I learned this week that Tabasco Sauce is virtually a health food. Complete ingredient list: vinegar, peppers, salt.

New Yorker : “The dumbphone boom is real”.

RIP Dickey Betts. “Blue Sky” and “Jessica” are on regular rotation in our car.

We can judge whether or not our study of Scripture is authentic based on the number of tears we shed when we study.

Elder Aemilianos, Psalms and the Life of Faith.

post: Fresh only?.

claim: we seriously underuse the plain text editor that came with our computer.

People in our town love to express their views through flags. Driving home today we passed, in quick succession, a Trump flag, a recent iteration of the pride flag, and (a bit surprisingly) a pentagram flag.

I came across and liked a suggestion to schedule all my day’s emails to be sent the following morning at the same time. Why do I like the suggestion? I don’t know. Probably it makes email more like sticking a letter in the mailbox. And I’d have time to cancel the occasional hotheaded one.

After reading Ted Gioia’s latest, you might think about flushing streamed music out of your life entirely.

I’m back in that situation where I’m reading (and liking) 4 books concurrently. More than 2 at a time makes me nervous somehow: whenever I’m reading one I feel like there’s a pile I’m neglecting. My solution is to set a quota such as “5 pages of each every day”; after I feel as if I’ve done my work I can read as much more as I want, and usually do.

Self (in bucket hat) at the eclipse viewing at our diocesan camp on Oneida Lake NY. Cloud cover during the totality, unfortunately, but it was still pretty amazing. We were near the edge of the path, so we were in darkness while the hills on the other side of the lake were sunlit. I learned that the ideal viewing instrument for looking at the sun is a welder’s helmet: a couple of attenders had a welder son and passed around some helmets: much better than the popular glasses. Thanks to St. Andrew’s Camp for hosting and feeding us, and to Fr Terry Baz for bringing telescopes and astronomical knowledge.

Driving home today I was playing “Green Onions” and felt as if I ought to be wearing sunglasses and a narrow-brim fedora, maybe smoking a Camel.

Seeing a partial eclipse bears the same relation to seeing a total eclipse as kissing a man does to marrying him, or as flying in an airplane does to falling out of an airplane.

– Annie Dillard

So, even though there will be a 90%+ partial eclipse in our town, we’re making a trip to see the total one.

gadgets: after a romance with a flip phone, I’m back to my light phone. My family all communicate by text, and the flip phone T9 pad was too frustrating. Enjoying getting reacquainted with this cute little device.

I was glad to see this detailed takedown of the best-selling, bigoted White Rural Rage.

I got a nice, very late Christmas letter (printed) from some old friends, and replied with a letter (hand-written). Every time I do this I remember how much I appreciate getting, and writing, letters, and am a bit sad that letter-writing has become a niche interest, not part of everyday life.

We went on an outing to Ithaca today that included a visit to Barnes & Noble. I realized that I hadn’t been inside a real, physical bookstore in years, since at least before Covid. There’s nothing like spending time in a bookstore!

My copy of Marilynne Robinson’s Reading Genesis arrived, and I’m looking forward to reading it. I was surprised to find that about 1/3 of the book is a reprint of the King James Genesis. Do the publishers assume that many readers don’t have a Bible around the house? Maybe they’re right. And it will be handy to be able to flip back and forth in one volume, so maybe I should be less curmudgeonly.

The wonderful Christine Emba writes on limitarianism, the view that great wealth is harmful and should be capped. I agreed wholeheartedly that it’s harmful (I’d say that it’s a basic Christian tenet, though you wouldn’t know it to look around you), but when it comes to implementation of policies, I think “Good luck with that.” She ends, “Policy change is necessary, but most essential is a change of heart.” Amen.

A post that passes along L M Sacasas’ 41 Questions about Technology.

The timeless allure of blackboards. To do real math, you need chalk and a blackboard. (Thanks, as so often, to Austin Kleon for pointing out the article).

I subscribed to the print (!!) version of The Lamp. The content is very RC, and in a sort of leather-armchair, pipe-smoking way that I find especially unappealing. But they’ve really put some thought into making a beautiful magazine, and for that I’m grateful and plan to keep backing them.

Song lyrics getting simpler, more repetitive, angry and self-obsessed – study.
Didn’t read the article, the headline was enough for me.

Listened to the Cowboy Junkies’ “Misguided Angel” today. It’s odd that “love you till I die” sounds romantic, but “love you till I’m dead” (as in the song) sounds sinister.

Finished reading Nicholson Baker, The Mezzanine. Really delightful. The plot: the narrator buys shoelaces at CVS on his lunch break, in 135 pages. I laughed out loud in several places, and feel as if my awareness of everyday reality has been strangely sharpened.