Belated SubscribeStar Saturday: Back into the Arena Again

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.

This post was meant to be published on Saturday, 17 July 2021, but I was out of town without Internet.  Apologies to subscribers for the delay.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a detailed update on Lamar Town Council.  Lamar is really a wonderful town, and a great place to live; we’re just experiencing a number of strains that are typical for a small town with an aging population.  Even so, Lamar is uniquely poised for a renaissance, given its proximity to I-20 and the major population centers in the region.

That said, there are some systemic problems that are making that renewal more difficult.  Progress is being made to address each of these problems in turn, but it’s slow and often piecemeal.  That’s no criticism of the fine people who work for the Town—they’re doing quite well—but it’s indicative of the kinds of pressures on time and resources the town is experiencing.

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

Supporting Friends Friday: The Bull Terrier Rescue Mission

The big news this week was that I would be fostering a dog.  Well, I picked up sweet Murphy—an eight-year-old female bull terrier—yesterday at the Sam’s Club in Goldsboro, North Carolina.  As I write this post, Murphy is sleeping soundly in her crate, and seems to have made herself very much at home already.

It is thanks to the efforts of The Bull Terrier Rescue Mission, Inc., that Murphy is alive and well (I hope!—we go to the veterinarian this morning) today.  My post from Wednesday details how I stumbled upon the organization, so I won’t rehash that here; that said, I am thrilled that I discovered them, and would like to encourage readers to check out the organization (and to consider making a donation to them).

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Delayed Monday Morning Movie Review: Day of the Dead (1985)

After much delay, here is this week’s Monday Morning Movie Review of George A. Romero‘s 1985 zombie classic Day of the Dead (not to be confused with the festive Mexican holiday of the same name).

When I first pulled up the flick on Shudder, I was hoping for 1978’s Dawn of the Dead, the supposedly “fun” Romero Dead movie.  That’s the one with survivors of a zombie apocalypse live it up in a mall, enjoying all the materialism the late 1970s could afford.

Despite my efforts, though, I can’t seem to locate that flick on any streaming service I use, so Day of the Dead it was.  By now the trope of “humans are the real monsters” is familiar to viewers—and readers of virtually any Stephen King novel—but Day of the Dead delivers that trite message in a taut, unsettling way.

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Big News: TPP is Going to the Dogs

According to PetSmart.com, this week is National Adoption Week.  I suppose that’s appropriate, because I’m getting a dog.

For some reason, I became obsessed with the idea of finding a canine pal a few weeks ago.  I can’t really explain why, though I do have some theories, but I think it’s the same obsession my father succumbed to last summer when he purchased a rat terrier puppy, Atticus (née Mike).  After dog-sitting my girlfriend’s German Shepherd, Lily, for a week, that desire only deepened.

I was looking at my county’s humane society, which has a number of very adorable pups up for adoption.  I really fell in love with an old Shepherd mix named Mattus, who has now been adopted and sent to a new life in Vermont (their politics aside, that sounds a bit like paradise).

But then I began searching a bit further afield, and stumbled upon a very old dog, Riley, who is fostered in a town nearby.  Riley is a bull terrier, the breed perhaps best known due to the Budweiser mascot Spuds MacKenzie or the Target spokesdog, Bullseye.  I was not considering the breed at all, as they are quite mischievous and can be a handful for newcomers to dog ownership, but the description of old Riley—a chilled dude nearing the end of his life, just looking for a place to crash in comfort and snacks in his final days—seemed like a good fit.

After notifying the Bull Terrier Rescue Mission of my interest in Riley, one of their placement coordinators, Anja, contacted me for an in-depth discussion about the breed, Riley, etc.  Among other things, I learned that some bull terriers suffer from a form of obsessive-compulsion that causes them to chase their tales for unhealthily long periods of time; in England, they’re known as “nanny dogs,” as they will watch children under their care with an eagle eye; and that the breed possesses an unusually high pain threshold, meaning it doesn’t feel pain nearly as soon as other dogs.

We also determined after our hour-long discussion that Riley would not be a good fit for me.  Indeed, I’d woken up the night before contemplating the life changes necessary to care for an extremely elderly dog with a heart murmur.  Anja stressed to me that the Rescue places animals and owners together with the best possible fit, and that no owner should have to totally upend his life just to take in a dog.  I agree completely, but it was good to hear it from someone whose life is, arguably, consumed with dogs much of the time.

So after a long, productive conversation, Anja had all of my information and my preferences, and told me to be patient—it could be a couple of months before the right dog showed up in my area, but with bull terriers coming in all the time, she would be in touch.

With that, I made a small donation to the Rescue, and continued looking at the local humane society, if for no other reason than to whet my appetite.  I did go ahead and purchase a copy of Jane Killion’s When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs, figuring that having the authoritative training text for bull terriers would come in handy with most dogs, but especially if I ended up with a bull terrier.  Then I went about the business of moving my girlfriend to Athens.

