November 23, 2021

Excellent follow-up to the dog problem I mentioned in passing the other day, and an inter-related disability access issue that had also come to my attention: I put together a letter yesterday evening detailing the problems I’d personally seen at the local greenspace, with a suggestion for an interim solution.  Sent the letter directly to the department head who would be carrying out the solution (and only to him), knowing he might have to send the request up the chain… Read more

November 20, 2021

Hard-hitting post by Amy Welborn: “I no longer live, but…” on the failure of come-back-to-Mass efforts that hinge on the we miss you so much theme.  She writes: To hear avuncular clerics plead for folks to come back to Mass because “we miss you!” is…amusing. It will fail. It always does. It might, depending on the person listening, fail immediately because, first, the target audience hearing this pitch will remember past personal experiences, snort derisively, and move on. Secondly, the target… Read more

October 28, 2021

This morning Rod Dreher delivered on his daily promise to keep me entertained by shedding light on the world of Catholic Integralists. I’m going to dispense with nice and go straight to answering a couple questions posed by his essay: Is Integralism a good idea?  Answer (agreeing with Dreher): No.  It is a terrible idea.  Didn’t work before, will never work, concupiscence is real and we have all of human history to prove it. Since classical liberalism doesn’t work, what… Read more

October 27, 2021

My high school senior just wrapped up her volleyball career on a disappointing note, and of course there were tears among the teammates about their almost-but-not-quite undefeated season.  And though I *understand* why the girls wanted so badly to win? And I understand even more that it’s normal and healthy for a teenage girl to grieve that loss? Also, here’s the thing: This is my kid who started her high school volleyball career with surprise open-heart surgery. Sure, a championship… Read more

October 25, 2021

COVID and chronic illness themed miscellany for this week: Revolving Door of Corona-life . . . At Medscape: “Unvaccinated People Likely to Catch COVID Repeatedly” Don’t let the title tempt you into knee-jerk crazypants politicizing of a virus that does not, at all, care about your politics.  I think the take away message for sane people is that regardless of whether your initial exposure to COVID-19 is via vaccine or natural infection, it’s probably not going to be your last… Read more

October 20, 2021

Yesterday subbing in high school English (I know!), we were discussing “flat” versus “rounded” characters.  The kids noted that one of the conveniences of slapping together a stereotype or two, giving it a name, and making it a bit player in your story is that it is easier to kill that character.  Neither the author nor the readers feel much loss in the passing of a character they never loved to begin with. It’s a germane topic for high school… Read more

October 14, 2021

Apparently California has passed a law requiring stores to create gender-neutral toy sections? (H/T to Salon Beige of all places for the heads up. If you’re both a Francophile *and* want to see an exceptionally cute plea for restoring the Latin Mass, look here.) So . . . on the one hand I was the teenager who wrote an angry letter to the editor when Lego first debuted pink, simplified, domestic-themed sets explicitly targeted at girls, because: Insulting and unnecessary.  (But,… Read more

October 5, 2021

Take at look at the photo Vox used to illustrate an article about remote workers: It’s a woman sitting on the beach with her laptop and phone headset, looking at two young children playing at the edge of a lake or pond (or some other flatwater).  Presumably it’s a stock photo designed to capture the idea of working remote.  Okay, sure. Except: If you are the parents of an otherwise-healthy American child under the age of five, of all the… Read more

October 3, 2021

When my kids were little, sometimes we’d be out and people would congratulate me on what well-behaved children I had.  My children did not love my usual response: “They’re normal kids.  They just know that we’re going home if they don’t behave.” It gives the impression of amazingly well-trained children if, week after week, people at church or restaurants or other public places only see your kids when they have their act together.  We didn’t do anything dire, by the way, if the… Read more

September 29, 2021

There are quite a few hot-button topics being litigated right now, with varying results.  Whether or not a given law or ruling is upheld, and how, is a question for the legal profession.  Whether this or that outcome should be the law is a different question entirely. Judges are tasked with deciding: Does the law, as it stands today, support this or that outcome in a given case?  That’s a question of interpreting and applying existing laws. Citizens, all of… Read more

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