Friday, August 31, 2012

TGIFWTA: update

Just found this article linked on Facebook. It's from NPR (yes, that NPR--lefty public radio). 
I and Love and You, was a crowd-pleaser in part because it speaks to universal truths; it reaches for more than mere infectiousness or agreeability, and finds what it was looking for.
Is NPR willing to admit there are universal truths? And that universal truth appeals to people? (Do I hear hell freezing over?) Is there such a thing as hell? This NPR writer hints that there might be.
Like I and Love and You, The Carpenter was produced by Rick Rubin, who sands down some of the band's rough edges on the way to another lovely, painstakingly crafted collection of songs. But the accessibility never blocks out the big, beating heart at the center of The Carpenter. The Avetts' music aims for something bigger than itself, and damned if it doesn't find it.
See lyrics of "Salvation Song" in post below. The Lord (is He the one with the big, beating heart?) moves in mysterious ways. Even on NPR.

TGIFWTA: Salvation Song (update)

This post has been Tweeted by Avett Nation! Woohoo and welcome, Twitter-folk! 

Thank goodness it’s Friday with the Avetts

Heaven help me, sometimes I read the comments posted on YouTube music videos. Some are quite funny and clever, but most are not. This exercise usually serves as a reminder that some people out there seem to have either: 1) way too much time on their hands or else 2) lives fairly devoid of meaning. Which doesn't say much for me, if I'm reading their banal –or profanity laced—ramblings (hint: the phrase “F---- Off” does not constitute an ‘argument’).  But I digress. 

Mrs. Beazly first introduced me to the Avett Brothers last year (eternal thanks) with this post. I merely dabbled for the better part of 18 months (for shame) but this past summer, I delved obsessively with a great deal of enthusiasm into their music. They defy tidy genre categorization, so I won’t even try. Here’s Wikipedia’s attempt:

The Avett Brothers combine bluegrass, country, punk, pop melodies, folk, rock and roll, honky tonk, and ragtime to produce a sound described by the San Francisco Chronicle as having the "heavy sadness of Townes Van Zandt, the light pop concision of Buddy Holly, the tuneful jangle of the Beatles, the raw energy of the Ramones."

They forgot to include grunge and old-timey gospel. I kid you not.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I want a Che T-shirt

This one is also rather funny.

Other great miscellaneous T-shirt and poster designs...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Another million mi$$ed

When I see really clever ideas for blogs (and the merchandise they inspire), such as Cake Wrecks, or Savage Chickens, I think to myself, "Why didn't I think of that?"

Same with new versions of ordinary products, like Snappy Socks, invented by a mother of five. Sure, they're expensive, but I figure that in 26 years of marriage and 24 of motherhood, we have thrown away a ton of perfectly good but otherwise useless unpaired socks. Where do the matching socks go? That's on my list of questions to ask God when (if) I get to heaven. I wish this lady well. But Lord, couldn't you give me a great idea too?

Oh, those Russians

Neil Addison at MercatorNet on Russia's version of Hello Kitty:
Surely no government has the right to criticise the Russian authorities over this prosecution unless it is prepared to say that the same behaviour would be legal in its country. Certainly the conduct of Pussy Riot would not have been legal in Britain as I have pointed this out in my blog. Had Pussy Riot behaved the same way in Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s, the Central Synagogue or the Central Mosque then they would have been prosecuted for a variety of public order offences.
But really--London's Central Mosque? If this pathetic punk group had tried "performing" in a mosque, they would not have been prosecuted at all-- in fact, they would not have made it out the doors alive.

