Month: November 2010

Monday

streetsign.jpgMonday Moanin’

Man, travel wears me out. I went to my in-laws on Thursday and came back yesterday afternoon. Everything went well and it was an enjoyable visit, but I was dizzy-tired all day yesterday. Couldn’t shake it. I finally crashed before 9:00, slept until 6:30 this morning, and still feel a bit groggy now. Oh well. Maybe I’ll feel normal by next weekend. * * * * * * * Light blogging today. As compensation, I have posted pictures from my family Christmas-tree decorating party last night. * * * * * * * Only a family narcissist (Tolstoy’s term) could think those pics are compensation. Please indulge me. * * * * * * * What do you do when strangers write to you for religious advice? David Mills asks that question this morning. It’s a good question. As a former columnist for National Catholic Register, editor of Gilbert Magazine, and a writer who has published in a variety of Catholic publications, I’ve gotten to deal with that issue a couple of times. David’s suggestions are great, but he doesn’t recommend my favorite response: punt. Unless the answer is obvious (“No, you can’t marry your sister”), I don’t feel qualified to offer spiritual or religious advice, so it’s easy for me to respond with a personal anecdote or some such thing, rather than to give an answer. David, of course, is far more knowledgeable in such matters than I, so he no doubt has a hard time punting with a measure of sincerity, but for me, it’s a good route. … Read the rest

Saturday

Book of EliD.W.

By chance, I watched three Denzel Washington movies earlier this month: The Book of Eli, Unstoppable, and Man on Fire. I recommend all three. None were great, but they’re very good (Unstoppable the weakest of the three) , and I really enjoyed Denzel Washington. I did a little online surfing about the guy, and I think he and Will Smith are now my two favorite Hollywood actors. It would appear that both have done the unthinkable: reached the height of Hollywood fame without succumbing to its filth.

If anyone believes my view needs to be corrected, feel free to use the comments box. Goodness knows, Hollywood erects barriers of privacy around their stars, so maybe I’ve been hoodwinked, but I don’t think so. I suspect these are two classy men. … Read the rest

Friday

Gilbert

I ran Brews You Can Use on Black Wednesday, so today is a normal post . . . almost. I’m also away from my computer, so I’ve had to pre-program a few posts. Today, I merely want to mention that the new issue of Gilbert Magazine is out. Visually, it’s their finest issue yet. It’s the “Art” issue, and it features lots of great pictures and articles about art. It even has a lengthy interview with our own Timothy Jones. I say “our own” because Jones frequently comments in the boxes here. He has many insightful things to say, including lighter observations, like “What about The Blues Brothers? Have you seen Mythbusters? Now that’s art!” He also points out, correctly, that “pornography is anti-art . . . because it constitutes an attack on life, truth, beauty and unity . . . it is false, sterile and ugly. It tears the human person to pieces, alienating the body from the mind and spirit, and creates barriers to real human relationships.”

Amen. … Read the rest

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. My holiday season didn’t start very well. I wrecked my vehicle and, in the process, took out a fire hydrant. The officer was very nice about it and nobody was hurt (I was only going about 15 miles an hour), but I was at fault. I guess I’m going to feel extra pain in my future insurance premiums because I destroyed municipal property in the process (but that part is still unclear). And no, I wasn’t drunk. I was on my way to get drunk (with wife slated to pick me up later in the evening), but I hadn’t even cracked Beer 1 yet. Oh well. There’s still plenty to be thankful for (like readers who patronize TDE through its Amazon link–come on, I really need you now (chuckle)!), so I present my normal slate of Thanksgiving quotes:

“Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.” Samuel Johnson

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton

“Gratitude is characteristic only of the humble. The egotistic are so impressed by their own importance that they take everything given them as if it were their due. They have no room in their hearts for recollection of the undeserved favors they received.” Fulton Sheen

“Draft day and Thanksgiving Day are the only good days to be a Detroit Lions fan.” Eric Scheske

Pray for the atheists today, their hardest day of the year. Anonymous

“When the stomach is full, it is easy to talk of fasting.” St. Jerome

“If the only prayer you said in … Read the rest

Wednesday

Black WednesdayBlack Wednesday

Ah, yes. Black Wednesday. Retailers get out of the red and into the black on Friday. Today, their bar-owning brethren get into the black first. “Thanksgiving Eve, or Black Wednesday, is as strong as ever as one of the biggest bar nights of the year. ‘There’s no question it’s a top five holiday for most bars,’ says David Henkes, vice-president and on-premise practice leader for Chicago-based retail insights firm Technomic Inc. ‘Thanksgiving is a universal holiday, and many people want a night to spend with old friends before the family obligations take over.'” Link. One bar owner in the Chicago area puts the evening into perspective: “‘Sales for the night before Thanksgiving are triple or quadruple a typical Wednesday . . . it’s almost as big as New Year’s.” * * * * * * *Actually, I’m a little surprised that they say it’s “almost as big.” I remember hearing in the past couple of years that Black Wednesday was the biggest bar night of the year. Maybe the TSA pat-downs are putting a damper on holiday flights. * * * * * * * So what drinking fare do I have for this evening? A couple of pretty cool things. First, if you’re into that whole pirate scene (be careful: see Amazon link below), The Atlantic says the lost maritime art of mixing gunpowder and liquor is making a comeback. “Simpson is the creator of Man O’War Gunpowder Rum, which is made of blended rums infused with black gunpowder and other ingredients. Simpson had also read about Blackbeard’s explosive concoction, which got him to thinking: sailors used to add all … Read the rest

Tuesday

Christmas PictureThe War Season

I don’t like the Christmas Wars. Actually, it’s more accurate to say that I don’t like to stoop into the muck to fight them. But I’m glad some people out there are doing the dirty work, like the American Family Association, which says these retailers eschew the word “Christmas”: Barnes & Noble, CVS Pharmacy, Office Depot, Radio Shack, Staples, SUPERVALU, and Victoria’s Secret (that last one is a shocker!). I won’t make it a point to stay away from those retailers, but given other options, I’ll shop at the other guy. * * * * * * * Amazon, by the way, is Christmas friendly, says the AFA. And so am I, so please use the button in the upper-righthand corner when going to Amazon. * * * * * * * I posted Gonzalo Lira’s comment last week that Spain will be the one that sends Europe crumbling. If you need MSM corroboration for those kind of fringe predictions, here’s MSNBC. * * * * * * * I like MSM corroboration, but why? Pretty much everyone has been wrong about the economy. The only ones that have been correct all along? They’re all on the fringe. It doesn’t mean the fringe will continue to be correct, but as long as the MSM spouts off the same inside-the-box vision, I don’t need MSM corroboration. * * * * * * * The hospitality season is upon us, so how fortuitous that I ran across this passage in Oppenheimer’s The State: “The custom of hospitality [in ancient times] results from two causes, curiosity for news from the stranger from … Read the rest