The Traditional TDE Blog (est. 2004)

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May 16, 2021

When asked if he’d rather go to heaven or listen to a lecture about heaven, a theologian responded, “I’ll take the lecture.”

That’s a joke from this valuable book: The Mindful Catholic (2018). I’d been looking for a book like this for years. Orthodox (former Benedict Groeschel student), open to the mindfulness idea (which is normally infused with Buddhism and stained with syncretism), and updated for current science about how our minds work.

I’m only half way through it, but as of now, highly recommended.


Please Don’t Let It End

As the pandemic finally winds down, I’ve been getting the eery sense that some people don’t want it to. I’ve had that sense for a year now. After it became clear that we had flattened the curve, we weren’t going to run out of respirators, and hospitals would not be over-run, people kept supporting restrictions. When it became clear that the mortality rate from COVID was less than the flu and therefore simply wasn’t an extraordinary risk, people kept wearing masks.

I used to think it was just political. The Left was vested in the COVID narrative, so Leftists insisted we stay the course.

I also thought there was a large amount of virtue-signaling and general pleasure in telling people what to do, feeling superior.

But now I think there’s something more. Mental illness? Weakness? Lack of character? I really don’t know, Professor Bidziszewslki senses it too. He calls it “fragility.”

The mental composure of a great many university students these days is fragile.  You would be surprised by how many miss classes, and how many classes they miss, because of depression or anxiety.  Student health administrators send letters to faculty asking them to excuse the absences of perturbed students, allow them extra time on tests, and make a variety of other accommodations for them, because their discomposure is considered a disability.

For that matter, the equanimity of a lot of other citizens is pretty fragile too.  They were anxious before the epidemic.  They have been anxious because of the epidemic.  According to therapists interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, now some of them appear to be anxious because the epidemic is tapering down.  Its windup hints at the possible loss of rules that not only soothe and comfort them, but also reassure them that their anxieties are appropriate.

May 14, 2021

The Dirty Mojito

The Cuban Mojito, a/k/a “The Dirty Mojito”

Well, I think I nailed the Cuban Mojito on my first try.

Step One:

.75 shot of lime juice

.75 shot of simple syrup

2 shots of rum

A basil leaf, six mint leaves, a few cilantro twigs

Eight ice cubes

Put into shaker and shake (shaker up around your ear; white-man overbite facial expression)

Step Two:

Fill tall glass 1/3rd of the way with ice

Add batch of cilantro, basil leaves, and mint leaves, holding same to side of glass

Add more ice to 2/3rds

Pour in contents of shaker

Top with club soda

The above picture is what it looks like after you drink it. It is a phenomenal drink and supposedly fairly healthy, at least within the realm of drinks that pack a punch.

The Drunken Botanist


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Taki Mag takes apart racism at the Oscars. Excerpt:

[W]ho can forget the absolute catastrophe that occurred later in that same show, when the Academy’s greatest shot at racial redemption was bollixed beyond repair. Moonlight, a film about black (check!) Hispanic (check!) immigrant (check!) gay lovers (check check!), won Best Picture, but desiccated dementia mummies Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway read the wrong winner. Moonlight had earned very little at the box office, almost certainly due to its tagline “Blacks, Drugs & Anal Sex: See It or You’re Hitler,” so the producers had been counting on that win to keep their molasses-paced X-rated Afterschool Special from slipping into obscurity.


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Matt Taibbi’s new piece is excellent: Reporters Once Challenged the Spy State. Now, They’re Agents of It.


J.D. Vance is running for Senate. He’s a smidgeon too much to the Conventional County Club Republican left for my taste, but just a smidgeon. He’d get my vote.


Monday, May 10, 2021

Fr. Damien’s feast day is today. For some reason, my otherwise-reliable Fellowship of St. James Calendar of the Christian Year doesn’t list it. Very odd. Maybe they’ve been taking editing hints from AOC. (Just kidding . . . It’s a Touchstone publication. They’re solid, to say the least.)

The Calendar also says the RCC celebrates the feast day of Job today. I didn’t know the RCC had feast days for Old Testament figures, but it does . . . kinda. EWTN flushes it out.

Wikipedia says my old church, Missouri Synod Lutheran, celebrates Job’s feast on May 9th. That was entirely new to me . . . the idea that Lutherans have any feast days.


So, MSN will now use robot curators to suggest stories to its browser users. If its algorithms work like Medium.com’s, it will be rabidly leftist, but it’s hard to believe AI can be much more leftist than the human curators MSN has been using. From England:

Staff who maintain the news homepages on Microsoft’s MSN website and its Edge browser – used by millions of Britons every day – have been told that they will be no longer be required because robots can now do their jobs.

Around 27 individuals employed by PA Media – formerly the Press Association – were told on Thursday that they would lose their jobs in a month’s time after Microsoft decided to stop employing humans to select, edit and curate news articles on its homepages.

Employees were told Microsoft’s decision to end the contract with PA Media was taken at short notice as part of a global shift away from humans in favour of automated updates for news.


Sunday, Mother’s Day

No blogging today. You might say I’m “detained.”

Friday, May 7, 2021

BYCU

Are you looking for the best spring cocktail? Vinepair has provided a list after polling 14 bartenders.

I only recognize five of the drinks, have only drank two of them, and only make one of them: the Tom Collins. But it has this helpful advice for the Tom Collins fans out there:

Sometimes I’ll add a dash of Angostura bitters or absinthe to spice things up a bit. Or if I’m feeling lazy, gin and soda with a squeeze of citrus does the trick just fine, too. It’s a template that allows for easy tinkering, depending on your mood. Spring and gin go hand in hand as far as I’m concerned. Here’s how we make Tom Collins’ at the bar: 2 ounces of gin — preferably London Dry but Old Tom is great, too — and 3/4 ounce of both lemon juice and simple syrup. Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake briefly but firmly. Double strain into a chilled Collins glass and top with 2 ounces of soda water. Fill with ice. Garnish with a cherry and orange twist.” —Carlo Caroscio, Bar Manager, Backbar, Somerville, Mass.

The article also had an easy suggestion for making Tom Collins variations: flavored vodkas.

