If patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, irony is the last refuge of the burnout. To the latter count, I plead guilty. And yet, for all its flirtation with the ironic, this blog is an effort to cure myself of this burnout status: to learn again to care, to love, to connect and to take responsibility for the world and the relationships that shape it. You’ll have to forgive me if my written forays in this process of re-education send me in to the realm of the sappy, the ridiculous, the inflammatory or the impossible. You’ll have to NOT forgive me if they take me into the realm of the petty, the mean, the boring or—heaven forbid—the patriotic. You, dear reader, will help me in this process whether you like or not. I do hope that you will like it, though.