A belated anniversary notice

My blog title change, and acknowledgement of the blog’s evolved focus, wasn’t timed this way, but this is, coincidentally, 9 years and 1 day after I began blogging here.

Some things remain the same: I’m still a big fan of Fr. Stephen Freeman.

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You can read my more impromptu stuff at Micro.blog (mirrored at microblog.intellectualoid.com) and, as of February 20, 2019, at blot.im. Both should work in your RSS aggregator, like Feedly, should you want to make a habit of it.

Learning from Ebeneezer

It’s the Advent season, so of course Dickens’ A Christmas Carol gets trotted out. Our Bach Chorale Singers concert Saturday was interwoven with a reading of it.

I’m feeling a bit like a blog-obsessed (not money-obsessed) version of Ebeneezer Scrooge, and I don’t want to be visited by ghosts of blogs past, present and future warning me that “Obsessive blogger dies from lack of exercise, perspective” could be my obituary some day, while my tombstone reads “Always in the know, but never got wisdom.”

So I have just unsubscribed several blogs. Considering how many blogs I follow just for pleasure, “several” doesn’t sound like many, but the ones I dropped probably make up a third or more of my blog volume. The ones I dropped are primarily political, and we’re well into the 2012 Presidential cycle, sorry to say, so the volume is rising.

Since <stunning news> I don’t trust either party, </stunning news> it’s becoming frustrating to read one more darned angle on why serial adulterers with ADD/HD shouldn’t be POTUS even if they’ve repented, or that Mormons wear funny undies, or that the Texan hangs out with people who are fewer than three degrees removed from whacko Theocrats, or that the sane, antiwar, committed-to-the-constitution candidate can’t win because he’s out of the mainstream. (That last one’s the most disheartening, because if the Tea Party were what it’s cracked up to be, he would have a really good shot at it.)

If there’s some slightly new angle in any of this stylishly written political swill, though, I’m likely to pass it on to my readers, however trifling it may be in the grand scheme of things. Yup. It’s come to that. My OCD gene has been expressing itself. Time for cold turkey, or something close. Daily tidbit aggregations are ceasing.

So what will I do with the extra time? Well, as hinted, exercise will be part of it. I’ll multiply the saved time from that by not reblogging so many blog trifles (trifles are for Tweeting, at most). And “persepective” will be the other part.

How can I add perspective to my life while dropping voices from my daily fare? By adding older voices – the kinds of guys who write, or likelier “wrote,” books, for instance. I’ve cleared desk space and gotten a good light in my den, away from the TV (before which my wife tends to collapse deservedly after a hard day of schoolchildren on the one hand and aging, failing parents – my mother, her dad – on the other).

I’ve got a bunch of unread books, many of them classics, and that doesn’t even count re-reading the Bible with Orthodox commentaries nearby, or digital versions of the Church Fathers. I’ll read more poetry, too. It’s time especially for W.H. Auden’s “For the Time Being,” which has become a personal Advent tradition for me.

I’ve added to my Christmas list a C.S. Lewis book that I’ve inexplicably not read in 63 years: C.S. Lewis’ “The Discarded Image.” That’s likely to lead to still other books. But it also honors one of Lewis’ most important (and ignored, including by me) bits of advice: for every current book you read, read an old book, too, for the sake of perspective. A future book could give perspective, too, but future books are not in print any more. 😉 All the bloggers I read, in contrast to old authors, share a cosmology with me to a degree greater than we recognize – even if we appear, in today’s conventional terms, bitterest adversaries. I intend to find some pre-moderns, and not just Bible and Early Church Fathers, and try to get inside their heads.

But I’ve been bit by the blogging bug, so I’m not apt to disappear entirely. But I expect to be much more selective. I hope you’ll like it. And if you’ve been thinking of dropping me because of the low signal-to-noise ratio, stay tuned for an upgrade, the particulars of which remain to be determined precisely because I remain, for now, a tipsy teetotaler, and sensitively dependent on initial conditions.

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Standing advice on enduring themes.

Drinking from a firehose

I experienced yesterday three sessions of what sometimes is now referred to as “drinking from a firehose.”

  1. The first was a meeting with somebody who had a new approach to marketing my law firm’s services. I thought I had a general understanding going into the meeting, but his company has really taken a vaguely familiar idea to a much higher level than I had imagined. It is exciting, but challenging, since it does not simply involve paying his company some money and then watching magic happen.
  2. I met with a construction manager who has prepared a sophisticated estimate of what it will cost to build the church design that I have shared earlier on this blog. Suffice to say that it is not within our tentative budget. It is exciting, but challenging, since it does not simply involve paying his company some money and then watching magic happen. I will now become involved in a new round of meetings to see if the higher dollar figure is achievable and to try to trim costs if it is not ( or simply on general principle insofar as the construction manager has identified “fat” in the design).
  3. I had my first “food class” with, and got my diet plan from, a weight loss Center I have signed up with to lose 72 pounds over the next 24 weeks. It is exciting, but challenging, since it does not simply involve paying this company some money and then watching magic happen. I’m going to have to become much more intentional about my eating and nutrition for the next 24 weeks. Meals “on the run” are not going to work well; if I am going to eat on the run, is going to be something that I had been meticulously planned in advance.

The point of all this is that I’m going to be striving to reduce the frequency with which I blog. I haven’t been at this for very long, and it really is great fun, but proper priorities say that it’s less important than some other things. ( If you read my introduction, you’ll see that I never anticipated blogging as often as I have been anyway.) My early evenings are going to need to be for exercise, not catching up on e-mail and the day’s blogs, so those tasks are going to get pushed off into the later evening, leaving less time to write my own content or even to forward good stuff.

I don’t expect to shut this down or to stop blogging entirely (I have known people who stopped blogging for Lent, for instance). And I hope to be back strong in a while.

Categories added

It must be disorienting wondering what side of the bed I got up on before blogging, so I’ve added “Attitude” categories that so far include “Intrigued,” “Jeremiad” and “Sweetness’n’Light” – sort of like MPAA movie ratings: ‘Don’t like bile? Don’t read this jeremiad!”