Friday, November 26, 2010

Two weeks worth of various and sundry, Friday after Thanksgiving edition

It bothers me that I haven't been writing much on the blog in recent weeks. There are things I still have on my list to write about at greater length...but in the meantime, here are some other folks who have actually done the blogging I have neglected to do.

In case you're still hungry, Phillip Oliver who mostly blogs on gardening at Dirt Therapy (awesome photography!) posted a recipe for Carrot and Pineapple Cake which looked really good. Personally, I'm still digesting this fantastic apple pie which beat out pumpkin in last night's pie face-off. The hostess offered to send the last piece home with the maker; the host simply scooped the last piece on to his plate. It was mighty good.

I really liked this iMonk classic entry on Archie Bunker, "the patron saint of Christians who can’t stop making their point." So true no matter where you are on the theological spectrum.

On a completely different level of self-righteousness, The Shadow Scholar is an article about a man who writes assignments for college students for a custom essay-writing company. In other words, he helps them cheat. Fascinating essay. But what it makes me wonder is why someone so completely amoral is only earning $66K a year. You would think someone as unscrupulous as this, who blames other people for the fact that students cheat, would find a more lucrative and less draining career.

The author of this article is talking about climate change, but I think his notion is true in other areas as well: that change in behavior sparks change in belief and not vice versa. It's kind of a companion to the Errol Morris dictum I've mentioned before: that believing is seeing and not the other way around. And to the Anglican dictum (OK, it pre-dates Anglicanism, but we love it) Lex orandi, lex credendi -- "The law of prayer is the law of belief" -- meaning (very roughly) that how we pray shapes what we believe. See? I would have written a whole blog entry on that, but now you've got it in one paragraph.

The reliably interesting blog Design Fetish featured this monkey made of flip flops. Isn't he awesome?

Meanwhile, at Hyperbole and a Half, I thought this story about how the author's dogs handled an interstate move was hilarious. Favorite quote: "making high-pitched noises won't solve your problem if your problem is a complete inability to cope with change." Oh so true.

Finally, I was glad to read Abraham Lincoln's proclamation on the original Thanksgiving in 1863. Did you know that the Thanksgiving holiday was established in 1863? In the midst of the Civil War? I did not.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore...It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.

Smart man, that Lincoln. And for all the many blessings we have received, including being able to share my thoughts with you, I am indeed most thankful.

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!


jantoepfer said...

The flip flop monkey looks a little like I feel after overeating yesterday. Mom

Anonymous said...

A note on the pie recipe: like many reviewers suggest, the following additions/changes make a big difference:
-- add 1 tablespoon of vanilla to the syrup, and reduce amount of water by 1 tablespoon
-- add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg to syrup

Also, you can simply mix the syrup with the apples, if you prefer; just save some to brush on the top crust.

Really, the pie is phenomenal.