When I revived the blog on WordPress in late 2018, I never intended to write daily. I’d maintained a Monday-Wednesday-Friday posting schedule on the Blogspot blog, which I shifted over to WordPress on 1 June 2018. I kept that pace up briefly, but when school resumed I left the blog dormant until late December 2018, and after three days of consecutive posting by happenstance, WordPress informed me I was on a three-day “streak.”
That caught my attention. At that point, I decided to write daily for the month of January 2019. It seemed like a fun a challenge, and I figured it would help build an audience and give me something constructive to do during the slowest month of the year.
After that, I thought, “Eh, why not go to fifty?” From there, 100 didn’t look too difficult.
The weather is getting warmer—it hit a balmy 77 degrees at least one day this week here in South Carolina—and that means Spring is near. Spring means gardening, and if I’m going to dive into the deep-end of converting my humble half-acre into a very small-scale farm, I’d probably better get crackin’ now.
As such, it was with great interest that I listened to an interview with Owen Benjamin, the stand-up comedian-turned-survivalist. Benjamin is a controversial figure, and I don’t agree with some of his views, but, again, I can respect his knowledge in the area of homesteading without endorsing, say, his belief that the Earth is flat.
With that preamble, I thought I’d share Benjamin’s recent interview with Blonde in the Belly of the Beast. It’s a little over an hour long, but it’s worth your time. One thing I learned is that growing some tomatoes and raising a few chickens is very easy, and that the barrier to entry for small-scale homesteading and farming is much lower than I initially thought.
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It’s Valentine’s Day—and the one-hundredth installment of Lazy Sunday! Because I did the “Best of Lazy Sunday” prematurely due to The Great Misnumbering, I decided to take a look back at Valentine’s Day posts.
Unfortunately, I only have two posts for Valentine’s Day, which I don’t celebrate with the same gusto as Halloween or Christmas. So I’m also going to toss in a sales pitch for one of my albums, which you’re welcome to ignore.
“Phone it in Friday VI: Valentine’s Day” – When I wrote this post on Valentine’s Day 2020, it felt like a different world. It was in The Before Times, in The Long, Long Ago, before The Age of The Virus. I was single, which I always find to be a bit of a blessing on Valentine’s Day, as it releases me from the oft-unreasonable demands and expectations the holiday places upon men. I linked to several great pieces and one podcast about love, marriage, and all that mushy stuff, and I think those pieces still hold up, especially photog’s piece on matchmakers. Read the comments!
Ah, well. That’s just nit-picking. Here’s what I wrote about this past week:
“Soda City Market” – This post was a review of my excursion Saturday to the Soda City Market, a weekly farmers’ and arts and crafts market in Columbia, South Carolina. I was surprised by the popularity of this post. I guess people like reading about festivals!
“Morning Movie Review: Brazil (1985)” – This post was my review of the dystopian dark comedy Brazil. I loved this film; my only regret is that I didn’t watch it again before my RedBox rental period expired. It’s one of the best films I’ve seen lately that depicts a “dystopian” near-future, mainly because, for all it’s absurdity, it’s the most plausible depiction of actual reality.
It’s been another crazy week, but the rhythms of the school year are beginning to fall into their familiar patterns. That said, I’ve put in more hours working this week than any in a long time.
Regular readers know what that means: another edition of Phone it in Friday, now reaching its fifteenth installment.
It’s been a week for shout-outs to other commentators and platforms, so I figured I’d continue with that theme and recommend some of my blogger buddies to you. I have to give a big hat tip for this idea to one of my best blogger buddies, photog, over at Orion’s Cold Fire. He wrote a post—“A Word of Thanks to Our Boosters“—highlighting some of those blogs that routinely link to his page or reference his writing, and yours portly made the list. Thanks, photog!
