After a glorious Labor Day weekend and a scenic drive, my school opted to hold a virtual learning rehearsal day, intoning the usual incantation of “out of an abundance of caution” due to the possibility of holiday-related viral spread. The decision to do a day of virtual learning also came with the insistent emphasis that we are not planning on going to virtual or distance learning on a long-term basis, but merely wanted to practice in order to prepare for the worst.
About fourteen months ago The Before Times ended, ushering in The Age of The Virus. On 16 March 2021, my little school transitioned to distance learning, and like other schools in South Carolina, we finished the year online.
We began this school year with a mix of online and in-person students, with most students attending in-person. We had a plethora of new policies to enforce, such as one-way traffic in hallways (that quickly collapsed), mask-wearing, and social distancing. Of those three, mask-wearing was pretty much the only one that really stuck the entire year, until Governor McMaster blessedly issued his executive order last week allowing students to opt-out of wearing masks.
With Awards Day today and graduation just eight days away (next week is Exam Week, so it will be a much lighter week than most for yours portly), it seemed appropriate to review this highly unusual school year, and to reflect upon how it went, and what the long-term implications of it will be.
The Kindle version of The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard: The Ultimate Flatfoot goes live today! If you pre-ordered the book, it should pop up in your Kindle app today. At $5, it’s a very easy lift, as is the paperback at $15.
It’s April Fool’s Day, a holiday for mirth and merriment, but one I dedicate to remembering the day twelve years ago when I faced unemployment during the worst job market since the Great Depression.
In rereading last year’s TBT and the original “April Fool’s Day: A Retrospective,” I’m reminded how good God has been to me. Last year I’d lost most of my private lesson students due to The Virus; now, I’m back up to seven students (six weekly, one twice a month), and I’ve just released a book (the Kindle version goes live today!). Gigging still hasn’t really picked back up, but Bandcamp sales have been decent (and another Bandcamp Friday is tomorrow!), and my front porch Spooktacular was a blast.
I’m still hustlin’, but I’m also taking more time to appreciate life. Perhaps the hard slog of my twenties has finally paid off here in my mid-thirties.
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I’ve had my first Lamar Town Council meeting and am slowly learning the ropes of the Town and its needs. I’ve grown up with local government—my father worked in municipal government for thirty-seven years, doing everything from reading water meters to managing human resources, and now is the town administrator for a small town in his semi-retirement—but I’m learning how little I really knew going into it.
As such, I thought I’d share some of my initial reflections, and what I’ve learned so far. Note, I won’t go into anything that’s not public information (to my knowledge, I haven’t learned anything confidential as of yet), but just offer up some of my observations as I’m learning the lay of the land.
That all said, it’s been an overwhelmingly positive start, and I’m excited to dig in, learn as much as possible, and help out however I can.
It’s been an eventful week, so I figured an extra post today running down the posts from the past few days would be worthwhile. Also, I’m a slave to the WordPress daily streak counter, and when I scheduled this morning’s post on Wednesday, WordPress for some reason immediately e-mailed a preview; ergo, I want to make sure I get the daily post streak. Gotta keep the streak alive!
So, here is a quick rundown of this week’s posts:
- “Memorable Monday: Happy MLK Day 2019 – Suggested Reading” (Monday, 18 January 2021) – Some suggested reading for your day off, including Neo’s link to MLK’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
- “The Last Day of Freedom?” (Tuesday, 19 January 2021) – Some musings on life under the (then-pending) Biden administration. Contra one anonymous commentator’s claims that I was lying and fearful, a closer reading of this long post indicates that I am optimistic, not about the national government, but about local government and community-building.
- “Inauguration Day 2021” (Wednesday, 20 January 2021) – Some more reflections on the Biden-Harris Era, as well as my own inauguration to Lamar Town Council.
- “TBT: Gardening” (Thursday, 21 January 2021) – A look back at the joys of gardening, and the satisfaction of feeling my own soil between my fingers.
- “The Joy of Romantic Music II: Bedřich Smetana’s’The Moldau’” (Friday, 22 January 2021) – Some mild analysis and major appreciation of a beautiful piece of music—something lighter for your weekend.
