Second Sunday in Lent

Broad is the road that leads to death
And thousands walk together there;
But wisdom shows a narrow path
With here and there a traveler.

“Deny thyself, and take thy cross,”
Is the Redeemer’s great command;
Nature must count her gold but dross
If she would gain this heav’nly land.

[The fearful soul that tires and faints
And walks the ways of God no more
Is but esteemed 'almost a saint',
And makes his own destruction sure.]

Lord, let not all my hopes be vain:
Create my heart entirely nеw;
Which hypocrites could ne’er attain
And falsе apostates never knew.


i just want to grow things for a while

So, after finishing a long-overdue and frequently interrupted project at work, I took today off. And even though I'd intended to do some actual stuff, I wound up spending pretty much the entire day just growing digital plants and rearranging digital furniture. Here's my ~20th iteration of the two rooms you have to play with in the awkwardly-titled Plant Daddy:

The gameplay loop is pretty basic: buy randomly-generated plants, stick them in the appropriate lighting so they'll grow, water, and collect the subsequent leaves & flowers to "buy" more plants--and furniture to put them on. If you open the apartment windows, you'll be treated to a very soothing mix of summer sounds, complete with a periodic rain storm. The whole thing is just ... satisfying, as my accidental 8 hours spent playing it can attest. :P

I only wish there were a bedroom and kitchen to decorate/fill with plants as well....

Bit o' Bosch: Saint Christopher Carrying the Christ Child

The problem with trying to talk about anything by Bosch is that I almost inevitably get distracted by each individual detail that it's hard to see the picture as a whole. Stuff like St. Christopher's anti-gravitational cloak, or the tiny dude climbing up into a pot balanced on the tip of a tree branch. The fish that's as big as a woman--or is the woman as small as the fish? Are St. Christopher and the Christ Child giants, or surrounded by pygmies? Maybe there's some sort of "seven-league-boots" deal going on.

What's really fun is clicking on through to the ginormous scan over on Wikipedia--and while I have many unfriendly thoughts about Google in general, I do greatly appreciate their graphics-card-meltingly high quality scans of various masterpieces, including a number by Bosch, because it lets you really appreciate some of the insane details in the background, like the naked dude running around in a field while a dragon crawls around in an abandoned castle. Also, that the tiny climbing dude has left his transparent shirt hung up to dry next to a hunk of meat stuck on a branch.

I want to climb inside this picture and just ... explore.


A bit o' Bosch: St. Jerome in Prayer

Bosch is a longtime favorite artist of mine, and I thought it might be fun this year to take a little break from Screen Cap Spam for Lent and instead look at his paintings of saints. I'm starting off with St. Jerome in Prayer because I like all the other paintings better--this one is very dark in comparison, and lacks the whimsical details that make his work so charming (and disturbing). However, I do quite like the background landscape, and the weird tree with the bird nest in it.


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daddy's girl

easiest shortbread recipe in the world

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter

  1. Cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture starts to stick together.

  2. Press into a 9"x9" pan (8x8 works fine too)

  3. Back at 350 F for 20 minutes

  4. Cut while warm, leave in pan until cool (otherwise it just disintegrates as you try to remove it)

It's very buttery and not particularly sweet--a slight nutty flavor, even, which is probably the taste of the baked flour coming through, since there are so few other ingredients to mask it.
my darling

poem: Sonnet 76

- William Shakespeare

Why is my verse so barren of new pride,
So far from variation or quick change?
Why with the time do I not glance aside
To new-found methods, and to compounds strange?
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Showing their birth, and where they did proceed?
O know, sweet love, I always write of you,
And you and love are still my argument,
So all my best is dressing old words new,
Spending again what is already spent:
For as the sun is daily new and old,
So is my love still telling what is told.

Last Sunday after Epiphany

Hail blessed morn, see the great Mediator
Down from the regions of glory descend;
Shepherds go worship the babe in the manger:
Lo, for HIs guard the bright angels ascend!

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning;
Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid;
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer was laid.

Cold on His cradle the dewdrops are shining;
Low lies His bed with the beasts of the stall;
Angels adore Him in slumber reclining,
Wisemen and shepherds before him do fall.

[Say, shall we yield Him, in costly devotion,
Odors of Edom and offerings divine?
Gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest, or gold from the mine?]

Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gifts would His favor secure;
Richer by far is the heart’s adoration,
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.