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Archive for March, 2011

think outside the bowl.

Ah, yes. Victory via technicality. (Kids can be so good at this sort of thing.)

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The following is a chapter from my book Not Exactly Allies, which is now available on Kindle. When I get a few other projects out of the way, I’ll try to learn how to do what needs to be done to make trade paperback editions of my books, but for now I’m just trying to get them all on Kindle.

To some degree, this could be called an extraneous chapter. None of the major characters are in it, and it has nothing to do with the main storyline. In a book with a fair amount of action, this is a chapter with little action. (On the other hand, I can share the whole chapter with you, and not give you any spoilers. Such a deal.)

I have it in the book, for one thing, because it addresses the theme of what makes a good marriage, and that is a refrain I pick up again and again in the seriocomic series of which this book is a part. For another thing – you may cue the laugh track now – in the early drafts of this book, Philip was an important character, and quite a fun one, too. But, in the later edits, he wound up on the cutting room floor. Except for here. And while I happily sent other minor characters back into oblivion for the sake of a smoother read, I enjoyed this bit with Philip and Father Jules too much to kill him off entirely.

I hope you enjoy it, too.

93 – Father Jules and company

Father Jules called a meeting of the men of the church. Some of the women were offended that they were left out, but since many of them were perpetually offended, he was well practiced in ignoring their sniffs and cold looks. Some of the men, however, were quite concerned.

“You do not know how much trouble you are causing me with my wife, Father,” one man said. “Really, she thinks we are up to no good whenever men get together by themselves.”

“That is your problem,” Father Jules said. The men sputtered. Father Jules smiled at them. “You will just have to educate your women, gentlemen, or you will have to learn to assume an air of mystery. In any case, I want no apologies for this project. Do you understand me?”

“Not yet,” a man who looked like an athlete said, with the hint of a wink. “You must explain your project first, I think.” (more…)

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Just for fun. (Via Rachel Balducci, who wonders if this is what she sometimes sounds like to her boys…)

Personal note: The first kids I babysat were twin boys. They developed a language of their own, with which they plotted all sorts of things, openly. They knew English, and used it when it suited them. But they were the only persons on the planet (as far as I know) who spoke DaveAndDoug-lish. I have to wonder if the above brothers are well on their way to something like that.

 

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…explained. (Perhaps I should say “illustrated”.)

See also the post at Iowahawk that was used as reference in the above video: Feed Your Family on $10 Billion a Day.

hat tip: Scott Ott’s Facebook page.

 

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Having found that some readers did not understand the irony (i.e., did not get the joke) of his suggestion that we revive the art of dueling (I linked to that post, and a related article, here), David Bentley Hart clarifies that, and then goes on to give us a history lesson in “the cut,” which he suggests might be of some use in dealing with uncivilized people who crave, and all too often get, public attention.

As he points out along the way, if you don’t know what a “cut” is, you won’t understand some of the jokes and jests in literature. He gives examples.

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You know about Homo academicus saecularis sinister, although probably under another name. Let Anthony Esolen tell you more about them, as he makes observations about The Real World.

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“Suddenly, I Was Surrounded by Life”

I think that sums it up pretty well.

The article also mentions a new book: Atheist to Catholic: 11 Stories of Conversion.

 

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A Russian judge has told prospective parents that they may not adopt a certain boy, because he has Down Syndrome.

It wasn’t that long ago in this country that most parents of children with Down Syndrome were told that their children must be put into an institution, never to be part of a regular family. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, God bless them, did much to change that, when they refused to institutionalize their daughter Robin, and when they spoke and wrote about her with such love that people took notice. After that, it didn’t take long for society to let go of the notion that people with Down Syndrome were necessarily better off in institutions.

Please pray for the balking Russian authorities to have a change of heart. This family is not the only one trying to adopt a child with Down Syndrome from that region. More here.

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Ronald W. Kirk looks at what education used to be like, how it has degenerated, and why it must improve. He especially addresses Christians who have been settling for too little, both in their children’s education, and in their own lives. See: Publisher’s Corner: What Education Ought to Be.

hat tip: Phil

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I am convinced that one of the worst things we have done to ourselves as a country is to have made it harder for kids to go out and get a job. Many of the most interesting and contented people I know had paying jobs in their teens, or even earlier. They had the drive to learn, to serve, to participate, to earn their own money, or even to help support the family. Or they had parents that knew that this particular child needed the extra challenge or structure in their life.

But these days, the nanny state yells no, no, no, you mustn’t hire children, and has minefields of regulations to navigate if you dare give such a project a shot. That should change, I think. For those who are ready for it, the experience – and the mentoring – that they get, in suitable jobs under suitable bosses, is invaluable. (This is not to mention that it can be fun for adults to work with kids.) In the meantime (until we restore sanity to our work laws, and get the government moved back within its proper boundaries), Jim Daly has some suggestions: How to Find a Great Summer Job. Hint: it might help to think outside the box.

 

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