn’t give a team a dishonest competitive advantage on the field, we don’t sanction or get involved.” If that were the policy, I would’ve been okay with zero sanctions against Penn State; in fact, I would’ve objected to sanctions. But that ain’t their policy. They get involved in all sorts of areas where a competitive advantage isn’t involved. Ask yourself what would happen if a D1 coach went into a post-game press conference and proceeded to drop the “N word” repeatedly.
Happy 30-year anniversary to Marie. I met her 30 years ago today in a loud Ann Arbor bar. She was 18; she needed someone to buy her drinks; I was 20; I had a fake i.d. Seven kids later, things are still going strong. Put that in your crack pipe, MADD, and smoke it.
Taoism: The laid back outlook of Lao-Tse and Chuang-Tzu. Lisieux-like. A very short introduction.
Bogus Historical Atlas: A run-down of a bogus map of Europe circa 486. I wish I could find my copy of that book. It might have been a Rand McNally historical atlas. No matter. None of those “kingdoms” considered themselves kingdoms in 486. Burgundy, Franks, Visigoths: They were all controlled by barbarian generals who considered themselves part of the Roman Empire.
Lightning Segments: Henri Pirenne (introductory lecture), a lost weekend, funny old man stories. (Note: I reference Charles Jackson’s Lost Weekend. but I referred to Charles “Bukowski” by accident. Bukowski was a great drinker, so my mistake is understandable, but a mistake nonetheless.)
The F-Word: Okay to use? No. Part of our culture? Yes. So it will sneak into otherwise polite, even urbane, conversation.
Russell Kirk: I talked with the great man once. I spent a weekend at his house once. I recount the incidents in this segment.
Is Catholic Clergy Sex Abuse Related to Homosexual Priests? An interview with sociologist Father Paul Sullins, whose new study documents a strong linkage between the incidence of abuse and homosexuality in the priesthood and in seminaries.https://t.co/ChKOHLVIMo
Well, I hope to be able to drink tonight. It’s been a rough week, health-wise. Bad food poisoning Sunday night; 2.5 hours in a dental chair on Wednesday. I was barely among the living on Thursday, just going through the motions. I’m hoping to rebound today so I can throw back a few with two of my sons who are coming in for the weekend.
The reference to The Bob Newhart Show yesterday reminded me of a sophisticated drinking game I used to play: The Bob Game. We’d sit around with beer, watching The Bob Newhart Show. Whenever someone said “Bob,” everyone had to take a drink. It was a lot more brutal than it sounds.
Well, it ain’t cool, but it was worth a shot: “Longford man who was intoxicated at a convent asked nuns for drinking money.” Link. It was, after all, the “Convent of Mercy,” and located in Ireland. One might be forgiven for thinking “mercy” and “alcohol” go together in the mad world of the Irish:
The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.
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