So on this rainy, overcast Friday, here are some excellent blogs for your consideration:
It’s been another wild Friday afternoon of funcling, so I’m resorting to phoning it in once again this evening. I spent the morning at the doctor’s office for my annual wellness visit, got an end-of-summer-vacation haircut, and finished up my Pre-AP Music Zoom sessions. Since then, I’ve been knee-deep in babies for the second day in a row.
While I was driving all over the Central Savannah River Area, I tuned in to Z Man’s weekly podcast, which pops Friday mornings. The show this week is called “Happy Happy Fun Time,” in which Z Man shares a message I promoted a few weeks ago: despair is a sin, and we have much for which we can give thanks.
Z himself can over a jaundiced, cantankerous perspective on the world, a la H.L. Mencken (whom he clearly admires). But Z’s argument is straightforward: if we just focus on politics, all the time, we stop being fun. Life is for the living, and many folks on the Dissident Right tend to get so bogged down in the seeming hopelessness of the Leftist-dominated culture wars, they cease enjoying life.
We’re rounding out the month of Phone it in Fridays this week with the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth editions. I’ve intentionally avoided doing more PiiFs while going through them, although I’ll likely write more in the future (because they’re easy and quick), and there will likely a “Phone it in Fridays, Part V” at some point (because it’s easy and quick).
Like last week’s installment, The Virus cast a long, sickly shadow over these entries. For a time, that’s pretty much all bloggers and the commentariat were discussing, to the point that it got boring and tiresome. We also settled into our oppressive new normal like slowly boiling frogs, and now every trip to the grocery store looks like a Japanese subway station.
Here are Phone it in Fridays X, XI, and XII:
“Phone it in Friday X: Coronavirus Conundrum, Part III: Working from Home” – One of the silver linings of The Age of The Virus was teaching from home. At least, I quite enjoyed it—virtually all of my colleagues hated it. I’m fortunate to teach in a field (History) that is easy to port to an online format, and I’ve been teaching online since 2015, so I have a good sense for the kind of feedback and communication necessary to make distance learning smoother for students (and myself). This post had me musing about the future of work, and my hopes that we’d see more white-collar work done from home.
“Phone it in Friday XI: Coronavirus Conundrum, Part IV: Liberty in the Age of The Virus” – One of the more astonishing aspects of the lockdowns, quarantines, shelter-in-place orders, mask ordinances, etc., was the ready compliance of most Americans to shutting down their lives. I think everyone was copacetic to the “two weeks to flatten the curve” mantra, but that two weeks turned into “indefinite oppression because we said so.” As cases have shot up in South Carolina, even our more conservative municipalities have put mask ordinances into place, albeit relatively mild, with tons of exemptions. Had I won my that Town Council election on Tuesday, I would have voted against any such ordinances, on the grounds that a.) law enforcement doesn’t need to waste their time enforcing the unenforceable—and the non-criminal, and b.) mature adults and individual businesses in a free society can make their own best decisions about masks, etc. Regardless, we all seemed to forget about the Constitution the minute a plague hit—unlike our plague-ridden ancestors.
“Phone it in Friday XII: Good Reads” – The point of PiiF is to churn out some quick content on Fridays when I’m ready to relax for the weekend. This PiiF ended up being one of the longest ones yet. I read a ton of blogs every day, schedule-permitting, so I come across some good stuff from time to time. This post shared great pieces from Rachel Fulton Brown, Z Man, and photog.
That’s it! Twelve Fridays in one month of Sundays. Lots of numbers divisible by 2 and 3 there. I hope these PiiFs brought some joy to your life.
We’ve celebrated another #MAGAWeek with the #MAGAWeek2020 posts (here, here, here, and here). Now we’re on the long march toward the 2020 election, which will hopefully be a triumphant landslide for GEOTUS Donaldus Magnus.
For now, it’s time to continue our month-long review of past Phone it in Friday posts. This week makes for an odd trio: the first post, “Phone it in Friday VII: Universal Studios,” looks back to a family trip to the Florida theme park at the end of February, on the eve of The Age of The Virus. Only dimly did I realize at the time that we were living in the twilight days of The Before Times.
