Month: November 2017


Miscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereGotta love the mild fall: I harvested over a pound of spinach yesterday evening, which means we have supplied our own non-GMO, organic greens for over seven months of the year. Plus we sold a ton (well, a quarter-ton; about 500 pounds, we estimate).

Ceiling. TrastevereFrom “Another Hole in My Historical Knowledge, Episode 198,442,440”: The Tulsa Race Riot. I’d never heard of it, but it was pretty bad. upwards of 300 killed. I found this part particularly fascinating: The riot was focused in the “traditionally black district of Greenwood in Tulsa, [which] had a commercial district so prosperous that it was known as “the Negro Wall Street” (now commonly referred to as “the Black Wall Street”). Blacks had created their own businesses and services in this enclave, including several grocers, two independent newspapers, two movie theaters, nightclubs, and numerous churches. Black professionals: doctors, dentists, lawyers, and clergy, served the community. Because of residential segregation in the city, most classes of blacks lived together in Greenwood. They selected their own leaders and raised capital there to support economic growth.”

Ceiling. TrastevereGreenwood reminds me of what I’ve read about many black communities prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964: they were thriving. Blacks were segregated from white businesses, so black businesses served them. Many black economies did quite well. So well, in fact, that many black businessmen opposed desegregation, knowing it would hurt their businesses, which it did. Exhibit A: The Negro Baseball League. This, of course, doesn’t mean segregation was a good thing. Segregation by law is evil, but segregation by choice, with the market deciding? That is an uncomfortable option that merits civilized discussion.

Ceiling. TrastevereThis is one of my favorite gardening tools. It’s a sturdy seat, then you flip it over, and it’s a kneeler. I’m surprised at … Read the rest

“The top-selling items of Cyber Monday this year included the Nintendo Switch, Apple AirPods and the popular children’s toy Hatchimals, while this year’s least popular toy is Tickle Me Harvey.” Seth Meyers… Read the rest



I ventured back into Detroit last weekend. It was our customary Thanksgiving weekend trip to see Marie’s parents and hang out with her brothers.

On Friday, we went to a Detroit landmark: Buddy’s Pizza. The original store. The pizza was delicious. The neighborhood? Not so delicious.

Buddy’s is located in the small city known as “Hamtramck,” but Hamtramck is an island within Detroit and, for all practical purposes, it is Detroit (while at Buddy’s, we saw a Detroit police cruiser in the parking lot; as we left Hamtramck on Mt. Elliott, no signs or scenery noted the change). The restaurant is located on Six Mile and Conant. By the time you get to Six Mile, you’re already miles removed from downtown Detroit and its renewal that I lauded just a few weeks ago. Conant is also known as “Mt. Elliott,” which is the road where the Solanus (Casey) Center is located. The Center is a charitable outreach, so it, as you can surmise, is not situated in a good neighborhood either. … Read the rest


misc-rambling-picMiscellaneous Rambling: Hollywoodrow and Retail

Ceiling. TrastevereYou thinking the LAPD is going to crack some skulls in Hollywood? Don’t hold your breath. From that Dave Thomson book on the history of Hollywood:

When the studio was still at Keystone, [director Raoul] Walsh was surprised to discover the studio closed one Saturday. . . The gateman told Walsh that the closure was an emergency. Some months earlier, a very pretty seventeen-year-old had come to work as an actress. But when she got pregnant, the outraged mother called the district attorney. Whereupon that officer of the court quietly called Keystone and advised that if anyone had anything to do with the girl to make themselves scarce, whereupon the whole studio emptied out.

“Charlie?” asked Walsh.

“He was the first to leave,” said the gateman.

Ceiling. TrastevereI dig Amazon, and I believe heartily in the inevitability. and desirability, of Joseph Schumpeter’s Creative Destruction, but it bums me out to see the traditional retailers getting squished. I rail against retailers for invading Thanksgiving, but then realize, “Heck, they’re just trying anything, everything, to make some money as Amazon demolishes their sales.” So I was happy to see this article: The Future Of Retail In The Age Of Amazon: As Jeff Bezos’s juggernaut continues to grow, forward-thinking competitors are finding creative ways to succeed—and be what Amazon can never be. Excerpt:

“Retail is under huge pressure, but the death of stores is greatly exaggerated,” says Galloway, who believes that while Amazon will continue to disrupt the market, an increasing number of competitors will discover new ways to respond. “In the age of Amazon, retailers must leverage assets that [Bezos] doesn’t have: When Amazon zigs, retailers must zag.”

There’s too much discussion about Target, but otherwise, it’s a good and optimistic piece.

Ceiling. TrastevereThis is a great … Read the rest


misc-rambling-picMiscellaneous Rambling: Lasciviousness Then and Now, Young and Old

Ceiling. TrastevereThe 2018 Johnny’s Seeds catalogue came on Saturday. I kinda felt like I did as a kid in the 1970s, when the JC Penny Christmas catalogue arrived. The biggest difference, of course, being that back then, I didn’t have to pay for any of the things I circled in the JC Penny catalogue.

Ceiling. TrastevereMen busted for arranging prostitutes for nursing home residents. Link. I’ve slowly started to believe that old people are often the worst, morally-speaking. At an age when other people begin to fear The Meeting, many of them seem intent on capitalizing on every reprobate moment possible. They also seem to be dishonest when it comes to money. Twice in the past year I’ve had old men flat-out lie to me when money was involved, in ways I’ve rarely encountered from anyone in any age bracket. Traditionally, the young man’s sin is lust and old man’s is avarice, but it increasingly looks like the sins aren’t age-specific.

Ceiling. TrastevereHey, speaking of sin, there are more sex investigations coming up in LA: Authorities in New York, London and Los Angeles are pursuing criminal cases against film producer facing a flood of sexual misconduct accusations; and LAPD predicts even bigger name stars will face sex-crime probes as it reveals there are 28 open investigations linked to Hollywood.

Ceiling. TrastevereI’m kinda conflicted on the whole thing. Yes, I love it: the libido left getting its just desserts, highlighting everything on the social side that’s wrong with liberalism: its rejection of traditional sexual morality, its celebration of excess (which it calls “freedom”), its blurring of the differences between men and women. But on the other hand, what did these attractive girls/women think would happen when they got to Hollywood? It doesn’t justify … Read the rest


Did your son or daughter, niece, grandson, or neighbor kid go to college and start to lose his faith? Are any of them struggling with proselytizers of various stripes? This book will help. We think highly enough of this book that we buy it in bulk every spring and give it to every high school Catholic who invites us to his grad party. … Read the rest


It’s the holiday season. As always, I request your patronage this holiday season by accessing Amazon through the banner in the upper righthand corner.

But I’ve decided that, this year, I’ll meet you halfway. I will make gift suggestions as part of my Miscellaneous Rambling posts. These are items that I have personally used and that I can in good faith recommend. They, in other words, come with the TDE Stamp of Approval. If you buy it for your loved one, you won’t be disappointed.

And if you access Amazon through the image I provide, I won’t be, either.

Today’s item: The Giant Destroyer.

Great stocking-stuffer for the guy who has gophers. You need to be sure to plug the gopher’s different holes first, but once you do, this will snuff him out. It took me three tries last summer, but at only $2 per tube, I didn’t much mind. Fun for the whole family!… Read the rest