Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monkey Puzzle II

One side:

Other side:

It probably won't let go of the seed shell until late summer.

Medium: Pencils B and 2H

Friday, February 18, 2011

Medium: Pencil B and others I can't remember

Medium: 2B Pencil

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Those aren't books


What do you think of e-books and Amazon’s Kindle?


Those aren’t books. You can’t hold a computer in your hand like you can a book. A computer does not smell. There are two perfumes to a book. If a book is new, it smells great. If a book is old, it smells even better. It smells like ancient Egypt. A book has got to smell. You have to hold it in your hands and pray to it. You put it in your pocket and you walk with it. And it stays with you forever. But the computer doesn’t do that for you. I’m sorry.

From a Paris Review interview with Ray Bradbury

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

From Grains

What, a new nine-year study just out (which will be in the June Archives of Internal Medicine) that shows something interesting about grains?

Men who ate a high amount of fiber had a 24 to 56 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular, respiratory, and infectious diseases, while women who were high-fiber consumers had a 34 to 59 percent reduced risk in these disease categories.

A significantly reduced risk of total, cardiovascular, cancer, and respiratory disease deaths in both sexes was associated with dietary fiber from grains but not from other foods, however. Fiber from beans and vegetables was weakly associated with a lower risk of total death in both women and men, but fiber from fruits did not show benefits except for a slight reduction in respiratory disease deaths in both sexes.

Go here to read more.

Studies are just that of course - studies. (Don't go on a grain binge.) But it just goes to show that one should be careful reading something that poses to have so conclusively scoured the bottoms of things.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Medium: Pencils B and H

Monday, February 14, 2011

Honey Cookies

I couldn't find the recipe I used the last time I made honey cookies. I searched a little on the internet and found this one. It's similar to the ones I made last time - a cake-like cookie. But these ones are too sweet for me. The last ones I made were almost like a biscotti, sweetness-wise (though of course not texture-wise).

This recipe calls for 1 cup of honey and 1 cup of sugar. I did 1 1/2 cups of honey and 1/4 cup of sugar. I could have cut out the sugar entirely. I also lowered the baking temperature to 325 F, as honey has a lower cooking point than sugar.

I also should not have used shortening as the recipe calls for, but butter. You cannot beat real butter. I used the shortening because we happened to have some in the house. It also doesn't help that the recipe calls for it - though I'm not sure "old German" honey cookies would have been made with shortening.

I did not know that St. Valentine is a patron saint of beekeepers. I discovered it at Fr. Z's. It's fitting I guess that I decided to make honey cookies then.

For some reason the camera makes the lighting a sort of yellowy sickly hue in some of the photos. I figured I would just put the pictures up in no particular order.

Found the organic flour on sale. I know, time to phone Poison Control.

It just has absolutely nothing on butter.

I bought a tub of the stuff some time ago that I've been working through. I use it often in coffee. I like the fact that it has pieces of bees wings in it. You can see pollen on the lid:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Testing, testing...

Embedding at a certain time-stamp. See if this works...

It works!

Medium: Pencils B and 2H

Friday, February 11, 2011

Medium: Pencils 2B, H and 2H


Count me unmoved and cynical about the rejoicing in the streets of Egypt. Mr. Hussein Obama: the falling of the Berlin Wall? You're kidding, right?

It occurred to me just yesterday that the majority of Americans, if not all Americans, pronounce Fr. Z as Fr. Zee, whereas up here in Canada the pronunciation is the vastly superior Fr. Zed. Realizing that the majority pronounce it the other way was not a major epiphany, but something like it. Fr. Zed should have a poll on which is better.

Walking into the misted and drizzling woods today there were two unseen owls answering each other across the high spaces of the forest, with hooting that sounded older than the trees.

Humility is limber yet immovable, pliable, empty. But full. True prostration is not paralyzed: there are some who will never accept a compliment, no matter how genuine, no matter how directly it may come from the mouth of God and sent to cause recognition of His blessings, received without ever being worthy. Sometimes humility consists of standing in one's dignity when every ounce of one's being wants to be prostrate in the dirt.

