Rockford, Illinois, USA
February 05
I'm a regular middle aged guy, living in a regular middle class neighborhood, in a regular middle-sized community in the middle of America. I am an expatriate Texan transplanted to the Midwest, and wondering how I got here, and where I'm headed.

Procopius's Links

Mrs. Hutchinson, the sentence of the court you hear is that you are banished from out of our jurisdiction as being a woman not fit for our society, and are to be imprisoned till the court shall send you away.               &nb… Read full post »

OCTOBER 29, 2011 12:03PM

Procopius's Rules for Halloween





Another Halloween is here, and my neighborhood is preparing for the invasion of miniature ghouls of myriad stripes, from witches to zombies to, I suspect, more than a few little Lady Gaga’s.  That’s all fine with me.  I live in an upper middle… Read full post »

the Supreme Court does not enjoy interpretative supremacy over the other two branches of the federal government when it comes to interpreting the Constitution.                       &nbs… Read full post »

OK, I admit it.  I’m not one of those super fans who can run off the stats of every player on the team, and cite without hesitation which pitchers boast the best ERA.  Heck, I can’t even name each of the starters playing in the current World Series lineup.  Still, I’m… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 9, 2011 10:21PM

Rowing the Rock River Regatta

This past weekend, some 1,700 men and women gathered in Rockford, Illinois, to take part in one of the more obscure, yet fun and colorful sporting events one could ever hope to witness.  Sunday marked the 26th annual Head of the Rock Regatta, when athletes from across the nation gather to… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 5, 2011 11:45AM

Observations on the State of Education

Some who read my blog may know that I made a career change to teaching a few years ago.  I will be the first to admit that I am not an expert in the state of education in America.  In fact, I’m not even a full-time teacher, yet.  I was not… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 13, 2011 7:27PM

Cold War Memories




I just watched the trailer for the upcoming film, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”, based on the John le Carre novel of the same name.  Many, if not most readers of this post will surely be familiar with the book, although I would understand if you never actually… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 10, 2011 4:16PM

The Concert the Day After

I had purchased the tickets at least two months earlier.  It was my wife’s birthday, and we would celebrate by attending a concert by our local symphony orchestra.  As a former trumpet player of some talent, I was especially excited because Doc Severinsen was the featured guest solois… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 31, 2011 8:44AM

Today in History: The Movies!



edison projecting kinetoscope
Thomas Edison's projecting kinetoscope, also called a kinetographic camera

On August 31, 1897, Thomas Edison patented his kinetographic camera, the forerunner of the modern motion picture film projector.  Edison’s was not the first motion picture camera.&nbsRead full post »

Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry recently appeared on evangelist James Robison's television program.  The discussion that ensued was pretty much what one would expect.  Perry apparently likes to talk about his religious beliefs, at least with certain audiences, and to be… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 25, 2011 12:14PM

Man-Made Disasters and Pandering Politicians

        Yes, we'll gather at the river,

        the beautiful, the beautiful river;

        gather with the saints at the river

        that flows by the th/Read full post »

Last night, CNN aired a special news report on Blair Mountain, West Virginia.  Blair Mountain is at the heart of a battle currently raging between supporters and opponents of "mountaintop removal" coal mining.  (The supporters of this method of strip mining do not use that term; they preferRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 11, 2011 1:17PM

This Year's Bike Ride - Southwest Wisconsin

I come from a family that likes to ride bicycles.  Admittably, I don’t have the stamina of my siblings. My sister rides – and runs – competitively, and thinks nothing of cycling along the roller coaster roads of the Appalachians or the Canadian Rockies.  My brother rides t… Read full post »

I just read this little entry in Facebook, written by my step-sister in Houston:

“I walk out back barefooted to talk to Gary who is watering plants & I step on something squishy. Its a CORAL SNAKE! Gary had to chase it around with a hoe to kill it &Read full post »

It's another 90+ degree day in Northern Illinois.  I've lived in this part of the country for close to half of my life, and during that time I don't think we have ever had this many days above 90 degrees as we've had this year.  It's tempting to sit inside and… Read full post »

Last weekend a couple of other dads joined me for a campout with our sons.  Unfortunately, the terrible drought that we've been experiencing in Northern Illinois came to an end the same night we were camping, and as a result we were forced to evacuate our campsite at 1:30 in the… Read full post »

JULY 14, 2011 10:05AM

Oh, the Tyranny!

Tyrant – A person who uses power in a cruel or unjust way; a ruler who is cruel and unjust.

Tyranny – the government or power of a tyrant; very cruel and unjust use of power.

Webster’s New World Student’s Dictionary


Yesterday, while driving down one… Read full post »

JULY 9, 2011 4:58PM

The Tale of the Potato

This post was inspired by a recent reading of an essay written by William H. McNeill entitled "What if Pizarro Had Not Found Potatoes in Peru?"



Sometimes seemingly inconsequential events are the very ones that shape history the most.  How might the history of the United States have… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 5, 2011 2:45PM

The Last Hapsburg

It was one of those little blurbs that appear as a sidebar below the fold on the back pages of the newspaper.  It is a story that doesn’t really bear much relevance to current world affairs, and no one would feel deprived if it never made it to print.  Still, it… Read full post »


pikes peak

Never had she imagined such a sight as that which lay before her now.  Standing on a field of thick, compacted ice and snow on a cloudless June day, an awestruck Katherine Lee Bates gazed at the world around her from the summit of Pikes Peak, 14,110 feet… Read full post »

My most memorable 4th of July experience happened during that greatest 4th of July in my lifetime:  the Bicentennial year of 1976.  I had just graduated from high school 6 weeks earlier.  To celebrate, I along with my good friend Karl who had also just graduated, packed the b… Read full post »

JUNE 24, 2011 12:30PM

Afghanistan and the Risks of War

Mullen sees risk in Obama’s Afghanistan withdrawal

So says the headline in today’s paper.  President Obama wants to remove a large number of troops currently stationed in Afghanistan.  Doing so, according to Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, adds ris… Read full post »

JUNE 17, 2011 11:39AM

When I'm Dictator...

If Procopius were dictator:


The “Don’t Walk” signs at crosswalks will be changed to say “Wait a Sec”.  The “Walk” signs will be changed to say “Skip”.


People whose car radio blasts rap music so loud that the steering wheel in… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 15, 2011 3:00PM

Me and Dad and the Rattlesnake

When I was about 12 or 13 years old I received a .22 gauge bolt action rifle for Christmas.  People who hear this little fact generally respond in one of two ways.  Some will be shocked that a child that young would be entrusted with a rifle, even a small one… Read full post »

Lately it seems political sex scandals have reached a crescendo.  Just look at the last 15 years or so:  Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Elliot Spitzer, David Vitter, John Edwards, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and on and on and on…Are politicians more foolish now than… Read full post »