Friday, December 31, 2010

Earthquake Up-date! Indiana? Really?

In a somewhat strange year for earthquakes in the continental United States, yesterday it was Indiana's turn to rumble.

You may recall the July quake of a very similar magnitude that rocked central Maryland. I do. It jarred me out of my early morning hazy sleep. And once I realized that an overloaded monster dump truck was not, in fact, about to descend upon my cozy little second story bedroom; the more lucid realization that it was only an earthquake was quite comforting.

In October, a sister quake gave the inhabitants of central Virginia a similar thrill.

And In November a rather larger quake occurred off of the coast of New Jersey/New York to little fanfare because of it's depth and distance in the Atlantic--but no where near to the mid-Atlantic rift.

Combine these with an ongoing and unusual series of quakes (dozens and dozens of them) in the mid-Oklahoma area over the past several months, and one has a reason to be at the very least curious about the present state of movement in the North American Continental Plate.

2010 has seen catastrophic shifts in the both the Pacific and Caribbean plates as testified to by the quakes in Haiti, Chile, Mexico and New Zealand. And the continental United States, though not know for seismic activity of any regular sort, has been visited on occasion in its history by some of the most amazing earthquakes.

Everyone knows about the infamous New Madrid Earthquake; but what most people don't know is that the New Madrid event was actually a series of quakes, a couple of which were nearly beyond imagining for the range of effected landmass. The event began in the wee hours of the middle of the night on December 16, 1811 when a quake which historians put at a 7.7 by modern calculations rattled the middle of the continent at New Madrid (Missouri). Within 24 hours there were reports of at least 3 more major aftershocks. And earth continued to rumble locally until January 23, 1812 when it let loose again. This time the quake is believed to have hit 7.5 on the modern Richter Scale. And on February 7, 1812 the final member of the triad occurred with an epicenter just south of the original quake at Reelfoot on the Missouri Tennessee border and was as powerful as the first quake at 7.7.

Culling historical records indicates that in the 90 days between December 16, 1811 and March 15, 1812 there were no less than 3 quakes in excess of 7.0; seven aftershocks in the 6.0-6.9 range, some of which were centered in Arkansas making them separate quake events of their own, and about one hundred in the range of 5.0-5.9. The ground was in nearly constant motion as another 90 or so quakes occurred in the 4.0-4.9 range and 1,800 tremors in the 3.0-3.9 range. I'm sure it gave a some people in the area "religion"!

During the major quakes framing this seismic event, ancient faults slipped and large areas of land shifted up and down as much as 10 meters (the height of a 3 story building). The pressure was reported to have opened fissures in the ground from which were ejected awesome amounts of sand and coal. The sunken land adjacent to the Mississippi River cause the water of the river to flow into the sunken land contributing to claims that the waters of the Mississippi south of the event flowed backward from the Gulf of Mexico for days. And modern evidence supports the enlargement of Lake St. Francis in eastern Arkansas where the ground sank.

Back then the quakes toppled simple structures as far away as Cincinnati, Ohio. Extrapolating an event of similar magnitude by today's population, the devastation would dwarf anything that has come before it. Imagine rings of destruction extending outward in 100 mile radii.

Ring #1 - clips Memphis, Tennessee

Ring #2 - Evansville, Indiana, Saint Louis, Missouri, Nashville, Tennessee; and clips Jefferson City & Springfield, Missouri, and Little Rock Arkansas.

Ring #3 - Springfield, Illinois, Indianapolis, Indiana, Louisville, Kentucky, Chattanooga Tennesse, Huntsville & Birmingham, Alabama; clips Kansas City, Missouri, Peoria, Illinois, Frankfort & Lexington, Kentucky, Knoxville, Tennessee, Montgomery, Alabama and Jackson, Mississippi.

Ring #4 - Cincinnati & Dayton, Ohio, Atlanta & Columbus, Georgia, Shreveport, Louisiana, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Topeka & Kansas City, Kansas, Chicago, Illinois, and Gary Indiana; clips Fort Wayne, Indiana, Columbus, Ohio, Macon, Georgia, Mobile, Alabama, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Wichita, Kansas Des Moines & Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

But the potential devastation doesn't stop there. The 1811/1812 event was felt in major ways in Detroit Michigan, Charleston, South Carolina, and church bells were caused to ring as far away as Boston, Massachusetts... If such an event were equa-distantly as powerful today, bells would ring out in Denver, Santa Fe, El Paso and Tampa.