The next two posts both deal with The Virus, which dominated blog discussion in those early, fretful days of The Age of The Virus. If we’re basing the quality of the posts on the lightheartedness and fun of the posts, then these match up nicely with their counterparts in the new Star Wars trilogy: one good, fun movie (because it’s basically The New Hope) followed by two dreadful SJW escapades.
“Phone it in Friday VII: Universal Studios” – This post is the ultimate example of a “Phone it in Friday” post, as I slammed it out on my tiny netbook computer while babies were screaming (probably) in the hotel room. It regales readers with some highlights from my family’s trip to Universal Studios, a rare during-the-school-year vacation. It was worth burning through my three annual personal days, that’s for sure. My brothers and our significant others and/or children will be heading back there later in the month, in fact.
“Phone it in Friday VIII: Coronavirus Conundrum” – I wrote this a week after the Universal Studios post, when everything was still up in the air regarding The Virus, at least here in South Carolina. We’d had very few cases by that point in SC, but the Pacific Northwest was getting hammered. Ten days later, we transitioned to distance learning. At the time, we didn’t know much about The Virus, other than it was China’s fault; as I wrote at the time, “My hope is that after all is done, China will be a pariah, no longer vaunted as a power on the rise, but maligned as a malicious, mendacious regime.” We’ll see.
“Phone it in Friday IX: Coronavirus Conundrum, Part II: Attack of The Virus” – The title of this post actually drew from the second episode of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Attack of the Clones. That afternoon, we had a huge, emergency faculty meeting to figure out distance learning. Two days later, on Sunday, 15 March 2020, Governor McMaster announced that schools were shutting down through the end of March, and they ended up staying shut for the rest of the year (with distance learning, of course). I also filed that day to run in Lamar’s Town Council election, which was supposed to be 12 May 2020, but will now be this Tuesday, 14 July 2020. Wish me luck!
That’s it! I would like to note that today’s post marks eighty weeks of consecutive posts, and the sixty-ninth edition of Lazy Sunday. Wooooot!
A quick note: tomorrow marks the beginning of #MAGAWeek2020, a week-long celebration of people, places, concepts, innovations, etc., that MADE AMERICA GREAT (AGAIN). #MAGAWeek posts are SubscribeStar exclusives, so you need a subscription of $1 or higher to gain full access to these extended posts. You can check out #MAGAWeek2018 and #MAGAWeek2019Lazy Sunday posts to get a better idea of the kind of content you’ll see this week. God Bless America!
We’re continuing our review of Phone it in Friday posts with editions IV, V, and VI. Hopefully they’re as good as the original Star Wars trilogy. At the very least, they can’t be as bad as the prequels, or as woke as the new trilogy. ¡Dios Mio!
“Phone it in Friday IV: Conferencing” – I hate meetings. I’ve been in enough of them to know that they are typically a soul-sucking waste of time, and their agendas are often way overstuffed, usually with information that could be explained easily enough in an e-mail. That said, I love conferences. This post was a review of a private school association’s annual teachers’ conference, which our faculty had not attended in some years due to various conflicts. I find that, unlike meetings, conferences are full of opportunities to learn and to network. There’s an air of sociable conviviality at a good conference—and cheese Danishes.
“Phone it in Friday V: Ode to Friday Evenings (and Weekends)” – This post was truly a phoned-in edition of Phone it in Friday—it was late, I’d had a long week, and I needed to slam out some content to appease the WordPress Daily Post counter. I explain that magical period “from about 3:30 in the afternoon until around about bedtime Friday night” when everything is alive with possibilities for the weekend ahead, and when you’re at the furthest possible point from official responsibilities. Now that I’m on summer vacation and was doing distance teaching for two months prior to that, everyday is Friday, essentially (except for Wednesdays, when History of Conservative Thought meets). I’m trying to enjoy unlimited Fridays while I can!