Still orphaned by our leader who has absconded to warmer climes, we were tonight (under Dean’s competent ersatz stewardship): Alex, Dean, John T., Jennifer, Ferne, Don, Lindsay, John L., and myself — Tomek. This evening kicked off with discussions about education and writing, and somehow wandered towards rap battles of history, and then wound down to firearms and the Springfield Armory, some great opportunities in mechanical engineering, Vermont commies (which reminded me of this SNL sketch, though I forgot to mention it at the time), and then we really took a deep dive into religion. I think that discussion started with Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror, and we got into the Catholic experience, the Bubonic Plague, the nature of a religious upbringing, the Second Great Awakening and its impact on American religion and culture. Sadly, this deposited us at politics again. But, I only briefly overheard the other end of the table discussing something about autopsies, so they weren’t doing any better. As always a good time was had by all.