The mixed drink I find myself enjoying the most this season is a classic Tom Collins made with Absolut Mango Vodka in place of gin. You can also easily swap out the mango vodka for any other flavor you prefer. This drink was introduced to me by one of my respected mentors, Andrew Willett, who taught me to keep an open mind and helped me realize there is a place for flavored vodka. My preferred recipe is: 2 ounces of Absolut Mango Vodka, an ounce of lemon juice, and 3/4 ounce of simple syrup. Shake with ice, strain into a Collins glass with ice, and top with about 2 ounces of soda water.” —Harry Chin, Lead Bartender, MW Restaurant, Honolulu


Thursday, May 6, 2021

Job

It’s my patron saint’s feast day today: Job the Long-Suffering. I will have been married 30 years this August.

And yes, it’s the same Job (from the Old Testament). It’s an Eastern Orthodox feast day.


I shouldn’t read a soundbite quote and label someone a full-on moron, but . . .

Bishop Robert McElroy defended President Joe Biden receiving Holy Eucharist, arguing that those who would deny pro-abortion politicians Communion are overlooking racism. “Their logic is that abortion and euthanasia are particularly grave evils … and they involve threats to human life,” he wrote. “But why hasn’t racism been included in the call for eucharistic sanctions against political leaders?”

Link

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

In Praise of Satire (but does Our Current Milieu Defy It?)

The new issue of The New Criterion leads with an editorial against woke culture, using the satire of Jonathan Swift as its launching point; the Babylon Bee as a mid-point; and concern that our present situation defies satire and deserves only ridicule as its end-point.

The political and moral contours of our situation make initiatives like The Babylon Bee so valuable. The Bee is intended as a satirical site, and its satire can cut very close to the bone. Consider some recent headlines: “Media Relieved To Be Covering The Good Kind Of Riots Again,” which speaks for itself. “Sesame Street Introduces ‘Todd,’ A White Male Muppet Who Is Blamed For Everything.” The story is not by Ibram X. Kendi, the author of the bestselling anti-white diatribe How to Be an Antiracist, but it would take a sharp man to tell. Or how about this one? “New Disney+ Premium Service Will Send A Satanist Drag Queen To Your House To Teach Your Kids About Communism.” You might need to check on that—right after you digest Disney’s announcement that it is adding to several classics from its children’s catalogue, including DumboPeter Pan, and Swiss Family Robinson, a disclaimer advising that the programs contain “negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.”


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

I seem to recall that Hilaire Belloc raged when a historian wrote a massive history of the Middle Ages and didn’t mention the Mass even once. How could anyone cover those 1,000 years and not mention the thing that was central to those 1,000 years?

The non-Catholic phenomenon continues. Consider this piece, where an “art critic” marvels at medieval paintings that show a “dog smoking a joint.” A momentary glance shows that it’s not a joint but rather a candle . . . and the dog holds it along the edge, not at the tip like someone toking a joint. But no matter, the art critic finds it really funny and worth exegesis.

The dog, incidentally, is a symbol of St. Dominic:

Before Dominic was born his mother had a dream in which she saw Dominic born under the appearance of a white and black dog, holding in his mouth a torch which illuminated the world. We are told that on the day of his baptism his godmother beheld him, in a vision, with a brilliant star gleaming on his forehead. These two stories have found a place in the coat of arms of the Order, on the shield of which is to be found the dog with his torch, and the shining star of the saint’s baptismal day.

The Birth of St. Dominic

Monday, May 3, 2021

Massive and Weird

Reading: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. So, what prompted me start reading a 950-page work of fiction that I doubt I’ll finish?

Like all decisions in life, it was an amalgamation of things:

Russ Roberts at Econtalk spoke favorably of Wallace’s essays, so I bought Consider the Lobsterand enjoyed it.

It enjoys both cult classic and regular classic status among readers.

It came out over 20 years, thereby meeting Nassim Taleb’s recommendation: never read a book unless it has been out for at least 20 years.

And the final nail in the coffin? I read an essay about it that said there are 100 pages of footnotes (to a work of fiction) and even the footnotes have footnotes. That sold me.

Greatly enjoying so far . . . at page 30 . . . but it’s weird fare.


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Happy Easter, to our Orthodox brethren.


Saturday, May 1, 2021

No time for blogging today. It’s World Naked Gardening Day. I gotta get hoppin’.


Friday, April 30, 2021

BYCU

At what point of maturation does a person not feel compelled to make a statement with every public action?

Introducing “Torched Earth Ale” from New Belgium:

The Colorado-based brewery has put together the less-than-ideal beer as a way to highlight the importance of preventing climate change; it’s brewed with the limited ingredients that would likely be available in a climate-ravaged future, and it provides a sobering (no pun intended) glimpse of what craft beer fans can look forward to if they don’t act now to reduce carbon emissions and fight global warming.

Of course, it could simply be the more noble act of pandering for profit.


Thursday, April 29, 2021

Miami

Has anyone else (tried to) watch One Night in Miami? I got through the first 30 minutes but couldn’t take anymore. It’s bad. I mean, comically bad. Amazon hyped the crap out of it, but it’s quite possibly the worse movie I’ve seen in 25 years.

Granted, I only watched the first 30 minutes, but that was enough. If anyone has watched the entire thing and tells me it gets a lot better–a plot line develops, they bother to use quality backdrops, the acting becomes passable–let me know.


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

DC a State?

Pat Buchanan breaks down the problems with making DC a state.

Making D.C. a state would send two Democrats to the Senate indefinitely. But it would violate the constitution and compact under which the nation was founded. And it would start a stampede for other disfiguring alterations, like packing the Supreme Court by adding four new justices.

Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and American Samoa could soon follow and enter claims to become states of the American Union.

And a second unraveling of the republic would begin.


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Wild Gardening Note: I forgot to mention last week: It’s crucial that you always use open-pollinated seeds (heirlooms). Hybrid seeds don’t reproduce.

BTW: My self-seeding greens (“volunteers”) are now over 100. I’ve stopped counting.


Immigrants Don’t Like It Either

For the One Thing File: No immigrant wants to come here.

That’s from yesterday’s Econtalk episode: “Roya Hakakian on A Beginner’s Guide to America.”

Ms. Hakakian points out that every immigrant is being forced to leave their country. Every person, by nature, wants to stay at their home, in their customary surroundings, with friends and family. But circumstances make that impossible.

That seems obvious now that she said it, but I can’t say I ever thought of it like that. In addition to the One Thing file, I should probably add it to my file of basic observations that every person should acknowledge because, even though they don’t settle the debate, it gives us one common point of agreement, like the observation that many of us lived under a form of totalitarianism in 2020.