Wednesday's Word of Wisdom

And it's borrowed, of course, since I have so few naturally occuring ones of my own.
Alas, my dear brethren, the man who lives according to the direction of his passions and abandons the service of God is both unhappy and capable of so little! Put an army of one hundred thousand men around a dead man and let them employ all their power to bring him back to life. No, no, my dear children, he will not come to life again. But let someone who is despised by the world, but who enjoys the friendship of God, command this dead man to take up life again; immediately you will see him arise and walk. We have other proofs of this too. If it were necessary to be wealthy or to be very learned to serve God, a great many people would be unable to do it. But, no, my dear children, extensive learning or great wealth are not at all necessary for the service of God. On the contrary, they are often a very big obstacle to it. Yes, my dear brethren, let us be rich or poor, in whatever state we may be, learned or otherwise, we can please God and save our souls.
-- St. John Vianney

EWTN is mighty handy. This was their saint quotation from last Sunday's Mass readings devotions page.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Today it's St. Augustine's turn

“Belatedly I loved thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new, belatedly I loved thee. For see, thou wast within and I was without, and I sought thee out there. Unlovely, I rushed heedlessly among the lovely things thou hast made. Thou wast with me, but I was not with thee. These things kept me far from thee; even though they were not at all unless they were in thee. Thou didst call and cry aloud, and didst force open my deafness. Thou didst gleam and shine, and didst chase away my blindness. Thou didst breathe fragrant odors and I drew in my breath; and now I pant for thee. I tasted, and now I hunger and thirst. Thou didst touch me, and I burned for thy peace.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions


Monday, August 27, 2012

Today is the Feast of St. Monica

Most of us know who she is because of her rather famous son. If you don't, click here to find out more. Most of us can also relate to St. Monica because we have someone in our lives who might be described as a "Before" version of St. Augustine, for whom we have been praying for years. We might even have a not-quite-saint Augustine dwelling in our hearts. ("Lord, help me to overcome the sin of ___________  ... starting tomorrow.")

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A protest sign is worth a thousand words.

The one on the left could easily speak on behalf of children, and be aimed at thuggish teachers' unions and overweening government bureaucrats. The one on the right... needs no explanation.

h/t BCF

Friday, August 24, 2012


Thank Goodness It's Friday With The Avetts.

What a sweet little girl. She looks like a porcelain doll. 

He's playing Hank Williams's guitar. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It's their weekend home

...and they probably run screaming from it by Sunday night, due to the claustrophobia. Only in Sweden.

 I understand the whole Small is Beautiful and Sustainable Living movements, but this seems like an example of well-off western eco-nuts pretending to be poor on the weekend, in order to soothe their guilty carbon-footprint consciences. It must be incomprehensible to people in underdeveloped nations who have to live like this all the time. Outhouse indeed.

 But you see, if you embrace the Tiny Sparse Lifestyle meme (even just superficially) then you really feel no obligation to help others escape their miserable conditions--those people who just want, as George Bailey would say, "A couple of decent rooms and a bath." (This clip, of course, comes from an era when people borrowed modestly, worked hard, lived modestly, and were determined to pay off their loans.) Things kind of spiralled out of control in the decades after that. Now we have unionized government workers retiring at 50 on fat pensions so that they can build a tiny crude eco-friendly house out in the country so that they can pretend to be poor and dispossessed on the weekends.

Next week on Houzz: "Hobo Chic: Living Large in a Repurposed Apple Crate"

It's always interesting to find yourself

in places that you didn't know you were. Apparently I have my own articles page on Crisis Magazine, and this all happened without my knowledge or consent. It's all reprinted stuff from Mercator, so there's a clue. The internet is a funny place. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

No (expletive) kidding

“This is the first time in 55 years (of LLLC history) this question has come up."

La Leche League Canada turns down a transgender "man" (who has, naturally --sarcasm alert-- chosen to breastfeed his baby) who wants to become a LLL Leader and breastfeeding coach.
Toward the end of his pregnancy, unsure if his reduced breasts would allow him to breastfeed, but aware of the health benefits and curious to find out, a big-bellied Trevor nervously attended his first LLLC meeting. LLLC support meetings can cover all aspects of breastfeeding, from identifying whether the baby is full to dealing with clogged milk ducts to weaning.
Oh Lord, am I ever glad I'm no longer a Leader (or in fact in any way associated with this organization), because I could not handle stuff like this. I smell a Human Rights Commission challenge or lawsuit round the corner. My thoughts and prayers are with you, LLL ladies.

h/t BCF

I received some of this for my birthday.

