My goal this year is to have a post to Monochromatic Outlook every day, which might sound good but you also might end up with a bunch of vocab items. I have a backlog of words that I've had to look up but which have not yet made it to the database. I'll try not to rely too heavily on these as daily filler, but I'm making no guarantees.

About soporific, I'm embarrassed to say I wrote down the word but I did not write down the source. So I have no backstory except that I read it and looked it up. I have a vague recollection that I encountered it in another context very soon after I looked it up, but it's all hazy.

Have you tried drinking only natural wines?

Natural Wine Co WebsiteI was first approached to consult on the Natural Wine Company website three years ago when the business plan was just a twinkle in the founders' eyes. They had no logo, no location, just a dream. It took some time and a lot of hard work to get things together, but this year the dream became reality. The brick and mortar Natural Wine Company store opened in Brooklyn the Saturday before Thanksgiving and the website was launched concurrently.

Natural wines—wines of any kind, really—are outside my area of knowledge, but there's a very amusing video on Youtube that humorously (and with unnecessarily strong language) explains what the big deal is—and isn't. It seems true that people have been making a big deal out of something that is very poorly defined, but underneath there's something to it.

Giving BooksOnBoard a second chance

After all the feedback I got from reporting my first impressions of BooksOnBoard, I decided I might have been hasty in judgment, and that I should give them another chance. After all, they are an ebook seller that accepts PayPal and I sometimes end up with client payments in PayPal that take days to transfer to my checking account. It would be convenient to be able to use them as a vendor.

With the new Harry Potter movie out, I decided that I would finally get around to reading the books and seeing what all the fuss is about. I understand that the later books aren't quite as lightweight as this, but one must start at the beginning.

Thanks to my friend Erik I was able to read it in the original English, meaning the Queen's English rather than the American English. I like American English just fine, but I wanted to read it as it was originally written, with trainers rather than sneakers and so on.


Envy, desire to possess, covetousness.

Found in deToqueville's Democracy in America. The word obviously comes from the name of the Roman god of sexual love, but in usage it does not apply so much to healthy desires. Instead it is associated with a dissatisfaction with what one already has and a need for possession.

Toward a new right

From time to time I am reminded of the complete and utter inadequacy of the terms «left» and «right» as they pertain to the realm of political beliefs. Even the Libertarian Party's two-axis Nolan Chart is only a small step in the right direction. This kind categorization oversimplifies opinion about the role of government in a dangerous way that prevents both liberty and progress.

An unreasonable day

The people at Landmark have a thought-provoking piece of advice: be unreasonable. While this may be related to the idea of using one’s faculty of reason, it is not quite the same thing. The suggestion is that we (human beings) often get caught up in a web of reasons for the actions we take, and the suggestion they make essentially means to take responsibility for volition and free will—or more specifically to take responsibility for our choices rather than laying the blame on causes or conditions.

With the rain at my heels

ImageOne can look at life in one of two ways: as not having second chances or as something with limitless second chances. Both are useful in its own way; no second chances means that every moment and every choice is precious and cannot be relived. Unlimited second chances, though, means its never too late to jump back in the race, whatever that race may be.


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