In the English-speaking world diary-keeping has traditionally been the province of "virgins and generals." I am neither of those things. Some childhood efforts aside, I have never kept a daily record of my thoughts and circumstances.
The impulse is there, though, in some weak form. Wherever I've had work writing opinion columns, I have always included a regular diary-style column in my output.
These pieces are for the most part not personal. Some of their segments are short observations on current events, where I had not enough to say — or was not sufficiently interested, engaged, or energetic to work up enough — to fill a regular column. Others pass comment on some book I had read or movie I had seen, when no editor could be persuaded to pay me for a full-length review. Others are random — but, I hope, passingly original — reflections of the kind we all have while walking our dogs.
From December 2001 to March 2012 the outlet for these miscellanea was a monthly diary for National Review Online. I didn't actually start calling these columns "diaries" until March 2002. Earlier contributions in the same basic genre have been grandfathered in here as diaries, beginning with my China Diary of summer 2001.After I was dropped by NRO in April 2012 I tried to persuade Taki's Magazine, for whom I had been writing since 2001, to let me continue this monthly schedule. They weren't keen, but we compromised on a "Quarterly Potpourri." There were thirteen of these from May 2012 to July 2015.
In mid-2015 I retired from Taki's Magazine, leaving VDARE.com as my only regular outlet. They agreed to let me post monthly diaries. The first VDARE.com monthly diary appeared at the end of September 2015.
One fairly regular feature of my NRO diaries was the "Math Corner" at the end of most since August 2002. Sometimes this was a brainteaser, sometimes just a comment on some vaguely math-related topic. Some subset of the brainteasers seemed to me to justify a solution page of their own. Those solution pages are listed here. I have resumed these Math Corners in the VDARE.com diaries.
|4th quarter||The Age of Krapp — Spongebob Squarefree — Stupid impulse purchase of the year — Smart impulse purchase of the year — New taboo word — Woodchipper humor — Animal crackers — Who are we?|
|3rd quarter||Zero shades of gray — Forgetting how to hate — For the Engineer in Your Soul — Absimilation — Daemonical Hints of Truth — No hiding place|
|2nd quarter||You can't faze a New Yorker — Animals more interesting than celebrities — Best bathroom book ever — Americans have no clue about race — Memorizing the Constitution — Three words for one|
|1st quarter||Standing up for work — Who we are — Alternative history — What blacks are interested in — A working philosophy|
|4th quarter||Tightwad Corner — How to open a safe — Al Goldstein, RIP — Weather: the English philosophy — Planned obsolescence — Nut Kune Do — Country of the year — The war to end all wars — I guess it's great, but I still wish I'd never heard of it — Today's Army|
|3rd quarter||The disappearing middle — Mnemonicizing the Civil War — Right and wrong — Beats the band — Smart mice|
|2nd quarter||Oops, I did it again — Hank's last drive — Randomness in St. Louis — What happened in the fifties — The coming Midas Plague|
|1st quarter||Assholes — Parsifal — True worries — Hippophagy — Reactionary wisdom|
|December||Derb-Wehner punch-up — Don't Ask, Don't Tell the Pathans — Fashion stasis — Stuttering succotash! — Natural waist — Passwords — The programmer's art — World's biggest army — Environmental Determinism — A gap in the language — Light on politics — Math corner|
|November||Cruising: the blanket apology — The shabby Caribbean — Cruising for health — Morality and the law — The hidden issue — Dame Joan Sutherland, R.I.P. — An exceptionalism too far — The politicization of mortgage lending — Math corner|
|October||Election non-fever — Destroying the evidence — Obituaries of the month (1): Norman Wisdom — Obituaries of the month (2): Benoît Mandelbrot — Freedomnomics — Poetic negativity — Down Memory Lane (by bus) — Spotting a Carrington Event — Math corner|
|September||A test of nihilism — Listen to Granny — Measuring consciousness — Knowing your faith — Bishop Bling Bling — Uruguay Rising — Geert Wilders on trial — Math corner|
|August||Ron Paul for the mosque — Trendline Test — Eagle Scout — Iran's new drone — Fat poets — Get a Government Job, Series #19,846 — In the movies again — Chick flick — Europe's gypsy problem — Shared vision — Channeling Espy — When Spain was different — Flamenco memories — Marmite meets the love fascists — Human dominoes — Math corner|
|July||Gun fun — Why you should make friends with guns — EFTA revisited — More EFTA — County heroes — The office and the man — Long Live Our Glorious Asbestos! — The paragon of animals — Under the tombstone — Israel deports illegals — U.S. economy dodges a bullet — Math corner|
