First Day of History of Conservative Thought 2020

Today marked the first day of the Summer 2020 session of my History of Conservative Thought course.  Because I’m sick and awaiting COVID-19 test results, we held the inaugural session on Google Meet, discussing the big picture question “What is Conservatism?

The session went quite well (and I was pleased to see that even with a fever I could last around 75 minutes).  The students hit upon these concepts as being key to conservatism:

  • Fiscal responsibility
  • Constitutionalism (in the American context)
  • Limited/small government and States’ Rights
  • Traditionalism in a cultural and religious sense
  • Opposition to Progressivism itself (certainly a feature of Buckleyite fusionism
  • Peace through Strength
  • Strict immigration enforcement

To that list I added the classically liberal concept of natural rights and the Burkean idea of “ordered liberty.”  We also talked about how the earliest conservatives of the Enlightenment Period were largely monarchists, and explicitly rejected the concept of natural rights (at least, rejected the concept as Americans understand it; that is, that all men are created equal and God gives them their rights).

They’re reading Russell Kirk’s “Ten Conservative Principles” for next week, and we’ll check Kirk’s principles against their list.

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More Medical Updates

My apologies to regular readers for the lack of real content this week.  There are race wars and Antifa street gangs to discuss, but I’m so weary with fever, I can only slam out these short medical updates.

I had enough symptoms—chills, fever, and headaches—to get test for The Virus.  I should find out those results in a day or two.  Fortunately, my breathing is unimpaired.  I spoke with a physician’s assistant from the neurologists office regarding my migraines, which increasingly seem linked to my fever (although I would still like to shell out for a scan to rule anything else out).  Everything is in a bit of a stasis, however, until I get the COVID results.

My appetite is doing well, though I have taken this bout of ill health (and the stomach-related issues I was experiencing last week) to begin correcting and improving my diet.  Primarily, I’ve been cutting down on salt consumption, and calories in general.  My blood pressure is elevated, and needs to come down substantially.

I am teaching my first session of History of Conservative Thought for 2020 on Wednesday afternoon—online, of course.  If necessary, I will take acetaminophen in the morning to help get through the discussion.  Here’s hoping I can meet with the three young men enrolled in person next week.

That’s it for now.  I just awoke after dozing on the small twin bed in my study (one of the darker, cooler rooms in the house) for over an hour.  My fever is coming down without medication—I last took acetaminophen around 6 AM—which is promising.

Thank you for your continues support and prayers.

—TPP

Extremely Lazy Sunday (Still Migraining)

Hello again, readers.  As I noted yesterday, I am suffering from a gnarly migraine.  I thought I was recovering last night, but I awoke in the wee hours with more spikes.

I have been lounging like Goethe all day, trying to recover.  I know have some Excedrin Migraine and a cold pack for my head, and have been drinking plenty of caffeine.

Hopefully I will be better soon.  I am seeing a neurologist either Monday or Tuesday, so we’ll see if he can shed some light things.

—TPP

Delayed SubscribeStar Saturday Today: Migraine

SubscribeStar Saturday is going to be delayed today, likely until tomorrow.  Earlier in the week I came down with a mild stomach virus.  That morphed into what may have been a mild fever—I’m not sure—and, around Thursday, sharp, stabbing pains on the right side of my head.

I thought I was suffering caffeine withdrawals, as I stopped drinking coffee after Thursday morning when I suffered some lingering side effects of the stomach bug, and also because I was struggling with terrible acid reflux that night.

After treating my caffeine addiction with some Diet Pepsi (which I called my “methadone treatments”)—and then returning to a weak couple of cups of coffee this morning—failed to resolve the issues, I began to despair.  Every thirty to sixty seconds I was getting sharp, painful stabs just above and behind my right ear, and even ibuprofen, that wonder drug, failed to have any effect.

