Happy Thanksgiving!

Just thought I’d drop a quick line; posting will be light today and, likely, tomorrow.

I’m thankful today for all the usual stuff – family, friends, a job, a home, the means to provide; my kids, my granddaughter, and the opportunities we all have.

And speaking of opportunities, I’m thankful for the chance I get to talk to you every day on this blog, and once a week on the air.  Thank you all for that!

Have a great weekend.  I’ll be on the air Saturday.

Going Long On The Stupidity Of Crowds

A friend of this blog writes:

I don’t know about you, but most of the people think of the bicycle lobby as the leisure class, so it is interesting that one of them is now admitting that we lower class taxpayers are indeed building this infrastructure for the elites.

The piece, on the transportation/transit site “Streets.mn”, is by our old friend Ken “Avidor” Weiner, who since the retirement of Michele Bachmann seems to have mostly vanished from view, but for the odd warm and fuzzy from a Twin Cities media that always seems to keep its lefty “eccentrics” in its orbit.

Its premise:  biking is becoming chic, and it’s up to the working-class rubes to keep up with the Joneses in Minneapolis, with their chic world-class bikeability rating, because of collective pride.  

Now, don’t get me wrong; I love biking.  I do a fair amount of it.  And I do appreciate the taxpayers of Minneapolis, building me all those nice paths (although less so those stupid downtown lanes, squished between the parking lane and the curb, and sometimes seemingly paved with broken glass, and always a slalom looking out for doors opening and people crossing to their cars.  Dumb dumb dumb).

I’m not going to quote Weiner – because I really just did explain the article; “build bike lanes because Yay Saint Paul”.

I mean, read it.  Am I wrong?

Frequently Asked Questions, Part XII

“Why do you allow commenters like “Dog Gone” to do their “Poop and run” commenting, leaving big, easily-debunked comments and never sticking around to defend their mendacity?”  I’ve been blogging almost 14 years, and had a comment section most of that time.  The goal of that comment section has always been to give readers a place to discuss what they think about what I’ve written.  In that time, my policy has always been to never ban anyone, unless

  1. They write something that’ll get me in legal trouble
  2. Their entire reason for being on the blog is to personally bash me.  Not an article, or my reasoning, but me, personally, over and over and over.

Between the two, I’ve probably actually banned half a dozen people in 14 years.  Many of you can probably name them.

I’ve always figured it was more important to have a discussion than an echo chamber – a sentiment the left doesn’t largely subscribe to, by the way – so I let most of it go.  On my show, in fact, liberal callers get on first.  It’s policy.

I do this because I still cling to the notion that discussion is a dying art in this country.

Am I getting tired of the “poop and run” style of commenting?  Sure.  It’s intellectually dishonest; using someone else’s discussion space to dump an argument that one never intends to (and, usually, can’t) defend is basically spam.

“Why do you oppose switching to the metric system?”  I don’t.  I oppose another extended, expensive government program to try to force the general public to use metric in their daily lives.

You ever notice how almost everyone in the Netherlands can communicate in German and English?  How most everyone in Belgium can do a sort of French and Dutch, and usually English to boot?   How Germans very often speak excellent English and decent French, and how Swiss are functionally trilingual?   And how often liberals sniff down their noses and say this is evidence of American provincialism?

It’s not; it’s because European “nations” are the size of US states – and these days, they have about the same barriers between them.   Can you imagine if Wisconsin, the Dakotas and Iowa all spoke different languages than Minnesota?  You’d have a lot of quadrilingual Minnesotans!  Fact is, Europeans need to get around in several languages – so they do.

It works the same with measurement systems.  Just as Belgium and Canada have two languages, America operates, unofficially, with two systems of measurement; one for scientists, engineers, a few people in foreign trade and the military, and one for the rest of us.  Any American who needs to be fluent in metric, is – and translates between the two, if not fluently, then functionally; three kilometers is two miles, a kilogram is 2.2 pounds, a liter is 1.1 quarts, 2.5 acres to a Hectare, an inch is 2.5 centimeters, a meter is 1.1 yards, a foot is 304 mm – it’s just not that hard, and for those translations that are too hard, Siri and Google can calculate even if doing it on a calculator or spreadsheet is too complicated.

There.  I just saved the taxpayer millions of dollars.

“A Good Guy with a Gun is teh falesy!”:   Well, no – it‘s not.

