Phrases that Never End Well

There are some combinations of words in the English language that should predispose experienced hearers to, oh, back away slowly, then run upwind. Besides the famous, all-purpose, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you!”

I will not admit to having said any of the following, but I have been on the receiving end of a few of them. Continue reading


Well, that seems . . . Familiar

The winter of Lelia’s (and André’s) discontent. Just once, a quiet few weeks would be nice, without were-whatevers, gates, irate customers, fouled-up orders, and things that go “Hey, baby, what’s your sign?” in the night.

Magic fixes magic problems. The rest of life? That’s the hard part.

Nautical Ear Worms

I’m in the process of going through various video sources to augment the notes I’ll give students over WWII. Let’s say the quality of what is available . . . varies widely. And some things can’t get through various filters.

So, I was hunting for newsreel footage of some things, and started hearing music playing in my head. And grinned, because I hear that music every single time I start talking about WWII in the Pacific. [Waits for OldNFO to flee] Continue reading

Woodpeckers at Work

Ah, the sound of a busy-signal that’s not one. I have mixed emotions about woodpeckers. I love seeing and hearing them. I don’t love seeing them on the trees around RedQuarters, because that often means that we are about to lose either the entire tree, or a large branch. Every tree we lose is between $5,000 and $30,000 property loss. Yes, having shade is that important around here! Continue reading

Book Review: The Heart’s Enchantment

Sanderson, Cedar et al. The Heart’s Enchantment J. F. Posthumus ed. A short story collection, Kindle e-book.

I needed a total brain break. Short fiction sounded good, and I never read romance, so this would be different. I know of several of the authors in the list, so I decided what the heck.

Short version: Good book, I liked some stories better than others, a few were a touch steamy for my taste, but all are well written. Continue reading

Scaling Mount Whatever

Someone in the neighborhood took a delivery of dirt to fill in low places in his yard. That was back in 2019. The mound is still there, waiting for him to get a moment free to move the dirt. The local toddlers find it nigh unto irresistible. Their mothers are less pleased. Some wag (not me) put a little flag on top giving the elevation.

It reminds me of a larger mound and a similarly free spirit. Continue reading

Toward the New Century: Protestants in America Part Four

The Civil War marked a shift in Protestantism. For one, denominations and associations that parted ways before the 1861-65 war didn’t always go the same theological direction during the years that followed. For another, the country saw a shift in immigration that brought in more national denominations, and more Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. Changes in science and political philosophy added tension to the religions scene in the US (and England and Europe), eventually leading to the creation of Fundamentalism. WWI left religion in the US relatively untouched, and split us away from Protestantism in Europe, a divide that has grown wider in the century that followed. Continue reading

The Power of Story – The Downside

Edited to add March 27: Welcome, Instapundit readers! Thanks for stopping by!

Somewhere, Nietzsche is probably grumbling about “I was partly right.” One of his arguments involved invoking Apollo – the god of light and reason and (for Nietzsche) rational individualism – versus Dionysus – the god of wine and holy madness and the ecstasy of releasing self into community.  To grossly over-simplify part of his argument*, the modern apparent reign of Apollo would not lead to good things, and Dionysus would not disappear so easily.

Before you run away and wonder if I’ve lost it, there is a point. Continue reading

The Great God Pan

Somewhere, the ancient Greek god of waste places and the wild, Pan, is smiling. The wild, irrational fear that he caused in those who angered him has swept North America.

Pan was one of the oldest of the Greek gods, in the sense that, like Zeus, his name traces back to an Indo-European root and has cognates in Sanskrit, Persian, and in the Latin and English word “pasture.” It is a different root than “pan” meaning all or entire, unless a link is found in the sense that for the Indo-European speaking horse nomads, all the world was a pasture, and so all came under the gaze of a pastoral god. Continue reading