Month: December 2010


Happy New YearNew Years Edition

It’s the last day of the year. 2010 was far better than 2009, and for that I’m grateful. I plan to celebrate the end of the year with friends and family at the local drinking club this afternoon, while watching bowl games. I will then come home and spend the evening with my family. The afternoon beer makes for a long evening, but by 9:00, I usually snap out of any torpor. * * * * * * * Bottom line is, I normally don’t drink a whole lot on this day, mostly because I want to be sober enough to play with my kids when I get home, but also because I don’t want to start the new year with a hangover. If you have hangover concerns, you may want to consult this list of precautions. Perhaps the most-interesting precaution: “Research suggests that guilt about alcohol consumption, a neurotic personality, becoming angry or depressed while consuming alcohol, and having suffered ‘negative life events’ in the past 12 months are better predictors of symptoms of hangovers than how much or what alcohol you consume during the night.” * * * * * * * Related: Hangover facts and myths. It’s an interesting piece, though my experience tells me that a couple of those “myths” are facts.

Email picReceived in an Email: “A real woman is a man’s best friend. She will never stand him up and never let him down. She will reassure him when he feels insecure and comfort him after a bad day. She will inspire him to do things he never thought he could do; to live … Read the rest


Christmas PictureGearing Back Up

I have returned from my trip to the in-laws in Detroit, and now the Christmas festivities are over, except for the 12 days of Christmas presents that we give the kids. We give each kid a small present every day until the Epiphany, at which time we give them a fairly big gift. We think it helps emphasize that Christmas is a season, not a day, plus it reminds them of the importance of the Epiphany. I mean, we’re not Jewish, so the revelation to the Gentiles is a pretty big deal for us. It’s unfortunate that it’s largely neglected. * * * * * * * My best non-monetary present: a portable reading desk. It’s pictured below. Very cool. * * * * * * * I finally saw my first 3D movie. We saw Gulliver’s Travels while in Detroit. I’m glad I went because the viewing experience was worth it: absolutely huge screen, cavernous arena seating, 3D glasses. The movie had some funny parts, but I’d only give it a 5.5 overall. * * * * * * * Is Tucker Carlson for real? “I’m a Christian, I’ve made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances. But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should’ve been executed for that. He wasn’t, but the idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs? Kind of beyond the pale.” Link. I figured the statement was taken out of context, but I watched the 20-second blurb and, doggone, I think the guy was … Read the rest

From the Notebooks

Gabriel Marcel: “The less life is experienced as a captivity the less the soul will be able to see the shining of that veiled, mysterious light.” Homo Viator, 32.

Placed on the flipside: The more a soul experiences its captivity, its limitations, and its darkness, the more it is likely to see the light.

A person in a lighted room barely notices a lit candle, but for a person in a dark room, the lit candle pierces. … Read the rest


Mediterraneans scorn instructions but bow to authority; Anglo-Saxons bow to instructions but scorn authority. Nassim Taleb

— Mobile post… Read the rest


Grosse Pointe, Michigan: home of residents rich enough to buy million-dollar homes, but too cheap to keep their sidewalks clear of snow. Perhaps the most-treacherous walking in Michigan’s lower peninsula.

— Mobile post… Read the rest

Random Thoughts

Tom Bombadil is kinda like Switzerland.

Hubris leads to humility, but normally against one’s will.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” H.L. Mencken. And as long as they’re alarmed and scared and irresponsible and pathetic, the populace will vote progressive.

After much experimentation, I’ve concluded (for now) that the best casual reading position requires a comfortable chair and a few throw pillows. You can use the pillows to support your back, your elbow, and your book, constantly adjusting the pillows to accommodate different books and where you are on the page. I think the overall best reading position is a comfortable office chair with a desk at mid-torso, but for a casual read, the lazy-boy and pillow approach is probably best.

Jouvenel Corner “A man of our time cannot conceive the lack of real power which characterized the medieval king, from which it naturally followed that in order to secure the execution of a decision he needed to involve other leaders whose say-so reinforced his own.” The Nature of Politics.

The older the liberal, the more arrogant. As a person ages, he sees himself make all sort of mistakes. He gradually realizes that he’s flawed, and that leads him to understand that all people are flawed. Once he realizes that all people are flawed, he doesn’t put much stock in dreams and schemes of big government. As a corollary, if he still puts stock in dreams and schemes, he probably puts a lot of stock … Read the rest


”It is much harder to be a Stoic when wealthy, powerful, and respected than when destitute, miserable, and lonely.” Nassim Taleb.… Read the rest