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    Thursday
    October 19, 2017

    Theology on Tap went alright. The biggest problem was the venue: The restaurant was filled, resulting in a lot of background noise. The lecture itself was a bit more dense than the last one (I had 40 minutes to pack in 75 years of history, instead of 30 minutes to pack in 2,000 years). The overall effect was apparently a bit of confusion in the audience, which bums me out. We’ll see as the reviews float in.

    If anyone has attended a Theology on Tap session, I’d be curious about the venue choice. Did the presenter talk in the area of a bar where other patrons are sitting or are within ear shot, where laughter from the seating area next to the presenter interrupts? Is that typical? Maybe it is. I’d be curious what other people have experienced. Comments below or emails are fine. Thanks.

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    Friday

    Brews You Can Use

    Those Theology on Tap sessions take it out of me. I was wiped out all day and didn’t get a chance to take a nap. I finally reached the end of the day at 8:00 last night, free-poured myself a gin and tonic, crashed on the couch and played with my new Amazon Echo Dot.

    It’s really cool. It might be my best $50 experiment of 2017. I sat down and said, “Hey Alexa, play Greg Kihn Band.” She then hooked up to my wireless Sony speaker and cranked out a cool song that i’d never heard, but it was Greg Kihn. I then asked for “The Breakup Song,” which she promptly played. I then asked to hook up to the Amazon punk rock radio station and, boom, she started playing the Ramones.

    An exhausting day quickly gave way to the feeling that I could sit forever on that couch with my half gallon of New Amsterdam gin and Fever Tree tonic. Added bonus: two of my daughters were in the kitchen, giggling while baking cookies and laughing at my weird Alexa demands.

    The Breviary on Wednesday admonished me to dedicate myself to thanksgiving . . . or something like that. For a few minutes last night, I felt like I’d conquered that art.

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    Wednesday
    October 18, 2017

    Tonight’s Handout:

    Nominalism
    William of Occam (Early 1300s): All is the way it is because God says so. Common sense be damned b/c it detracts from God’s glory. Does God ordain something because it’s good for humans? Or is something good because God ordains it?

    The Black Death
    Plague. 1350ish. Rising wages; followed by falling wages. Less money for beer; mad peasants.

    Sacraments
    Bestow grace that leads to inner sanctification? Or is inner sanctification not possible?

    Indulgences
    Does the Catholic Church have the authority to loose and bind or doesn’t it? John 20:23; Matthew 16:19; II Corinthians Chp. 5.

    District 12 in Panem
    How many Germans viewed Germany vis-à-vis Rome (the Capitol)

    Nepotism
    Putting family into official positions

    Pluralism
    Bishops presiding over more than one diocese

    Absenteeism
    Bishop not present because, you know, he has other dioceses

    Simony
    Selling offices

    Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503)
    Evil man. Proof that the Church must be divine or couldn’t have survived this SOB

    Humanism
    Technically, “northern humanism.” Back to the sources! Back to early Christianity. Emphasis on faith and simplicity. Hated Church corruption. Erasmus; St. Thomas More.

    Thomas a’Kempis (1380-1471)
    Author of The Imitation of Christ. A classic. A must read if you’re seeking to bridge spiritual dialogue with a Protestant. Fueled by Nominalism, but that’s not where its greatness rests.

    Popular piety
    Incredible rise in years leading up to the Reformation. This is a shocking change in historical narrative/perspective over just the past 30 years.

    Sola fides
    Faith alone: Ignore James (“Epistle of straw”)

    Sola gratia
    Grace alone: Do you really believe there is no free will? Put down that crack pipe and be honest.

    Sola scriptura
    Bible alone: Nowhere does the Bible say this

    Fuggers
    Great name. Lenders.

    Bishop Albert Albrecht
    Bought a diocese, borrowed money from Fuggers to pay for it

    Johan Tetzel
    SOB abuser of indulgences. Helping Albrecht not get his knees broken.

    Holy Roman Empire
    Not holy, not Roman, not an empire. Basically, Germany and some surrounding areas.

    Charles V
    Holy Roman Emperor. Devout Catholic, his penchant for mistresses notwithstanding

    Reformation for $1000, Alex. “Holy Water Fonts”
    Where did some early zealous reformers take craps?

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    Tuesday
    October 17, 2017

    Miscellaneous Rambling

    Ceiling. TrastevereThe second lecture in my 7-part Theology on Tap session is tomorrow night: “The Reformation: Causes and Early Years.” It basically goes from 1350 to 1525. The November lecture will from 1525 to 1650. Our parish administrator puts the over-under attendance at 30. We’ll see.

    Ceiling. TrastevereMAXimum Greens sales have really slowed down. I talked with an Amish guy at the farmers market last Saturday who’s been doing this a long time. He said that, by the time fall comes around, people are tired of buying vegetables, except for squash and pumpkins. I guess he might be right, but that really surprises me. Do people grow tired of drinking water, too? If anything, I would’ve thought our leafy greens would be in higher demand since many growers don’t plant in late August or early September. I went “all in” and have some of my best crops of the year right now, with a lot more growing temperatures and sunlight in the forecast.

    Ceiling. TrastevereI ate a pound of lettuce at lunch yesterday. I’m guessing I have a lot more of those lunches ahead of me, but I’m not complaining. We met our sales goals for the year and our restaurant customers have stepped up their volume demand, which is a very good sign.

    Ceiling. TrastevereWhen I see stories like this, I always ask myself, “Where do they come from?” Catholic Mom Upset After Daughter Is Denied First Communion Over Pantsuit. The most likely answer is, the parents. They’re looking for attention, looking to cause disruptions. In this case, there isn’t even a story: a church enforced its decades-long dress code requirement that girls wear white dresses for their First Communion. One girl wanted to dress like a boy, and the parish priest said, “no.” It sounds like he might have been a bit harsh in how he conveyed the message (though, if my hunch is right, the mother (an ex-nun) was a troublesome jackass through the whole affair, thereby exasperating the priest), but the substance of his answer is nothing remotely newsworthy.

