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    Wednesday
    December 12, 2018

    St. Stan

    Totally random, but: You ever read about Stan Musial? Man, the guy was practically a saint, it would seem. A few entries from Wikipedia:

    Even though Musial left [his hometown of] Donora after high school, he retained close ties to the town throughout the rest of his life. He maintained membership in local social clubs, and regularly sent a local doctor boxes of autographed baseballs, with the town’s mayor using some for United Way fundraising. Musial also gave free meals at the restaurant he owned in St. Louis to any customers who presented valid ID proving they were Donora residents.

    Musial met Lillian Susan Labash, the daughter of a local grocer,[155] in Donora when both were 15, and married her in St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Daytona Beach, Florida on May 25, 1940. They had four children: son Richard, and daughters Gerry, Janet, and Jeanie. Lillian Musial died at 91, on May 3, 2012; their marriage had lasted for almost 72 years.[158] In his final years, Musial suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

    During his playing years, Musial believed in racial equality and supported Jackie Robinson’s right to play. After learning about the harmful effect of smoking in the 1950s, he refused to endorse tobacco products.

    Mickey Mantle . . . once said that Musial “was a better player than me because he was a better man than me”.

    Open his cause! The first American professional sports saint. All based on a Wikipedia entry.

    From the Notebooks: The Catholic Church—The Roman Catholic Church—inherited what was left of Rome. As the Empire fell, its soul passed into the Church. This might be the closest the Church gets to embracing the transmigration of souls, and it highlights a very important point: The Catholic Church is the patron and guardian of Western Civilization. As the Catholic Church goes, there goes Western Civilization.

    The pitiful state of Catholicism in the West—from the child abuse scandal to Catholic majorities who reject Church teaching on fundamental things like homosexual marriage and contraception—and the rise of pornography, drug abuse, broken homes throughout western societies is no coincidence.

    Catholicism and Western Civilization go together. Catholicism is the vehicle that carries the Civilization. To the extent that vehicle breaks down, Western Civilization breaks down. The Roman Catholic Church sedan is broken. Still running, sputtering, but broken. And the “progress” of Western Civilization has slowed to a crawl, with large segments of its population opting for other forms of civilization (Western Civilization isn’t the only civilization. It’s important to keep this in mind, though thoughtful reflection confirms that it’s the best civilization and responsible for everything good that remains in western society today).

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    Tuesday
    December 11, 2018

    misc-rambling-picBig Boxes, Stylites, Moon Deniers

    Theodore Dalrymple inveighs against supermarkets. He’s lives in England. I think the proper American translation throughout the article is “big box stores” in lieu of “supermarkets.” From Terrible Ted:

    I dislike supermarkets for their horrible compulsory music, pumped into them like poison gas; one feels as if one were an experimental laboratory rat trapped in a cage, manipulated by psychologists who are trying to determine precisely what kind of music makes people buy more of what they don’t need.

    Me? I kinda like the big box stores. They allow me to log steps on my pedometer, and I never cease to be amazed at the sheer quantity of goods available for purchase. I recently returned from a shopping trip and told Marie, after laying out everything I got: “Look. They were practically giving it away. I just had to give them $212, and they let me take all this stuff.”

    That being said, I sympathize with Dalrymple’s observation about the music, though my irritation with piped in music pales compared to my dislike for the ubiquitous television set you now find in every waiting room (everyone can entertain themselves with a smart phone or a magazine from your rack; can’t you turn off the contraption that, by sheer odds, is going to annoy at least half of the people in the room?).

    I would also point out that I go to a big box store very rarely, maybe six times a year. If I had to go there frequently, or had to go there when I’m in a hurry, I suspect my dislike for the stores would increase greatly as my amazement with the sheer quantity of goods dulled greatly.


    misc-rambling-picFeast Day of Daniel the Stylite. When I was a junior at the University of Michigan, I took a history course on Byzantine theology. One of our assigned readings before the first day of class was Three Byzantine Saints, which I started reading with no context. Partway into my reading about Daniel, I was shaking my head, like, “Man, I gotta focus more. It’s almost like they’re saying this dude lived on a pillar in the desert.”

    misc-rambling-picAnother NBA player denies the moon landing? Stephen Curry said the moon landing was faked. This is at least the third time that I’ve heard of a basketball star disputing the moon landing. Kyrie Irving was another, and I can’t remember the third. The article, however, indicates Vince Carter is in that group. Is this an African-American thing?

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    Monday
    December 10, 2018

    Miscellaneous Rambling

    The new podcast episode is up: Episode 12: Midget Wrestling in Detroit, Manliness, FOCUS, Post-Modernism.

    Other links:
    iTunes
    Stitcher
    Tune In

    Ceiling. TrastevereShow Notes:

    Midget Wrestling: It was a great time. Twisted? Naw, just fun. Don’t deprive midgets of their agency, and you can’t judge someone else’s sense of humor as long as it’s not unkind.

    Detroit: Its rise from the ashes continues, but it’s still a gritty place and rings “authentic.” Contrast that with downtown Chicago.

    Lightning Segments: All about The Manly Handbook, an absurd little book from the early 1980s that cracks me up to this day.

    FOCUS: The Fellowship of Catholic University Students is doing marvelous work, as evidenced by my first-hand experience with the organization. :

    Post-Modernism: Is this the smoke of Satan that Pope Paul VI talked about? I guess I need to figure it out.

    Ceiling. TrastevereWhile in Detroit last week, I got exposed to the newest thing: micro-transportation. In my case, it was an e-scooter by “The Bird.” Cool as heck. These scooters are located at random spots all over downtown Detroit. They’re not physically locked up. You could pick one up and walk away with it, though, of course, they come with trackers and the system is locked up, so it’s worthless to you and the company will eventually find it (and possibly you). You just walk up, unlock it with your app (which is loaded with your credit card information), and ride. It’s $1 to unlock, then 15 cents for every minute you ride. Wired magazine recently ran a laudatory piece on them.