“You are teh Christeean.  You hate teh SCIENCE cuz you believe teh Earth is 4,000 years old!”:  Well, no.  The notion that the Genesis story is literal fact on par with empirical observation is very, very new; its’ only been accepted by parts of Christendom for less than 200 years.  The idea that the earth literally formed in seven days and that the listing of generations in Leviticus and Deuteronomy is, literally, a family tree that more or less precisely dates the universe would have seemed bizarre to Augustine and Aquinas.

There is, literally, nothing about an allegorical reading of the Genesis creation story that is at odds in any significant way with science.

Which is why critics like the ones I “quote” above – who are largely from the “lapsed Catholic with daddy issues” school of militant atheism – spend so much time bashing the “literalist” straw man.  It invalidates the one little thread they connecting them to that feeling of superiority they crave.

“Often, you seem to come across as arrogant and condescending”:  Toots, if I did bother wasting my precious time being arrogant to you, you’d be the last to figure it out.

“You say you’re a libertarian conservative – but there is no such thing!  You must pick one or the other!”:  No, I mustn’t.

American conservatism is built around several important ideas – including the idea that “new ideas have to pass a fairly stern burden of proof”.

Two of the ideas that American conservatives believe have passed that burden:

  1. Individual liberty is an intrinsically good thing.
  2. Without order, freedom is impossible

It’s one of those things that makes true intellectual conservatism so difficult; those are contradictory.  True conservatives recognize the conundrum that exists between the two, and fight constantly to navigate it as unobtrusively as possible.

Without liberty, order is just tyranny.  Without order, liberty is impossible – because to paraphrase Martin Luther King, the moral arc of history bends is long, but it bends toward barbarism.

That truism – and the conundrum – are the theme of a certain book that is on the market even as we speak!

A Sort Of Homecoming

Today’s Columbus Day.  Which, to me, is the 30th anniversary of the day I set out to move from my hometown of Jamestown, North Dakota to the Twin Cities…

…and failed.  Long story, which I told here about ten years ago.

It was October of 1985.  I’d graduated from college almost six months earlier – and, as they say, “failed to launch”, at least immediately. I’d worked on a roofing and siding job, and at a bookstore, and put some money away as I’d tried to figure out what I was going to do after college – until I made the decision in a bout of drunken whimsy two weeks earlier.

Continue reading

Some Blog Housekeeping

I’m going to introduce you to one new feature on this blog, and throw in a mention of one that’s been around for years.

The new one?  “A Guy With A Gun” – a list of episodes where a citizen with a firearm has interrupted a mass shooting.  This information has beens scattered about the blog for years (and it still is; the page is a work in progress); now, this blog has a one-stop page for episodes.  As episodes come to my attention, I’ll be adding them.  Feel free to leave new episodes in the comment section.

Another that’s been around a while, but that I’ll be updating more aggressively, is “Climate of Hate“.   I first started the page 5.5 years ago, as a response to the left’s conceit that there was an epidemic of right-wing violence in this country; it is, in fact, the left that resorts to violence first.

Got new episodes of either mass-shootings ended by citizens, or of lefty violence (or particularly ugly threats or transference)?  Leave a comment in either page (or here – but this post will soon crawl away to obscurity, while the Pages will be up top forever…)

Note:  Unlike everywhere else in this blog, off-topic or threadjacking comments on either of these pages will be deleted without any further ceremony or warnin – as will on-topic comments once I’ve decided if the subject matter merits inclusion or not.

It Was Ten Years Ago Today…

…that it occurred to me that “twenty years ago today, I made the impulsive, borderline-intoxicated decision to move to the Twin Cities.”

Which led to the longest-running series in the history of this blog, Twenty Years Ago Today – a seven year, 130-essay series about my life from that night I decided to move until my daughter was born.

Apropos not much – although it probably got more positive feedback (and, believe it or not, howling anger from certain anonymous leftybloggers) over a longer time than anything else in the history of this blog.  The temptation to put the whole series out as an e-book is definitely there.

Complication: I started the series on my old “Movable Type” blog, and then switched to WordPress in 2006.  I started copying posts over, but never quite finished them.

Here’s the list of the posts before 11/06; here are the remainder and the ones I’ve migrated over.

Anyway – time flies, it seems.


When I was in high school, I may have been the last generation to actually spend any time watching instructional films.  Not videos – productions shot on film.

Now, my beef is not with the medium on which the production was shot; video versus film is an aesthetic argument, and not one that I’m particularly involved in.

