Will Pemberton, RIP

Note: Will Pemberton was one of the three writers who founded Utopian Idiots. Will himself came up with the name, which was intended to lampoon and chasten our self-confessed idealism. He died this past Aug. 20. He leaves behind a wife, Mary, and six children. A GoFundMe to support his family can be found here. “What is […]

pond hockey

Winter Games

My father didn’t like winter.  Frozen pipes in the barn initiated a tedious process of thawing copper pipes with a blow torch where heating cables had let go their tight grip, seemingly on their own. We chipped away at water bowls, now filled with ice, with crowbars and hauled hot water from the house to thaw […]

Thoughts on Wendell Berry’s ‘The World-Ending Fire’

My first thought is about Berry’s language. Every sentence weighs heavily in the mind, as gold weighs heavy in the hand. How does he combine ordinary words into such weighty thoughts? It is a gift of his. Reading him invites me to slow down and ponder each sentence carefully, weighing it up, letting it sink […]

Chickens are people too

One of my earliest memories is the realization that chickens are people, too. When I was still small, my dad set up a chicken coop in our backyard, built a pen, and headed off to various livestock auctions and hatcheries to start building our flock. We had wispy white silkies, crown-crested Polish chickens, foot-feathered Cochins, […]

The best (and worst) books I read in 2020

Just over a decade ago I started keeping track of most of the books that I read for fun. Though I’ve always been an avid reader, I’m also a relatively slow reader. A few days ago, a friend of mine posted a list of the books he read in 2020 – numbering somewhere in the […]

The greatest church in Rome (that you’ve definitely never heard of)

In the years since, that little church has assumed typological proportions in my mind. The rough brick, the heavy beams, and the simplicity of the sermon have become for me symbolic, a representation of all ordinariness, and the richness of beauty and meaning that might be found in the ordinary, if only we had the eyes to see.

The definitive proof that my $26,000 sweater is a steal

Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two-part series. Read the first part – The weird (but true) economics behind my $26,000 sweater – here. I would like to say that this is where the economic formula really takes off. Because, you see now, it’s been several years since I started my second […]

Screw white sandy beaches. Give me Covid lockdown.

There’s this really weird thing about travel. Anyone who has travelled knows that there comes a moment – usually way sooner than you would have expected – when you suddenly get tired of seeing new sights.

A Storm Song

The hurricane howls outside.     In by the fire it’s warm.The house creaks side to side     to the pulsing of the storm.By candle we sip our stew      while shingles flap and tear.The power is out since two—     yet still, no need to fear.The storm she blows in the dark.     The morning sees her calm;The trees […]

The weird (but true) economics behind my $24,900 sweater

Note: The photo above isn’t actually a photo of me. But this is a dude who clearly knows a quality sweater when he sees one, and feels about it the way I feel about mine…or will feel, when it exists. In our family we have a motto: “Sweater weather is better weather.” Coming purely from […]


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