Month: February 2017


At last night’s Oscars, a film producer who appeared in the “In Memoriam” montage, turns out she’s alive. Even worse, she’s scratching loudly at the roof of her coffin.

New research finds that people who have ADHD literally have different brains. When told this, people with ADHD said, “I like pancakes.”

This was the first year that Amazon took home Oscars. Amazon won two Oscars for “Manchester by the Sea,” and one for “A 4-Pack of Norelco Waterproof Razor Blades.”

Spain is trying to boost its national birthrate by appointing a national “sex tsar.” I’d like to lodge a complaint, because Sex Tsar is my username on Tinder.… Read the rest


More Miscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereMy daughter went to high school with a Mexican girl who gave up food for Lent. True story. I gotta believe she drank a lot of smoothies and such, but heck if I know.

Ceiling. TrastevereDoes anybody know of any good, balanced books on the GMO food debate? I read about it online, and it’s almost like Hudge and Gudge are facing off in a sort of schizophrenic battle: Big Corporate has combined with Big Education to concoct studies that say GMO foods are fine, while Socialists ag-types want Big Government to shut down GMO production. Big Corporate dismisses the anti-GMO people as nuts, while the anti-GMO people allege Big Corporate is corrupt . . . while wanting Big Government to shut them down, which, of course, is like asking a boss from one Mafia family to kill the boss of another Mafia family: absent some really compelling reason, it ain’t gonna happen because they’re far more partners in corruption than adversaries. And if it does happen, it’s only because of a corrupt purpose.

Ceiling. TrastevereI strongly lean in favor of non-GMO food. I don’t trust Big Corporate, the allegations of the non-GMO crowd ring true, and my own experience is that non-GMO food is better for you: if I eat a lot of non-GMO fresh spinach, my appetite is thoroughly squelched in a way it isn’t when I eat store-bought spinach. Is it because I eat it fresh (so it doesn’t lose a lot of nutrients over the weeks of shipping and sitting on shelves) or because it’s non-GMO? Beats me. (And yes, I realize this single gastric anecdote isn’t compelling, much less … Read the rest


misc-rambling-picMiscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereLent nears. I’ve never been a big fan of Mardi Gras, though. Excess on the eve of fast makes the fast much harder. Oh sure, I do a bit of it, but I’m not a big fan.

Ceiling. TrastevereEvery year, the Mardi Gras coverage makes me want to read some Walker Percy.

Ceiling. TrastevereInteresting blog post: Did George Washington die a Catholic? The primary piece of evidence that he did: “Rev Francis Neale was called from Piscataway across the Potomac and stayed with General Washington four hours before he died.” The priest wrote down what happened during those four hours and sealed it . . . the envelope was later sent to Rome, never to be seen again. It might surface some day. The post does a nice job of summarizing evidence against a deathbed conversion, including GW’s Free Masonry.

Ceiling. Trastevere

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Museum of the Amer Cocktail

I just learned about this: The Museum of the American Cocktail. I’ve long wanted to get to New Orleans. This Museum just increased the chances I’ll make the trip.

Of course, even something as cool as a museum about drinking can’t escape the PC police: “The Museum of the American Cocktail seeks to advance the profession and increase consumer knowledge of mixology while stressing the importance of responsible drinking.”

Gosh, make me vomit. I mean, you don’t need to promote excess, but such grasps at cheap grace are lame. You’ve put together a (presumably) cool museum that appeals to adults. Leave it at that: “antique bottles, books, openers and all other aspects of imbibing ephemera to rotating exhibits like the current ‘New Orleans Prohibition Raids, 1919–1933.'” (Description from

That’s great stuff. You don’t need to caveat it with a sideways apology (“Sorry for having a museum that celebrates alcohol, but we also promote responsible drinking”).

I wouldn’t even care if someone started a Museum of American Excess: Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Earnest Hemingway, and the Art of Drunken Writing; the Peculiar Institution and Promotion of Excess; Rock-n-Roll and its Sine Qua Non; Reefer Madness; Nevada. It would have a room dedicated to Kerouac, or maybe the Beats in general. It could have an entire wing devoted to New York City: a walk-through replica of NYC’s Bowery circa 1965, a Five Points History, High Times at Studio 54 1977-1979, Heroin and Harlem, the Cotton Club. The museum could hire Thaddeus Russell as its curator or special adviser.

Just a thought, but regardless, it would not, under any circumstances, have any … Read the rest

Three Archetypes


From Garet Garrett’s The American Story (1955):

George Washington was unanimously elected President. John Adams was Vice-President. Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence but had nothing to do with writing the Constitution because he was then in Paris, was Secretary of State. Washington was conservative. Adams was the self-contained middle class principle. Jefferson, who loved revolution and hated bloodshed, was the common man’s first hero. Nearly every line of political cleavage for more than one hundred and fifty years thereafter could be traced back to that triangle.

Interesting, that. Unfortunately, Garrett wasn’t around to see Barack Obama and the disorder he introduced. None of the special-interest group politics that has driven the Democratic Party falls in any of the three camps. Jefferson comes closest, but the reference to Jefferson’s hatred of bloodshed rules him out as their archetype. … Read the rest


Yet More Miscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereDigging this warm weather? Putting your garden in early? Don’t get too confident. A TDE reader sends this along from an Illinois weather site: “We set a bunch of record temperatures in February 1930 (the records we are breaking now). The following March 1930 there were significant snow falls with up to 19″ of total accumulation. To say winter is completely over is a farce.”

Ceiling. TrastevereBut I have those four low tunnels, so I’ve jumped into planting with spinach, Red Russian kale, and radishes. We’ll see what I get. I had a big spinach harvest last week, but not enough for sale, just enough for personal consumption.

Ceiling. TrastevereNow that I’m working with Max to sell greens (here’s the site), I decided, “I have to figure out once and for all whether I should capitalize the names of vegetables.” I consulted The Chicago Manual of Style and discovered . . . pretty much nothing. “Common names of plants and animals are capitalized in a bewildering variety of ways, even in lists and catalogs having professional status. . . . Chicago Press recommends a down style . . . capitalizing only proper nouns and adjectives . . .”. 7.107-109 (14th ed.). So, “spinach,” but “Red Russian kale.” Or should it be Red Russian Kale?

Ceiling. TrastevereI greatly enjoy such technical issues, though the frenzied pace of life normally requires me to dispense with them. For some odd reason, clients don’t want to pay me by the hour to track down such things.

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