But along about time time video supplanted film, computer animation began to replace an older, more fascinating art – the building of explanatory models.

Explaining complex processes, equations, and mechanical concepts is difficult.  And in a way, I’ve found the plethora of computer-based animations used to do the explaining today are almost too accurate to do a job of explaining complex concepts.

Filling that gap, long before there were any computers, was the operating model.

An operating model took a complex concept, mechanism or process, simplified it, magnified the important stuff while omitting (or deferring) the minutia, and explained it.

And it’s kind of a lost art.

Which was why I loved this film – which explains the function of the auto differential, a bit of mechanical engineering that always amazes me…:

…and this one, which is as good an explanation of pretty much every firearm operating system in the business:

And I can watch them for hours.

To Mr. Chunk, Wherever And Whoever You May Be

To: The Piece Of Garbage Throwing Chunks of Cement at Bikers in Minneapolis
From:  Just Plain Mitch Berg
Re:  Consequences

Big Guy With The White Bronco And The Cement Chunks,

Just a hint for you before you go throwing any more chunks of cement at bikers; it is – I’m speaking purely hypothetically, here – possible that not every Twin Cities biker is a sprout-eating, Whole-Foods-shopping, Betsy-Hodges-upsucking, NPR-listening, pacifism-endorsing (against everyone but people who shoot lions), Obama-voting, coffee-shop-folk-music-listening, Daily-Show-watching Peace Studies major.

Again, I’m speaking purely hypothetically, here.

Just saying.  Go back to pulling the wings off of moths and torturing cats.  They probably can’t fight back.  You’re clearly into that.

That is all .

A Dilemma

As the sales of my first book, Trulbert!, continue to outpace my meager expectations, the question “what next” is occupying more and more of my time.

I’ve been thinking about compiling my Twenty Years Ago Today series into an e-book, for all the people who’ve asked me about it over the past decade (and there have been quite a few).  I am strongly thinking about putting that out this September, in time for the tenth anniversary of the series.

But in terms of original books, as opposed to “Hewitts” (books compiled from blog posts)?

There are a few contenders:

  • “An Accidental Conservative”:  how a guy who by all rights should have been a liberal, became a conservative.  Then a libertarian.  Then a libertarian-conservative again.  And why.   Pros:  that book is largely also already written.  Cons:  I have to dig through a little over 12,000 blog posts to assemble it.
  • “Josef Sklrbczsz, American”:  The story of a young man from an Eastern European goat-town whose entire knowledge of America comes from the mass media.  Then, he comes to America.
  • “Purple Sunset”:  An expansion of my “Secession Diaries” stories, from ten years ago.  Pros:  It’d be a fun piece to write.  Cons:  What?  Me, write a book of absurdist speculative political fiction?

The Twenty Years Ago one is kind of a no-brainer.

Beyond that?  The sky is the limit…

John Edwards Was Only 2/3 Right

Former Senator and two-time Presidential hopeful John Edwards was an immensely tragic figure, in a purely satirical sense, in that he may have been the only Democrat candidate in history to be derailed by violating conventional prole social mores.

But he made one great contribution to American life; the phrase starting “There are Two Americas…”.  This is a gift that has kept on giving to satirists, and likely always will.

But in some cases, it doesn’t go far enough.

Because in cities like Saint Paul, at least in re the Met and City Councils’ ongoing plans to bike-ify the streets and make driving cars utterly unpalatable, there are three Saint Pauls:

The Midway, Saint Anthony Park, Merriam Park, Battle Creek, Payne-Phalen, Summit-Uni and the like:  In these neighborhoods, there is a minority of bikers – and no real resistance to the idea of having the neighborhood’s streets whittled down to one lane plus bike lanes and, maybe, parking.

The East Side, The North End, Frogtown, Dayton’s Bluff:  Nobody bikes, and nobody wants to build bike lanes through them.

Highland:  A powerful minority of well-connected bikers went up against a powerful minority of well-organized NOMASs (“Not On My Arterial Steet!”) – and the NOMAS won a victory, even if only temporary.

The council voted 6-0 for Council Member Chris Tolbert’s amendment to study possible bike lanes on Finn Street and Prior Avenue as well as Cleveland, and to ask the Public Works department to draw up “a robust public engagement plan” to get more input from residents, business owners, district councils and others before deciding by the end of the year where to put the lanes.

Finn?  That’s narrow enough already!