It’s the first Thursday of 2021, so here we are with the first TBT of the year! Fittingly, I’m looking back to the first post of 2020, “Dawn of Decade.” As I noted at the time, the decade really began on 1 January 2021, so I suppose this throwback post works even better now.
In looking back at this post, it’s sobering to consider how much difference a year can make. At the end of this post, I wrote, “Predictions being what they are—extremely unreliable—I’ll make a bold one: 2020 is going to be a great year.”
Yikes! Talk about missing the mark big time. Of course, on 1 January 2020, everything was going pretty well, at least for yours portly. Sure, Trump was facing a sham impeachment, but the economy was swingin’. I’d just come off my best year financially in terms of musical proceeds—enough to pay cash for my plucky 2017 Nissan Versa Note (a fitting model for a music teacher), and was booking some gigs at fun new venues.
Then, of course, The Virus changed everything, possibly forever. Despite that, I still had a great year—reconnecting with friends and family; traveling far more extensively than normal; and diving more into my love of music. It was just a very different year than I anticipated.
At the end of least year’s post, I included a word total for the year 2019 (which now WordPress tells me is slightly higher than I reported originally: 232,348 words total for 2019), so I’ll do the same for 2020. In 2020, I wrote 253,377 words. Assuming a page of double-text, size-12, Times New Roman font typing is roughly 300 words per page, that comes out to a whopping 844.59 pages of writing.
Granted, some of that is from TBT posts like this one, but the takeaway for me is that it’s time to compile some essays into ebooks. Cha-ching!
With that, here is 1 January 2020’s “Dawn of a Decade“:
Wags will quip that “’s not really a new decade—that doesn’t start until next year, in 2021.” It’s a case where the wags are correct on the facts, but don’t appreciate how appealing that nice, round “0” at the end looks. Everyone was excited for 2000 AD; 2001 was greeted with shrugs.
I have a feeling 2021 will earn the same shrugs as 2001, with one crucial difference: everyone was so desperate for 2020 to end, they’re going to treat 2021 as the dawn of a new age.
I wish I could share their optimism. I am positive about the new year—an opportunity to reset and reflect, and to try to best goals set and/or achieved in 2020.
But the macro view looks bleak: a questionable, if not outright stolen, presidential election; an enduring Chinese Virus; the draconian lockdowns and fiat edicts flimsily justified as measures against The Virus; the further decline of morality; and on and on. The future doesn’t seem bright for the West at the moment.
History, however, suggests that it’s always darkest just before the dawn. The cultural turmoil of the 1960s lead into the long, filthy 70s. In 1979, America and the West were on the ropes: the Soviets were invading Afghanistan; Americans were held hostage in Iran; the coal miner’s unions ruled Britain.
Ten years later, the Berlin Wall came down, the hostages were home, and Britain became a financial powerhouse. It was cool to be conservative, at least for a time. For a time, things were improving.
Maybe that was a temporary reprieve—as I believe President Trump’s presidency was, in many ways, was a reprieve from Leftist insanity—but it shows how even the darkest situations don’t inevitably lead to decline. I’m a declinist by inclination, but I have to remember that God is in control, and He will see us through anything if we have faith.
So, here’s hoping that 2021 improves on 2020—which, in retrospect, wasn’t such a bad year after all.
Happy New Year!
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Well, 2020 is, after today, in the books, and we can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Of course, all the problems of 31 December 2020 will still be there tomorrow when we wake up to 1 January 2021, but there is some optimism that an arbitrary flip of the calendar based on the Earth’s rotation around the Sun will set us up for a better calendar year. With Biden the Usurper assuming the throne in twenty-one days, I don’t share in that optimism, but I’m looking forward to a music- and art-filled 2021 nonetheless.
At the end of 2019, I painstakingly went through the stats to find all the posts I’d written with just one view in 2019—the ultimate reminder to be humble, and to not expect huge pageviews right away. I imagine that some of these were read in e-mails sent to followers, so I don’t get pageview counts for those, but that means the number of eyeballs reading these posts was depressingly low.
Of course, it being a Thursday, I pretty much have to give myself the easy way out and feature a TBT, so why not look back at the failures of a prior year? And, in the spirit of yuletide wealth redistribution, maybe we can show these posts some holiday love.
