Progress Report from Kay of Montana, whom we helped through GoFundMe

You will remember, back in May, I started a GoFundMe campaign for our wonderful Kay, when she was going through some major family difficulties. Well, she writes about her situation now, and allows me to post this.  Just an indication of how wonderful all the Members are when a friend is in trouble.  In her own words:

Been meaning to get to you for a while now but haven’t been feeling so hot. However, good news. With everything that has been happening with me for the past 5 months, the vertigo has been getting worse and worse. My anxiety out of control. The bouts of PT for vestabular rehab not doing much except costing money. So I have quit going.... [Read More]


On the Jews

I am currently reading Walter Russell Mead’s book God and Gold, subtitled Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World.  In this book, he discusses the role of religion as one of the forces in the making of the Western Enlightenment societies we have today.  He says this about the Jews in today’s world:

Apart from the significance of Jewish experience to Jews, the survival of the Jews into modern times serves for billions of non-Jews as a kind of historical proof that the God of Abraham is powerful and real.  God told Abraham that he would have descendants who would remember his name–and lo! there they are.  That this unique people, returning almost miraculously against all probability to the land God promised Abraham would support his descendants, is a kind of bone in the throat of the world–a people and a state that can neither be spat out nor swallowed, unable to find rest at “home” or in exile–only further shows billions of Abrahamic believers just how powerful the narrative (or the God) remains after all these millennia.  That world history remains convulsed by the struggles of the Jews to make a home, and that their ethical and military successes and failures reverberate to the ends of the earth, further reinforces the most powerful cultural force that human beings know.... [Read More]


Shameless Blog Self-promotion

Last month, Ray and I took a two-week cruise to Hawaii, round trip from San Francisco, with Hillsdale College.  Over at my personal blog,, I am documenting that trip with  pictures and commentary, in 1-2 day bites.  You are all invited to drop by and read my posts.  The latest describes our day in Lahaina, Maui (day 9 of the 15-day cruise).  Scroll down for earlier posts, starting with Day One when we left San Francisco.  Sea days were spent in lectures given by some people you are sure to be familiar with.  Each post starts with the image below.  Please visit and comment!


Pre-Hillsdale Cruise mini-meetup in SF next Saturday?

Ray and I are going on the Hillsdale Cruise to Hawaii, round-trip from SF starting next Sunday the 15th.  We are flying in late Saturday afternoon, staying at the Airport Hampton Inn.  Anyone want to get together for drinks Saturday night?  I heard through the grapevine that Michael Ramirez is going on the cruise as a speaker.  Yay!


Giving is so much fun!

Most Fridays, I take myself out for lunch from work.  My favorite place to go is the local Panda Express.  I have their menu pretty much memorized, and I decide on the way there what I want.  I go through the drive-through line, get my lunch, and take it back to work to eat at my desk (so I can surf the web and read Ricochet).  Over the break between Christmas and New Years, I thought about the young lady who normally serves the drive-through window.  I have gotten to recognize her, and she is unfailingly friendly.  So last Friday, I took one of the cute Christmas cards I bought for my work friends, enclosed a $5 bill inside, and sealed the envelope and marked it for “The Young Lady at the Panda Drive-Through Window”.

When I drove through, I gave her my money and the envelope.  She was surprised and pleased, and she thanked me when she brought my change and my lunch.  I just grinned all the way back to work in the car.  Giving, even a small thing, is so much fun when the recipient totally does not expect it.  I think we both made each others’ day.


The Sock Puppet asked for a music post

This is all I could find today.  This is what you get when you allow the airline gorillas to handle a very expensive 17th-century viola da gamba (a precursor of the cello).  The musician was told that her flight was full so she could not buy an extra seat for the $200K instrument.  She reluctantly handed it over to go as checked luggage.  I assume it was insured, but this had to be devastating for her.

... [Read More]