“It happens three times in everyone’s life…”

I learned some very important life lessons today.

I learned them from listening to a short interview with a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old.

It seems the 5-year-old thought it would be good to “help” her younger sister by cutting her hair for her.

When the father interviewed his two girls for the radio a few weeks later to ask why they made these choices, streams of brilliant philosophical insights ensued from their lisping mouths.

Be warned that listening to this less-than-three-minute clip is NSFW (not safe for work). It’s not due to strong language or inappropriate content, but because you will most likely be choking coffee out your nostrils unto innocent pieces of paper lying nearby. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

I introduce to you two great sages of the universal human condition: two young siblings caught in unauthorized haircutting—

(Thanks to Susanna B. for drawing my attention to this wonderful radio story.)

I love butter. Yes, I do.

It has come to my attention recently that butter has virtually no nutrients.

(The fact that this knowledge came into my life at exactly the same time I suddenly began finding it very difficult to even get out of bed in the morning and began openly questioning the very meaning and value of life itself might possibly be related. I will have to get back to you on that.)

It is being said by some haters that butter is essentially empty calories.

This hurt all my feelings immeasurably, as my passion for butter is perhaps exceeded only by my love for family members, close friends, and my dog Pugsley.

In modern-day parlance, butter plays nicely with others—it excels at teamwork. Butter is self-effacing: it makes every other ingredient look, taste, and smell really, really good with no concern at all for personal self-promotion.

Come to think of it, butter is all about the empowerment of others: other ingredients, that is.

Butter is the Miss Congeniality of the cooking world. After all, I have never met a recipe that didn’t love butter.

I have tried, but there is simply no substitute to be found for the one-and-only, the magnificent, the Taj Mahal of all saturated fats: (drum roll)…dairy butter!

It’s good to know that the generations before me found their own reasons to love butter. After all, there is much wisdom to be found in collective human history.

On the other hand, one might do well to disregard certain aspects of the, er, “science” of butter appreciation from past generations.

Because it is the heart and soul of the matter that counts, not the details, right?

With that in mind, I leave you with this charming vintage sign reminding folks of the “health benefits” and the rich pleasures to be found in a pat (or pound) of beautiful butter:


Have a butterful Monday, everyone!


Before the Onset of Virtual Worlds:

There was the Outernet. This graphic needs no explanation, I think: The benefits we’ve gained through Internet and cell phone technologies are incalculable. But it could also be said that some of our resulting losses—the human qualities and activities displaced (temporarily or permanently) by these technologies are also incalculable. What are ways that you have found to continue lifestyle choices of a simpler time? Things such as interacting with people in real time face-to-face or of engaging in activities together as a unit instead of together in name only while each person lives in their own separate world (“alone together”)? […] Read more »

How Wealthy Are You?

As people who live in one of the richest countries in the world, it can be easy to forget how very, very fortunate we are. Just having adequate food, a roof of any kind over our heads, clothing, and any form of an education immediately catapults us into the upper echelon of the world’s wealthiest. I love this graphic because it helps put our great wealth and privilege into perspective. We have so much to be thankful for: Read more »

Thank You

I wouldn’t have thought that a cartoon might sum up my thoughts so well this holiday weekend. But it does. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you veterans out there~~to those who’ve returned, to those who still keep watch, and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. There simply aren’t words to express our gratitude as Americans for what you did, do, and will continue to do for our beloved country—and your countrymen—faithfully and constantly. Thank you for keeping watch so we can enjoy the lives of abundant freedom, extraordinary opportunity, and amazing resources that […] Read more »

Tips on How, You Know, to Write Good

So many friends are pushing through their final papers and exams during this time in May. No fun. Short of special deliveries of double-caff coffee, I couldn’t think of any way to ease their burden. Until now. The inimitable Frank L. Visco has written a profoundly helpful set of guidelines on how to use the English language well in written form. Originally published in the 1986 edition of Writer’s Digest, I am certain it will be an unspeakably useful gift to my paper-writing, hair-twirling, glassy-eyed, hallucinating, chronophobic friends. Here it is, and best of luck to all of you who […] Read more »

The Libertarian Meme

Yes. All I have to say is yes! This meme is hilariously true at so many levels. In my general experience, folks I know who believe in more governmental regulation in health, education, business, and finance frequently tend to view my libertarianism as naive and irresponsible at best and as downright, dangerously selfish at worst. On the other hand, folks I know who believe in more governmental regulation in social values (ie, marriage, religion, drugs and alcohol, and so on) often view my libertarianism as my unprincipled, unbridled personal hedonism: they can sometimes view libertarianism as a deliberate cop-out so […] Read more »

A Few Randomly Enjoyed Quotes from the Last Few Weeks

When 93-year-old Pablo Casals was asked in an interview why he continued to practice the cello three hours a day, he replied, “I’m beginning to notice some improvement…” If you want to understand a woman, look in her bag~~Valerie Steele A true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence~~Amos Bronson Alcott Creation is a better means of self-expression than possession; it is through creating, not possessing, that life is revealed~~Vida Dutton Scudder I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women of this […] Read more »

Reputation vs. Character

It has always been true that reputations can be made and destroyed more quickly than one might think possible. During election years it becomes even more obvious: you cannot control your reputation. You can do the very best you can to do the right thing at the right place and time, but all it takes is one person or event to shatter a lifetime’s worth of work in one fell swoop. And the onset of 24-hour news cycles hasn’t helped the truth to come out any sooner than it used to: if anything, the 1500 TV talking heads help cement […] Read more »

Monday, Monday

Okay, so maybe Mondays aren’t really your thing. But here’s a thought: perhaps if you lowered your standards—just a little—on what constitutes a successful Monday, it could entirely reframe how you view both success and Mondays in the future. It has clearly worked for the Tasmanian Devil: Happy Monday, all!   Read more »

Of Church Signage

You know, most Christians hold to both these seemingly contradictory truths: that we are fully selfish, sinful human people at the same time that we are also, with God’s gracious help, being daily changed and shaped to look more like Jesus as we grow in our faith over time. I do not think that even the most famous propositional statements of historical Christianity—such as the Nicene Creed, the Apostle’s Creed, and so on—illustrate this very point in as earthy a fashion as does…(drum roll, please….) church signage. Oh, yes. In church signboards we see the silly and the sublime, the […] Read more »

Operatic Stereotypes

I love opera. I also understand that I am one of only 973 people in the entire United States who do love opera. Okay, so I am under-exaggerating just a wee here. (But perhaps not by much.) There are many reasons why most Americans are generally under-impressed by opera (if they think of it at all), and I sense the stirrings of a future blog post on this very topic. Jennifer Rivera has written a thoughtful, interesting article on the loss it would mean to all kinds and styles of music if opera—the Olympic form of vocal music—should eventually disappear […] Read more »

Kids on Books

I love this. I really love this. (This graphic has been provided by Burning Through Pages, a non-profit that actively works to encourage all kids—and especially teens—to read. Check out their page if you get a chance~~this is a group that provides books free of charge, helps kids join book clubs in their communities, and assists them in founding book clubs if there aren’t any. The group will also match a child or teenager with a volunteer to discuss the book with them one-on-one.) Read more »