Month: December 2018


Happy New Year, everyone. Be careful out there tonight.

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Another trip to Detroit Thursday. We spent yesterday downtown, exploring the sites. I continue to be impressed.

This time, we ventured to New Center, taking the QLine from the Detroit River through the gut of Woodward Avenue for about two miles to the middle of Detroit.

It wasn’t all pretty. Detroit still has a loooooong way to go. That being said, some of the neighborhoods we went through were absolutely crime-ridden just 20 years ago. The mere fact that people are passing through them on a trolley line is a huge improvement. None of the neighborhoods struck me as dangerous and we got off and walked around many of them.

But it’s still Detroit, and it still has its, ahem, unsettling denizens. We encountered a few bums, way too many panhandlers, and two nut jobs, one of whom (a broken down, partially-blind African-American in her mid-sixties) berated my sweet daughter Abbie for no reason whatsoever . . . and the management of the establishment where we were eating did nothing to remove the woman, almost like it’s a routine occurrence.

So, I recommend Detroit, but beware if you start getting beyond the downtown area. The area just outside of downtown is still a bit sketchy and, of course, if you get way outside of downtown, the neighborhoods become downright dangerous. … Read the rest


Miscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. TrastevereLittle Kid: Santa gave me coal in my stocking last year. I tried to get even with him by putting out cookies laced with cyanide. That bastard found out and killed my dad.”

Ceiling. TrastevereWow: Witches now outnumber Presbyterians in the U.S. Link. That’s unbelievable. Bunch of LGBT activists with a vapid veneer of dogma, calling themselves a “religion.” I’m not sure what to think about the witches.

Ceiling. TrastevereEasy there, my brothers of the Knoxian stripe, I’m just joking. … Read the rest


Another Christmas whizzes by. They’re getting easier, though. I told my kids that, when they were little, we would finish opening presents and they’d all be standing there, wanting Marie and me to put together or play X, Y, or Z. We then had to play/work for awhile with one, then shift to the other, etc. All that on, like, six hours sleep.

Not now. We got over seven hours of sleep, then opened 100+ presents at a leisurely pace, finished around 10:30, then napped or did whatever for the rest of the day until the evening festivities at my mom’s.

Every age of life brings its own blessings and trials, but I really enjoy this Christmas pace more than I did the fevered pace of Christmases past. Those were great, too, of course, with the squealing kids too excited to sleep, thinking Santa is coming, and in general bouncing off the walls, but my disposition is more geared to the more subdued.

The Christmas celebrations will continue around my house through New Years, so expect slow blogging.

Have a great Feast of St. Stephen. … Read the rest

December 25th

“He is born poor, and he teaches us that happiness is not to be found in an abundance of earthly goods. He comes into the world without any ostentation, encouraging us to be humble and not to depend on the applause of men.”

Francis Fernandez… Read the rest

December 24th

Christmas Eve

“He rules the world with truth and grace.” —Isaac Watts ++ “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” —Charles Dickens ++ “The Incarnation…illuminates and orders all other phenomena, explains both our laughter and our logic, our fear of the dead and our knowledge that it is somehow good to die, and which at one stroke covers what multitudes of separate theories will hardly cover for us if this is rejected.” —C.S. Lewis ++ “Regarding not the day, let us give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son… If it be possible to honor Christ in the giving of gifts, I cannot see how while the gift, giver and recipient are all in the spirit of the world… [B]ut we have a Christ gift the entire year.” —Charles Spurgeon ++ “Holiday and Holy Day, Christmas is more than a yule log, holly or tree. It is more than natural good cheer and the giving of gifts. Christmas is even more than the feast of the home and of children, the feast of love and friendship. It is more than all of these together. Christmas is Christ, the Christ of justice and charity, of freedom and peace.” —Francis Cardinal Spellman ++ “The place that the shepherds found was not an academy or an abstract republic; it was not a place of myths allegorized or dissected or explained away. It was a place of dreams come true.” —G.K. Chesterton… Read the rest

Episode 14 Posted

Link to Episode.

Link to Show Notes:

Next Week: I plan on producing a podcast next week, over the holidays, but it’ll probably be unusual fare.

Sol Invictus. No, Christmas predates Sol Invictus, but the question of pagan practices’ influence on Christian practices is interesting. I don’t look at the history much, but rather, focus on the premonition of truth that I think was at work.

The Jesus Prayer. “Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Just twelve words. The path to praying without ceasing (Thessalonians 5)?

Econtalk and Secular Groping. The more we advance, the more we go backwards: As we get away from modernism, we start to rediscover ancient truths. It’s a phenomenon that has long fascinated me. I delve into it here. … Read the rest