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Samuel Johnson, The Idler, 4/5/1760




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    September 16, 2014
    What, is it Tolkien's birthday? Another Tolkien blurb at a popular website popped up today: 10 Good Dads Who Changed The World. Excerpt: "2. J.R.R. Tolkien: "Lots of dads tell their children bedtime stories, but Oxford professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was a master of the art. His lucky kids—John, Michael, Christopher, and Priscilla—drifted off to rambling tales that included goblins, elves, dragons, and wizards. A new character was introduced after Tolkien was grading his students’ test papers and realized he’d written something on a blank page in a student’s exam book: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” The professor had no idea what hobbits looked like or how they lived; those details evolved in his bedtime stories about Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who loved to eat good meals, smoke his pipe, and whose comfortable hobbit hole had everything he needed—except adventure. "Tolkien and his children had a favorite bedtime book, The Marvelous Land of the Snergs by E. A. Wyke-Smith. Snergs were a small, sturdy people living in a hidden kingdom, and they influenced Tolkien’s vision of Bilbo. Hobbit tales were also influenced by the children, especially Christopher, who was a stickler for consistency and complained if dad accidentally changed Bilbo’s front door from blue to green. "Eventually, a publisher expressed interest in Bilbo’s adventures, and Tolkien polished up the story. The Hobbit was published in 1937 and was so popular that the publisher asked for a sequel. Christopher (by then grown up) became his father’s assistant on the sequel, The Lord of the Rings, which took over a decade to complete. Christopher helped with typing and drew maps for the book. Most importantly, he was still an important audience for hobbit tales. Even during World War II, when Christopher was serving in the Royal Air Force, Tolkien mailed him the newly written chapters. Finally published in 1954, The Lord of the Rings became the most popular fantasy fiction of the 20th century. Those continuing adventures of hobbits made Tolkien one of the most influential authors in the world."

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    Humorous
    H.I.F. Twenty jokes for nerds. A few of my favorites: A Buddhist monk approaches a hotdog stand and says “make me one with everything”. A Roman walks into a bar and asks for a martinus. “You mean a martini?” the bartender asks. The Roman replies, “If I wanted a double, I would have asked for it!” Three logicians walk into a bar. The bartender asks “Do all of you want a drink?” The first logician says “I don’t know.” The second logician says “I don’t know.” The third logician says “Yes!”

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    Interesting
    H.I.F. "TIL Christopher Lee received Tolkien's blessing to play the role of Gandalf, if a movie was ever released, but he played Saruman instead. He was also the only person involved with the Lord of the Rings films to have actually met Tolkien himself." From Reddit's "Today I Learned" page.

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    Monday
    September 15, 2014
    Miscellaneous Rambling Can I ask an un-Catholic question? Are people in America really starving? My priest assures me they are, so I obediently donate regularly to the parish food pantry. The liberals assure us they are, since it's very hard to live on the amount of money provided by food stamps (it never crosses their minds that the food stamps are supposed to supplement a food budget, not be the food budget; and, of course it never occurs to them that perhaps food stamps do a lot more harm than good and, at the bottom line, are more about transferring wealth to the convenience store and fast food industries). * * * * * * * But where are these hungry people? Migrant workers, I suppose, which are largely invisible to me, but if I were to go to, say, Calcutta, I'm assured I'd readily see the starving all over the place. Why don't we see them in America? * * * * * * * One place I'd like to see them so I could call the police: in my town's community garden. I rented a plot there this year ($10 for a sizable slice of soil), and someone has been stealing squash from it. It really bums me out. If they're starving, they could just ask me (maybe I'm invisible to them). I think I'd help them out: "Here's $5; go buy yourself some squash; please leave my non-gmo, organic squash alone." But to go and just take it? That takes the fun out of having a garden. * * * * * * * So much so that I started digging up my Mom's spacious back yard last Saturday. She and I are going to grow squash (edible ornamentals, delicata, and butternut) in a trellised 75-square foot area. I'm providing the labor, seeds, trellising, compost, and fertilizer. She's supplying the land, plus she's tossing her compostable scraps out there. Land, of course, is all important, so it's a good arrangement, especially since my family will eat the bulk of the squash.

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    September 14, 2014

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    Sunday

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    Nice Way to Spend Saturday Evening
    September 13, 2014

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    Meyers
    People who purchased Olive Garden’s seven-week unlimited pasta pass are being told that they must show their ID in the restaurant to prevent fraudulent use of the cards. Unfortunately, by Week 5 none of them will look anything like their IDs. It’s been discovered that a healthy 24-year-old woman in China has lived her whole life without a major part of her brain. Scientists are calling her “the lost Kardashian.”

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    Virtue Associated with the Third Joyous Mystery, Kinda

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    September 12, 2014

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    Interesting
    H.I.F. October is already a great feast month (Francis, Lisieux, others). It just got better: "The Feast Days of Saints John XXIII and John Paul II will be on October 11th and October 22nd respectively, the Vatican has announced." Link.

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    Coolest Beer Bottle I’ve Seen in Awhile

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    Enter Amazon here, buy something, and get me a kickback.


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    the bloghorn
    Abbey-Roads
    Acts of the Apostasy
    After Abortion
    Aggie Catholics
    All Manner of Things
    Belinda’s Brain
    Bethune Catholic
    Betty Duffy
    Book Reviews and More
    Catholic Blogs
    Catholic Exchange
    Catholic Fire
    Charlotte Was Both
    Chesterton and Friends
    Crossroads
    Decent Films
    Digital Hairshirt
    Dyspeptic Mutterings
    Eric Scheske Writer’s Site
    EWTN
    Fathers of the Church
    First Principles
    Get Blogs
    Gilbert Magazine
    Godspy
    Happy Catholic
    Mark Shea
    Mere Comments
    Michelle Reitemeyer
    More Last Than Star
    National Catholic Register
    New Advent
    Phat Catholic
    Pillar and Fire
    Post Modern Papist
    PowerBlog
    Pro Ecclesia
    Quaffs and Quibbles
    Reasoned Audacity
    Reconnaissance of the Western Tradition
    Roman Catholic Info
    Ruri et Orbi
    Scheske at Catholic Exchange
    Scholium
    Shadow of Diogenes
    Signs of the Times: Salvo Blog
    Some Have Hats
    St. Blog’s Parish Blog Digger
    St. Blog’s Parish Directory
    St. James Journal
    St. Peter Canisius Apostolate
    Standing on My Head
    Stella Maris
    Stony Creek Digest
    Streams of Mercy
    Stupid Scholar
    Suicide of the West
    Summa Minutiae
    Taki
    The American Conservative
    The Blue Boar
    The Cafeteria is Closed
    The Crescat
    The Curt Jester
    The Dawn Patrol
    The Drunken Dollar
    The Impractical Christian
    The Inn at the End of the World
    The Michiana Blawg
    The Muniment Room
    The Radical Academy
    The Reticulator
    The Saint Wannabe
    The Scratching Post
    The Snoring Scholar
    The Summa Mamas
    The Waffling Anglican
    The Western Confucian
    Things and Stuff
    Thursday Night Gumbo
    Uncovering Orthodoxy
    Victor Lams
    Video Meliora
    Vita Mea
    Vox Nova
    What's Wrong with the World
    With Both Hands
    Within the Garden
    Without Having Seen
    World Wide Words

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