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The View from Mudsock Heights: Getting Prickly From the Heat, Humidity, Horseflies, and Humans

By Dennis Powell | Aug 20, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Despite the warmth of the day, swinging the maul down on the hunks of black locust wood was satisfying. In every case, the pieces of log had blown apart with that satisfying sound good wood makes when it’s split.

Then came the hidden knot.

The All Too Averaged American Road

By Timothy Butler | Aug 19, 2010 at 11:23 PM

While traveling from place to place by car is hardly the glamorous thing it once was, it certainly has grown easier. As I went through Southern Missouri twice this week – once going down the Interstate and once back up via the remains of Route 66, I wondered if easier had any relation to better.

The View from Mudsock Heights: Once a Cultural Icon, Mitch Miller Died and Hardly Anyone Noticed

By Dennis Powell | Aug 15, 2010 at 8:27 AM

Fame, even great fame, tends to be fleeting. What brings this to mind is last month’s news that Mitch Miller had died. He was 99 years old, so he had a good innings as they say, and that fact must temper our mourning. The chief sadness about his passing is that so little notice was paid to it. Mitch Miller was once as famous as anyone in the country.

The Music Files: George Strait

By Jason Kettinger | Aug 13, 2010 at 10:43 PM

Maybe I am a little biased, but writing a review of a George Strait album feels a little like saying, “Water is very good.” Rarely has a man of only 58 years attained such influence. More than this, he is still at the top, churning out hits routinely and consistently as we speak.

The View from Mudsock Heights: A New Electronic Twist to an Age-Old Addiction

By Dennis Powell | Aug 06, 2010 at 12:16 AM

It’s been a month, so I suppose there’s a chance it will hold: after several decades, I’ve quit smoking. Indeed, the last time I’d gone this long without a cigarette I was probably 16 years old. There is nothing that would delight me more than to be able to tell you that it has been an heroic struggle, unless maybe it would be to say that I feel oh-so-much better. Neither of those things would be true, though.

Western Civilization is Not Christian: The Big Difference

By Ed Hurst | Aug 05, 2010 at 12:17 AM

We might wonder, if it mattered so much, why Paul did not more pointedly address the huge difference between the intellectual culture of the Bible against the rest of the world. His choice not to spend too much time teaching the cultural background of Christian faith in his letters was no doubt the best choice at the time. He wasn't writing to scholars. It's quite likely he did go into detail with some of his better students, like Timothy. Apollos clearly understood it, if we accept him as the author of Hebrews, for he rejects the Alexandrian content, but uses the Alexandrian style of presentation. Still, for us to ignore how thoroughly Christian teaching assumes a radically different orientation in thought would be thoughtless.

The View from Mudsock Heights: Good News Reminds Me I Have a Lot of Work to Do Before Winter

By Dennis Powell | Jul 30, 2010 at 10:37 PM

Happy surprises are so rare that when one occurs it’s worth passing along. I had been worried that I was running out of propane. It had been a year or more since the big tank got filled and, glancing at the gauge a few weeks ago I saw it was pretty low.

The Woods, Part IV: Peter's Woods

By Jason Kettinger | Jul 26, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Mike Abernathy climbed into his new Camry, confident he’d made the right choice. It’d run forever; the new engines had been developing at a rapid pace, and Mike could be a man while getting “green points” too. And to think he’d be sitting in one now, after the foolish and self-serving environmental “investments” during the Obama administration—well, it was a minor miracle.

Sometimes a Lake and a Powered Down Cell Phone Are All You Need

By Timothy Butler | Jul 24, 2010 at 11:04 PM

Henry David Thoreau famously wrote on life by a pond some one hundred and fifty-six years ago. As I sat looking out a window upon glistening water earlier this week, I realized quibbles with the transcendentalists aside, I too needed a Walden Pond.

The View from Mudsock Heights: Sea Salt? Organic Sugar? What Exactly are We Talking About Here?

By Dennis Powell | Jul 20, 2010 at 12:15 AM

The chips tasted pretty good — then I saw the words that made me put them down. No, the bag did not say “contains triglycerides” or “full of transfats.” It said — proudly, if you can believe it — “with sea salt.”

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