It was on the long drive back to Columbia Friday afternoon, after completing our first run down to Georgia, that I received a text from Anja:  there was an eight-year old female bull terrier named Murphy who’d just been taken to a shelter in North Carolina.  As soon as I saw her picture, I knew that my life was going to get much more interesting:

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Delayed Monday Morning Movie Review

Hi Readers,

I am heading back to South Carolina today after a long weekend of moving. I have been without Internet access aside from my phone, and I’m not about to write a movie review with my thumbs, so today’s Monday Morning Movie Review will post later today, possibly this evening.

Apologies for another delay, but posts should get back on track tomorrow.

God Bless!

—TPP

Supporting Friends Friday: Review of Rachel Fulton Brown and Dragon Common Room’s Centrism Games

After sitting with the copy on my nightstand since the book’s debut, I finally sat down and read Rachel Fulton Brown and Dragon Common Room‘s Centrism Games: A Modern Dunciad.  Having read it, my only regret is that I did not do so sooner.

A bit of background is in order:  Dr. Rachel Fulton Brown is a medievalist at the University of Chicago, and is known in our circles as a traditional Christian professor fighting against social justice indoctrination and infiltration of the humanities.

One wouldn’t think the more esoteric realm of medieval history would be a major battleground for the ultra-woke, but it makes sense:  the modern West is profoundly a product of the Middle Ages.  With that in mind, it becomes clear why the progressive revisionists wish to dominate the field:  in rewriting medieval history to fit their woke narrative, it makes the rest of their revisionist project—of casting all white, male, Christian endeavors as inherently wicked—that much easier.

Milo Yiannopoulos’s short book Medieval Rages: Why The Battle for Medieval Studies Matters to America, details that struggle in more detail.  I highly recommend picking it up, as it highlights the length to which the wokesters have gone to silence Dr. Brown.  Correspondingly, it demonstrates Dr. Brown’s incredible courage and fortitude—as well as her cleverly elfish responses to her critics.

Dr. Brown founded a Telegram chatroom, Dragon Common Room, to be a “a place for training in the arts of virtue and poetry. And mischief making for God. We fight the demons with laughter and wit.”  I participate infrequently in chat, but it has become one of my favorites on the platform.  In addition to fighting “demons with laughter and wit,” Dr. Brown and her merry band of righteous mischief-makers wrote, workshopped, edited, and compiled Centrism Games, releasing it as a handsome little volume consisting of seven poems of thirty stanzas each.

The seven poems constitute a mock-epic narrative, modeled after Alexander Pope’s satirical epic The Dunciad.  Whereas Pope’s Dunciad mocked the goddess “Dulness” and her agents, Centrism Games lampoons the goddess Fama—Fame—and her o’er eager knights

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TBT: Island Living

Whenever the weight of the world—work, politics, etc.—gets to be too much, I’m tempted to retreat to a remote woodland cabin and live off the fat of the land, drinking chicory on cold mornings in a flannel shirt while stroking my rugged beard contemplatively.

That fantasy scenario ignores the fact that I know nothing about living “off the fat of the land,” and would likely die in two weeks without running water and a nearby grocery store.  But there is something appealing about unplugging from society and becoming self-sufficient.

Indeed, it’s little wonder that the modern homesteading movement has grown so large.  People are tired of unresponsive governments, woke corporations, tyrannical HR departments, and public scolds.  Why not buy a few acres in a red State and raise some chickens?

This throwback post, “Island Living,” details a couple in British Columbia who built their own island out of discarded lumber and such.  Talk about living the dream!

Here’s 21 July 2020’s “Island Living“:

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Frogtopian Failure

As I breathlessly reported two weeks ago, I attempted to build a small frog pond in one of my rear flower beds using Tupperware containers, dirt, rocks, old planters, and mulch.  I dubbed the watery domain “Frogtopia,” hoping it would attract neighborhood toads and frogs to his muddy environs.

After two weeks—and a new addition, using a large and deep IHOP to-go container—I must concede that Frogtopia is, at least so far, a failure.  While the WikiHow article I used as a reference guide suggests that it can take a year or two for frogs to show up to a frog pond, I can already see a major structural problem with my attempted design.

The problem, in one word:  evaporation.

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Adventures in Dog Walking

Taking long, contemplative walks is one of life’s simple pleasures.  Doing so with a dog, I have discovered, is even more fun, even if it means carrying around a hot, steaming bag of poop part of the time.

For the past week, I’ve been dog sitting my girlfriend’s lovable German Shepherd, Lily.  Lily is nearly three-years old, and very well-trained (my girlfriend will tell you otherwise, but she did a good job with Lily).  For that reason, we have been walking a lot this past week.  Being somewhat inexperienced with dogs, anytime she starts nosing at the door and whimpering, we go for a walk, so we’re probably doing it way more than necessary.

Regardless, taking all these walks has afforded the pup and I several opportunities to see the town.  Walking a location, rather than zipping by in a car, gives the walker an intimate understanding of a place.  Lily has certainly left her mark—scatologically and otherwise—all over.

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