Monday, April 26, 2021

Anti-Fragile

The Burning Platform dude is bearing down for economic armegeddon. Of course, it seems to me that he’s been bearing down for years now and his predictions haven’t come true. Still, everything he says makes sense.

And what does he say that makes sense? Just this: Everything is in a bubble and the economy makes no sense and everything is obviously about to collapse. He says Dogecoin is a joke but is worth billions; the stock market is higher than anyone dreamed it would be; real estate prices are through the roof. Even baseball cards, he notes, have entered a bubble.

His advice? Make yourself as anti-fragile as possible. For him, that means paying down debt, buying a generator for his house, and taking control of his IRA (presumably, so he can buy precious metal stocks, but he doesn’t say that).

My response: You’re right . . . maybe, probably, perhaps.


I was talking with a friend yesterday about my very small Dogecoin investment from last December. It has returned 10,000%. If I had bet real money on it, I could retire now, but I’m satisfied that my gains were enough to buy me a small generator. I’m holding onto it and my friend was curious why I don’t just liquidate the entire thing since even I don’t “get Dogecoin, believe in Dogecoin, or want Dogecoin.

My response: I don’t get, believe in, or want any investment anymore, but the cash has to go someplace. I might as well keep it in the casino where, if diversified enough, it could pay-off.

And in the meantime, I will continue along the track counseled by Burning Man and try to make myself as anti-fragile as possible.

Tonight, another few rows of potatoes go into the ground.


Saturday, April 24, 2021

Running Woman

Limited time for blogging this morning.

Yesterday was Daughter Day: helped eldest daughter close on her first house in Ann Arbor, attended youngest daughter’s high school tennis match, then trekked over to Hillsdale College to watch middle daughter run in the steeplechase. Four of her siblings, two grandparents, one cousin, and three uncles/aunts came in to watch the 10:46 minute affair, most coming from the Detroit area. Such is the running passion of my in-laws.

She’s in Hillsdale blue in the following ten-second video.

She ended up finishing fifth out of about 80 runners. It was only her second try at this odd event.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Poverty

From the One Thing File: We started measuring poverty during the LBJ administration, which had declared war on poverty. In order to know the enemy, it had to know how many enemies existed. The measure it came up with? Calculate the cost to eat for a year and multiply by three. If your household income is less than that, you’re in poverty. The test is still used to this day. Econtalk


Sunday, April 18, 2021

LOTR: $465,000,000

The Amazon Lord of the Rings series hype just keeps getting bigger. It now appears that it’s going to be one of the most-expensive TV show ever: $465 million to produce Season One alone.

And what’s even better: It appears it can’t go woke, at least not much. The rules of engagement prohibit it (maybe the Tolkien estate was so disgusted by Hobbit movie debacle (the “Hobacle?”) and its inclusion of a heroine female elf, that it took a firm line on this one?):

“The Tolkien Estate will insist that the main shape of the Second Age is not altered. Sauron invades Eriador, is forced back by a Númenorean expedition, is returns to Númenor,” Tom Shippey, a Tolkien scholar, told the German fansite Deutsche Tolkien “There he corrupts the Númenoreans and seduces them to break the ban of the Valar. All this, the course of history, must remain the same. But you can add new characters and ask a lot of questions, like: What has Sauron done in the meantime? Where was he after Morgoth was defeated? Theoretically, Amazon can answer these questions by inventing the answers, since Tolkien did not describe it. But it must not contradict anything which Tolkien did say. That’s what Amazon has to watch out for. It must be canonical, it is impossible to change the boundaries which Tolkien has created, it is necessary to remain ‘tolkienian.’”

So, we won’t see naked hobbits, but I think we are going to see a lot flesh.


Friday, April 16, 2021

BYCU: Mojito Time?

I can’t say there’s a lot of drinking on my horizon. I’m still detoxing from Vegas, and I’m rattled with allergies right now, the effects of which mimic COVID symptoms, which makes me persona non grata at the local watering holes.

On top of that, hell season starts tonight with Tess’ first tennis match. It should be a fairly temperate hell season, though. I have no high school seniors and Max opted to get his first real job instead of doing a sport. When you have only one kid in a sport, you kind of look forward to the events, knowing you won’t have six a week for the next six weeks.

So even though there’s no drinking on my horizon, the garden is calling me to the tempter. I’ve been wanting to make the ultimate mojito, basing it on what I drank in Miami two years ago. On a trip to Little Havana, I bought a mojito, and it was amazing. It was filled with greens (looked like seaweed, to be frank). I think the greens were mint, cilantro, and basil but I’m not sure.

Well, this spring, I’m gonna try to find out. My mint is thriving, the cilantro is volunteering all over the place (I try to let all my greens go to seed and blow all over the place; it’s part of my “wild garden” effort, which I plan to write about extensively later). I also have basil that I’ve grown from seed in my grow station.

I’m greatly tempted to take my first stab at a killer mojito recipe later tonight and start tracking the results.

I’ll keep y’all apprised.


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

A few final Vegas notes

1. According to my tour bus driver, he couldn’t get a job in a Vegas casino because his grandmother was third cousins with Bugsy Siegel. The guy didn’t strike me as Jewish, and I’ve come to question some of the “facts” he spouted while on the trip, but I suppose it’d make sense. If you really want to root it out, you gotta be thorough. Pete Rose, after all, still isn’t in the Hall of Fame.

2. If you go to Fremont Street East (the emerging downtown “hot spot”), try Evel Knievel Pizza (a/k/a “Evel Pie”). It’s really good, if you like thin, greasy pizza. Lots of Evel memorabilia.

3. When Steve Wynn built the Wynn, he spent $1 billion on the air circulation system. This is another “fact” from my bus driver, but I’d heard before that Wynn spent a ton of money to make sure the air was as pristine as possible. My bus driver said you can notice a difference in the skin of the long-time workers there.

4. The newest casino, Circa, on Fremont Street downtown has a Wynn vibe. It apparently also has the Wynn-type air.


Sunday, April 11, 2021

The Return Eudemon

I returned from Las Vegas last night. I’m a bit groggy this morning, to say the least.

Expect a full-blown Vegas post/essay tomorrow morning, maybe later this evening. There’s a lot happening in Vegas . . . a shocking amount: bouncing back post-COVID, three major areas of development, Vegas reinventing itself yet again. I suspect the City of No-Substance will crack the million citizen mark before the end of the 2020s (currently, it has almost 600,000 residents . . . almost entirely consisting of people living off the entertainment industry).


