Happy Memorial Day 2021!

In lieu of the usual Monday Morning Movie Review, I thought I’d take it easy today.  Memorial Day typically marks the beginning of summer.  Given that it’s a day to remember those who have died for our liberties, some might see it as somewhat ironic, or even disrespectful, that we spend the day at the beach eating hot dogs.

I prefer to think of it another way:  it’s a celebration of everything for which those men died.  Hot dogs, pool parties, family, good music, good times; in essence, freedom, the kind of freedom that Americans savor.

That freedom was bought with a heavy price—and it’s been bought over and over again.  Indeed, the fight continues here at home.

Don’t take these freedoms for granted.  Take a moment—between bites of hot dog—and give thanks to those men for our liberty, and to God that we live in the United States of America.

Lazy Sunday CXV: Memorable Mondays

Tomorrow is Memorial Day, which got me thinking about an unofficial series of posts I do on Mondays when I’m too busy to write real content:  Memorable Monday.  It’s pretty much like TBT, but on Mondays instead of Thursdays.

At some point, I started numbering Memorable Monday, but apparently not consistently—only three of them are marked with my signature Roman numeral style.  As such, it’s unclear which is the first Memorable Monday.  Sure, I could just find the edition with the earliest date, but this is Lazy Sunday, and that wouldn’t be terribly lazy of me, would it?

So, here are two installments of Memorable Monday—the second and third.  Can you figure out The One True First Installment?  Leave a comment if you figure it out!

  • Memorable Monday II: Monday Steakhouse Blues” (and “Monday Steakhouse Blues“) – Steak and stress seem to be staples of my life.  What’s interesting is how the two seem to move in tandem.  This post reflected on the extremely busy nature of the end of third quarter, which seems to be the time of the academic year when everything happens at once.  At least this year I have learned my lesson:  I’m finally grading stuff in a very timely manner.
  • Memorable Monday III: Memorial Day 2019” (and “Memorial Day 2019“) – Memorial Day is a day for low blog traffic and low expectations.  That’s not meant to diminish the memories of those who gave their lives for our country, just an accurate assessment:  people are outside having a good time, not sitting in a dark room reading The Portly Politico.  Ergo, why not take the day off, too, and do a little recycling?

That’s it for this very lazy Lazy Sunday.  If you figure out which Memorable Monday is the first installment, post a comment below!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Small-Scale Entrepreneurism

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

Last night was my first ever Spring Jam, and my second ever front porch concert.  The first such concert, my Halloween Spooktacular, was far more successful than I imagined.  At the time of this writing—which is actually before the concert (gasp!)—I don’t know how well the Spring Jam will go financially, but I’ll have detailed numbers, as well as an overall review of the event, next Saturday.

That said, in putting together this second front porch concert, I’ve run into a few more hiccups than last time.  Most of these have been relatively minor—and one of them quite major—but they’ve taught me some lessons for next time.

Most importantly, they’ve driven home the risks and opportunities inherent in putting on any endeavor.  Impresarios past and present know well the risks of producing any kind of stage or musical production.  Even at the very small scale at which I am working, some risks are present.

To that end, allow me to share with you some of the learning opportunities putting together this Spring Jam has afforded me, and how these lessons can be applied to future entrepreneurial ventures of any kind.

This post will be finished later; I was slammed with the Spring Jam and wasn’t able to finish the subscriber essay.  I’ll let y’all know when I have it done.  Apologies!  —TPP

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Gig Day V: TJC Spring Jam

After seven long months, it’s time for another front porch concert!  Following the success of Spooktacular II, I decided I should try the format twice a year:  the classic Halloween event, and a springtime one.  Thus, the TJC Spring Jam is born!

Halloween is easy, because it comes packaged with all sorts of fun activities:  Halloween songs, costume contests, spooky décor, etc.  A generic springtime theme is a bit more vague, and with it already feeling like summer here in South Carolina, the theme presented some initial problems.

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TBT: The Desperate Search for Meaning IV: Vanity

In the spirit of yesterday’s post, which also dealt with a passage from Ecclesiastes, I thought I’d dust off an old post from my The Desperate Search for Meaning Series, which I completed back in 2019.  A double-shot of Ecclesiastes, and the long-winded (but condensed here) wisdom of Pastor Monday is always a nice treat.

