* * *I have discovered that, after opening a bag of barbecue potato chips, I have great trouble closing it up again, at least until the bag is empty. This a recent phenomenon which, like all cravings (e.g., blogging), will eventually be replaced by another. Not long ago I had a similar problem with unsalted cashews. Before that it was popcorn. On occasion these latter two cravings demanded feeding at the same time.
* * *So I'm poking around the art supplies in Michael's, scoping out vine charcoal, when this melodius female voice behind me says, "Ohmigod. Did you know that Strathmore uses windpower to make its drawing paper?" I turned around. She's maybe college age, with sandy hair; not noticeably attractive but not ugly, either, which always helps. "No, I didn't," I reply in a reserved tone. I don't like being bothered when I'm poking around. I want to find it and get out. I also don't care about windpower. It won't move my car. "I'm sorry," she said, "I know you don't know me from Adam but I just had to say it. I think it's so exciting." I nodded and went back to the charcoal, thinking, "You mean Eve."
So I'm driving home and wondering what the windpower does. Provide the electricity to run the paper plant? Inside of which a lot of nasty chemical stuff still goes on she'd rather not know about? I hate youthful idealism. Some people never outgrow it. Like Al Gore. When I get home I Google Strathmore. I hate her for making me do it. And there it is on their website, second item down, about which they enthuse:
100% Windpower - 30% post-consumer fiber - Acid Free
This environmentally friendly, heavyweight drawing paper is perfect for finished works of art. This bright white paper is the artist's choice for working with pencil, pen, charcoal, or pastel. Micro-perforated for easy sheet removal.
But only one kind of paper is produced this way. All the rest must be oil, coal or nuclear powered. So what's windpowered paper? 30% post-consumer fiber is fancy talk for recycled. You're getting someone else's leftovers. Which means inferior quality. And I still can't figure out what's environmentally friendly about it. That young woman's going into the booth tomorrow and vote a straight Democratic ticket. I just know it. Now I really hate her.
* * *Temporary idiot of the week, example 1:
It’s counterintuitive, but often the case, that you get less religious as you get older. Well, perhaps it’s not really counterintuitive: Other passions fade, why shouldn’t religious feeling?Because it's not a passion. Or a feeling. Example 2:
...the experience of raising two kids — mine are now 13 and 11 — was one I found de-spiritualizing.De-religionized by his own children. Well, you've got to blame somebody. Why not your kids?
We have a religious module in our brains, and with little kids you can actually watch it waking up and developing, like their speech or social habits.Some of us, upon witnessing this, find it evidence of the miraculous. Then there are those who, upon discovering that their children will not represent a new macro-evolutionary leap of speciation, find the process repetitive to the point of boredom. It's all so...natural. De-spiritualizing. I hope his kids read that stuff when they get older. Maybe they'll have advanced enough to be bored by it. All examples provided by John Derbyshire, ex-half-hearted Anglican and conservative columnist for National Review, explaining why he doesn't love Jesus anymore.
* * *I think I finally found a picture of Jeff Culbreath's homestead:
The cows are just offscreen in the pasture to the right, grazing among the apricot and peach trees. The chickens are in that offshoot from the main house nearest the road. The castration tools are kept in that shed in the back. The goats are behind that little fence in the background. You can't see them because a hungry cougar has sent them fleeing in panic. Jeff and the wife and kids are inside saying a rosary before the fireplace, but he heard the goats' bleating and is preparing to exit the front door, shotgun in hand. The cougar's as good as dead because he doesn't like having his rosary interrupted. The kids don't want him to kill the cat, but he tells them a man's got to protect what's his. After the evening's excitement is over, he'll retire early so's he can get up and go into the city to sell businesses that cost more than my wife and I make in three years. On the whole it looks like a pretty cozy life. Some guys get to live it; the rest of us just dream.
Well, that's all for now. See you again God knows when.