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Call Me “Michigan Fats”

I bought a Connelly pool table last week. I think it’s the San Carlos model, which retails for about $4,000. I bought a used one, refurbished.

I’m fortunate to have a “pool table guy” right in my small town. He was the one who “turned me onto” Connelly, calling it the “Cadillac of pool tables.” He was able to get me a 7’ table for $2,400, which included new felt and bumpers and sawing apart and removing the 1969 8’-Brunswick table that I inherited from my parents when I bought their house (which they bought in 1969). The seller also included a set of used balls, three new cues, and chalk.

I really wanted to preserve that Brunswick. If Connelly is the Cadillac of tables, Brunswick is the Rolls Royce. The felt was 52-years-old and the bumpers dead, but I had dreams of refurbishing it along the lines of something you’d see on Pawn Stars.

But the pool guy nixed it. He said that, for starters, mine was a really weird Brunswick. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if my parents paid $20,000 in today’s dollars fir it, but it was so odd, he wasn’t even sure it was a Brunswick. He had to crawl under it to confirm that it was, indeed, a Brunswick. Then he noticed the bumpers are no longer manufactured, and the ball return carriage (a rarity in domestic pool tables) is probably no longer available. When he took off the top of the table (the first step to replace the felt), the whole carriage snapped, which he warned me could happen.

He couldn’t even estimate how much it would cost to refurbish, and it was nothing he wanted to cancel.

So I unleashed him on the Chicago-to-Detroit route, looking for a replacement. After a few months, he found me the Connelly.

I’m not working on my game, preparing for my trip to Vegas in a few days, where I plan to enter a few tournaments (just, you know, to say I did). Marie is rolling her eyes.


Happy Easter

“When the disciples saw the risen Christ, they beheld him as a reality in the world, though no longer of it, respecting the order of the world, but Lord of its laws. To behold such reality was different and more than to see a tree or watch a man step through a doorway. To behold the risen Christ was an experience that burst the bounds of the ordinary. This explains the extraordinary wording of the texts: the strangeness of Christ’s ‘appearing,’ ‘vanishing,’ suddenly standing in the middle of a room or at someone’s side. Hence the abruptness, fragmentariness, oscillation, contradictoriness of the writing–the only true form for content so dynamic that no existing form can contain it.”

Romano Guardini

Holy Saturday

Nyssa, Tolkien, and Gibson

By killing Jesus, Satan had swallowed God’s bait. He didn’t know he had swallowed the Godhead, thereby inviting Full Being into his fortress of nothingness and bringing about the ontological fall of his nothingness. In the words of St. Gregory of Nyssa: “The Godhead hid under the covering of our human nature so as to offer an easy bait to him who sought to exchange us for a more precious prize. And the aim was that just like a greedy fish he would swallow the hook of divinity together with the bait of the flesh. Thus life would come to dwell in death, light would appear in darkness, and thus light and life would achieve the destruction of all that stood against them.”

You can imagine Satan’s smile as Jesus was sucked into the abyss. After watching Jesus enter hell, Satan was probably about to turn his attention back toward earth. But according to an ancient homily from Holy Saturday, Jesus, upon entering hell, met Adam, took his hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper and rise from the dead, and Jesus will give you light. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image.”

Thus the terror was reversed: The tormentor, Satan, became the tormented; the tormented, Jesus, became the tormentor; hate, the weapon of the first tormentor, was replaced with love, the weapon of the second tormentor.

It’s difficult to imagine the full terror that raced through Satan as he realized what was happening, but there’s an excellent literary analogy toward the end of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and the torment that befell Sauron, Tolkien’s literary parallel to Satan. The hobbit, Frodo, bearer of the Ring that was the source of Sauron’s power, had sneaked into the middle of Sauron’s kingdom, Mount Doom, and stood at the abyss of the Crack of Doom, home of the only fires fierce enough to destroy the Ring: “The Dark Lord was suddenly aware of him . . . and the magnitude of his own folly was revealed to him in a blinding flash . . . Then his wrath blazed in consuming flame, but his fear rose like a vast black smoke to choke him. For he knew his deadly peril and the thread upon which his doom now hung. From all his policies and webs of fear and treachery, from all his strategems and wars his mind shook free; and throughout his realm a tremor ran, his slaves quailed, and his armies halted, [Sauron’s] whole mind and purpose . . . was now bent with overwhelming force upon the Mountain. At his summons, wheeling with a rending cry, [Sauron’s highest servants, the Ringwraiths] hurtled southwards to Mount Doom.”

But they got there too late. The Ring had been destroyed, and with it Sauron’s power.

Like his literary personification Sauron, Satan must have streaked southwards—downwards—to hell, only to watch helplessly as his evil work was undone. Ontologically speaking, man’s path to being had been restored and the path to nothingness, though still open to those who choose it, had been redirected to the path of Heaven. The path to full existence was opened to any person willing to accept the redemption—the restoration of man’s being—effected by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Good Friday

“Think of how you are your whole world. Emotionally, psychologically: everything revolves around you. Even your attempts to be selfless are selfish . . . ultimately serving yourself. You can’t escape.

“And then you might see how you can be the sole cause of all His suffering. You are your world, so His death was only for you.” Anonymous

“The Son of God suffered unto the death, not that men might not suffer, but that their sufferings might be like His.” George MacDonald

“The cross cannot be defeated. . . For it is Defeat.” G.K. Chesterton

On those who hate Christianity: “They do not dislike the Cross because it is a dead symbol; but because it is a live symbol.” G.K. Chesterton

“[A]s long as sin remains on earth, still will the Cross remain.” Fulton Sheen

“God has given us our lives as wheat and grapes. It is our duty to consecrate them and bring them back to God as bread and wine–transubstaniated, divinized, and spiritualized. There must be harvest in our hands after the springtime of the earthly pilgrimage. That is why Calvary is erected in the midst of us, and we are on its sacred hill. We were not made to be mere on-lookers . . . but rather to be participants in the mystery of the Cross.” Fulton Sheen.