Prior?  That’s two blocks from Cleveland!

And four blocks from already bike-friendly Fairview.

Tolbert said based on the feedback he had gotten — “the most public engagement I’ve received since I’ve been on the council” — he wasn’t sure the issue had been properly vetted. He represents the area south of St. Clair Avenue, where business and property owners said they had collected more than 1,000 signatures opposing bike lanes down Cleveland.

“Both sides have brought up a lot of good issues and a lot of issues that need to be resolved, and we haven’t had a lot of time to let that happen,” Tolbert said.

Now, in most cases – see “The Green Line”, the “Lebanon Hills Park Bike Path” – the “public engagement” is just a ticket the bureaucracy punches on the way to doing what it had planned all along.

In this case?  NOMAS in Highland Park might actually bring some teeth to the issue.

Trulbert: A Comic Novella About The End Of The World As We Know It

Welcome, Instapundit Readers!  Thanks for stopping by!  By the way, one of Glenn’s commenters referenced “Berg’s Law” – here they are.

My first book, Trulbert, hits Amazon on Monday; it’ll be available for Kindle and compatible e-book readers.


The book asks the rhetorical question “What if the world shrugged before Atlas did?”

What if every Libertarian purist, every anarchist, everyone who ever walked out of an IRS audit, got their fondest wish, and – poof – government disappeared overnight?  What would happen?

Would the world spontaneously sort itself into a functioning order, and society – now the assortment of individual, autonomous bits of pure reason that some of the Founders dreamed of – prosper and be perfectly happy?  Would mankind spontaneously order the world into the Best Possible one?

Or would the baser impulses of human nature – laziness, demagoguery, evil, or unfamiliarity with the works of Ludwig Von Mises – rot the utopia from the outside in?

The book explores those questions through mankind’s greatest analytical tool – broad, tongue-in-cheek hamfisted satire.

The book takes place from the perspective of a group of neighbors in South Minneapolis:

  • Paul Hendrickson, a mild-mannered, anxiety-prone married father of three and project manager at a Minneapolis healthcare claims software company, and his family
  • Hana Codriciu, a Romanian immigrant and budding American success story, owner of “Dripping With Irony”, a coffee shop plagued with hipsters but percolating with promise
  • Dave Os, firebrand libertarian activist and unpublished anarcho-capitalist philosopher
  • Myron Ilktost, henpecked Methodist church deacon
  • Jessica Hardman, glamorous TV anchor and hard-nosed journalist in the tradition of Chelsea Clinton

Together, these people and a cast of thousands navigate a world where the old assumptions are as obsolete as an iPhone 3, and are changing faster than Google’s definition of “evil”; a world with simultaneously no authority and infinite power.

A world pretty much like ours, only upside down.

Trulbert:  A Comic Novella about the End of the World As We  Know It is available for pre-order today and tomorrow, and will be released on Amazon on Monday!


Posting is a little light this week.  On top of a much busier than normal scrum of regular life events, I’m scrambling to get the manuscript for my upcoming e-book, Trulbert:  A Comic Novella about the End of the World as We Know It” (available for pre-order on Amazon now!) ready by my Thursday night deadline (so far so good), as well as work on some changes to this site.

Things’ll get into more of a groove next week, I’m sure.

Almost Like The Real Thing!

My upcoming e-book, Trulbert:  A Comic Novella about the End of the World As We Know It, is now available for pre-order on Amazon.  The release date is June 15.  Trulbert___A_Comic_Novella_About_the_End_of_the_World_As_We_Know_It_-_Kindle_edition_by_Mitch_Berg__Literature___Fiction_Kindle_eBooks___Amazon_com_


In related news, I’ll be doing the traditional “book tour” in coming weeks.  So far, I’m scheduled for:

  • The Ed Morrissey Show on Thursday at 4PM Central
  • I’ll be interviewed by Mitch Berg on the Northern Alliance next Saturday
  • I’ll be on with Brad Carlson this coming Sunday

And there’s more to come!

Trulbert: The Final Installment (V)

 – 7AM, November 10, 2015:  1725 Slough Avenue, Scranton, PA

“You see yourself as a sort of Hendrickson figure?” Schrute said with an air of contempt to his longtime nemesis and recent Bestische Mensch, Jim Halpert.

“Well, yeah”.

“That’s stupid”, Schrute harrumphed.  “I’d be Myron Ilktost”.

“Dwight, in so many ways, I think you’re right”.