Here is 31 December 2019’s “The Worst of 2019“:
It’s the last Sunday of 2020, so in keeping with last year’s tradition, today’s Lazy Sunday is dedicated to reviewing the Top Five posts (in terms of views) for 2020.
The posts below are not the top five in terms of views all-time. Instead, I’m featuring the top five published in 2020. Indeed, there were several posts from 2019 that blew these out of the water (all view totals are at the time of writing, 22 December 2020): “Tom Steyer’s Belt” (2864 views), “Napoleonic Christmas” (295 views), “Christmas and its Symbols” (212 views), and others.
So, again, these are the Top Five Posts of 2020, published in 2020. All numbers are as of 22 December 2020, so there could be some shifts:
1.) “The Cultural Consequences of the American Civil War” (254 views) – This post was adapted from a lengthy comment I made on a post at Nebraska Energy Observer, “What Do You Think?” by Audre Myers. The comment sparked some good feedback, so I made it into a post. Rachel Fulton Brown shared the post on her Telegram chat and her personal Facebook page, which really boosted the numbers. The post discusses the oft-forgotten cultural and spiritual consequences of the Confederate loss to Yankee materialist imperialism. I’m no closeted Neo-Confederate, but I tried to offer up a nuanced take on the downside to Union victory, and what was lost when the South fell.
2.) “Thalassocracy” (201 views) – This post really surprised me with its success. I wrote it mostly as an after-thought—the situation with many posts when I’m churning out daily material—but the topic interested me. Based on the limited search term information WordPress gives me, it turns out that many people were searching the unusual term for the same reason I was: the video game Stellaris. In searching for the meaning of “thalassocracy,” I stumbled upon a lengthy essay on the fragility of thalassocracies—nations and empires that build their fortunes on naval prowess, rather than substantial ground forces. It’s an interesting (and long) essay, but hopefully my humble post sums it up well enough.
3.) “You Can’t Cuck the Tuck III: Liberty in The Age of The Virus” (87 views) – As you can see from the numbers, the posts begin dropping off a bit in views from here on out, though I consider anything over fifty views pretty solid for this humble blog. This piece explored the destruction of liberties in The Age of The Virus, something that I find has occurred with shocking ease, and which continues to ever more ludicrous extremes.
4.) “Big Deal” (78 views) – This post was about Joe Rogan’s move to Spotify, and his own implicit sell-out to social justice cuckery. I can’t account for its mild popularity, other than it was a timely post that touched on a widespread sentiment on the Right.
5.) “The God Pill, Part II” (76 views) – This piece reviewed former pick-up artist Roosh V’s dramatic conversion to Orthodox Christianity (covered in “The God Pill“; read the whole series here), and his decision to unpublish his bestseller, Game. That decision has really cost him financially—he recently took a gig doing construction work in Alabama for a few weeks, and is apparently back living with his parents in Maryland—but it was the right move spiritually. Many thought Roosh was converting as a way to reinvent himself to make an extra buck, but he really seems to be putting his faith first. Kudos to him.
That’s it! It’s hard to believe another year is in the books. Thanks to everyone for reading, and for your ongoing support. It can be difficult to maintain the pace of posting at times, but your feedback and comments really keep me going.
God Bless—and Happy New Year!