|June||Getting carded — Yuppie demography on the uptick? — Full circle — A celebration of heritage? — I'll have what she's having — General reflections — Grandad's war — Uruguay with no assets, aren't you? — People we're not supposed to like — Bloody Sunday report — Female curmudgeons — L.U.G. — Hearing what you want to hear — Math corner|
|May||My latest pull-over — Savage indignation — Hero of the month — Derb's Google Reader roll — Unputdownable — The Living Marxist Buddha — One less New Mysterian — Math corner|
|April||Skies darken over Korea — The Irish of Asia — Great modern inventions — Space plane — Premature technology — Book of the month — The joys of self-employment — The Eerie Silence — Making friends with the family gun — Pop culture ignoramus — Que sais-je? — Sinogynephile corner — Math corner|
|March||The Left in power — Paths of glory — Hayekians for socialized medicine — Intoxicating praise — Don't worry, be happy — So-Hoh — Bolt-holes (cont.) — Liberation by Chrome — Get a government job, Series #28,497 — Shad roe — Bored to death — Britcons — T-bonds for sale! Anybody want a T-bond? — Anarcho-Tyranny — Math corner|
|February||February is the boring-est month — The Ice People Olympics — Mitt's problem — Obama the Roman — Blaming the victims? — A historic encounter — So … — Those cracks in the butts (cont.) — Yanqui Go Home! — Mother knew best — The paradox of our time — Math corner|
|January||Get a government job (1): Mrs. Derb — Get a government job (2): Rubber room — Why Johnny can't write — Third World? — Hurting a nation's feelings — Aftermath of King Philip's War — Killer English — Music to despair by — Auschwitz sign — The crack of a bullet — Spelling Stalin — Publication bias — Times of the signs — Math corner|
|December||Ten years on the web — Dereliction of duty — State of unhappiness — A Koestlerian moment — Lipogrammatically yours — Voting like a gentleman — Red Cliff — Bad Sex Prize — Mightier than the sword — Math corner|
|November||The sawbuck economy — A jury of your peers — Happy birthday, Noddy! — United States of Attorneys — The price of understanding — The homeless scam — Invitation to a hanging — One great big thing — The graphic "Origin" — Math corner|
|October||Majesty and importance — Wilders on tour — An end to parole? — Follow Newman! — Pitching from the grave — Health care: the argument from libertarianism — Health care: the argument from fatalism — Taxes, taxes — Tweedleson and Tweedleberg — Chairman Mao is dearer to us … — People's Republic of Pollution — Math corner|
|September||Cambodia down the memory hole — Dinner with old students — Cop-killer games system — Auntie Zeituni — COBOL again — Hawaiian hangover — Math corner|
|August||Uruguay — Are your nafses mutma'inna? — Eleven is the new fifty — Dog in a basket — Edward M. Kennedy — Hawaii notes — Hawaii kitsch — Algorism in Hawaii — Hawaii bumper sticker — PC orthography — Hawaiians assert themselves — Pineapple management — Traveling with teenagers — So you want to live in Hawaii? — Johnny come down to Hilo — Math corner|
|July||What's up, Doc? — Black-armband history — The role of pure reason in human affairs (cont.) — WW1 vets — The worst of Obama — Teaching moment — Assisted suicide — Can't help myself — Tonghua killing — On Holder — Math corner|
|June||Losing Mum and Pup — Book report — Iran's election — Golden lads and girls all must … — Partying with economists — Germanophile Corner — Give us our drugs! — Grumbledon — The role of pure reason in human affairs — Better dead than rude — Lonely little petunia — Pat's no monkey — Math corner|
|May||Sotomayor's tribal allegiance — Can the protocols survive? — Appeasers vs. Confronters — Gentleman and scholar — Homogamy — Burglary — Spelling Bee — Cyberwars — Dr. Malthus, Call Your Office — Math corner|
|April||Parallels — Swan of Avon — Bill Buckley's WordStar — Beginning of wisdom — Blurb stories … — … and permissions — Literary extracts — When curs attack — Classics corner — Fred Reed peaks — Personality Parade — Math corner: Monge's Theorem|
|March||Out like a lamb — Tax season — The zeitgeist sitcom — The fascination of slime mold — The month in political incorrectness — When did Rheinmaidens get so cute? — Simplify! Simplify! — Math corner|
|February||Is capitalism finished? — Wild apostrophes — Ty'Sheoma's school — Tibet lock-down — What is Facebook for? — What's in a name? — Holder's "Nation of cowards" — Math corner|
|January||Intellectually is not the way to make money — Sauve qui peut — A wealth-eater administration — The circus is in town — Crisis in Japan — Teen thugs — First Trentonian of 2009 — The apostrophe iceberg — Lady Luck — PC Magazine all digital — Math corner|