Jun 292015

Denial is a River in the Heart

The heart is deceitful above all things, saith Jeremy, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?. Now here’s an instance we where we need no assumptions of the veracity of Scripture to agree with it; it’s truth is declared every day as we behold seething deceit, insatiable greed, violence, sudden and unaccountable lusts, selfishness amounting to clinical narcissism, betrayal, murderous anger; is there an end to the list? Nor are our own hearts exempt, though we spurn the knowledge. We are very happy loudly to proclaim the failings of others, but we exempt our selves. But none are exempt, and that’s perilous to ignore.

Awareness of our deceit should make us cautious.


Jun 042015

Would you read on?

An old man’s sleep comes grudgingly and stays briefly.  I’ve ever been an early riser; now I usually waken, rested and alert, in the small hours, when the things happen that we are not supposed to notice.


 Posted by at 8:35 am
Jun 032015

Odd spring.  Cooler than usual. if there is such a thing as “usual,” but my roses and peonies bloomed a little early. Here’s a pic of a favorite but somewhat tender rose – even planted next to the house on a south wall it dies way back every winter.  But the last two winters have been brutal.


It’s a pretty rose, though, a floribunda, heavily scented and delightful.

 Posted by at 8:33 am
Mar 202015

There’s some sort of kerfuffle amongst the barbarians because some Italian clothing makers deviated from the party line and wound up some Brit pop singer who reflexively called “Boycott!”  Now it’s the easiest thing in the world for me to boycott these guy’s clothing – I’m no where near their target audience or for that matter, size – just as I wouldn’t voluntarily listen to the singer’s product.  But why on earth we should be expected to look to either for moral instruction is beyond me.  Even more mysterious, that they should expect us to.

 Posted by at 7:13 am
Mar 172015

A  very little thought, maybe.  I’ve been reading The Everlasting Man for the first time in ages.  I’m struck by two things.  First, that criticisms and complaints haven’t changed much since Chesterton wrote.  Second, that it might be interesting to read this very closely along with CSL’s The Abolition of Man.  Three things.  Third, that it might be very interesting to use these two books as texts for a discussion with a group of, say, 18- to-20-year-olds, to learn what equipment they bring.  Hmm.

 Posted by at 7:35 am
Mar 162015

I’ll be 65 soon, if I live so long. Days, not weeks.

I retired almost a decade ago from an increasingly uncongenial job. It seemed reasonable. Our daughter was starting high school. I would spend half the day tending to house and garden, and half the day writing. The burden on my wife would lessen, she could pay better attention to her teaching, and maybe even resume her research. Someone would be around the house all the time, and, who knows? Maybe I’d sell something.

Didn’t work that way.

It was a gaudy adolescence.

The first half of the decade was full of alarms and events. The second half has been dominated by being founder, CEO, and sole employee of Gaffer Day Care – and by alarms and events.

Writing? Fits and starts, but mostly stops. By actual count, close to 50% of my waking hours have been spent driving people around, buying or preparing groceries, or putting out fires. Reading and writing? Occasional. Fragments of story are knee deep, but they will be kindling without some changes.

Kindergarten looms in August: a phase change for all of us, maybe even the dog. Quite a bit of time returns to my control. Can I use it effectively? Preparing for change begins now, a long slow ramp up. I hope. Or an embarrassing flop.

What will it be?

 Posted by at 2:31 pm
Nov 102014

After Saturday’s unusual football game “against” Michigan, I find it best to heed the Psalmist’s advice against anger. Let us say, then, that the two teams put on a diverting demonstration of how not to play football. The game included many amusing moments, including a snap that bounced off the Michigan motion guy’s leg, a completely blown hand off, a muffed punt, a blocked field goal or two, and a third quarter clinic by the NU offensive line on how not to block for the quarterback. Masters of physical comedy seem to have served as Guest Offensive Coordinators of the week for the two teams, possibly John Cleese for Michigan and Max Sennett for NU. We did not, however, behold the week’s most comical performance by a CFB player, this chap at Utah who forgot where the goal line is.

NU will probably get the most heat on fan sites, though I will avoid the Michigan ones for a bit. Brady Hoke is widely regarded as a soon to be ex-coach, and may as well trade his maize-and-blue for Star Trek red. NU coach Pat Fitzgerald has always had his critics, of course, some quite raucous. Those critics are now reaching a pitch of frothing excitement unseen since, well, the darkest days of John Pont, Rick Venturi, and Dennis Green.

Not being a clinical football guy as such (my rule of thumb, “Good teams win more than they lose, and bad teams lose more than they win,” is servicable but not diagnostic), I can’t begin to guess what’s going on. Certainly, a malaise has settled over the team since in the last year. Given the recent performance of the Chicago Bears, the malaise may be a field effect that is related to Lake Michigan. The effect does not seem to reach as far as DeKalb. I hope that top research teams will begin investigating this possibility soon.

NU’s offensive line seems particularly affected; the young men are large, reasonably coordinated, and seem sufficiently athletic for the task. None are manifest cripples.  Experts can speculate.   I suspect that, in a mistaken effort to ensure that our opponents cannot penetrate the secrets of NU’s blocking schemes, they receive their instructions in Sanskrit, a language in which not even NU O-linemen are fluent.

The remainder of the year looks grim; if next week’s adventure with Notre Dame goes poorly, I may adopt a noir-ish persona in commenting. Massacre in South Bend comes to mind.

 Posted by at 6:24 am