September 21, 2022

In 2018, I took over the job of “after-mass hospitality coordinator” from the prior volunteers, who were moving out of state.  They had been at the church 3 out of 4 Sundays, making coffee, clean-up, and coordinating a parade of volunteers who handed out donuts after mass.  The 4th Sunday of most months a separate group was a “relief crew.”  It was a big production — they encouraged the ministries of the parish to promote themselves (e.g., Scouts, ushers, choir,... Read more

August 21, 2022

Regular readers of my page on retirement issues at Forbes will have noticed by now that I have been adding new content much less often than in the past.  During the past academic year, I would have said that I was busy with my classes in the master’s program I was working on.  Now I’m employed as an actuary in a wholly different field, which would seem to be reason enough — but that’s not really the case, since I... Read more

July 31, 2022

Longtime readers will know my story thus far:  after blogging as a hobby for a good five years, I left the world of formal employment back four years ago for a new venture, that of hanging my shingle out as a freelance writer and independent actuary, as my business cards read — or, rather, that was intended to be a stepping stone to some other employment, though I hadn’t figured out what, yet. Did I succeed?  Honestly, probably not.  I... Read more

June 28, 2022

I keep revisiting this draft, which I started a long time ago, when the Supreme Court decision on Dobbs was first leaked.  I’ve written about abortion before, of course, but I keep wanting to express myself in just the right way, which is not only difficult, but, I’m inclined to think, has gotten harder since I don’t write as much these days.  (Incidental update:  I’m now back to being an actuary, working full-time at a private-sector employer, which means less... Read more

May 17, 2022

So . . . turns out it’s been a while since I’ve published a blog post.  I’ve been busy, as the Master’s program got a lot more challenging (though, to be honest, also coupled with a nasty case of Twitter addiction).  It’s done, though life won’t settle back into the old routine — unless I chicken out, I will be going back to full-time employment in a month’s time, for the first time in a long time, though hopefully the... Read more

February 7, 2022

To start, a disclosure: a little under two years ago, I was most definitely an “early adopter” of mask-wearing, even to the point of sewing several dozen for the staff at Mom and Dad’s assisted living community.  Since then, I have not seen a study demonstrating the cloth masks are effective, and I have seen studies that mask-wearing proponents claimed to be solid evidence, turn out to be deeply flawed, with results that do not reach statistical significance thresholds or... Read more

January 31, 2022

What is the most appropriate book for middle schoolers to read to learn about the Holocaust? My own sons read Elie Wiesel’s Night when they were in 8th grade.  I also have the impression that Anne Frank is a very popular choice though it seems to me decreasingly so, perhaps because of the recognition that her story doesn’t cover the concentration camp experience.  Were I to choose, I might recommend Clara’s War by Clara Kramer, a sort of “Anne Frank... Read more

January 4, 2022

As regular readers may know, I am in the middle of a master’s program in Economics, so these past two weeks have been more of a “real vacation” than usual, and, rather than working on a puzzle, as I do occasionally, I created a “fabric art” project. I am by no means an artist, and the end result is by no means perfect, but I wanted to write out exactly how I did it, for what it’s worth, and to... Read more

January 4, 2022

It’s Elizabeth Ann Seton’s feast day today.  You know her — first American-born saint, founder of what became the Catholic school system in the United States, widow and mother.  What follows is something of a re-write of my blog post from a couple years ago, with a bit of a different take in light of Cardinal Cupich’s new actions against the Traditional Latin Mass. First, a mini-biography. Elizabeth Ann Seton was raised as an Episcopalian, devout but also happy to... Read more

January 1, 2022

Earlier this week, Cardinal Cupich announced that henceforth the Traditional Latin Mass in the Archdiocese of Chicago would be prohibited on the first Sunday of the month as well as the holiest days of the year for Catholics: Christmas, the Triduum, Easter Sunday, and Pentecost, ostensibly in the name of “unity” and in order to see the wisdom of the superior novus ordo mass.  (See my prior blog post for more particulars.) Since that news came out I have been... Read more


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