“Since the symbols of baptism and the eucharist flowed from his side, it was from his side that Christ fashioned the Church, as he had fashioned Eve from the side of Adam.” St. John Chrysostom

“His Cross has put its due value upon every thing which we see, upon all fortunes, all advantages, all ranks, all dignities, all pleasures; upon the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. It has set a price upon the excitements, the rivalries, the hopes, the fears, the desires, the efforts, the triumphs of mortal man. It has given a meaning to the various, shifting course, the trials, the temptations, the sufferings of his earthly state. It has brought together and made consistent all that seemed discordant and aimless. It has taught us how to live, how to use this world, what to expect, what to desire, what to hope. It is the tone into which all the strains of the world’s music are ultimately to be resolved.” Cardinal Newman

“No one ever experienced the plunge down the vacuum of evil as did God’s Son–even to the excruciating agony behind the words: ‘My God, my god, why hast thou forsaken me?’ Jesus was really destroyed. Cut off in the flower of his age; his work stifled just when it should have taken root; his friends scattered, his honor broken. He no longer had anything, was anything: ‘a worm and not a man.’” Romano Guardini

“Only Christ’s love is certain. We cannot even say God’s love; for that God loves us we also know, ultimately, only through Christ.” Romano Guardini

“Communion with Jesus means becoming like him. With him we are nailed on the cross, with him we are laid in the tomb, with him we are raised up to accompany lost travelers in their journey.” Henri Nouwen

“You are saddened because of the unjust treatment shown your Lord, but yours is still greater sadness because you feel yourself incapable of bearing even small injuries for the honor of Christ.” Thomas A’Kempis

For 3:00: “For all that ever was wrong, is wrong, and will be wrong, the price has been paid.” Richard John Neuhaus


Holy Thursday

“[I]n the agony of Gethsemane the ultimate consequences of our sin had their hour. . . . God permitted his Son to taste the human agony of rejection and plunge towards the abyss. . . Gethsemane was the hour in which Jesus’ human heart and mind experienced the ultimate odium of the sin he was to bear as his own . . .”. Romano Guardini, The Lord

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

NCAA

Man, rough night for my Wolverines. I finally turned it off with 17 minutes left in the second half. The team was nervous, tentative, and missing everything. They lost by only two, merely because UCLA likewise sucked all over the place, with the exception of Johnny Juzang, who single-handedly won the game.

And now it’s time to feed the sacrificial lamb to Gonzaga. Surely those Jesuits out of Gonzaga appreciate the Passover parallel.

If you get a chance, type “Gonzaga” into the Google search bar and look at the “People Also Ask” result feature, in which Google lists four questions that people ask when searching for Gonzaga information. One of the questions is, “Is Gonzaga a Mormon school?” The answer is, “No, and with an average ACT score of 25-30 among the students it accepts, you won’t be able to get in. . . . even if your Dad is a Jesuit,” though I suspect the humor in that subordinate clause will elude.


Monday, March 29, 2021

GKC Short

Jacintha Buddicam remembered fondly her youthful conversations with Eric Blair (George Orwell), a childhood friend, beginning in the year 1915 when Blair, or Orwell, was about 12 years old. “He was crazy about Chesterton,” she recalled, and reported that he had given her a copy of Chesterton’s Manalive. [Jonathon Rose, The Revised Orwell, East Lansing: MSU, 1992, pp. 85-86]


Wednesaday, March 24, 2021

Thinking about The Word

Heard a priest say recently: Jesus is the example of what God is like. That’s why he is called “the Word.” I suppose that’s Christian Theology 101, but I’d never heard it expressed quite that way. Certain things just seem to strike a guy. That one struck me: the love, the power, the sacrifice, the paradox. Exemplified in Christ because that’s what God is.

Here John seeks the root of Christ’s existence: in the second of the Most Holy Persons; the Word, in whom God the Speaker reveals the fullness of his being. Speaker and Spoken, however, incline towards each other and are one in the love of the Holy Spirit.

Romano Guardini, The Lord

(The Lord is the only Guardini book available at Audible, incidentally.)


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Proto-Mel

From Malcolm Boyd’s Christ and Celebrity Gods (1958).


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Some Sunday/Patrick’s Day Humor

Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn’t find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, ‘Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey!’

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

Paddy looked up again and said, ‘Nevermind, I found one.’


Thursday, March 18, 2021

Miscellaneous

I’m taking Max to the first round of the NCAA tournament tomorrow in Indianapolis. Ticket prices are all over the board: Baylor v. Harford: $14. Loyola v. Georgia Tech: $389. A bit of a discrepancy makes sense (Chicago to Indy is an easier trip than Waco to Indy), but a $375 swing? Wow.

Funny line from Tom Wolfe, talking about how, when adapting a book to a movie, Hollywood doesn’t give much voice to the author of the book: “The author’s job is to run up to the fence, grab the bag of money, and run away from the fence.” (Not an exact quote.)


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t forget to micro-aggress against anyone who fails to wear green.

As always, I reproduce GKC’s classic verse about the Irish:

For the Great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry
And all their songs are sad.

The Ballad of the White Horse

(Click title to read the rest)


Monday, March 15, 2021

Gardening in Late Winter, Michigan

Whew. 100 plugs in. 100 plugs lost . . . possibly. I hadn’t heeded the weather forecast, so when I woke up to “feels like 16 degrees,” I uttered an utterly Lenten-unlike phrase and got dressed. I carried frozen pots into the greenhouse and covered the row of plugs. They all looked pretty rough. I could practically hear them screaming at me, likewise using Lenten-unlike phrases.

We’ll see how they look tomorrow morning. Maybe they will forgive me.

The exigencies of gardening in Michigan during the late winter. It serves me right.

You can attribute the brevity of this morning’s post to the emergency situation.


Friday, March 12, 2021

How to Make the Perfect Mint Julep

Courtesy of Will Percy and Lanterns on the Levee

“First you needed excellent bourbon whisky; rye or Scotch would not do at all. Then you put half an inch of sugar in the bottom of the glass and merely dampened it with water. Next, very quickly—and here was the trick in the procedure—you crushed your ice, actually powdered it, preferably in a towel with a wooden mallet, so quickly that it remained dry, and, slipping two sprigs of fresh mint against the inside of the glass, you crammed the ice in right to the brim, packing it with your hand. Last you filled the glass, which apparently had no room left for anything else, with bourbon, the older the better, and grated a bit of nutmeg on the top.”


Thursday, March 11, 2021

Schulz Saves America

I’ve been meaning to mention: I think Andrew Schulz’s Schulz Saves America might be a comedic masterpiece. It’s funny, fast-paced, and groundbreaking. He employs an approach that I’ve never seen in a major comedy production. I’ve seen similar approaches on YouTube, but not quite like this.

The mini-series (four episodes, each under 20 minutes) is relentlessly political, but he strives hard to be neutral, taking shots at both sides.