Lest you doubt this degree of intense and lessor activity, we witnessed something very similar in the aftermath of the Chilean earthquake with multiple and nearly daily aftershocks in the 5.0-6.9 range for months after the original quake and a far greater elevation of quake activity in the same range as far north the boarder with Peru (hundreds of miles). It's only been in the last month that activity around this event has calmed down.

And there have been other major quakes along the same fault line. The next one occurred in 1843. One in 1895 that was felt over a similar area with some major damage, as well. These subsequent 1843 & 1895 events are largely lost to history.

So what's happening?

We live on a planet that moves. Sometimes it moves with horrific violence, and most of the time, it doesn't. All we know for sure is that it will move again. It will likely move again in this region, but when exactly, no one has yet figured out a way of predicting. Are the recent quakes in Indiana, Maryland, Virginia, and Oklahoma omens of a larger event or harbingers of tectonic pressures relieved and forestalled? No one has the answer to that one, either.

This is the burden of such finite beings living upon a planet who's life cycles shame glaciers by its pace. Yet change it will. And cope with the changes we will, too.

Paul Calle, R.I.P. 1928 - 2010

It's odd to discover when someone has died that you never knew in person, but who's contribution to your life has been long and rich. Thus have I made such a discovery tonight when learning of the death of designer, artist, Paul Calle. My anonymous relationship with Mr. Calle began as a young boy when I took up the hobby of stamp collecting. Among his many other claims to the title of artist, Mr. Calle created the images and designs for dozens of United States postage stamps.

He also designed stamps for the United Nations and for the nation of Sweden among others.

This image of the astronaut from the Apollo 11 moon landing stepping down upon the moon is considered by many to be his most famous stamp design.

Among his other subjects were a host of famous Americans from all walks of life. People like Poet Robert Frost, Humanitarian Hellen Keller & her Teacher Anne Sullivan, General Douglas MacArthur, Dr. George Papanicolaou, Nurse Clara Maass, Author Pearl S. Buck, to name a few.

In stamps featuring topics like Volunteerism, Aging, The International Year of the Child, and Retarded Children; he demonstrated the power of his ability to convey a range of human emotions from joy to empathy.

He even found a way to bring inanimate objects to life in a sculpture by Frederic Remington or the Victorian head of a camel ride from a series of 4 stamps featuring vintage carousel animals.

His career designing for the post office spanned nearly 30 years. As he went from creating designs in the early 70's using a style reminiscent of copper etching so common with postage stamps of the era and before, to evolving toward the use of photographs and painted images his acute artistry never faltered; Always there was a keen sense of design. You can look at any of these examples and see a sense of balance and yet movement that is visually intriguing as well as iconic.

The obituary from the New York Times has a delightful quote from Mr. Calle expressing his philosophy in designing for postage stamps, "When you do a stamp, think big, but draw small."

I close with two images from his sheet in the 10 set Celebrate the Century series: 1930's. I love especially this "mixer" from the stamp commemorating "Household Conveniences," because I own an exact copy of it. It was inherited from my mother who received it from her mother before her. And when I saw it on this stamp it truly thrilled me. I have no idea where Mr. Calle found the one for this stamp. I suspect the Smithsonian Museum of American History!

And of course, from the same sheet issued in 1998, Jesse Owens, a stamp that really embodies everything that makes a stamp beautiful.

I obviously never met Paul Calle, but if I had, I would simply have thanked him for all of the beautiful stamps he created. Stamps that continue to resonate with me and no doubt fascinate little boys in little rural towns with images of people, places, and things that are the stuff of dreams.

May Light perpetual shine upon him.

My Quilting Ways #19

Well, some measure of creativity was accomplished on this the final day of the year! I made a pillow! Whenever I create a quilt with an original design, I usually make a prototype of the block to see how it works and if I will make adjustments to the design and/or fabrics. These get thrown around and usually end up in a drawer someplace.

