My New Workshop Fire Extinguisher and Official Fire Extinguisher Arrow Sign

January 5, 2019


My new fire extinguisher came with an official fire extinguisher sign. I put the sign right over the fire extinguisher. I think the arrow sign looks a little silly, but you do see it first coming down the basement stairs.


Cranky Old Man’s Tea Kettle (and Gas Can)

December 31, 2018


OK. This is a gas can. It is brand new. Never used. Nothing inside. If I wanted to I could definitely use this gas can as a tea kettle. I love it! This is the best kettle an old grumpy contrarian could possibly have on his stove.

Well, I don’t want to be that guy all the time. And I don’t want to scare anybody. So, I am going to take my fab new half gallon Eagle brand made-in-the-usa safety gas can out to the garage where it belongs, and it will feel neglected and diminished.

Later: The poor thing is out in the garage. I haven’t put actual gasoline in it per se. But, it is in the garage with the other not-so-cute gas cans. I did it.

Even later: Oh, dear. I think I hear it crying. Maybe I should bring it in from the cold.

Click below to read about gas cans. Hint: Most government approved plastic gas cans are crappy, frustrating, and DANGEROUS!


Read the rest of this entry »

Marianne’s New Wheels!

November 22, 2018

IMG_0546Controls: It goes to eleven!!!

Should I be on Facebook?

April 10, 2018

“They go out and find the morons for me.”

Last year Zeke Faux went to a conference in Berlin to report on internet scammers for Bloomberg News. Read the rest of this entry »

Shop Cat

February 6, 2018

180206ShopCatRalph (‘Rafe’) likes to get on the band-saw table so I can rub his head. Handsome boy!

Sermon for Christina and Christopher Rea Wedding on Saturday, September 30, 2017

October 1, 2017

Windowselection+034_editedI’ve gotten to know Chris and Chrissie over the past few months. The thing I like the most about them is their unique combination of toughness and tenderness. They come here today to stand in front of God and in front of you to make solemn promises. It has taken them a long time to get to this place here and now.

From a religious perspective they come from different backgrounds. I know they wondered, “What kind of church is this and what kind of priest is this?” But we talked it through, and here we are ready to do this. Read the rest of this entry »

Has Visual Learning Damaged the Moral Landscape? (Answers from Victor Hugo and St. Thomas.)

August 19, 2017

TVI worry when a person gets all his news from watching TV. I worry that he loses the ability to distinguish between ideology, strategy, and tactics. I worry that he can’t tell the difference between motive and emotion. I worry that maybe he doesn’t even care. Everything becomes a matter of appearances. On TV truth is drowned out in a cacophony of competing voices and bad behavior. Read the rest of this entry »

Baseball games are too long.

August 17, 2017

I’ve been watching Yankee baseball during my vacation. Marianne likes it too until she gets sleepy and has to go to bed. Night games start at 7:10 p.m. The games aren’t over until after 10:00 p.m. This is crazy! If the pitcher had to get the ball back to the catcher in 12 seconds, the games would be over before 9:30 p.m. If the batters got 3 balls and 2 strikes, the pitchers arms wouldn’t wear out so fast and the games would be over by like 9:00 p.m.

Also, I wouldn’t have to watch Aaron Judge take the first pitch for a strike, miss the second pitch, and work his way to a 3 and 2 count on 7 pitches, only to strike out. OK, once in a while he hits a ball from Yankee Stadium almost to Boston, and I like that.

But not enough to stay up all night watching the pitcher shake off pitches until the catcher forgets the signs. And then the catcher has to go out to the mound, and they can talk about the signs while covering their mouths. Then, when everybody is back in position, the batter steps out of the box to adjust his ankle guard and other parts. By this time the catcher has forgotten the signs again.

If the batters only got 3 balls and 2 strikes, they wouldn’t foul the ball back into the catcher’s mask so much. And catchers would remember things better.

Sermon for Fr. Herbert Sanderson’s Funeral

August 11, 2017

HSandersonA great Christian has died and we gather together to thank God for Herbert and his Witness. When I say Witness I mean something that is hard for many people to understand today.

Everybody knows a witness is someone who has seen something important. Later on, a witness might be summoned to a court of law to give testimony.

Whatever Herbert was doing, he was always giving testimony. It was just the way he was. Herbert Sanderson was a fine musician, a PhD clinical psychologist, a priest, a father, and a husband. And whatever he was doing at any given time, he was testifying. Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Sports, Peirce Playground, and Norman “Coach” Anderson.

August 7, 2017
Chicago Softball

A “Chicago” 16 inch softball next to a regular baseball

Even though I tell people I grew up in New York City, the facts are a bit more complicated. I lived in Manhattan in various apartments near the East River between 23rd and 97th streets until I was nine years old. Then I went to live on the North side of Chicago for about four years. Then we moved back to New York City in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

I played a lot of sports when I was a kid. I played baseball, basketball, football, and hockey. But that only started when we moved to Chicago. In Manhattan everybody improvised. In the streets of New York in the late 1950s we played stickball with a small red rubber ball (a Spaldeen) and a broom handle for a bat. Kids roller skated with clamp-on skates with metal wheels. Dads made scooters out of 2 by 4s and orange crates, with skates nailed to the bottom.

Chicago was another world. Whatever you want to say about climate change, the truth is it was cold and windy all winter long in Chicago in the early 1960s. I was very embarrassed that I didn’t know how to ice-skate. I found an indoor rink away from my neighborhood where I could rent skates and teach myself how to skate.

We lived in an apartment on North Clark Street in the Edgewater section of Chicago. My first year I went to Peirce Public School. The playground at Peirce School is famous in the history of Chicago, and in all of North American speed skating. Almost all the Olympic speed skaters in the U.S. came out of skating clubs that have their origins traced to the Peirce Playground Skating Club. Starting in the late 1930s with the backing of the mayor, and city recreation money, a field-house was built and dedicated to after-school recreation activities. Read the rest of this entry »