With that very brief introduction, here is October 2019’s “The Desperate Search for Meaning IV: Vanity“:

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The Passing Seasons of Life

My pastor delivered an interesting sermon this past Sunday (23 May 2021) entitled “Recognizing the Passing Seasons of Life.”  The sermon pulled from the famous passage from Ecclesiastes 3, explaining that “To everything there is a season” and there is “a time for every purpose under heaven.”

I’ve always loved Ecclesiastes and its central insight that without God, everything is meaningless.  The perpetual turning of the seasons—the cycle of birth, preparation, harvest, and death—is similarly meaningless—an endless cycle—without God.

Pastor Monday took a slightly different approach, one that is still very important:  we so often abuse, misuse, or waste the time we have.  The season of preparation—planning ahead, planting our seeds, tending to them, etc.—is frequently squandered; as a result, the harvest is lacking.  We all want the harvest without the preparation, but a harvest that lacks preparation is no harvest at all—or a harvest of dust.

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Disincentives to Work

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece, “Fast Food Premium,” which argued that, as restaurants began offering higher wages and even signing bonuses to employees, those increased wages would get passed along to consumers, and would result in wider inflation (a big “thank you” to jonolan at Reflections from a Murky Pond for expanding upon the premise of my post with his own, excellent piece, “UBI —> UBM“).  My observations might be deemed “prophetic” if they weren’t so blindingly obvious:  higher input costs mean higher prices.  That’s basic economics.

Of course, the ongoing labor shortage is not due to a booming economy, per se, but due to excessively generous federal unemployment benefits, which have effectively increased the minimum wage for restaurant employees:  many such employees are paid more to stay at home, collecting unemployment, than they are to flip burgers, wait tables, etc.  Mogadishu Matt highlights this phenomenon in a reblog of a John Stossel piece:  the issue is not a labor shortage, but a problem of incentives.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: The Wailing (2016)

Lately I’ve been watching quite a few foreign-language flicks, some good, some disturbing.  The latest, the 2016 Korean film The Wailing, falls somewhere in the middle.

The plot of the film involves a mysterious illness or curse that enters a remote Korean mountain village when a Japanese tourist arrives to town.  The malady causes victims to develop glowing red eyes and dark skin, as well as odd contortions of their bodies.  Ultimately, sufferers kill their entire families.

It is near the beginning of this curse that Officer Gong-joo witnesses a naked, wild-eyed woman banging on the doors of his police substation during a thunderstorm.  Gong-joo and his partner hide behind their desks, debating about who will check on the naked woman, but the woman has fled by the time they muster the courage to investigate.  At a crime scene a short time later, they find the woman, along with her family, dead or raving violently at their burned out home.

It is established early on that Officer Gong-joo is a pitiful loser, but he loves his daughter, Hyo-jin, a predictably adorable little Korean girl.  Gong-joo cheats on his wife, shirks work responsibility, and is the laughingstock of his police precinct.  He is a coward and an utter failure, but he is—in spite of it all—a good father.

When his beloved daughter comes down with the strange curse, he has the opportunity to prove his courage.

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Lazy Sunday CXIV: More Movies IV: Movie Reviews, Part IV

We’re getting into that hot time of year, which for most people means going outside, doing yard work, and having fun.  For those of us that are of a lazier, doughier disposition, it’s a time to avoid the unpleasantness of Southern humidity with some good flicks and frosty A/C.

In that spirit, I decided to return to a retrospective of past Monday Morning Movie Reviews this Lazy Sunday, featuring a selection of three flicks spanning decades:

  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Young Frankenstein (1974)” – Another timeless comedy classic, Young Frankenstein is one of my favorite Mel Brooks films.  I re-watched it back in January, during those long, cold winter nights, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Digging Up the Marrow (2014)” – This flick was one I’d seen on Hulu for years, but had always passed over.  I finally watched it, and really enjoyed its twist on the “found-footage” phenomenon.  The premise is that the “movie-within-a-movie” seeks to prove that monsters are real, with only an obsessed old man as their guide.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Witness (1985)” – A modern classic starring Harrison Ford as a cop on the run in Amish Country, Witness is a powerful story of a man whose principles, while out of place in the modern world, help him fit into the world in which he takes refuge.

That’s it for this weekend.  Happy Viewing!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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