I imagine doing something with them, but up 'til now never have. This block was the first for a quilt that I made as a retirement gift some years back now for my friend Shelley.
The idea behind the basic design was to combine the Star of David with the Triangle. A reflection of essential qualities in both of our lives, her Jewishness and my gayness. Both symbols representative of oppression at one time are now symbols of pride. I like to work with fabric, in case this is not implicitly obvious.

So I took the first block and gave it a boarder, then machine quilted it to a piece of awfully ugly fabric (now only visible in the interior of the pillow!). Made a back with a flap held shut with velcro. And, voila! I have a new throw pillow.

Out With The Old

After a year of inspiring views, my 2010 South Florida Firefighters' calendar ends its term of active duty. Gonna miss you boys. But hey, my 2011 calendar is in the mail, and all the wonderful charity work that has been accomplished through selling these continues throughout the coming year, too.


Got these images from a friend of an amazing river in Colombia. Once a year, the algae that grows on the rock-bed bottom of the Rio Caño Cristales blooms in neon shades of red, yellow, blue, green and black.

For years the area was too dangerous to visit because of the internal rebel conflict. Even now it is only accessible on foot.

What a magical place. Some day....

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Gift To Me

Best Music of 2010

2010 produced a lot a great music. In my opinion, the best example came via the tragedy in Haiti. My #1 choice for the year is Beyonce's version of Halo performed for the concert for Haiti.

And hear are the other 9 for my top 10 list. (These are my 2010 discoveries, not necessarily songs published in 2010)

10) ~ Flobots - Handlebars
9) ~ Rene Marie - How Can I Keep From Singing
8) ~ Terry Callier - Oh Dear What Can The Matter Be
7) ~ Sufjan Stevens - Come thou Fount Of Every Blessing
6) ~ Marc Pokora - Juste Une Photo De Toi
5) ~ Natalie Merchant - The Sleepy Giant
4) ~ Ben Sollee - It's Not Impossible (Boys Don't Cry)
3) ~ The Irrepressibles - In This Shirt
2) ~ Olivia Ong - A Few Of My Favorite Things
1) ~ Beyonce - Halo (Concert for Haiti)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Random Quote 122

"As far as men go, it is not what they are that interests me, but what they can become."
~ Jean-Paul Sartre, 1905 - 1980

Climate Change

So where is all of this Global Warming when you need it!?

What I'm Listening to #97

South Korean singer Olivia Ong is amazing. Her voice holds so effortlessly the quality of air gently passing through the cylinder of a flute. It's both full and open at the same time.

This CD is her second featuring music set to the Bossanova beat, and she could not be better suited to the style had she been born in Belo Horizonte or São Paulo. The only thing that could make this music better would be to be listening to it on a beach near Recife or Rio de Janeiro! Bonito! Obrigado, Olivia.


Okay, I know RAP music doesn't have the best history or relationship with GLBT people. In fact, it would not be unfair to characterize it as hostile with a few notable exceptions (Kanye West). But BOYS, this cover of November's issue of XXL magazine is, well, frankly, VERY homoerotic. Word!

Naughty Lego Fun!

Batman's Gay Roommate brought to you by Funny

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"The Lunch Date"

A Classic American Short film by Adam Davidson filmed in 1989. Watch it and ponder beyond its clever conceit to the overarching sentiments and assumptions. You will be blessed by the opportunity.

Key West Vacation?

If you're gay or lesbian, the tourist board to targeting YOU!

It's a fabulous destination for gay and lesbians! Never been there myself, but appreciate the fact that they find my money appealing enough to ask me to come! So, some day.

Red Pepper Soup with Ginger and Fennel

Recipe: 'Red Pepper Soup With Ginger And Fennel'

"This has always been a favorite soup of mine. I made it very recently with the last of the bell peppers on my plants. The leaves had shriveled already, but the peppers were still hanging on. It was such a cold, damp day that I decided to add some warming ginger to the soup for added comfort." ~ Madhur Jaffrey

Serves 6

2 pounds sweet red bell peppers
4 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium potato (about 4 ounces), peeled and chopped
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5-5 1/2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon salt
5-6 tablespoons heavy cream

Chop the peppers coarsely after discarding all the seeds. Pour the oil into a large, wide pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the peppers, onions, potatoes, ginger, fennel seeds, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne. Stir and fry until all the vegetables just start to brown. Add 2 cups of the stock and the salt. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Ladle the soup in batches into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the blended soup into a clean pot. Add the remaining stock, thinning the soup out as much as you like. Add the cream and mix it in. Adjust salt, as needed. Heat through before serving.