Is that how Trulbert ends?  

That’s what she said!  

Check back June 15!

Let’s Try Some Free Association

If you were to learn about the United States entirely from media – news, movies, music, radio, television entertainment, newspapers – what are some of the erroneous things you would believe about this country and our society?

Leave them in the comments. No idea is too dumb – in fact, the farther out they are, the more I may like them.

Trulbert: The Final Installment (IV)

 – 7AM, November 10, 2015:  Holsten’s Restauraunt, Newark, NJ

“But what was it all about?” Carmela asked, as the sound of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” warbled on the jukebox in the background.

Tony and AJ focused on the menu.

“What was what all about?” Tony grunted as AJ compared the Sicilian and German style pork chops.

“The whole thing about the Methodists?”

“Jeez, mom.  They’re a generic yet absurdist enemy figure, selected to avoid bogging the story down in actual current events that would distract from the real theme”, AJ snapped, impatient with his mom.

“Yeah”, Tony grunted.  “What the f*** ya gonna do?”

“Yeah, but why?” Carmela insisted.

Tony started to answer, but noted the dinging of the bell on the door as Meadow walked into the diner, just as the voice of Steve Perry sang the final…

Is this, in fact, how “Trulbert” really ends?  

Check back this summer, when “Trulbert:  A Comic Novella About the End of the World As We Know It” comes out on E-Book!

Featuring new material not found in the blog serial (including, like, an actual ending and a regulation denouement!)

From Buffalo Microchip Publishing

Trulbert: The Final Installment (II)

 – 7AM, November 10, 2015:  South Fork Ranch, Dallas, TX

Pamela Ewing sat on the bed, reading an e-book.

Suddenly, she was visibly perplexed to note the sound of running water in the attached bathroom.

She laid her iPad on the nightstand, got out of bed, and walked to the bathroom in a gait that suggested valium addiction.

The water was running – and through the pebbled glass partition, she noticed the figure of a naked man inside.

Notwithstanding the fact that she was as certain as she ever was that there hadn’t been a man in the house the night before, she walked to the shower stall and opened the door.

Inside, a nude, wet Bobby Ewing stood, rinsing off.

“Hey”, he said.  “I saw you reading Trulbert!   A Comic Novella About the End of the World As We Know It” . What the hell is a “trulbert”, anyway?”

Wait – is this how “Trulbert” really ends?  

Check back this summer, when “Trulbert:  A Comic Novella About the End of the World As We Know It” comes out on E-Book!

Featuring new material not found in the blog serial (including answers to many age-old philosohical conundra)

From Buffalo Microchip Publishing

Trulbert: The Final Installment

 – 7AM, November 10, 3715:  Somewhere In What Was Minneapolis, MN

George Taylor looked warily, scanning the jagged, geometric landscape around him, as Zira, the gorgeous blonde, clung to him on the back of the white stallion.

Suddenly, he pulled up short, his face wrinkling with alarm.

“No!”, he yelled, the anguish palpable in his voice.

He climbed off the horse.  “Oh, no, no, no”, he repeated, louder, his voice taking on an air of panic that started to alarm Zira.

Taylor jogged a few steps.  “Noooooooo!”

Zira climbed off the horse, and wariliy stepped toward Taylor.

“You blew the whole thing up!”, Taylor bellowed, falling to his knees, as Zira, sliding into panic herself, ran to him.

“You maniacs.  You did it!”

Zira looked at the shape in the rubble ahead of them.

“You blew the whole thing up!”

Ahead of them, a statue of Mary Tyler Moore, throwing her stocking cap into the air, sat, cockeyed and tilted backwards, amid a pile of long-weathered rubble.

“Damn you!  Damn you all!  Damn you all to hell!”

Is this how “Trulbert” really ends?  

Check back this summer, when “Trulbert:  A Comic Novella About the End of the World As We Know It” comes out on E-Book!

Featuring new material not found in the blog serial (including, like, an ending!)

From Buffalo Microchip Publishing

It’s Pledge Week!

As I noted yesterday – if you like what you read here, and if (and only if) you can spare a buck or two, this is the time of year when I humbly solicit contributions:

Either way, thanks for reading!

UPDATE:  I’m wrapping it up early.  Thanks, everyone!

I Want To Ride My Bicycle: Season 9 Preview

The temps are in the fifties. More important, the temperature at 7AM is above 33 degrees.