When he discusses Black Lives Matter, he points out that the Right hates BLM, which he finds ridiculous. Cops are harassing and killing black youths, he points out, so this movement makes a lot of sense and we need police reform. He then tempers it by pointing out that cops harassing and killing anyone are a problem. He then swings at the Left and says the BLM organization is, “well, kinda Marxist,” which he makes clear is a major problem.

I’ve been listening to and watching Schulz for about six months now, encouraged by my son Michael. The guy’s comedy overall is a bit too dirty for our tastes, but he is funny and, if I had to guess, he has serious libertarian leanings.

On his most recent appearance on Joe Rogan, he suggested we give New York City something ridiculous ($3 billion? $3 trillion?) to bail it out of the COVID mess. Rogan said something like, “That’s real money.” Schulz shot back, “None of it’s real,” which is true.

That, incidentally, is one nice thing about all this stimulus. Everyone is finally asking, “What, exactly, is money? How can we print the living s*** out of it like this and just create wealth? It makes no sense.”

Amen to that. The Austrian economists have been warning about the dangers of central banks and money printing for a hundred years. It’s all just a house of cards that has to crash at some point. The problem is, at what point (2021? 3021?) and what will that crash look like (inflation? deflation?). Depending on your answers to those questions, you take precautions. Pay down debt and hoard cash if you fear imminent deflation. Buy Bitcoin and gold if you fear imminent inflation. Do nothing unusual if you think nothing is imminent.

It’s an insane, time, to say the least.

Schulz brings to it a measure of sanity.


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Milo Comes Out of Straight Closet

Milo Yiannopoulos has come out of the straight closet and has declared himself “sodomy free.” LifeSite News has the interview, which is pretty funny, even if the subject matter makes me a bit queasy. I have my doubts about whether it will stick, but so does Milo, so I give him credit. He has an impressive Catholic understanding of the problem.

LifeSite: Last summer you posted on Parler pictures of members of the CHANGED movement, with the caption, “Look at these beautiful souls, rid of their demons and cured of their sinful urges. Can’t you tell they’ve been saved? I can.” Are you now able to add your picture to theirs, with that same caption?

Milo: No, and I don’t suppose I’ll ever be brave enough to declare it a thing of the past. I treat it like an addiction. You never stop being an alcoholic. As for the CHANGED movement, I guess because they’re Californian they don’t see how funny their website is, or maybe they’re dirty non-doms who think God loves you more the gayer you act, but I was slightly making fun of them with that caption. (Walker Percy was right: Modern man has two choices — Rome or California.)

Someone really ought to tell them to use more heterosexual-looking photos on their website. I can share some tips! My followers have been giving me a crash course in all-American straight guy aesthetics, which apparently include growing a mullet and learning to drive stick.


Jeff Riggenbach is the man.

I’ve been “auditioning” various audiobooks since starting my Audible subscription last Saturday. I haven’t really been able to get into any of them.

I then saw that Thomas Sowell’s autobiography was included in my Audible plan, and it is read by Jeff Riggenbach, whose The Libertarian Tradition is one of the finest podcast series ever (and whose Why American History is Not What They Say is a splendid introduction into revisionist history).

Riggenbach’s voice is great, and his cadence is dang near perfect. I listened to the Sowell autobiography for two hours, not missing anything. I think it was the combination of subject matter (Sowell), genre (biography), and Riggenbach’s narration that makes it a near-perfect listening experience.

It prompted me to search and discover that the  Audible Plus plan has a lot of Riggenbach-narrated books, including Russell Kirk’s Edmund Burke, Neil Postman’s classic Amusing Ourselves to Death, and many others.


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Gardening, Angst, and the State

Glorious weather. Or Fool’s Spring?

Marie always jokes that I tend to be pessimistic on everything, except for anticipating spring. The groundhog might see a shadow bigger than a building but I’ll swear he saw nothing.

So as of right now, I have 28 lettuce plugs in their permanent homes. But those homes are twelve smallish pots that I can move into cold frames or small greenhouse if the weather turns brutally cold again. I’m also preparing to put about 100 lettuce, spinach, and kale plugs in the ground this weekend . . . but in low tunnels.

It is all feasible. Although nature can destroy any plans or precautions, if you want to put in the extra time and effort, you can accelerate the growing season by at least four weeks and extend it at the end by at least four weeks.

But is it “worth it”? Well, no. But gardening isn’t “worth it” either, if you’re talking just in terms of money. Rampant food inflation costs could change that, but based on everything I read, food inflation won’t hit the U.S. anymore than inflation in general will hit because of all the stimulus.

But is it worth it in terms of existence? Well, yes. I have a theory that a man’s hobby matches the size of his existential angst. Did I mention that my garden is a full half-acre, complete with shed, greenhouse, cold frames, potting station, and two compost areas? You can reach whatever conclusion you want.

And is it worth it from the standpoint of the polity? I watched The Silk Road last Saturday. The founder of that Internet black market, Ross Ulbricht, is a von Mises fan. At one point in the movie, he says that every action that takes place outside of the State is a strike against the State. I had never thought of it that way, but I suppose it makes sense. And if so, one’s garden is a miniature strike against the State. The federal government doesn’t even try (yet) to tax whatever you grow for your own consumption.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Years ago, Benedict Groeschel said it’s a better practice not to break your abstinence on Sundays during Lent.

Last week, Fr. Simon said that not only is that the proper practice, but it goes from sundown on Saturday until midnight on Sunday.

Far out.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

PBS is airing a Flannery O’Connor documentary later this month (March 23). The trailer is excellent:

The first feature-length documentary with full access to the Flannery O’Connor trust, Flannery explores the life and legacy of the literary icon with never-before-seen archival footage, original animations, O’Connor’s newly discovered personal letters and excerpts from her stories read by actress Mary Steenburgen. Featuring new, original interviews with Mary Karr, Hilton Als, Alice Walker, Tobias Wolff, Tommy Lee Jones, Alice McDermott and others, alongside archival interviews of friends and family.

A devout Catholic who collected peacocks and walked with crutches due to lupus, O’Connor’s illness, religion and experience as a Southerner informed her provocative, sharply aware stories about outsiders, prophets and sinners seeking truth and redemption. With her distinctive Southern Gothic writing style and characteristic wit and irony, the film investigates how O’Connor didn’t shy away from examining timely themes of racism, religion, socioeconomic disparity and more. Over the course of her short but prolific writing career, she published two novels, 32 short stories, numerous columns and commentaries, and won many awards, including the National Book Award and three O. Henry Awards, the annual award given to short stories of exceptional merit.