    The most inefficient thing about driving a car is the car itself. The average American weighs about 175 pounds. According to a 2016 study by the US Department of Energy, the average American car weighs just under 4,100 pounds—23 times more than the person it carries. So most of the car’s energy is used to move the vehicle itself. Our reference e-scooter weighs just 28 pounds and runs off an efficient electric motor. That gives it a huge advantage in terms of energy use.

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    December 8, 2018

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    Friday
    December 7, 2018

    BYCU

    Whew. Midget wrestling put the screws to me Thursday morning. I don’t think I’m going much drinking this weekend, but that doesn’t mean y’all won’t be enjoying the secular side of the season, so here goes . . .

    I found this interesting: Two beer brands are booming while the rest are going flat. The article says beer sales are tanking, losing a lot of market share to wine and liquor. Modelo and Michelob Ultra are doing well, but everyone else, not.

    The article says even craft beer sales are declining. Maybe people are tired of the smugness that comes with many beer connoisseurs. Maybe they’re worried about how the smugness could affect the climate.

    With the exception of drunk driving laws, pretty much all laws that regulate drinking are stupid, but these take the cake: America’s Dumbest Drinking Laws. Excerpt:

    Do you like happy hour? Who doesn’t? North Carolina regulators, that’s who. In fact, they dislike it so much that for some reason, they decided it was a good idea to allow restaurants to offer happy hour deals … but only for food. Even more depressingly, the Tarheel State only allows restaurants to sell patrons one drink at a time, which means that the only way to legally order a pitcher of beer is for two or more people to order it.

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    December 6, 2018

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    Thursday

    Great night with the boys. I’m moving a bit slowly this morning, but everyone made it back in one piece.

    More on Extreme Midget Wrestling in future posts and the podcast.

    All four sons and a godson:

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    Wednesday
    December 5, 2018

    Midweek Rambling

    Extreme Midget Wrestling in Detroit tonight. I feel a little bit like I’m veering into St. Augustine’ condemnation of blood sport . . . or maybe just veering into juvenile immaturity. But I’m going with my four sons and a Godson. First stop: Greektown for dinner and drinks.

    Slow (or delayed) blogging tomorrow, obviously.

    Seen on Twitter: “The man who invented autocorrect should burn in hello.” Slayed me.

    Random Blurb from the Notebooks: Man wants and the universe stands mute, like an abandoned baby crying to an oak tree for milk. It’s absurd. “The absurd arises from this confrontation between man’s appeal and the irrational silence of the world.” Camus. It’s absurd to the point of suicide because the absurd, the pointlessness of it all, sits everywhere, like grinning gargoyles that appear every time we look over our shoulder who look keenly in front of us. Absurdity sits under society’s crust, and we intuitively—existentially—do everything we can to ignore it. Our activity propels us across the landscape of existence, bumping over outcroppings of the absurd like a car hitting a squirrel.

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    Tuesday
    December 4, 2018

    misc-rambling-picMiscellaneous Rambling

    Amazon.

    misc-rambling-picRidiculous: 63 percent of ‘non-citizens’ on welfare, 4.6 million households. If we’re going to make our country open to immigrants, it’s axiomatic that they cannot receive welfare. If they’re going to receive welfare, we cannot open our country to immigrants. A casino might as well provide free drinks to everyone, not just those who are spending money at their tables.

    misc-rambling-picAnd so it begins in earnest: Big tobacco replaces its revenues with cannabis: Marlboro maker prepares to jump big time into marijuana with a takeover bid.

    misc-rambling-picRandom Blurb from the Notebooks:Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes: Cleared the way for experimental knowledge. After Ockham, people distrusted logic, the ability to abstract truths from a little material experience. They instead wanted a lot of experience, experience which they could then study and then derive truths from the experiences. This led to empirical science and the mysticism movements of the 14th century.

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    Monday
    December 3, 2018

    Miscellaneous Rambling

    New podcast is up: “Onanism, Off-Color Humor, Seventh Century, Taoist Anarchy.”

    Itunes link.
    Youtube link.
    TWE Site link.

    Show Notes:

    Self-Abuse: The Atlantic ran a long essay about the “sex recession”: kids are having less sex these days. Why? One answer: masturbation.

    Sex Jokes: Is ribaldry dialogue okay for Catholics? Maybe, maybe not. You decide.

    Lightning Segments: El Cortez in Las Vegas, Elvis drummer, the Horn Effect, more.

    The Seventh Century: The Dark Ages have begun, but what exactly do things look like? Khazars, Pepin, Franks, Etc.

    Taoist Anarchism: Taoists are anarchists. For good reason: Wu-wei; non-action.

    Books mentioned

    C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

    Peter Marshall, Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism

    Peter Ackroyd, The Life of Thomas More

    The Philokalia

    Other references

    Idiocracy

    Ceiling. TrastevereI’m getting the hang of the video-editing process, but wow, whatta pain. Way too time-consuming. It takes me as much time to add pictures and text to the podcast as it does to tape and edit the podcast. I have a few ideas to help reduce the time commitment, but man, it’s a hassle. I’m told the entire internet is going video, however.

    Ceiling. TrastevereOne of the better Feast Day lineups this week: St. Francis Xavier (today); St. John of Damascus, the last of the Church Fathers, tomorrow; St. Ambrose on FRiday; Immaculate Conception on Saturday.

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    December 2, 2018

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    December 1, 2018

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    Enter Amazon here, buy something, and get me a kickback.


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    Book Reviews and More
    Catholic Blogs
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