Month: April 2014


It’s a banner day in the Scheske household: My oldest son turns 21. I’ve long been a proponent of an age-18 drinking age, so it’s a bit frustrating that we had to wait three years for this day but it’s now here.

I can have a drink with my son at the bar.

For the last twenty years of my father’s life, it was my favorite thing to do with my dad . . . and not only because he purchased most of the rounds. I don’t golf, my kids don’t garden, and reading isn’t a group activity. So what does that leave us? Bird watching, I suppose, or maybe genital-kicking contests (two activities that I find equally distressing). Maybe some bocce ball and croquet (two games I immensely enjoy, even though I rarely play them). Perhaps billiards and ping pong.

But it definitely leaves drinking. Especially drinking at the bar. It’s a tradition that lands us squarely in a long line of tradition, from Chaucer through Chesterton, from the Tavern at the End of the World through the Prancing Pony. Relaxing with drink and conversation, perhaps a little music in the background or a game on the TV. Few things are better, at least for my money.

Welcome to emancipation, Alex.

(Now please don’t do something like stupid, like drink 21 shots. I don’t need my son to die on what should be one of the best days of his life.)… Read the rest


Although I haven’t read all of it, I’ve frequently dipped into Alberto Manguel’s splendid A History of Reading. Manguel was once referred to as the “Casanova of reading,” which makes him a nerd par excellence . . . and a man I’d like to meet.

But I never knew he liked Chesterton, until I heard Dale Ahlquist recommend (on his EWTN series) On Lying in Bed & Other Essays and flash a picture of an edition edited by Manguel. I was watching the TV and kind of perked up and said to myself, “Did that say ‘Alberto Manguel’? The same Manguel who wrote the History?”

It did and it is.

Consider it yet another feather in GKC’s cap that a man of Manguel’s reading depth enjoys him. I don’t think it’ll land GKC closer to canonization (though Manguel is from Argentina), but still a nice feather.

Read the rest


Catholic Late Night

Ten great one-liners from St. John XXIII. My favorites:

When a cardinal complained that a rise in Vatican salaries meant a particular usher earned as much as the cardinal, the pope remarked: “That usher has 10 children; I hope the cardinal doesn’t.”

He once wrote: “There are three ways to face ruin: women, gambling and farming. My father chose the most boring one.”

Visiting a hospital he asked a boy what he wanted to be when he grew up. The boy said either a policeman or a pope. “I would go in for the police if I were you,” the Holy Father said. “Anyone can become a pope, look at me.

In reply to a reporter who asked, “How many people work in the Vatican?”, he reportedly said: “About half of them.”… Read the rest



“A May 15 banquet for the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People just became a lot more intriguing. The group is planning to honor Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling with a lifetime achievement award. This is the 100th anniversary of the L.A. chapter.

“[UPDATE]: The NAACP has announced on its official Twitter account that Sterling will not receive the award.”

Link. … Read the rest


For a variety of reasons, I don’t often use TDE to proselytize, but I had to share this Journey Home. This man’s conversion story parallels mine on many fronts (the arrogance that led him to read about Catholicism, the “two floor” problem, his profession and age, the initial approach to Mary, etc.). I was stunned listening to it. If you change the names and slightly shift the facts, you would be listening to them talk about me . . . intellectually, spiritually, and factually. I’m still half-reeling (and I’ve now listened to it twice, something I’ve never done).

Read the rest


The garden is coming along. Here it is, as of last weekend. I’m in the process of putting in the rest of my self-watering containers this weekend. It’s a pretty big chore and largely experimental, since I’m using the potting mix from last year . . . re-mixing various batches, adding some new peat and perlite and pine bark and compost, trying to get the consistency right. I then add the dolomite and fertilizer. Hopefully, I’ve cultivated the touch, but I guess we won’t know for sure until this summer. … Read the rest

Late Night BYCU: Kimmel

A strange new product is coming to your liver this fall — Palcohol, which is powdered alcohol. It’s like Crystal Light that will get you drunk.

Palcohol is great for astronauts looking to get wasted in space.

Palcohol flavors include Vodka, rum, mojito, cosmopolitan, and lemon drop. I think Keith Richards will sprinkle this stuff on his Cheerios in the morning.… Read the rest