18 Year Old Balsamic Vinegar from OlivTastingRoom--it was corked!-- from my older daughters, who evidently are acquiring some very refined (and expensive) tastes. (Good thing Miss P. #1 works for an evil multi-national corporation.) Flaky back story (wine is evil!) but truly the best-tasting balsamic vinegar I've ever ever consumed. If only I was a gourmet cook worthy of such a wonderful product. I'll probably use up the whole bottle by mixing it with (cheap) olive oil and dipping French bread in it.

Mark Steyn, call your office

He said all this and more in After America. Maybe Mr. Ferguson should read it, if he's not done so already.
In the words of Peter Thiel, perhaps the lone skeptic within a hundred miles of Palo Alto: In our youth we were promised flying cars. What did we get? 140 characters. 

[or as Steyn puts it, more ways to listen to Justin Bieber]

So let me offer some simple lessons of history: More and faster information is not good in itself. Knowledge is not always the cure. And network effects are not always positive.
[...] It’s a dangerous world. Ask anyone who works in the world of intelligence to list the biggest threats we face, and they’ll likely include bioterrorism, cyber war, and nuclear proliferation. What these have in common, of course, is the way modern technology can empower radicalized (or just plain crazy) individuals and groups.

When it comes to technology's ability to save us, I am, like Ferguson and Steyn, a 'depressimist'.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Time for a nice hot cup of pure, unadulterated Steyn

Our elites have sunk into a boutique decadence of moral preening entirely disconnected from reality: A nonhomophobic chicken in every pot, an abortifacient dispenser in every Catholic university, a high-speed rail corridor between every two bankrupt California municipalities.
No sane man could compete on this turf.
[...] Now the vice president is telling Americans it's a choice between Obama-Biden multitrillion-dollar shop-till-you-drop spend-till-you-end government ... or 19th century slavery. Swing low, sweet vice-presidential chariot.
Read the rest here.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

If you use cloth grocery bags, you need to watch this.

I always thought the movement to switch to cloth grocry bags was evil, and not just because it was spurred by earth worship. Of course, as Pundette (actually guest-poster PJM) points out, environmentalists won't mind if a few old people die of ecoli poisoning if it will save a turtle, fish or bird.

I am a reductionist

Pardon the pun. Then you might wonder why it's so difficult for me to (as my mom's generation would say) "reduce" and lose 25 pounds. Is obesity a disease or a moral failing? Sorry, but put me in camp #2. It's downright delusional to think the following: 
The groundbreaking report and accompanying HBO documentary, “The Weight of the Nation,” present a forceful case that the obesity epidemic has been driven by structural changes in our environment, rather than embrace the reductionist view that the cause is poor decision making by individuals.
What "structural changes"? Too many McDonald's restaurants per square mile? Climate Change? Mind control from outer space? Hormones in milk?

I joked with Mr. P. that some folks actually believe there is a conspiracy by Big Food: they've put secret ingredients into snacks to make them irresistible to munchers. Mr. P. snorts: "Yes, they're called sugar and salt."

Since obesity is now in large part (sorry) a problem of the poor, another delusionist thinks that cash payments will help people make better choices, calling bribery a "new silver bullet in global health." Good luck with that.

There is only one silver bullet: it's called Self-Control. The hard part is figuring out how to get there, after decades of If it Feels Good, Do It and Get Your Laws Off My Body morality.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Designer Thoughts

From our Euphemisms are Funny files. I was browsing the newly updated IKEA website and was admiring these simple yet lovely dishes. (They would look so great in my future plate rack in my future newly renovated Country-Eclectic kitchen.)
Here's the product description, titled "Designer Thoughts"  
"The ARV series is inspired by Scandinavian tradition. The style is simple and rustic, with ruffled edges that give a soft look. ARV can therefore change character somewhat, depending on how you combine the different pieces. It's also inspired by the elegance of 18th century design, which in turn was borrowed from the Far East, where the service is produced today. In this way, past traditions are connected with our times, which makes ARV feel both new and familiar at the same time."

Translation: MADE IN CHINA.

Nice try, IKEA guys. I'm going to try to find a similar style, but made in a country other than China (wish me luck).


The Record columns update... updated

The web edition of The Record does not presently provide access to the entire list of columns that I've published with them. They've recently revamped the entire site, so this may change. Stay tuned. The column below does not appear on my Record web page, so here it is.

