Month: May 2018


misc-rambling-picMiscellaneous Rambling

misc-rambling-pic“140 White Castle locations began serving the vegan Impossible Burger, part of a new wave of plant-based proteins that taste, cook and, in some cases, bleed like the animal version. Unlike tofu dogs and Boca Burgers, these products are aimed squarely at carnivores.” Link. A vegan at White Castle is like a priest at a strip club.

misc-rambling-picI’ve never cared for White Castle. It had a competitor in its home town of Detroit, Top Hat, which I far preferred. I used to wolf their sliders down ten at a time. They were delicious, and they didn’t have that odd taste that made you think that maybe, just maybe, the old riddle about White Castle was true: Riddle: Why do White Castle hamburgers have five holes in them? Answer: It takes five bullets to kill a rat.

misc-rambling-picHell’s Kitchen, the Brooklyn, the Harlem: NYC is relentlessly pushing to clean up every neighborhood. The current project: The South Bronx. “SoBro.” I love the way the article refers to “affordable housing” and the “working class,” when referring to “slums” and “welfare recipients.” That’s not entirely fair, of course, but it’s not inaccurate either.

misc-rambling-picA legion of prison perverts hang its collective head in disappointment: “The Trump administration reversed a 2012 Obama administration order that allowed transgender inmate to choose where they are housed based on what sex they identify with. The Trump administration guidelines stipulate … Read the rest


Miscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereDo you have the personality to earn lots of money? It depends on whether you have some or all of these six traits. I have three of them in spades, though one of them, competitiveness, I’ve been trying to lose. The spiritual plane of competitiveness, Fr. Robert Spitzer points out, is the second lowest, the one just above animalistic (pursuit of base pleasures). It’s bothersome, and burdensome and worrisome, to see it still rearing its head in me constantly. I think the other five high-earner personality traits, incidentally, could be applied to determine whether a person has the potential to be a great saint. I’d have to ask Thomas Dubay (RIP), whose little book on this subject is splendid.

Ceiling. TrastevereSpeaking of saints, I never noticed what a dearth of great saint days there are during the late winter and early spring. Every week, I check my St. James Calendar of the Christian Year to see what feast days are coming up, and I rarely see any particularly noteworthy this time of year. This week gives us St. Matthias, an Apostle, so that’s a big one, but Peregrine of Auxerre and Theodotus and Dunstan? I’ve only heard of one of them (Dunstan). Contrast this with, say, October, which is chock full of the greats: T. Lisieux and Avila, Francis, Ignatius of Antioch, and a handful of apostles. Maybe they figure this time of … Read the rest


Weekend Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereSolo was released yesterday. I doubt I’ll go. I have tentatively decided not to go to any more Star Wars or super hero movies. Avengers Infinity War put me over the top, and it wasn’t bad. I just suddenly found myself tired: tired of not knowing how, exactly, these characters die; tired of the oh-so cute and ironic quips; tired of the political correctness.

Ceiling. TrastevereYears ago, I swore off animated movies. At this pace, I’m going to be relegated to watching reruns of 1980s movies, but no matter. We are in the Platinum Age of TV. There are so many great TV series out there that I missed: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, The Wire, Etc. and Etc. and Etc. I have enough crap to watch until I exit this vale of digital tears.

Ceiling. TrastevereI’m fascinated by the Chicago invasion last Saturday night. Have we ever had a city scene like we have in America today? Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, you had slums, but most of the big cities were middle class or upper-middle class. By the mid-1900s, the big cities were mixed among the classes. After the 1967 race riots, the cities quickly became almost entirely slum. Then in the late 1900s and early 2000s, a successful re-gentrification started to occur that, when combined with the few small areas that “hung on” … Read the rest


IMG_3150Brews You Can Use

Incredibly busy week. I unwound last night with my favorite simple concoction (tonic and New Amsterdam gin) for two hours, giving me a mild hangover this morning, but it’s alright. I needed to blow the dust off (a client’s term for getting rip-roaring drunk), but I settled for just wiping down the counter a bit.

My mint is in. The stuff is nearly invasive, but I like it. It makes my backyard smell great, and I can easily hoe it back, and it makes my Mojitos excellent. I’ll probably get the rum out tomorrow night and have a few with my eldest, Alex, who is coming home for Mother’s Day.

I’ve long been a fan of dive bars and the jukebox. I probably take after my father, who once camped out in a quiet northern Michigan bar for hours on a weekday afternoon with his brother-in-law, repeatedly playing “Seven Spanish Angels,” until the barmaid threatened to unplug the damn thing. So I was greatly interested when I saw this essay at The Atlantic: Digital Jukeboxes Are Eroding the Dive-Bar Experience. It’s a lengthy piece, and I haven’t had a chance to read all of it but it looks good. Excerpt:

On either side of economic crisis, dive bars traffic in fantasy. The supposed relic of Americana purity still exists in solidly ethnic neighborhoods and across the massive rural swaths

Read the rest


An American Airlines employee berated a young mom for carrying a breast pump. Although it’s still better than the time the same mom was on Spirit Airlines and she was asked to feed everyone in coach.… Read the rest


From the Gardening Journals

One of the coolest things about the free market is a thing called “entrepreneurial drift.” For years, I’ve encouraged my kids to start their own business, if for no other reason because it opens doors . . . or rather, jolts the entrepreneur to change his business to adapt to new opportunities or adverse conditions.

Max and I have suddenly found ourselves needing to adapt. The Maximum Greens production site has been partially overrun with a vibrant crop of grass that is suffocating the beds it has invaded. We are trying to figure out what exactly caused it, but we can’t put a finger on it.

So we’re adapting. The remaining beds at the site won’t be tilled: I pulled the last huge winter tarp back last night, and almost all the produce I left in the ground over the winter has decomposed, leaving (mostly) beautiful beds that look like they could be planted without any work. We’re going to add organic fertilizer and plant. That’s it. No chopping with a peasant hoe, no broad-forking, no scraping with the wheel hoe, and definitely no adding compost (which is where we think the grass came from, though that doesn’t explain everything).

It’s called the “no till” method, and it has a lot of adherents. I’m hoping to become one of them. Goodness knows, it’s a heckuva lot easier than what I’ve been … Read the rest