27 February 2015

Live long and prosper, Mr. Spock.

As a long time trekkie I was saddened to hear of the death of Leonard Nimoy.  Farewell, Mr. Spock.  I have been and always shall be your fan.

24 February 2015

On Vox and Rosica

My friend Vox Cantoris has been threatened with a lawsuit by Fr, Thomas Rosica, who is, inter alia, a spokesman for the Vatican. The lawsuit is the product of a longstanding feud between the two men.

I haven't said anything because of my usual caution- caution to the point of cowardice, perhaps. Vox is a friend. I should have been among the first to come to his aid, not bringing up the rear.

However, lawyers are now involved, and I thought it best to be careful in my words, lest I inadvertently make a bad situation worse. I have not been idle, but have been praying daily for Vox as I watched the situation unfold. I would request any readers out there to stop for a moment right now and pray for Vox in this hour of crisis, and also to pray for Rosica. It is terrible that a situation arose between two brothers in Christ to the point that one felt the need to sue the other.

Who started it? Who fired the first shot that got this mess started? I honestly don't know. I do disagree with those who believe that this is evidence of dark forces in the Vatican attempting to silence good and faithful bloggers. I see something different. What has been going on between these men is personal. Rosica has ratcheted it up to the next level.

So pray for the men. Pray that this may be concluded peacefully, and we may escape the scandal of Catholic suing Catholic, and that these brothers in faith may be brothers to each other once more. It would take a miracle, therefore let us pray for one.


I received a note from Vox who said pointedly that he does not loathe anyone, as I had originally stated that I believe the emotions between the two men amounts to mutual loathing. In response to Vox's protest  I have since altered the offending passage.

14 February 2015

Happy Feast of Sts Cyril and Methodius!

And also some other martyr who was beaten to death with clubs, who somehow got all the glory of the day. Because nothing says love like being beaten to death with clubs.

12 February 2015

Stupid movie gets panned.

According to Larry D. the early reviews of 50 Shades of Grey are largely negative.  Good for them.

I was unimpressed by the page and a half of the book I read, and I wasn't terribly impressed with the fans.  My thoughts on that may be found here.   Since writing that I have noticed fewer people commenting about the music mentioned in the book on YouTube.  I don't know if that means the book's (and presumably the movie's) popularity is already dwindling or not. 

A quick note here why I don't go out of my way to condemn such things: Rather than condemning the movie on moral grounds and making people feel darkly rebellious about going to see it and otherwise making people curious to see what all the hubbub is about, I would rather stand to one side and let those who are interested go and see what a piece of garbage it is.  Let them start demanding their money back.  Let them decide not to be taken in again.  Let them see for themselves how empty it and what it depicts truly is. 


Just remembered something I mentioned over at LarryD's but forgot to mention here: Fifty Shades started out as a Twilight fan fiction. Can you believe it? Actually, I can. It is that badly written. This Twilight fanfic has millions of fans, and my own Twilgiht fanfiction has harldy any. I am so bummed out over this.


The movie apparently had a big opening weekend.  Now let`s hope they spread the word that it`s terrible, just like the actors said.

11 February 2015

What I've been up to for the last few days


Correction, drawing badly.

I may have mentioned once or twice in the past that  was building a home altar.  It has stood up in the master bedroom for about a year now.  It needs some art in order to be complete.  Puff doesn't like my mother's art style, so I asked my sister, who is also a skilled painter, if she could do it for us.  She said sure.  The problem with sis, however, is this: when she says she will do something for you, she either does it immediately, or never.  Since it has not yet been done, I am going to have to assume we are now looking at never.

That leaves either finding something that magically fits, hire an artist (very expensive) or try and print something off the computer.  The last would be both easiest and most difficult.  We could adjust size, but the end result may look like a fuzzy picture composed entirely of Lego blocks. Which leaves, sadly, me.

My options are something out of wood or something painted.  I don't think either a carving or something composed of intarsia would match the style of the altar, although I may end up trying that if my artistry isn't up to the task.

I haven't seriously painted or drawn in years.  I was never terribly accomplished in it.  However, the recent videos I have been watching about mixed media artwork seems hopeful and promising.  It looked like something I could take a shot at.

Of course, the videos recommend starting small and working forward., but hey, this is me!. I'm the guy who, after not playing the organ for decades, got a new organ and immediately decided the first thing to learn to play was a Bach fugue.   (I never played a Bach fugue even when I played the organ.) Same principle here. I went directly to doing a first draft of the piece.  The drawing is based off a picture approved by puff, which features the Holy Family standing outdoors in front of what appears a Tuscan landscape.  Simple!

As I said, rough draft.  I do need to re-learn the art of , well, art.  I wanted to do a practice piece so I could work out any problems ahead of time.  So I am using, for starters, the wrong paper, so it wrinkled when I put on the first water colour washes.  Also, not the best equipment.  My artist water colours dried up years ago, so I borrowed my kids' Crayola stuff for the wash.  After all, they borrowed my stuff, so fair's fair, right?

Speaking of fair's fair, they had borrowed my pencil crayons occasionally when they needed to finish some school work.  Make that, they borrowed my artist grade pencil crayons.  They solemnly promised me that they would take good care of the pencils and they would all be returned to the box when finished.  When I cracked open the box for the first time in years I found they had been less than sincere in their promises   Many were missing, including every single shade of yellow.  This is the sort of thing that generally leads to conversations with my wife that go along the lines of "Is everything alright?  You seem angry."

So, I am practicing some demanding techniques using the wrong stuff on the wrong paper.   I am not happy with the immediate results. I see something else I did wrong every time I look at it, but at the same time, I think this is promising.   Here is what I have done so far:  mainly, I have worked on Mary, and started a little work on Jesus.

   Not nearly finished yet.  After pencils crayons and charcoal, I will be doing touch ups with pens and markers and some more paint.  And the proportions are off, particularly Joseph.  However, this is a rough draft where I try to work out my problems.  I am not getting the 'hyperreal' results the other illustrators get, but with my lousy eyesight, that may be impossible, unless I get a large artist's magnifying glass.  Which, incidentally, I was considering getting for the shop, but they are expensive.  So, here goes.

6 February 2015

Moving on down that slippery slope

The Supreme Court of Canada has issued a ruling which has struck down the old law banning doctor assisted suicide. 

The Court striking down old standing laws has been happening a fair amount these last few decades, and it is the court, not the elected parliament, that has made many of the decisions that are shaping Canadian society these days. 

5 February 2015

Japanese army troops build a giant Darth Vader snow sculpture!

Check it out!

Isn't it amazing what troops can do when they get bored from a  lack of war?