From April 18,
Overcoming the Post-Transfiguration Blues

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Brain convergence

Oh joy! Mrs. Beazly and her lovely family have winged their way across the nation and will be staying at my house THIS VERY NIGHT. No time to blog. Must cue (or queue?) up the Avetts iTunes playlist and whip up a batch of homemade Fruit Medley ice cream (strawberries, peaches and blueberries-- one of the best-tasting ice creams we've made so far). And maybe bake a cake, if I have time.

Just for the heck of it, here's the dessert we (well, actually my girls made it, not I) served last year when the Beazlys graced us with their presence.

Crispy Fruit Pizza

Recipe found on pages 48-49 of this kids' cookbook, which, being part of the Original Series, is probably (unfortunately) now out of print. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

While I was on vacation

David Warren left the Ottawa Citizen. It's their loss. I look forward to his future endeavours.
I may well write for the paper in future, but not three times a week on staff. So far as I have any gifts at all, I will apply them in what remains of my life to argue for the Catholic religion, and defend nobility in every humane form, according to my faith and conscience. But I may no longer belong in "mainstream media;" may never have belonged, and must be on my way. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

If some husbands really wanted to please some wives

...they would book a surprise 25th anniversary trip (which would REALLY be a surprise, since some couples didn't take a trip last year when they were supposed to, and it's actually some couples' 26th anniversary this fall) to beautiful Prince Edward Island in mid-September and start off the holiday with a visit to the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton.

Look who's playing at 6:00 pm on Friday, Sept. 14, in the Budweiser Blues Tent, and even with the taxes and various assorted other fees, it only costs about $60 per ticket.

That's not too much to spend in order to show your appreciation to the woman who cooked your meals, made your bed and washed your dungarees for 25, er 26 years, not to mention who also bore you seven children, and continues to bore you on a daily basis?

What a very fantastic birthday present that might make for some bloggers whose birthday is not too far away.

Alternately (in case some husbands couldn't get time off from work, which is what happened last year), if some sisters wanted to go with some other sisters on the road/plane/ferry trip of a lifetime...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Oral hygiene can be fun.

I finally figured out why I like using this product:

Because it's like brushing your teeth with this:


Friday, August 10, 2012

From the Friday Files

Oh yes, how a soul can relate. Priceless.

Thanks to Deborah G, who posted this on her FB feed.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why do I love the Avetts? Let me recount the ways

Supporting his family through his daughter’s illness has afforded Crawford a deepening of faith. “This has been the hardest time of my life, my wife’s life,” he says. “I came to God through this experience in a more personal way. I’ve been trying to get closer and nurture that.”
It’s a belief the Avett Brothers all share—each member supporting a personal relationship with God over one driven by culture. However, each member also adamantly insists that theirs is art made by Christians—not “Christian art.”
What more can I add but... Amen, Brothers! (Who knew they had so much in common with Flannery?)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

It's a good thing I speak Steyn

"fleets of Third World thug bureaucrats and the permanent floating crap game of transnationalist freeloaders" = the Olympic community.

The One comments on the opening ceremony etc. Chock full of golden nuggets:

" never occurs to you to wonder whether taking 40 minutes to do the Industrial Revolution in interpretive dance was a good idea in the first place."

"deflating the synthesized bombast of the "Chariots of Fire" theme through the presence of Mr. Bean suggested a rare sense of proportion about the whole circus."

"Whether or not Danny Boyle's NHS musical will run longer than "Cats," the waiting list already does."

Friday, August 3, 2012

It is the 48th anniversary

of Flannery's death.

Not as I pictured her, enthroned
on high, fiercely Promethean
with eagles, say, or lions on the headstone --
but the square, unlandscaped family plot
sans even a drooping willow seems right.
Aligned with her father, three great-aunts opposite,
space for the mother who outlives her yet,
Flannery lies unadorned except by name
who breathed in fire and fed us on the flame.

Maxine Kumin 

Milledgeville, Ga., 1988

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Jim Croce is smiling down on this one

Seth Avett and Bob Crawford. Need I say more? I feel an entire category for the Avetts coming on.