Month: November 2009

Thanksgiving Eve

Brews  You Can Use.jpgWhat Do You Call It?

“Thanksgiving Eve.” “Black Wednesday.” “Biggest Drinking Night of the Year.”

And now, “Humpsgiving.”

That’s what Foran’s Irish Pub in downtown Detroit calls this evening. I used to go to Foran’s a lot. Mostly for lunch, but sometimes after work for a drink. It was 1990-1992, and I was working for a large law firm. Foran’s was about twenty stories below my office window. The first time I heard about it, I had just started working at the firm as a summer associate and three junior partners were taking me out to lunch. One of them said to the others, “Foreskins?” The other guys just nodded. I had no freakin’ idea where they were taking me, but I was a bit nervous. The famous strip clubs of Windsor, Canada, after all, were only ten minutes away. When we got to Foran’s, I just laughed to myself.

Enjoy the biggest drinking night of the year, everyone. I’ll be hanging out at the Hillcrest Lounge . . . a place with a hoppin’ jukebox, longneck beers, and a sign out front that hangs from one hinge. It’s a tradition for me. I’ve been going there since 1992. I always went in the mid-afternoon with my father. We saved a big table, knowing lots of people would be coming, then sat back and enjoyed a few rounds before everyone else showed up after 5:00. Those days are gone, but I’m still going out. My Dad would’ve wanted me to.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving. … Read the rest

From the Notebooks

notebooks.jpgOne’s sense of peace is inversely proportionate to the amount he talks.

Contemporary Clericalism: A type of antinomianism, possibly of the pneumatic sort, that causes clergy to think they’re above everyday ethics and morality when dealing with their congregations.

Harry Chapin’s Cat’s in the Cradle has probably done more to make men into good fathers than all the parenting seminars in the world put together.

Hope must be rational. Irrational hope is mere delusion. Both make you feel good, but one’s a vitamin, the other is a drug.

Every person must act on imperfect information. If you don’t think you can be wrong–whether it’s investing or predicting the result of a college football game–you’re a clown.… Read the rest

Monday

scientologyScientology Crack Up?

Can a crack-pot organization crack up? It looks like Scientology might be, and John Travolta hasn’t even left yet. It’s hard to believe that an organization that first saw into the ways of the intergalactic warlord Xenu could be in trouble, but stranger things have happened. From the Sunday edition of The Guardian:

If there has been a catalyst for many of the Scientologists’ most recent problems it has been provided by a newspaper in Tampa, Florida – the St Petersburg Times – which covers the area including the organisation’s spiritual headquarters in Clearwater. The paper ran an investigative series featuring interviews with former members of the church’s leadership. These included Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder, two of the highest-ranking executives to leave Scientology.

According to the two men’s accounts – denounced as “lies” by Miscavige and Tommy Davis – Miscavige routinely assaulted his lieutenants, including Rinder, 50 times. In one article, citing the testimony of four former members, the newspaper described Miscavige administering a vicious beating to another senior church figure, Tom De Vocht. The men described a complex system of internal justice, enforced by security checks and the threat of isolation as a so-called “suppressive person” or SP.

In the interviews the men admitted using violence against other members of the church, often, they claimed, at the behest of Miscavige, also alleging that the church used private information gathered on its members to bully them and force them to do its bidding.

Amazon

Have you been patronizing this site by accessing Amazon from here? If so, please let me know. I typically get anywhere from five to 30 sales every month. This month so far: zero. I’m concerned that the system is broken, but I have no way to test it. If you have … Read the rest

Something for Sunday Morning

“All they need to do is fulfill faithfully the simple duties of Christianity and those called for by their state of life, accept cheerfuly all the troubles they meet and submit to God’s will in all that they have to do or suffer–without, in any way, seeking out trouble for themselves.” de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine ProvidenceRead the rest

Brews You Can Use

guinness In Praise of Oil

A baseball fan who doesn’t like home runs. A hockey fan who doesn’t like a cross-check. A man who doesn’t like Clint Eastwood.

That’s how I feel about Guinness beer. I hate it. The first time I tried it, I thought my drinking companion was playing a nasty joke on me. I was like, “You drink this stuff!? Oh my gosh. It’s absolutely horrible.”

But great beer drinkers love it. My father liked it. But for me, it’s one of those things: I just can’t “see it.”

This recent article at USA Today makes me regret my taste buds’ lack of class even more.

The values [founder] Arthur Guinness envisioned for his company were first honed in a life of devotion to God. He was an earthy but pious man who frequently thundered his views despite angry opposition. He was beloved throughout Ireland for his defense of Roman Catholic rights, for example, an astonishing stand for a Protestant in his day. He criticized the material excesses of the upper class and sat on the board of a hospital for the poor. He was also the founder of the first Sunday schools in Ireland. When he died in 1803, the Dublin Evening Post declared that Arthur Guinness’s life was “useful and benevolent and virtuous.” It was true.

Absorbing his philosophy, his heirs often used their wealth for the glory of God and the good of mankind. Missionary endeavors were funded, the poor were tended, and there are monuments in Ireland to this day that express gratitude to the Guinnesses for their generosity during the horrifying years of the Potato Famine.

Bonus Pic

Hangover curesRead the rest

Status Update

My father’s funeral was yesterday. I and my family are doing a lot better than we were a few days ago. Thank you for your prayers and kind words. One TDE reader is even sending a donation to my church to say a Mass for my father. It’s all greatly appreciated. Regular blogging will resume on Friday with a BYCU (though it might be rather brief). My father taught me the value of good drink. I guess it’s fitting that I resume blogging with a few beer items.

Request: Things are still rather hectic around here. If you see any news items, including drinking items, please send the links to me for possible publication. Email is on the left (“Send Eric Scheske an E-mail”). … Read the rest

Funeral Day

Mel ScheskeMy father’s funeral is today. Last night’s visitation was packed. They had to open a side door to let more people into the room. The guest book ran out of signature lines. This morning, we say our final goodbyes. If you want to read about my father, go here. … Read the rest

From the Notebooks

Found in Hoppe’s Democracy: The God that Failed (page 19, fn 20):

“All in all, one must admit that the portion of income drawn by the public sector most certainly increased from the eleventh century onward all over Europe, but it is difficult to imagine that, apart from particular times and places, the public power ever managed to draw more than 5 to 8 percent of national income.” That’s a quote from Carlo Cipolla’s Before the Industrial Revolution: European Society and Economy, 1000-1700 (1980).

Five to eight percent? That’s stunning stuff. Today, taxes draw around 50%. I think I’d rather live under a monarchy. I couldn’t vote in largely-meaningless elections, but at least I’d get to keep a lot more of my money. Maybe I couldn’t make wisecracks about the ruler’s clothing, but I’d have a lot more money with which to buy my own clothing.… Read the rest