According to the ancient prizing of cinnamon, cinnamon hearts are an insult to give, since they do not contain real cinnamon, yet claim the title. Stick to chocolate. Better yet, bake something with cinnamon in it.

I don't know if I'll ever read St. Augustine's Confessions. I've read Thomas Merton's The Seven Story Mountain about three times. I've read St. Therese's Story of a Soul once. I confess, I like the way of St. Rafka, who on her deathbed, when asked by someone to say something about her life, responded, "There is nothing important in my life that is worthy of being recorded … my mother died when I was seven years old. After her death my father married for a second time."

It's a strange thing to be asked to tell something about your life when you are in those last, most important minutes of your life: the fermented caterpillar about to be turned into the butterfly (granted one is a saint). In other words: I have nothing to say - but everything to offer.

She also said, "I am not afraid of death which I have waited for a long time. God will let me live through my death."

Now, the thing is, should not every minute be like that?

I do not support quietism.

Always remember that all the beautiful icons in the world won't keep you from heretical thinking.

Look, you're celiac or somewhat intolerant of wheat and such, I understand. You want to cleanse, then it's good to cut out grains (along with other things). And yes, generally there is too much wheat and added gluten in our modern diet. Compounded especially by nutritional deficiency, yes, it is good for us moderns to cut down on the grains.

The lady at Conversion Diary links to another lady talking about how grains are little better than poison, pointing to the usual archeological evidence that points towards the longevity of man declining at the 10 000 year mark when agriculture first started. People buy into all sorts of bullshit. This is no exception.

Just watch. Some person is going to come along, someone who actually does real research, and show that something else is going on. Maybe what looks like grains causing us harm is related to something else, or is in tandem with something else - as is always the case with human biology. Of course grains should be taken less than we presently take them. People in the past could support the intake of grains because they were usually working fields and doing other forms of work on a well-rounded diet. They typically did not sit in front of computers writing about the Primal Diet.

Human life declining at the agriculture mark (granted that archeology can actually show this to be the case) does not mean the two are related. All sorts of views of history are false because of this cause and effect line of thinking - as though there were one single trajectory. Art history is always doing this. Note how the icon style shifted towards scientific perspective and yadda yadda.

First, icons went with iconoclasm. It "just so happened" that around the same time in a different region the Italian Renaissance was going on. The fact that one ended close around when one was beginning does not in the least mean there was any cause and effect or one leading to the other or one mutating into the other. History is brimming with this sort of multiple level trajectories coinciding at amazing points in time.

I find it absolutely reprehensible that Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, Light from Light, true God and true man, one in being with the Father, Alpha and Omega, would use for His institution of the Blessed Sacrament (His ultimate testament of sacrificial love) and His public multiplication miracle, something that is little better than poison and which human beings "were just never meant to eat in the first place".

Diet freaks, go get yourselves a spear, a loincloth and a rock and go bugger off into woods, alright? You bring misery to the face of the earth.

I will be making honey cookies for Valentine's Day, and hopefully will take some photos of the process and post about it. Because honey is like love (LOL!). Or is it that love is like honey?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Medium: HB Pencil on two-ply bristol

Sunday, February 6, 2011


If people with Down Syndrome ruled the world.

I especially like:

Work would be revered, no matter what kind, from doing dishes to rocket science.


Art and music appreciation would be BIG. There would be fewer movies, but they would be replayed over and over.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Medium: Charcoal Pencil and Pencils B and 3H on two-ply bristol

Friday, February 4, 2011

Not to Complain

This winter refuses hard freezes,
but with an easy median teases
the bulbs into early unsheathings.

The poking quills, soon to be shears,
seem to come earlier every year:
to make spring less powerfully appear

than if winter gave some cold-kill, more sustained.
For cold-kill's killed: the blossom suns her mane.
But the wintering rite that lingers lame,

is one that waits to tear down the blossom's claim.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Medium: Pencils HB, F and 2H