From At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka by Madhur Jaffrey. Copyright 2010 Madhur Jaffrey. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

Roast Chicken with Lemons

Recipe: 'Roast Chicken With Lemons'

If this were a still life its title could be "Chicken with Two Lemons." That is all that there is in it. No fat to cook with, no basting to do, no stuffing to prepare, no condiments except for salt and pepper. After you put the chicken in the oven you turn it just once. The bird, its two lemons, and the oven do all the rest. Again and again, through the years, I meet people who come up to me to say, "I have made your chicken with two lemons and it is the most amazingly simple recipe, the juiciest, best-tasting chicken I have ever had." And you know, it is perfectly true.

Serves 4

3- to 4-pound chicken 
Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill 
2 rather small lemons

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Wash the chicken thoroughly in cold water, both inside and out. Remove all the bits of fat hanging loose. Let the bird sit for about 10 minutes on a slightly tilted plate to let all the water drain out of it. Pat it thoroughly dry all over with cloth or paper towels.

3. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and black pepper on the chicken, rubbing it with your fingers over all its body and into its cavity.

4. Wash the lemons in cold water and dry them with a towel. Soften each lemon by placing it on a counter and rolling it back and forth as you put firm downward pressure on it with the palm of your hand. Puncture the lemons in at least 20 places each, using a sturdy round toothpick, a trussing needle, a sharp-pointed fork, or similar implement.

5. Place both lemons in the bird's cavity. Close up the opening with toothpicks or with trussing needle and string. Close it well, but don't make an absolutely airtight job of it because the chicken may burst. Run kitchen string from one leg to the other, tying it at both knuckle ends. Leave the legs in their natural position without pulling them tight. If the skin is unbroken, the chicken will puff up as it cooks, and the string serves only to keep the thighs from spreading apart and splitting the skin.

6. Put the chicken into a roasting pan, breast facing down. Do not add cooking fat of any kind. This bird is self-basting, so you need not fear it will stick to the pan. Place it in the upper third of the preheated oven. After 30 minutes, turn the chicken over to have the breast face up. When turning it, try not to puncture the skin. If kept intact, the chicken will swell like a balloon, which makes for an arresting presentation at the table later. Do not worry too much about it, however, because even if it fails to swell, the flavor will not be affected.

7. Cook for another 30 to 35 minutes, then turn the oven thermostat up to 400 degrees, and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Calculate between 20 and 25 minutes total cooking time for each pound. There is no need to turn the chicken again.

8. Whether your bird has puffed up or not, bring it to the table whole and leave the lemons inside until it is carved and opened. The juices that run out are perfectly delicious. Be sure to spoon them over the chicken slices. The lemons will have shriveled up, but they still contain some juice; do not squeeze them, they may squirt. 

Ahead-of-time note:
If you want to eat it while it is warm, plan to have it the moment it comes out of the oven. If there are leftovers, they will be very tasty cold, kept moist with some of the cooking juices and eaten not straight out of the refrigerator, but at room temperature.

From Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan. Copyright 1992. Excerpted by permission of Knopf.

For The Love Of God....Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Monday, December 27, 2010

What I'm Reading #33

This is an amazingly simple yet profound book. At first glance, you assume that it's for children, but you couldn't be more wrong. The message is accepting our children for just who they are, and that pretty much comes naturally to most children. It's when adults get involved that they learn to judge and persecute others.

The author, Cheryl Kilodavis tells us the tale of her "Princess Boy" with all the wonder that is love. If I could, I would Thank her from the bottom of my heart, and buy a copy of this book for everyone I know.

Behind the Dust Bunnies

While cleaning in play room today I discovered this magnet. Can't remember were I got it, but am glad I found it again.

Our Latest American Hero #152

Army Sgt. James A. Ayube II, 25, of Salem, Mass.; was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany; died Dec. 8 in Balkh province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an insurgent attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

Army Medic Killed by Suicide Bomber

SALEM, Mass. — An Army medic and former Boy Scout killed in Afghanistan is being remembered for his friendly demeanor and for being a champion of the underdog. Stg. James Ayube graduated from Salem High School in 2003.