Other Lazy Sunday Installments:
- Lazy Sunday – APR Pieces
- Lazy Sunday II – Lincoln Posts
- Lazy Sunday III – Historical Moments
- Lazy Sunday IV – Christianity
- Lazy Sunday V – Progressivism, Part I
- Lazy Sunday VI – Progressivism, Part II
- Lazy Sunday VII – Deep State
- Lazy Sunday VIII – Conservatism
- Lazy Sunday IX – Economics, Part I
- Lazy Sunday X – Economics, Part II
- Lazy Sunday XI – Walls
- Lazy Sunday XII – Space
- Lazy Sunday XIII – Immigration
- Lazy Sunday XIV – Gay Stuff
- Lazy Sunday XV – Work
- Lazy Sunday XVI – #MAGAWeek2018
- Lazy Sunday XVII – #MAGAWeek2019
- Lazy Sunday XVIII – SubscribeStar Posts
- Lazy Sunday XIX – Music
- Lazy Sunday XX – The Laziest Sunday
- Lazy Sunday XXI – Travel
- Lazy Sunday XXII – Reading
- Lazy Sunday XXIII – Richard Weaver
- Lazy Sunday XXIV – Education
- Lazy Sunday XXV – Techno-Weirdos
- Lazy Sunday XXVI – Small Town Living
- Lazy Sunday XXVII – Bric-a-Brac
- Lazy Sunday XXVIII – World History
- Lazy Sunday XXIX – The New Criterion
- Lazy Sunday XXX – Trump, Part I
- Lazy Sunday XXXI – Trump, Part II
- Lazy Sunday XXXII – Festivals
- Lazy Sunday XXXIII – Virtue Signalling
- Lazy Sunday XXXIV – The Desperate Search for Meaning Series
- Lazy Sunday XXXV – Corporate Grind
- Lazy Sunday XXXVI – Best of the Reblogs, Part I
- Lazy Sunday XXXVII – Best of the Reblogs, Part II
- Lazy Sunday XXXVIII – Best of the Reblogs, Part III
- Lazy Sunday XXXIX – A Very Dokken Christmas Series
- Lazy Sunday XL – Christmas Carols
- Lazy Sunday XLI – Food
- Lazy Sunday XLII – 2019’s Top Five Posts
- Lazy Sunday XLIII – Music, Part II: More Music
- Lazy Sunday XLIV – SubscribeStar Saturday Posts, Part II: The Search for More Money
- Lazy Sunday XLV – Techno-Weirdos II
- Lazy Sunday XLVI – Man Time
- Lazy Sunday XLVII – Winning
- Lazy Sunday XLVIII – Culture
- Lazy Sunday XLIX – Family
- Lazy Sunday L – The Best of Lazy Sunday
- Lazy Sunday LI – Just for Fun
- Lazy Sunday LII – Democratic Candidates, Part I
- Lazy Sunday LIII – Democratic Candidates, Part II
- Lazy Sunday LIV – Coronavirus
- Lazy Sunday LV – Animals
- Lazy Sunday LVI – Movies
- Lazy Sunday LVII – Christianity, Part II
- Lazy Sunday LVIII – Spring Break Short Story Recommendations Recap
- Lazy Sunday LIX – The God Pill Series
- Lazy Sunday LX – Music, Part II: Gigging
- Lazy Sunday LXI – The Tuck
- Lazy Sunday LXII – The South
- Lazy Sunday LXIII – Holidays
- Lazy Sunday LXIV – Grab Bag
- Lazy Sunday LXV – Rioting
- Lazy Sunday LXVI – Video Games
- Lazy Sunday LXVII – Phone it in Fridays, Part I
- Lazy Sunday LXVIII – Phone it in Fridays, Part II
- Lazy Sunday LXIX – Phone it in Fridays, Part III
- Lazy Sunday LXX – Phone it in Friday, Part IV
- Lazy Sunday LXXI – Road Trips
- Lazy Sunday LXXII – Forgotten Posts, Volume I
- Lazy Sunday LXXIII – Forgotten Posts, Volume II
- Lazy Sunday LXXIX – Forgotten Posts, Volume III
- Lazy Sunday LXXX – Forgotten Posts, Volume IV
- Lazy Sunday LXXXI – Forgotten Posts, Volume V
- Lazy Sunday LXXXII – Rural America
- Lazy Sunday LXXXIII – Space, Part II
- Lazy Sunday LXXXIV – SCOTUS
- Lazy Sunday LXXXV – Big Ideas
- Lazy Sunday LXXXVI – Education, Part II
- Lazy Sunday LXXXVII – Universal Studios
- Lazy Sunday LXXXVIII – The Mountains
- Lazy Sunday LXXXIX – Halloween Hijinks
- Lazy Sunday XC – Elections
- Lazy Sunday XCI – Questions, Part I
- Lazy Sunday XCII – Questions, Part II
- Lazy Sunday XCIII – Questions, Part III
- Lazy Sunday XCIV – 100 Week Review
- Lazy Sunday XCV – Questions, Part IV
- Lazy Sunday XCVI – Questions, Part V
- Lazy Sunday XCVII – Christmas
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