Ken Burns called the film, “an extraordinary documentary that allows us to follow the creative process of one of our country’s greatest writers.”

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

If you’re interested in The Jesus Prayer (see This Monk was Even More Interesting than the Dos Equis Guy), you should listen to this episode of Light of the East. Light of the East is a podcast of the Eastern Catholic Church, which is a Church that looks, smells, and feels like Greek Orthodox, but in full communion with Rome. It’s a very good podcast that I highly recommend in general, but especially this episode.


We should be all so un-self-consciously reverent. I do a similar thing when I happen across a bar:

Monday, March 1, 2021

I found this passage the most interesting in that James Surowiccki article I linked to on Saturday. Did the regulators crank the capital requirements in order to squeeze Robinhood into stopping the Gamestop purchases?

“But early in the morning of January 28, the centralized clearinghouse raised the collateral requirements by an astronomical amount, because of the incredible volatility and volume of the meme stocks. According to Tenev, in fact, Robinhood was told it had to post $3.7 billion in cash as collateral.

“That was money Robinhood did not have, so if it had posted the collateral, it would have fallen below its net-capital requirements and risked going under (which obviously would have been far worse for its customers than not being able to buy meme stocks). Imposing the ban on meme stock buying got the clearinghouse to lower its collateral demands, and over the next few days Robinhood raised more capital.

“Now, why the centralized clearinghouse raised its collateral requirements by so much is an interesting question that hasn’t been fully been answered. But that it did so, and that Robinhood was left with no choice but to impose a buying ban, isn’t disputed at this point.”


Sunday, February 28, 2021

I linked to Ryan Holiday’s 100 Very Short Rules for a Better Life yesterday. Here are 25 of them that I believe in the most.

1. Wake up early.

3. Forget about outcomes — focus on making a little progress every day.

4. Say no (a lot).

5. Read something every day.

6. Don’t watch TV news.

7. Comparison leads to unhappiness.

8. Journal.

9. Strenuous exercise every single day.

10. Character is fate.

12. Get up when you fall/fail.

13. Prove your life’s philosophy with actions over words (and that’s not easy).

17. Do a kindness each day.

24. Do your job well, whatever it is. Because how you do anything is how you do everything.

29. The best thing you can do for your work is take a walk.

30. The present is enough.

31. You are what you repeatedly do.

32. Have a philosophy.

33. Make time for philosophy.

43. Biographies are the best way to study the lives of the greats.

52. Never go a day without some deep work.

83. Don’t talk about projects until you’re finished.

93. Relax. Whatever it is, you’re probably taking it too seriously.

95. Wrap up each day as if it were the end of your life.

99. Ego is the enemy.

100. Stillness is the key.


Friday, February 26, 2021

Lock him up and throw away the key.

But give him a metal first. The man set a new world record.

“A drunk driver in Oregon is thought to have recorded the highest ever blood alcohol reading, hitting .77 percent – more than nine times the legal limit in the state. . . . Anything over .40 can be fatal, with experts from Stanford University’s Office of Alcohol Policy and Education, saying a reading between .35 and .40 means a person would typically lose consciousness and could be on the brink of a coma.”

Link.


Thursday, February 25, 2021

For the One Thing File: From Econtalk’s interview with John Cochrane.

Actually, two things: (1) We had a vaccine in January 2020 that was safe and effective, but the FDA refused to approve it.

(2) There is a simple, over-the-counter COVID test. It’d cost $2, maybe $5, but the FDA has refused to approve it.

The FDA [Food and Drug Administration] continues to regulate tests, taking a long time to improve them. The most recent–imagine how this would have gone if you could have a little paper script test that you can take at home, costs two to five bucks, you can find out if you’re sick; your employer can use this to find out if you’re sick, send you home; you know who’s got it, you know who doesn’t.

Why don’t we have that? Because the FDA refused to approve it, continues to refuse to approve it. The one that has finally after close to a year into this, let out of the barn, it does so still requiring a doctor’s prescription, $50 bucks, and enrolling into an app.

Now by what possible right, you may ask, does the FDA not allow you to know what’s going on inside your body and not allow a company to sell you that service? A test can not hurt you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

I would add that, if you don’t think the censorship movement is part of the Great Reset, you’re wrong. I can’t prove it, but you’re wrong.


Matt Taibbi Points Out Highly Troubling Aspects of the Censorship Movement

The drumbeat grows to censor Fox. Politicians are increasingly using implied threats against social media to kill their enemies. Matt Taibbi (a lefty, keep in mind) ain’t having it.

This sequence of events is ominous because a similar matched set of hearings and interrogations back in 2017 — when Senators like Mazie Hirono at a Judiciary Committee hearing demanded that platforms like Google and Facebook come up with a “mission statement” to prevent the “foment of discord” — accelerated the “content moderation” movement that now sees those same platforms regularly act as de facto political censors.

Sequences like this — government “requests” of speech reduction, made to companies subject to federal regulation — make the content moderation decisions of private firms a serious First Amendment issue. Censorship advocates may think this is purely a private affair, in which the only speech rights that matter are those of companies like Twitter and Google, but any honest person should be able to see this for what it is.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Well, let’s hope the long February is over. The temperatures are supposed to warm in southern Michigan today as a warm front moves in, bringing temps in the thirties and low forties.

I knew it had been a harsh February, but I didn’t realize just how much snow had accumulated until I walked behind our downtown district and saw huge piles of snow that the City had removed. The piles were probably 15-20 feet high and massive.

February’s harshness was further brought home to me Saturday morning, when I woke up to see the snow around my backyard trampled badly, like a bunch of kids had played back there. I realized that deer had come over from the neighboring cornfield to my back deck, which is surrounded by ivy. They had eaten the ivy vines on two large trees and had dug into the snow to eat the ivy along the ground.

Deer, according to the Google Machine, don’t love ivy but they’ll eat it in a pinch, and I’m guessing these deer are in a pinch. I hadn’t seen any deer all of January, but now, in late February, they’re making their appearance as they have to wander further and further because their normal food sources are covered by snow.

I just hope they leave before I have to start putting my lettuce plugs out. As of right now, my half-acre garden is all smooth snow. They have no idea I have spinach and kale overwintering in the front beds. I’m not terribly optimistic the plants will survive this brutal February, but if they do, I don’t want to train the deer to expect food here.



