Cyber Monday Musings

Today’s post is a glorified sales pitch.  ‘Tis the season, after all.  If you want to get to the punchline, head over to my SubscribeStar page and subscribe for $1/month to unlock all of my SubscribeStar Saturday posts.  For $5/month, you get fresh doodles every Sunday, as well as other random bonuses.  The most recent $5 post included an MP3 of an original composition from Electrock Retrospective, Volume I: Dance Party.  More goodies to come!

Well, the glorious Thanksgiving Week is over.  The blog Didact’s Reach opened today’s post with the observation that this Monday is “doubly terrible”—after four or five days of heavy eating, sleeping, and shopping, nobody wants to be back at the grind.

This morning officially kicks off the busiest two weeks of the school year for yours portly:  a middle school drama production gets into tech rehearsals (and opens) this week, and our big, over-the-top Christmas concert is ten school days away—yikes!  That’s why I call Thanksgiving “the eye of the storm”—the brief calm before the craziness of December hits.  As the tech guy and music teacher at my little school, it’s an unusually busy season.  My online course hits their exam this week, too, so those grades are coming due.

But that’s all tedium that will get done one way or the other.  As for today, it’s Cyber Monday!

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Rationing and Abundance

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.

Thanksgiving and related observations have been a running theme this week.  Thanksgiving reminds us of how much abundance we truly have.  It’s hard not to recognize when there are tables full of fattening, succulent dishes, enough to rival the feasts of medieval kings.

In spite of that marvelous abundance, however, rationing is still very much a reality.  The inescapable fact of economics—indeed, the whole purpose of the field—is that there are only so many resources to go around, and societies struggle to figure out how best to allocate those resources.

This problem is particularly true when it comes to our most valuable resource:  time.

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

Brack Friday Bunduru: Workers Need a Break

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Christmas‘s time—an ever-expanding season that stretches into September—has finally arrived.  Today is Black Friday, the consumerist threshold that formally inaugurates the Christmas (shopping) season.

Black Friday, much like the holiday season it ushers in, has slowly stretched beyond its one-day window.  First, the expansion went into Small Business Saturday, then Cyber Monday.  Next came Giving Tuesday—a bit of charitable giving to close out the mad dash for savings.  Once you’ve spent all of your money in big box stores on Friday, at the dying mom and pop joint in your town, and everything else on Amazon on Monday, whatever is left goes to the United Way.

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TBT^2: It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle!

Dang, it’s been another year already.  Yikes!  Last year I wrote about the updates since the tragic weekend before Thanksgiving 2017.  The year after my fall was eventful, as I detail below (my commentary on the original post from the old website is in italics).

Looking back, 2019 has been pretty solid, too.  I’ve been a bit morose in a few posts lately, but the beauty of Thanksgiving is it helps clarify the mind—we’re told to focus on what we’re thankful for, and it seems to work.

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Giving Thanks (and a Sales Pitch)

Thanksgiving Break starts today!  For those of you that don’t work in education, here’s hoping you can enjoy some time off tomorrow and Friday.

I have some exciting, timely news:  my SubscribeStar page hit five subscribers yesterday!  That’s a huge deal, because SubscribeStar requires their “Stars” to have five subscribers before subscriptions automatically renew on a monthly basis.  So, a BIG “Thank You” to my five plucky subscribers.

For those of you interested in subscribing, here’s my Thanksgiving pitcheach Saturday, I post a fresh post for $1/month and up subscribers.  It’s an insanely good value—the price of a large specialty pizza per year—and I write some juicy stuff that I can’t put on the main site.

If you want to get generous and go for $5/month, I’ve recently launched “Sunday Doodles.”  I throw up a couple of my wacky, absurd, grotesque doodles each Sunday, usually with a brief explanation about when/where I doodled them.  Here’s a sample:

Sunday Doodles III, 24 November 2019 - Thanksgiving!.jpg

The SubscribeStar page includes around thirty-five posts at present, with probably thirty of those being essays.  Like this blog, I use that page to write about all kinds of topics, including:

…and, of course, candy apples.

Also, every Fourth of July week is MAGAWeek, which is a week of exclusives only for subscribers.

Now that I’ve turned giving thanks into a lurid bid for your hard-earned cash, let me close by saying that I am, indeed, truly thankful to all of my readers.  Blogging daily this past year has been a challenge at times, but it’s also been a blast.  I’m incredibly thankful for those of you who read the site, and for the great new blogosphere buddies I’ve met along the way.

Thank you for your support, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

—TPP

Thanksgiving Week!

It’s Thanksgiving Week!  November is flying by; Halloween Week (and Halloween!) seem like yesterday.  Yesterday was a crisp, autumnal day, a brief respite of warmth before cold weather returned to South Carolina this morning.

As a teacher, one of my favorite “weeks” of the school year is this one.  I put “weeks” in quotation marks because, from a teaching perspective, this isn’t truly a “week,” or even a “short week” (four days, such as the Labor Day holiday early in the academic year).  Instead, it’s two days of either cramming in tests and material, or of laconically drifting into the glorious Thanksgiving Break.

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Lazy Sunday XXXVII: Best of the Reblogs, Part II

Thanksgiving is almost here!  Regular readers will by now know of my love for Halloween, which is second only to Christmas in my heart.  But Thanksgiving is definitely up there in the Top Five, at least—sandwiched neatly between the former two, a brief taste of the Christmas togetherness and relaxation to come.