Finally, my dear mom suggested I probably had a migraine, and I needed to lie down in a dark room.  That almost immediately provided blessed relief after nearly forty-eight hours.  I am typing this brief post with “Night Mode” enabled in Windows 10, which cuts the harsh blue light, and wearing sunglasses; I have not experienced a single “spike” while typing it.

Hopefully I’ll be back on the mend tomorrow—which I’ve been saying everyday since Tuesday.

Thanks for your patience.

—TPP

SubscribeStar Saturday: Fall Cleaning; TPP Hits 300!

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

The vicious plague that has swept through my family—and to which I succumbed late Tuesday night—seems finally to have run its wicked course.  After being unable to keep down even water, I am finally getting back to normal thanks to plenty of rest and ginger ale.

Being sick makes me appreciate my health even more.  It also helps me realize how much abuse I put this portly frame through—the bad diet, the long hours, the endless sitting.

But I’m sure all of that hard-won wisdom will dissipate by the end of the weekend, and I’ll be back to eating Wendy’s 4 for $4 meals and staying up too late.  Oh, well—at least today the blog reaches 300 days of posts!

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

Sick Hump Day

Last night during my local concert band’s fall concert, I started feeling excessively full.  Chalking it up to the Wendy’s “4 for $4” meal I’d wolfed down beforehand, I didn’t think much of it, but it was not a very pleasant sensation.  I could feel the rockets getting ready to fly during our finale, the good bits from Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

I made it home and made the mad dash for the bathroom.  Without getting too bogged down in the gory details, I had succumbed to a nasty stomach virus that is circulating in my family at the moment.

So today has seen me fighting nausea, painful cramps in my legs, hands, and joints (I think due to dehydration), and the effects of a largely sleepless night.  I managed to get to the grocery store in town and load up on Powerade, ginger ale, chicken noodle soup, and bananas—the ancient home remedy of my people.

Here’s hoping tomorrow sees me on the mend.  I’m still unable to keep down most solids, although I had a banana at lunch.

Back to our regular schedule tomorrow.  Your prayers are appreciated.

250th Day Update

Today’s post marks 250 days of consecutive posting.  That’s a major milestone in my ongoing project to blog daily, which I last commemorated in a substantial way at Day 101.  With this post, I’m a mere 115 days away from reaching a year of daily posts.  So close, and yet—so far.

I tried to find a word that meant “250 days” in the way that bicentennial means “200 years,” or sesquicentennial means “150 years” (from those words, I reason that 250 years would be a “sesquibicentennial”).  My search proved fruitless, though I did learn that 250 is the number of men that rebelled against Moses in Numbers 26:10 (thank you, Wikipedia).

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Happy Labor Day 2019!

It’s Labor Day here in the United States, a day to celebrate the hardworking men and women that make our country great.  Yes, I’m sure a holiday engineered by labor unions (like the radical nineteenth-century union the Knights of Labor) has some seedy progressive origins, but I think we can all appreciate a Monday off.

It’s been a pleasant weekend here at the Casa de Portly.  All the ambitious plans to grade and catch up on work predictably flew out the window, and I’ve gotten loads of much-needed rest.  My hacking cough is virtually gone, and I’m feeling rested and relaxed—a rare sensation for yours portly.

I also rediscovered a fun little turn-based strategy game that has devoured some of my time this weekend:  Delve Deeper, from Lunar Giant.  You manage a team of five dwarfs as they “delve deeper” (get it?) into critter-infested mines, all while competing against other, AI-controlled teams to mine and loot the most treasure.  It’s simple and not exceptionally deep, but it’s quite fun.

I’ve also played some Left 4 Dead 2 with the boys, and watched the heartbreaking finale of the USC-UNC game.  Knocking off top-seeded Alabama in a couple of weeks is looking less and less likely.  Ugh…—but Go Cocks!

That’s it for today.  We’ll be back to history, politics, and the culture wars tomorrow.  For now, enjoy some downtime with your family, and try not to think about the collapse of Western civilization for at least one three-day weekend.

Your portly,

TPP