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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Spring Cleaning.


In the mountains, spring cleaning is not merely a phrase. In order to create traction the roads are coated with sand, which of course mixes with the snow and becomes part of the coloration of one’s boots and automobile for the length of winter. I am always amazed at how my boots manage to discolor […]

Life, Unknown.


Next time you are in the woods at a tiny little spring, stare into the first pool it forms and watch the leaves at the bottom of the water.  If you watch long enough – at least here in the Catskills – you will start to see relatively large (just shy of an inch long) […]

Snowbound But Melting.


We have thirty inches of snow on the ground – more at higher elevations – and moving around is still slow and difficult, but the thaw has begun.  For weeks I’ve seen almost no animal tracks anywhere but right along the bed of the creek, where the snow is less deep.  But even after a […]

The Thaw Begins.


This is the first time I’ve seen wood on my front porch after months of snow and ice.  The thaw begins.

End of the Republic Update.


One of the defining characteristics of ancient Rome’s late Republic was the saturation of domestic politics with international politics.  It began with Roman tribunes such as Lucius Apuleius Saturninus and Marcus Livius Drusus representing – whether out of principle or profit at this distance in time is hard to say – the interests not of […]

Ian Caldwell and the Catholic Church.


Despite the clickbait title about the Pope’s bedroom, this is a fine, thoughtful essay about Ian Caldwell’s research into the intellectual life of the Catholic Church and in particular the lives of married priests.  Caldwell researched the topic with his customary thoroughness for his new novel, The Fifth Gospel. I did the Latin for the book. […]

Bathtub Gin. (A Night at the Lord Baltimore Hotel).


The Summa Theologica doesn’t have that many odd and charming moments, but certainly one of them is when Aquinas – taking a break from questions like “Whether There is Only One Aeviternity”, “Whether Goodness Has the Aspect of a Final Cause”, and “Whether the Separated Soul Understands Separate Substances” – decides to tackle the question, […]