This week’s Lazy Sunday continues with some of my favorite reblogged posts.  As I wrote last week, one of the simple joys of blogging is making friends with other bloggers.  Maybe one day we can all meet up at some kind of blogging convention.

This week’s reblogs feature two from Practically Historical, a blog dedicated to historical topics, mostly American History.  The other is from Quintus Curtius, a classicist and world traveler (not to mention a former Marine) who writes beautifully about forgotten chunks of the distant past.  He revives the old tradition of the great antiquarians, much to our benefit.

  • Reblog: Lincoln and Civil Liberties” – This post is an examination of Lincoln’s decision to arrest pro-secessionist legislators in Maryland, in order to prevent the State from seceding from the Union.  He examines John Merryman, for whom the case Ex Parte Merryman is named, and notes Merryman was actively engaged in leading an armed militia in Maryland against federal authority.  Yikes!
  • Reblog: Quintus Curtius, ‘On Living Near the Ocean’” – This essay on the ocean really struck a chord with me.  Quintus Curtius is a strong writer, and his examination of the ways that people respond to living near the water are fascinating.  On the one hand, people enjoy the vigorous health of the salt air and good seafood, but maritime towns tend to be breeding grounds for shabbiness and dingy criminality (see also:  Myrtle Beach).  A worthy read.
  • Reblog: Practically Historical on the Electoral College” – Gordon Sheaffer of Practically Historical delivers again with an excellent examination and defense of the Electoral College.  He has a great takedown for the anti-EC crowd, who argue that individual votes are all that matter:  he argues that we should think of the EC like a series of baseball games.  Yes, the highest score wins individual games, but the wins are what matter.  A team can win ten games by one run each, while another team can win nine games by ten runs each; what matters are the wins, not the overall scoring.

That’s it for this week. Enjoy the fleeting glory of your weekend, and enjoy the short workweek!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

The Joy of Autumn

It was a hot and muggy Halloween here in South Carolina (with tornado warnings mid-trick-or-treating!), but my complaints about the season’s distinct lack of autumnality must have worked:  we’ve had a crisp, cold week.  Indeed, in true South Carolina fashion, we’ve largely skipped autumn and have headed directly to winter (of course, don’t be surprised if it’s 80 degrees on Thanksgiving Day).

I’m getting excited for Thanksgiving.  It’s been busy at work lately, and the natives are restless.  Teachers know when students need a break—there’s a weirdness to the atmosphere, and you can almost feel the kids clawing at the walls.  As a Leftie British colleague of mine once quipped, “You Americans think it’s a good idea to have eighteen weeks of school without a break.”  Usually I’m not one for foreign interlopers critiquing our awesome country, but even a progressive Briton is right now and then.

Mainly, though, I’m excited for some downtime with the family, with lots of filling food and cold, crisp days.  Sweater weather, as the vapid co-eds call it, has arrived, and I welcome it happily.  Like the vapid co-eds, I like all the pumpkin spice stuff, too.

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#TBT: It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle

It’s Thanksgiving Day 2018, and I have much to thank God for this year:  a new home, a good job, eight (and counting) private music students, President Trump, and a mostly-functioning left wrist.  I’ve also lost about fifty-one (51) pounds since early June.  Sure, the midterms were a bit of a stalemate, but the GOP kept the Senate.

In that spirit, below is 2017’s “It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle,” a post about surviving a pretty nasty (and stupid) fall from an extension ladder onto a concrete pad.  I wrote that post just a few days after the fall, and expressed my thanks to God for sparing me worse injuries.  The wrist is mostly healed now (I can play bass, guitar, and piano again, though the wrist gets agitated after playing bass or guitar after about thirty minutes), although it will probably never be back to 100%.  There’s still a gnarly scar on my left leg, though the leg itself is fine (the scar, unfortunately, doesn’t look cool or dangerous; it’s just kind of a scary gash).

We have much to be thankful for this year.  Enjoy some time today with your families (or the good folks at Waffle House or Golden Corral).

God bless.

–TPP

This past Saturday, I fell from a ladder while hanging Christmas lights…. I shattered my left wrist—it’s called a distal radius fracture—and gashed my left leg. My head was also hurt, but there was no damage to my brain.

The fall was about 10-12 feet onto concrete. It could have been much, much worse; I am very thankful it wasn’t.

The doctor at the ER and the nurse practitioner both told me I would almost certainly need surgery due to the nature of my fracture. I saw the orthopedist Tuesday, and he was able to set the fracture to an “acceptable” state.

America’s Favorite Food


Setting the fracture without surgery was a major answer to prayer. I go back on 5 December for a follow-up; if the setting takes, I’ll get a flexi-cast. If not, I’ll have to have surgery.

That’s all to say that my posting will be [limited] for a time, as typing is rather tedious (I’m “typing” this post on my cell phone–the predictive text actually makes it faster). I’ll continue to do my best to deliver quality content and thoughtful analysis, just in shorter and less frequent chunks.

I am very thankful to our Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, for extending His Hand of protection and healing; He has already worked miracles during my recovery through the prayers of many friends and family (not to mention the capable hands of my excellent orthopedic surgeon). I’m grateful to be alive!

God Bless, and Happy Thanksgiving!

–TPP