Family members told The Salem News on Dec. 9 that Ayube died at the hands of a suicide bomber Dec. 8 while on a combat mission.

Mourners filled St. James Church for the Dec. 18 funeral.

Ayube posthumously received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, NATO Medal and Combat Medical Badge.

He leaves his parents, James and Christina Ayube; a brother and a sister; and his wife, Lauren.

Oh Deer!

Well, like the line from Poltergeist, "They're back..." They are, in fact, never far away. And this morning when glancing out of the second story window of my bathroom, I saw a pair of them. Can you spot them in this first picture?

Perhaps this view taken from my deck as I stepped out to have a little reasonable conversation with them about eating my Canadian Hemlock makes them easier to see. For the
record, the one on the left was just resting and keeping a low profile against the 50 mph winds that have been howling through the area all day. The one on the right is the one that went from eating the English ivy (fine by me!) to the Canadian Hemlock (uh, sorry, no darlin'--even if you are eating for two, and she appeared to be). They both listened patiently to my offer, and then just as calmly tuned and ambled out of my yard.

But I know one thing: They will be back!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Today's Sermon #48


A day so happy.
Fog lifted early, I worked in the garden.
Hummingbirds were stopping over honeysuckle flowers.
There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.
I knew no one worth envying him.
Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.
To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me.
In my body I felt no pain.
When straightening up, I saw the blue sea and sails.

~ Czeslaw Milosz, 1911 -

Friday, December 24, 2010

Soup Time!

So you bought a Roasted Chicken that you can't possibly finish. What to do? MAKE SOUP!

In a large pot go 2 containers of organic chicken broth with the same amount of water, 2 chicken bullion cubes, a healthy dash of olive oil, a table spoon of kosher sea salt, and 6 healthy cranks on a black pepper grinder--and then 4 more! This is the base.

As this comes to a boil, prepare and add the following (add them as you complete them):

7 or 8 carrots peeled and sliced into discs
1 bundle of fat scallions or 2 of skinny ones, de-rooted, topped and sliced into discs
1 8 oz package of button mushrooms, washed, bases sliced and then cut across into 5 or 6 silhouettes
1 8 oz package of baby portobello mushrooms, washed, bases sliced and then cut across into 5 or 6 silhouettes
1 8 oz package of oyster mushrooms, washed, bases sliced and then cut in half symmetrically
a goodly bundle of Chinese celery washed and sliced for it's greens as much as its stalks. The aggregate should equal about an easily compacted cup.
5 stalks of regular celery de-based, topped and sliced into moon-arcs

Add the chicken that you pull from the carcass. And any jelly that may be present. Never discard the coagulated roast jelly. It's a priceless ingredient.

The final ingredient are the noodles. I like Pennsylvania Dutch Egg noodles in a medium size, but there's no wrong choice here.

Boil then simmer and serve in about an hour so that the low cooked flavors can permeate the whole soup.

Woopin's & Lollipops!

As we prepare for the arrival tonight of Santa Claus with gifts for all of the good little girls and boys, let's take a second and review the gifts that the United States Senate gave out over the past month.

First there is the up-grade to the Food and Safety Act that will improve the quality of everything from spinach to lipstick. Thank you!

Second there was a continuation of Tax cuts coupled with a 2% relief from paying social security or FICA taxes next year. The later amounting to a second economic stimulus in the aggregate amounting to around 900 billion dollars. Let's hope it helps!

Third, my personal favorite, the repeal of the failed policy called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" meant to allow men and women willing to lie about their sexual orientation to serve in the U.S. military. It failed because the military did ask. And once a soldier was asked and responded truthfully, they were booted out.

Fourth we have a woopin' and a sad one it is. The Dream act failed to garner enough support to end a threatened filibuster. Even though a majority of senators expressed support for the law that would have allowed alien citizens who were raised here and who successfully competed college or military service to have an expedited path to citizenship, 5 more votes were needed to allow an actual vote to occur. So for now, all it is is a dream deferred.

