Thanksgiving is the time of year where children young and old come home to see family – and catch up with friends. What are they doing when they’re out and about? Thanksgiving Eve is referred to as “Black Wednesday,” as it may be the busiest night of the year for bars. And social binge drinking (consumption of a high volume of alcohol in a short period of time) is also common this time of year. While every parent would rather focus on positive thoughts and uplifting conversations with their kids, the reality is that it’s also important to address more serious topics like drinking.
But hey, maybe I’m being too hard of HuffPo. In fact, I think I’ll take their advice. I have three kids joining me tonight for drinks, including Jack, who is experiencing his first Black Wednesday since turning 21 (he commented last year, “This is my last year as the Thanksgiving Eve and New Year’s Eve designated driver!”). I will talk with all of them about drinking.
I’ve even come up with a list of things to talk about:
1. Do you want another?
2. When did you get a twin?
3. Tell your mom I’ve switched to Mountain Dew.
4. 9:30 is very late when you’ve been drinking since 3:00.
5. You want to move on to the next bar?
6. I have Gatorade in the garage refrigerator and ibuprofen in my bathroom for tomorrow morning.
7. Would you please help me calculate a 20% tip? The total bill is $100.
8. Vodka loses its taste as the evening wears on.
9. I know alcohol hurts objectivity, but I honestly think I’m more handsome now than I was four hours ago.
10. Let’s flow chart one more time the logistics of getting us all home with the fleet of teenage drivers waiting for our call.
I just learned about a new disorder: Williams Syndrome, which is characterized by “cognitive difficulties and a tendency to love everyone.” I suspect I’ll be having some Williams Syndrome this evening.
I’m glad the second Reformation Theology on Tap lectures are over. I was dog-tired of reading about the Reformation, thinking about the Reformation, and practicing my lecture on the Reformation. There will be no video available, but there should be audio, which I’ll upload to Youtube once it’s available.
I’ve been listening to a lot of Thaddeus Russell’s “Unregistered” podcast over the past few days. Goodness knows, I disagree with a lot of his opinions (probably 45% of them, if I had to pick a percentage), but I really like his approach. On November 7th, he had a discussion with comedian Moshe Kasher. I’ve listened to only thirty minutes of it, but it’s pretty interesting. They both grew up on the Oakland-Berkeley border, children of flaming liberals (socialists . . . communists) who condemned all sorts of things, including racism. As part of the ideology, they didn’t take steps to protect their kids from the black thugs who lived in their neighborhoods. It resulted in some disturbing attacks from thugs who would occasionally exact retribution from them for slavery.
Notwithstanding, Kasher is apparently a non-extreme leftist to this day. At one point, he commented disapprovingly on people who rage against Muslims or welfare moms, noting that most of those people probably don’t even know any Muslims or welfare moms. That strikes me as an odd criticism. Is his point that, if you actually knew a Muslim or welfare mom, you might have a personal experience with them . . . maybe even become friends . . . with the result that your views might soften or shift? Okay, but how does that increase one’s objectivity? If my best friend is a Muslim, I’m going to have a subjective reason not to think clearly about the Muslim risk, not an objective one. It doesn’t mean that Kasher doesn’t have a point, but he and Russell both seemed oblivious to the problem with his point.
Solanus Casey, pray for us . . . pray for me. I can’t say I’ll be attending another beatification Mass (including, I know now, my own). It was a very nice ceremony; hats off to the organizers, but my situation in life doesn’t render me fit to deal with all the logistical hassles involved with coordinating a group of 16 and a 2.5-hour Mass.
Throughout the stressfull turmoil, I was, in deference to the upcoming holiday, thinking of all the things I should be grateful for: “I haven’t gotten my genitals caught in a car door,” “I wasn’t wrongfully arrested for raping that naked male manequin I saw in the store window on my way here,” “I can get as drunk as I want to tomorrow after this is all done.” Nothing seemed to work. Of course, I should’ve thought about Brantley (see yesterday’s post), but when one is in the throes of frustration, such obvious things elude.
I took my mom to see Murder on the Orient Express last week. Don’t believe the critics. It’s a nice, fun movie. Sure, it doesn’t have a ton of exploding cars and CGI, but it’s a pleasant movie that moves through the plot quickly. I had never seen an Agatha Christie movie nor read an Agatha Christie book, and I liked it. Mom is a huge Christie fan, and she liked it even more. Surely, that’s some sort of testament.
The recent “The Week that Perished” at Taki has some pretty good stuff. Sample: “According to a study from a criminology professor at the University of Florida, a robust 6% of children aged 12 to 17 have bullied themselves online, presumably because their real-world bullies are slacking. This odd practice is known variously as “cyber self-bullying” and “digital self-harm.” Non-heterosexual teens were found to be three times more likely than normies to engage in digital self-harm.”
Six-year old Brantley Dobbs suffers from a brain tumor, but says God has assured him he is going to Heaven. For Christmas cheer, he’s asking people to send him a Christmas ornament. pic.twitter.com/um0uTikHm5
Like Montana, the state of Michigan already produces wine on a small scale. And it’s scaling up as the climate warms. The state’s wine production has been steadily growing, according to Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council. The number of wineries has gone from 16 to 130 in the last 10 years.