    Ceiling. TrastevereA complete timeline of the Harvey Weinstein affair. I’m telling ya, something doesn’t smell right about it. I have no doubt that the guy is a scumbag (the Hollywood odds alone make it highly likely), but I gotta believe someone set out to bring him down. Also: The cowardly post-mortem piling on by actors and politicians referenced in the article is shameful.

    Amazon Deals of the Day

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    Monday
    October 16, 2017

    misc-rambling-picMiscellaneous Rambling

    Ceiling. TrastevereI guess Saturday Night Live tooks swipes at Harvey Weinstein: “The real burn came from Colin Jost and Michael Che at the Weekend Update desk. After reporting that Weinstein was headed to a rehab center, Jost fired back: ‘He doesn’t need sex rehab. He needs a specialized facility where there are no women, no contact with the outside world, metal bars and it’s a prison.'” Link.

    Ceiling. TrastevereThat’s good to see, of course, but the delay on the comedic attacks is disgraceful and throws a glaring spotlight on Hollywood’s venality and artificiality. Late night hosts will weep over the need for gun control and attack Trump night after night after night, but when a real creep comes along, they go mute . . . because they either like him or fear him. They hold themselves out as confident entertainers who aren’t afraid to speak the truth, but they’re pitiful cowards with no moral compass whatsoever.

    Ceiling. TrastevereBut that’s not the reason the Weinstein affair interests me. What I really want to know is, “Why was he thrown under the bus now?” These accusations against Weinstein were known for year. Moreover, it’s a Hollywood problem: nearly every powerful man in Hollywood is doing it and always has. From Fatty Arbuckle through Marilyn Monroe to Harvey. It’s a cesspool of rapists and pedophiles, but now all of a sudden, Weinstein is the bad guy? Is this a case of a man who was just a little too bad? Or an industry whitewashing itself by sacrificing one of its own? Or (as I suspect) a man who did what every other powerful man in Hollywood does . . . but this time, did it with the daughter or niece of someone yet more powerful than him?

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    Sunday
    October 15, 2017

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    October 14, 2017

    When Frank Chodorov condemned the Communist hunts of the 1950s, someone asked him, “Well, what would you do about Communists in high government offices?” Chodorov responded, “Get rid of the high government offices.” (Rough quotes.)

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    Saturday

    Nock sighting:

    It’s mostly about Nock’s relationship to Russian literature, but it has some basic overview information as well.

    Mr. Nock was significant because he made the essential point that united a nebulous assortment of thinkers: You must “ransack the past for your values, establish a coherent worldview, depend neither on society nor on government insofar as circumstances permitted, keep your tastes simple and inexpensive, and do what you have to do to remain true to yourself.” This deep spirit of independence led Mr. Nock to conclude in his memoirs that the talents of the mind of the individualist were of little value in America and therefore he had become socially and politically superfluous.

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    Meyers
    October 13, 2017

    According to a new poll, Arabic is now the most common language among new immigrants to the U.S. The second most common is whispering. “What the hell is going on here?”

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    Friday

    BYCU

    Cocktails are like anything else: You get out of them what you put into them. Actually, I don’t really believe that cliche, but still, it holds for the cocktail.

    For a few years now, I’ve been looking for that perfect concoction: a delicious drink that doesn’t require me to squeeze lemons and limes, to shake the simple syrup, to add more than four ingredients, etc. Alas, I simply don’t think it exists.

    There are the incredibly easy cocktails: You walk into the store, grab it, pay for it, drink it. Some aren’t too bad (the Captain Morgan Long Island Ice Tea is probably the best in this class), but that’s the most that can be said for them.

    And there are the simple concoctions: Tonic and gin (my favorite), rum and Coke, etc. Those are fine, but they only get you so far.

    But last weekend, I found a simple concoction that comes close to being the perfect concoction: The Blue Lagoon. I found the recipe online and since Brooke Shields had an insatiable crush on me in the 1980s, I decided to try it.

    It’s excellent, especially if you have a sweet tooth.

    And it’s simple.

    Two parts Kinky Blue, one part Blue Curacao, three parts lemonade (I just use the Minute Maid lemonade from a two-liter bottle). Does it beat Liquid Marijuana or the Holiday Tom or Electric Lemonade? No, not at all. Does it come close? Not really, but kinda. Is it a ton easier to make than those drinks? Absolutely.

    It’s definitely worth a try. Bonus: it’s a very pretty drink and fairly cheap to make.

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    Thursday
    October 11, 2017

    Bullets

    **Blade Runner 2049 is killing it! 8.6 on IMDB! 88% on Rotten Tomatoes! So despite its 2.75 hour run time, I took Marie to it last night. And was bored stiff. It’s terrible, absolutely terrible. Every scene was drawn out, it moved slower than a nineteenth century Russian novel without the pithiness, the plot was hard to follow. The whole thing oozed “arteests” trying to impress one another. The only good thing is, I fell asleep in the middle of it.

    **”Springsteen on Broadway” is doing well. It was only out-earned by “Hamilton” and “Hello, Dolly.”

    **Yes, “Hello, Dolly.” They brought it back. It was the high school musical when I was in elementary school. I don’t remember being highly impressed back then, and I doubt I’d be impressed now, though I’m sure it’s better than Blade Runner 2049.

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    Fallon

    I read that the U.S. is suspending visa applications from Turkey. Trump was like, “Don’t worry, we’ll have them back for Thanksgiving.”

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