Final lollipop is the approval for the ratification of the new START treaty with Russia. Armed nuclear warhead of the long range type will go from a current limit of 2,200 to a lower maximum of 1,550. 50 would probably destroy the planet, so it's really just show, but it's a show we've got to get right and this is the latest episode.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice

The longest night of the year, a sky with nary a cloud in sight, and a lunar eclipse! What are the chances? Very cool!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Today's Sermon #47


As fresh, as always new
As it has always been
The first fall of snow
Falls soft as in a dream
To transform the sad brown
Of late November
Into a lavish scene,
The ermine of December

And every year we wonder,
Forlorn as we are,
What sudden clap of thunder
Or brilliance of a star
Could stop us where we are,
Could stir the roots to sense
Out of the dark once more
Rebirth of innocence.

Will it be born again,
Fresh as the first snowfall,
That love without a stain?
Who knows, who can tell?
Yet for an interval
Always the Christmas grace,
That gift beyond our will,
Makes earth a holy place.

~ May Sarton, 1912 - 1995

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Tempest

"We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep."
~ The Tempest, act IV:scene 1

~William Shakespeare, 1564-1616

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Don't Ask Don't Tell, really?

Love this vintage poster for the Marines. "Want action," buddy? Really? Give me a break. Today the Marine Commandant explained his opposition to Gays & Lesbians serving openly by accusing them of being responsible for creating a world where he (the Commandant) would be forced to visit amputees at Walter Reed. Amputees, mind you, whose limbs where blown off, because they were distracted by Gay and Lesbian Marines serving with them! Thank God, he's sussed out this aspect of the Gay Agenda.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

To Honor The Fallen

For some years now, I've included images of two of our soldiers who've given their lives while serving during our War on Terrorism on the envelopes I use to pay my bills and other correspondence. Under the photo I include the branch, rank, name, age, hometown & state, and date of death. Under the address I have the words: "Their duty was to protect our freedoms, Our duty is to never forget their sacrifice" which pretty much sums up why I do this. The soldiers are chosen at random. To date I've shared the images of about 500 of the nearly 5,900 soldiers who've paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Today, I arrived home to find an envelope from the Strong's of Vermont. Inside was a photocopy of this envelope given to them by the postmaster, Sonya, at the USPO in Irasburg where my bill had been misdirected. They in turn sent me information on their son, on their journey toward meaning after his death, and a truly magnanimous note expressing their appreciation for my little tribute. Never in all of the years that I have been doing this did I ever imagine the family or loved ones of a fallen soldier would encounter their child's/sibling's/spouse's/parent's image on one. And if they did, I wondered would they understand the profoundly respectful attitude that I feel toward this little act of tribute? Now, I have one answer to that question.

I wrote the Strong's back and told them that I would never understand their pain, but through the things that they sent me I could clearly see their love and pride in their son. It doesn't matter what we think of the war when it comes to honoring those who died in pursuit of freedom. I hope we American friends and neighbors can always agree on that point.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What I'm Watching #260

Ariztical Entertainment is an independent gay themed film studio that has been chucking out gay themed movies over the past several years. None of them are particularly well done with production values limited by finances. So they rise or fall on one feature: sincerity.

With way too much shouting, Surprise, Surprise is very sincere. The ultimate message is redemptive, and it's lovely to see Mary Jo Catlett on screen, too.

Ornament #6-8

I've completed 15 seahorses, and with the exception of the prototype, they were made in pairs. One for me. One to send off to a friend or acquaintance. 4 have been sent off to Cleveland, Houston, southern Alabama, and Detroit. And now these three awaiting departure in the morning for New Hampshire, southern Ohio, and Chicago.

I feel like Santa Claus!

Today's Sermon #46

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chinese New Year Stamp

2011 is the year of the Rabbit in the 12 year Chinese zodiac cycle and the year will commemorated with a pair of kumquats. Last year it was the daffodil and the year before the paper lantern.

As yet, the stamp which is likely to cost 44¢ remains undenominated. I'm not sure if the actual stamp will be sold without a price affixed to it. The image for the Kansas sesquicentennial to be issued at the end of January is also without a price. The only other time that the post office did this was back in 1975 around Christmas because of a pending but uncertain increase in rates, and to this day I have to remind myself that those madonna stamps are worth 15¢ each! Let's hope they get the price on these stamps.