I try one or two Michigan wines every year and I still haven’t found one I’m terribly fond of. I’m kinda loyal to my state, however, so I’ll keep trying ’em (and trying and trying and trying . . . it’s tough work, but someone has to do it).
My business venture with son, Jack, is getting close to lift off. If you have a Facebook account, head over and “Like” MAXimum Gardening. You can check out the online store while you’re there too. We have a lot of work to do on it, and I don’t plan on soliciting “Likes” on a grand scale for another month or so, but the basic framework is up for a working online operation. The goal is to get it fully functional by January 1st, “work it” for a few months, then start selling produce online come April.
Learned while preparing for my Theology on Tap lecture, Reformation II: Poland was almost lost to the Calvinists in the 16th century, but the Jesuits stormed it and stopped the transformation in its tracks. Man, whatta loss that woulda been. Poland is the West’s shining star of hope. If it had lost its Catholicism, it’d probably be a Muslim wasteland right about now.
It was the weekend of crappy jobs: got flu shot, did annual corporate tax return for Marie’s tiny business, switched out my winter/summer wardrobes (long story, but a hassle), watched annual video legal ethics seminar, typed up my monthly lecture for Theology on Tap, and moved garden tarps for the winter. The last job was the worst. I was envisioning an hour. It took Marie, Meg (16), and me two hours, and it was absolutely filthy work . . . and the 47-degree sunny weather forecasted didn’t materialize and, instead, we slogged away in 37 degrees and light rain/hail.
“Spiritual but not religious”: inside America’s rapidly growing faith group. I have to admit, I’ve never understood that distinction: spiritual but not religious. Religion is merely a method to transcend the spiritual: Because there’s the spiritual, there’s religion. “Spiritual but not religious” is like saying “Computers but not software.” By using the computer, you are, to some degree, using software. By delving into the spiritual, you are, to some degree, religious. Now, I guess you could be delving into the computer at the most superficial levels–just playing Solitaire and looking at your weather app–but that doesn’t mean you aren’t using the software: you just aren’t remotely understanding it . . . or your computer. The same goes with spirituality. You can float at the most superficial levels, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t religious: you just aren’t remotely understanding it . . . or your spirituality.
You can do what you want with this information: “McDonald’s, along with 64 other food, beverage and grocery companies, earned a perfect score based on nondiscrimination policies, benefits for LGTBQ workers and their families, internal education to promote LGTBQ inclusion and public commitment to LGTBQ equality. Other companies receiving perfect scores include Anheuser-Busch, Ben & Jerry’s, Campbell’s, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Hershey, PepsiCo and Wawa. . . . Companies that scored lower than 80 included Chipotle, Cracker Barrel, Denny’s, Dr Pepper, Wendy’s and Whole Foods. These less-than-perfect scores were based in part on a business’ failure to promote LGTBQ competency within its organization — not clearly stating nondiscrimination policies in new hire training, for example — and a failure to provide health care inclusive of transgender employees and same-sex partnerships.” Link.
The Church teaches that Christ instructed his disciples and they carried on his teachings, leaving a rough framework for a working church, but the teachings aren’t in scripture. Our Protestant brothers are inclined to think Catholic practices evolved over the centuries, but that’s not the Catholic way of thinking.
It’s striking how many times the Gospels merely say that Jesus taught in the synagogues, proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom, and such . . . without saying what he actually said, plus the references to teaching the disciples things in private and the concluding remarks of John (“There are many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written”).
The Church teaches that those repeated laconic references throughout the Gospels to his teaching means he said a lot more than just what the Gospels record. He wasn’t a stand-up comedian with a schtick that he repeated over and over again.
At £7 ($9) a bottle, Buckfast tonic wine isn’t the cheapest alcoholic drink you can buy in Scotland. And at 15 percent alcohol, it isn’t the strongest, either. For the vast majority of people, it would be a stretch to call it the tastiest. (Satisfied customers who’ve bought it on Amazon would beg to differ, saying it tastes like “tears of angels” or the “elixir of life.” One adds: “They say it has no medicinal properties. But I am pretty sure they are lying.”)
What it might be, though, is the most incendiary. Though Buckfast accounts for barely half a percent of Scotland’s total alcohol sales, in 2015 the Scottish Prison Service found that over 40 percent of inmates had drunk some quantity of the stuff before their last offense. Of these, many were violent. (Some enterprising inmates had drained the glass bottle dry and then found it a handy solution for a weapon.) “The Buckie made me do it” is apparently the classic defense.
It’s an interesting article, though I seriously doubt its main point: That Buckfast is causing the crime. It’s far more likely that Buckfast has become the drink-of-choice among criminals and fueling their crime, just as any alcohol would.
That being said, my gut tells me the caffeine content (281 mg per 750 ml . . . about 1.35 cups of drip coffee per 12 ounces) ain’t helping matters. But regardless, until I see otherwise-law-abiding folk turning violent after drinking the Buckie, I don’t buy it.
I would, however, like to buy it, just to try. I searched Amazon and nothing came up. If anyone knows where I can legally find a bottle, please email me.
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