Month: July 2015


We went to the Alpena Brown Trout Festival two weekends ago. While at the free concert, Meg tried out this huge chair:


I really enjoyed Leinenkugels, back when I could drink beer. I’ve embraced my wine/vodka/gin regime with vigor, but I wince with sadness when I think of Leinenkugels.

The monks of Norcia are on fire. Not only do they have a brewery, but now their chant is being proposed as a cure for road rage:

In June, I was blessed to visit Italy for a week. As we made our way from the rough and tumble of Rome down the winding roads of Umbria, the peace of the Italian countryside began to sink in. We were headed to Norcia to visit a former student who is a novice at the newly re-established monastery there. The birthplace of St. Benedict is an ancient walled city set in the rolling hills of a national park. Led by Dom Cassian Folsom, the monks have restored buildings, established a brewery and gift shop and have now recorded an award winning CD of Gregorian chant. . .

The monastic life is good for you—even in small doses, and to listen to the monks while you drive not only alleviates road rage, but also it clears your mind, helps put things in perspective, and clarifies your thoughts and feelings.

Link.… Read the rest



One of my favorite writers, Bill Kauffman, has a new book out: Poetry Night at the Ballpark and Other Scenes from an Alternative America. It’s pretty expensive ($49), but reasonably priced on Kindle: $9.99. I bought it last weekend and am greatly enjoying the surface of it that I’ve scratched.

Go here for a recent interview with Kauffman (where I first heard of the new book). Excerpt:

Peters: You’ve found interesting ways of describing yourself politically: “a blend of Catholic Worker, Old Right libertarian, Yorker transcendentalist, and delirious localist”; you have also described yourself as an “Independent. A Jeffersonian. An anarchist. A (cheerful!) enemy of the state, a reactionary Friend of the Library, a peace-loving football fan.” Get serious for a moment and tell us what kind of political beast you are.

Kauffman: I was being serious. But okay, how about this: I am the illegitimate son of Dorothy Day and H.D. Thoreau, conceived amid the asters and goldenrod of an Upstate NY September.

Random passage from one of the book’s earlier chapters:

This story starts with Ty Cobb and the famous “suspension game.” Cobb had gone into the stands in New York on May 15, 1912, to thrash a heckler who was yelling “Your sister screws niggers” and “Your mother is a whore.” The heckler, Claude Lueker, had lost all but two fingers on his hands to an industrial accident, though when told he’d throttled a handless man, truculent Ty replied that he’d have beaten up Lueker even if he had been legless.

Read the rest



A joke from Joseph Epstein’s entertaining essay, “You Could Die Laughing: Are Jewish Jokes a Humorous Subject?”

“Walking along the beach, Goldstein finds a bottle, picks it up, and—surprise! surprise!—a genie emerges. The genie instructs Goldstein that he will grant him one wish, and one wish only. Goldstein says he wishes for world peace. The genie tells him he gets that wish a lot, but it is impossible to fulfill, so, if he doesn’t mind, please try another wish. In that case, Goldstein says, he would like more respect from his wife, who maybe would spend less time and money on shopping and prepare a decent home-cooked meal for him every once in a while and possibly make some attempt to satisfy his sexual desires. The genie pauses, then says, ‘Goldstein, tell me what, exactly, it is you mean by world peace.'”… Read the rest


From the Gardening Journals

Well, I finally went off the deep end: I spent nearly $90 on a hoe. Yes, a hoe. It’s a Dewitt diamond hoe. It’s six-feet long, supposedly guaranteed to last a lifetime, and quite nifty.

What is a diamond hoe? It’s a hoe meant specifically for weeding. It’s more for weed prevention, so I’m a little late in the season to start using it, but I had to do something since my weeds are getting out of control. I’ve also been diagnosed with a degenerative disk “disease,” so bending over and hoeing the weeds with the traditional American square hoe won’t work (and never worked well, since the square hoe isn’t meant for weeding). The diamond hoe is held and operated like you would a broom: with your back straight. This video is a fair representation (go to 1:05):

It works great.

I have also ordered an oscillating hoe attachment for my wheel hoe.

osc hoe

I’m really hoping it helps me cut through the bigger weeds I’m grappling with. I like my wheel hoe, but the attachments it came with simply aren’t great for weeding. I’ve been assured by numerous sources that, for flat-out weed attack, a wheel hoe with oscillating attachment is the best.

We’ll see. … Read the rest


Miscellaneous Rambling

I’m really digging the “Daily Review” at Amazon Kindle:

Daily Review is a tool to help you review and remember the most significant ideas from your books. It shows you flashcards with either your highlights and notes or the Popular Highlights from one of your books.

Only books that you have marked as “read” are eligible for review, and Daily Review will take you through all of your read books, one per day.

The periodic review of ideas makes it easier to remember them. This works better if you space the reviews over increasing time intervals, a “Spacing Effect” that was first identified by German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus.

I log into my Amazon Kindle account, then start clicking on the flashcards. Lessons like this one, once easily forgotten, are now foisted back on me: “When self-love no longer receives any nourishment, in the end it can only starve to death.” Wilfrid Stinissen, Into Your Hands Father * * * * * * * That Stinissen book, incidentally, is highly recommended. * * * * * * * It’s good to know I’m not the only idiot out there: Jim Grant “is also the owner of ‘too many gold mining shares’ for which he has, ‘a great deal of worry for the present but a great deal of conviction for the future.’” Link. I, too, own a lot of mining stocks, much to my monetary detriment. I’m glad to see the financial world’s most-respected journalist is sharing my pain. He also owns physical gold, which has gotten hammered. I don’t own physical gold, so heck, I’m actually ahead of the game, vis-a-vis Mr. Grant. * * * * * * * The fact-free left: terrible minimum wage laws and other. Vintage Thomas Sowell. … Read the rest


To repeat myself: Satan is the representation of evil. No one, absolutely no one, worships evil for its own sake. Therefore, no one, by definition, can worship Satan.

I don’t expect all people to share my religion, but I expect everyone to share logic.

Read the rest

Just returned last night from a ten-day trip to my ancestral vacation home in Alpena, Michigan. Nothing much today. Just this picture of a great rainbow that formed over Lake Huron Monday evening after a rain. It was a full arch, with a double-rainbow forming behind parts of it.

RainbowRead the rest