Saturday, February 20, 2021

I happened upon a book by Leonard Cheshire, “Pilgrimage to the Shroud” at a book sale, good summary here: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/a/g-l-cheshire/pilgrimage-to-the-shroud/
Very moving, so I googled the author — pilot war hero, convert to Catholicism, founder of facilities to help the disabled. https://www.rcdea.org.uk/centenary-mass-for-leonard-cheshire-will-start-campaign/
Good bio here: https://www.biographyonline.net/military/leonard-cheshire.html
Probably the only person considered for sainthood who opened a Pink Floyd concert: https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/former-raf-pilot-leonard-cheshire-and-former-pink-floyd-news-photo/145594594.

KH


Friday, February 19, 2021

Elon Musk weighs in on Bitcoin some more, as the weird investment passes $53,000 per coin:

To be clear, I am *not* an investor, I am an engineer. I don’t even own any publicly traded stock besides Tesla.

However, when fiat currency has negative real interest, only a fool wouldn’t look elsewhere.

Bitcoin is almost as bs as fiat money. The key word is “almost”.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 19, 2021

There are other positive Bitcoin signals out there as well, leading Zero Hedge to conclude $100,000 Bitcoin is coming.


Drinking Matters

What are y’all drinking for Lent?

This one is always a quandary for me. According to Fr. Simon at Relevant Radio earlier this week, the thing you “give up” for Lent must be a source of pleasure, bad for you, and not sinful. He said that a person couldn’t give up getting drunk because that’s sinful.

Although I never heard anyone list those three requirements, I think I always intuited it. Whenever someone would suggest that I give up alcohol for Lent, I always declined. My reason?

I think drinking is good for me.

I’m not going to link to the scores of articles that talk about the health effects of moderate drinking. I just point to scores of scars on my soul that have accumulated over the past, say, 72 hours and assure everyone that the alcohol helps heal the scar tissue. I need it for my emotional health.

I wouldn’t give up alcohol for Lent any more than a parish should empty its holy water fonts (a form of idiocy my parish took for a few years until the bishop told them to knock it off). Holy water is a sacramental. It’s good for you, unless you’re Dracula or L-Squared (a Leftist Liturgist).

And yes, such things are the province of the Left. The Left is never happy, so it always wants to innovate and change things in an image they approve of.

Oh well, the weekly “BYCU: Drinking Matters” column shouldn’t devolve into politics.

But it does make me want to drink more.


Ash Wednesday, 2021

We have arrived at the stage of life when we must realize that the hour-glass is rapidly running out, that the pendulum of life is coming to a stand still, and that time will soon be no more. With death an eternity without end begins. Every year, on Ash Wednesday, the Church solemnly reminds us of these eternal truths.

Clement Henry Crock

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Hockey has a huge goalie problem, according to Hall-of-Fame goalie Ken Dryden.

The problem? The goalies are simply too big. Their padding allows them to block everything they can see. Even the notorious five-hole is now gone. The result? The offense has had to adjust to a swarm and obfuscate approach to scoring, resulting in clusters around the net. Scoring itself hasn’t dropped, but the open ice play has.

I think he’s right. I’ve grown tired of watching hockey and I used to watch it fairly frequently. The NHL’s decision to cave to political correctness didn’t help matters, but if I’m being honest, I started to lose interest years ago. Maybe part of it is the fact that I can’t even see what’s going on when goals are scored. It’s just a bunch of dudes gathered around the net, trying to poke the puck in.

Dryden, incidentally, thinks the problem would be easily remedied: just widen the nets by six inches on each side and six inches higher.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Maybe I jumped the gun a bit, but I couldn’t resist planting my favorite lettuce: Jester. The stuff is amazing: tastes great, weathers heat . . . and weathers the cold.

This picture is from two weeks ago. They’re nearly big enough to get baby leaves at this point, but the weather is nowhere close to transplanting them, not even into the greenhouse.

The seedling pots are pretty big, though. I’m hoping I can just harvest straight from the pots.

If not, I’ll lose a crop (32 seedlings total), but oh well. Among Jester’s other traits is prolific seed production. I have at least a thousand seeds from last year alone.


It’s freezing out there. Yikes.

I’ve been able to use one of my favorite lines a couple of times today: “It’s colder than Marie’s heart after I gave her gonorrhea.”


Sunday, February 14, 2021

So what’s this “Whimsy on Steroids” and “the traditional TDE Blog” all about?

Well, the revamped Daily Eudemon has been well received, but a few of you have said you missed the more informal (“authentic”?) TDE, where I just wrote whatever was on my mind, even if it bordered on the narcissistically autobiographical.

Some also miss the traditional “scrolling” blog, where the bulk of the most recent posts are all on one page.

This new page is designed to address both “complaints” (wrong word, but close enough).

The content will be “traditional TDE”: references to my hangovers, my family, gardening, whatever I’m reading now, and excerpts from my writing journals. All of TDE is fairly whimsical, but this page will be full-blown whimsical just like TDE has traditionally been. It will be “whimsy on steroids.”

It will also be presented in the scrolling blog format, with the newest on top.

It’s odd: The “scrolling” blog is hugely out of favor these days. The popular website theme designer, mythemeshop.com, doesn’t even appear to offer that option. The only option is what you see on the homepage of TDE: individual articles that you must click in order to read.

So I’ve “jimmy-rigged” a widget to turn it into a scrolling blog. It’s going to be a work-in-process, but I’m optimistic that it’s going to work.

For those who liked the traditional TDE, you may want to bookmark this specific page. It will get updated frequently.

The rest of The Daily Eudemon site, incidentally, will continue as well. There will be tweaks here and there, but Feature Essays, Tweets, the Quote Machine: they’ll continue. (The “Briefs” section, however, may get subsumed into the traditional TDE blog; I’ll continue to mull it over as I proceed with this work-in-process.)


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Michael Malice on perhaps the biggest problem with COVID: The crisis has given some very bad people some very useful information about how much people will put up with.

If Fauci told people that dog urine prevents COVID, people would be on Twitter asking what breed’s urine is best.

See Malice interview on Rogan, right at the beginning.

BTW: Yesterday’s interview with Elon Musk yesterday was deadly boring, unless you’re really into rocket ships. I bailed out after 15 minutes, scrolled forward a half hour, and they were still talking about something engineering related. Maybe it picks up in the second half of the 3-hour interview, but I couldn’t get there.


New feature coming soon: The traditional Daily Eudemon.

Snippets, quotes, random, thoughts.