And after a couple of lean-ish years, it looks like biking season starts for me at 7AM tomorrow!

I wrote a lot about biking to work from 2007 through 2010. Back then, I had a job in downtown Saint Paul. It had a locker room and a couple of really fun, obvious routes which – this is important – were alongside or near bus routes. That way, if I had a mechanical problem on the road (always a possibility, when I was riding my early-eighties road bike as I was at the time), the worst case was I’d get to work on time.

It’s been a little tougher since then. In 2011, I worked at a very bike-friendly company – in Minnetonka. It was a 16 mile ride each way – easy enough if you’re in shape, difficult if you’re not. So I spent much of the summer building up to commuting. This involved finding “park and ride” lots at varying distances from the office, a little further each week. Which led to a big leap around mid-summer; from park-and-rides in Saint Louis Park, seven miles from the office, to having to ride all the way across Minneapolis (where there are no park and rides), and do the whole 16 miles.

Which, at long last, I did – once. I rode 16 miles to work in the morning. And then I rode home that night. And as I got to the top of the long, grueling climb up Marshall Avenue, two miles from home, I got a call – my son was in the ER, the beginning of a three month ordeal that had me at the hospital most evenings, living on Jimmy Johns and Cosetta’s Pizza (yum) and losing most of the gains I’d made over the summer.

The next season – 2012, or Season 6 – I worked at a company in West Bloomington. A 22 mile, non-bike-friendly commute to a building that had no locker room. Biking was out. The next two summers – 2013-14, or Seasons 7-8 – I worked at a job that was nominally bike-friendly – they had a locker room of sorts (a shower stall in one of the men’s rooms) and a theoretically manageable distance (11 miles). But it was one of the worst routes in the Twin Cities; from Saint Paul backstreets to the brutal (if you’re out of shape) climb up Pilot Knob. Worse, most of the route wasn’t along any kind of transit; a blowout would mean an hour of pushing a bike to a bus route or to the office. I made a half-hearted go of it in 2013, and didn’t bother last year.

And it shows this year. I’m not in the worst shape I’ve been in, but I can see if from here.

But I have an eminently bikeable job this year, in a great route for getting back into shape (with some easy upgrades when I get my wind and legs back), a locker room, a place to park a bike, and a spring that, so far, is turning out to be excellent; I don’t recall the snow being melted and the tempersatures above 33 at go-time at all in the past years.

So I’ll see you out on the trail!


Back in 2005, I started writing a series – “Twenty Years Ago Today” – about various episodes that have happened in my life 20 years previously, starting with my decision to move to the Twin Cities.

As I worked my way through 130 episodes of that series over the course of about six years, I often marveled at how much things changed over the six years in the story – and in the 20 years hence.

And I’m getting close to the same, whack upside the head moment right now. Because it was 13 years ago today that I started writing this blog.

13 years ago today, I was an angry, incoherent, voiceless guy with a couple kids working at a misbegotten dotcom that was rapidly swirling down drain of the post 9/11 tech bust. This will probably be the 12th time I related the story – I read an article in Time Magazine about Andrew Sullivan, a leading “conservative intellectual” voice in the new, do it yourself medium of blogging.

And that night, after I hustled the kids to bed, I sat down at “blogger.com” and tapped out the first ever installment of “Shot In The Dark”. And suddenly, I was…

… Well, still angry and incoherent – but I had a voice.

It goes without saying a lot of things of happened since then; the blog led me to the talk show; the talkshow lead me to the regional forefront of blogging as a brave new medium, in the middle of the last decade.

That, of course, was then. Blogging has receded from the bleeding edge of cultural consciousness since then, and with that a lot of bloggers. There are people who ask why keep blogging?

Because I enjoy it.

Which isn’t to say there haven’t been periods of intense burnout. I just went through one of those, in fact; postelection fatigue and unexpected job change over the winter led to one of those, from which I’ve just emerged over the past couple of weeks. And writing through those periods of burnout has, in its own way, then even more personally instructive and interesting than the periods where I feel like I’m on fire; I’ve learned a lot from prevailing over my own mental limitations in those situations

Of course, writing when you are absolutely on fire is a lot of fun too.

Anyway – as always, I think all of you readers for having gotten, and stayed, interested over this past 13 years. I know you won’t take it as ingratitude when I say “I do it even if none of you to dinner every day” – I do it because I enjoy writing – but having all of you here every day is certainly a kick, too.

So thanks!