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Rambling:
Damascus to McLuhan

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Feast day of St. John Damascene (John of Damascus), 675-749. He's generally considered the last of the Church Fathers, at least in the Greek East. He's the very last entry in Patrick Hamell's nifty little Handbook of Patrology. Fought fiercely against the iconoclasts.

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Convenient reference: 7 basic steps to holiness. The problem is, it isn't an "action" checklist: pray, etc. It's, rather, a list of seven dispositions you need. If you want an "action" checklist, you might try Newman's Short Road to Perfection.

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I think I'm impressionable. Maybe that's why my library has 3,000 books in it, all of them most of them some of them a few of them actually read. What, for instance, is appealing about this new blogging platform: "txt.fyi has no social mechanics. None. No Like button, no Share button, no comments. No feed showing which posts are most popular. Each post has a tag telling search engines not to index it, so it won't even show up on Google. The only way anyone will see it is if you send them the URL or post it somewhere." Link. For some reason, it sounds neat and I'm mildly tempted to download it, but until I can identify why it's any different that using my word processing software, I won't.

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Though, to be honest, I don't think it's necessary that someone understand a new medium before trying it. The benefits (as well as the

disadvantages) of any medium often aren't readily apparent. That was the message of Marshall McLuhan (who, I recently learned, is the patron saint of Wired magazine, which is where the above blurb came from).

Long-time TDE readers know that I went on a Marshall McLuhan reading kick many years ago. Marshall McLuhan was three things: a daily communicant, unique, and a very difficult writer to read. At the recommendation of my friend, John Peterson, I made it through McLuhan's magnum opus, Understanding Media, but it was a slog. BTW: In this age of ubiquitous use of the cell phone, I'd recommend our culture reacquaint itself with McLuhan's observation about the phone.

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Christmas Gift Idea: I'm a convert to Scrapolicism. I rarely pull weeds anymore: I scrape them, usually with a stirrup hoe or a diamond-bladed hoe. Sometimes, however, I need to get close to the ground and scrape. This is where the Nejiri Gama Hoe comes in handy. It's sharp and stays sharp with a few scrapes of a sharpener. I have two of them: I couldn't find the first one I bought, so I immediately bought a second one because I couldn't go without it for a few months until the first one showed up (which it eventually did).

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Note: Scraping weeds only works before they go to seed. You scrape them and leave them on the ground to decompose and nourish the soil. Once they go to seed, pull them and get them the heck out of your garden.

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