Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pumpkin Pie Soup

A while back, Petra and I found a volunteer pumpkin patch on the banks of Antietam creek. One of the fruit made its way to our home. We added it to onion soup. Consumption of the end product required mastery of gag reflexes, a talent acquired in the third world. At Thanksgiving, we were the recipients a pumpkin of blue ribbon fair proportions. Last week fugitive mice were privileged to the following conversation.

Parsimonious Paul: “We need to eat that pumpkin.”
Winsome Wife: “Let’s make it into pumpkin pie.”
Parsimonious Paul: “But I don’t like pie crust.”
Winsome Wife: “That’s ok, pie crust isn’t very healthy anyway. We’ll just make a bunch of filling.”

Plans proceeded accordingly. The pumpkin proved obdurate and Petra was unable to penetrate its tank-like hide. I fetched a saw and reduced it to a heap of mangled chunks. Petra piled these onto every baking dish in the house and the oven kindly stretched itself to accommodate.
Sometime later, after reducing the chunks to three gallons of orange mash, Petra discovered that we lacked several critical ingredients, most notably sugar. Fugitive mice heard something like this:

Winsome Wife: (in deep distress) “We don’t have any sugar, or A, or B, or C, or … X, or Y, or Z.”
Parsimonious Paul: (spoken sadly) “Well, I guess we could go buy some of that.”
Winsome Wife: (Cheerfully) “Nevermind. Sugar doesn’t have nutritional value anyway. And it’s not healthy! Why should we pay for it?”
Parsimonious Paul: (dubiously) ok…

It doesn’t taste like pie, but it’s far better than the onion flavored brew we choked down last month. We only have 1.4 gallons to go…

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Waiting for our house of gold

People steal, they cheat and lie
For wealth and what it will buy
Don't they know on the judgment day
That their gold and silver will melt away

I'd rather be in a deep, dark grave
And know that my poor soul was saved
Than to live in this world in a house of gold
And deny my God and lose my soul

What good is gold and silver, too
When your heart's not good and true
Sinner hear me when I say
Fall down on your knees and pray

I'd rather be a deep, dark grave
And to know that my poor soul was saved
Than to live in this world in a house of gold
And deny my God and lose my soul
And deny my God and lose my soul...

-Hank Williams Jr.

Aside from the lack of knowledge in the grave, I think this song is pretty much on point.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Luther and Tom Sawyer

On this day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg church. Wittenberg was relatively free from direct papal subjugation, but Luther’s message was meant for Rome. Europe responded to his nearly suicidal courage by widely disseminating his scathing critique of political and religious authority, changing the old world forever.
Some 490 years later, ruling powers are more insidious, but no less corrupt. We live in relative peace and safety, but such words have no application in Darfur or the Congo, not to mention most of the Middle East.
Where is Luther? More to the point, where is the culture that mass marketed the theses?
Like the converse of Tom Sawyer’s whitewash techniques, freedom of speech has dulled our response to injustice. New York Times v. Sullivan gives Americans the right to trash talk authority, but there aren’t many modern Luther’s, few are listening, and very few are acting on what they hear.
This inaction is not conscionable or sustainable. Sooner or later, someone will fill the gap. What are you waiting for?

Monday, October 22, 2007


Robby decided to pay Martina a surprise visit. Petra and I were supposed to keep them out of trouble. We hiked a section of the AT, canoed parts of the Maury River and Antietam creek, swam at Panther falls in the dark, and fleeced Goodwill. We lived off the land, munching Paw Paws, wild grapes, and some volunteer pumpkin.
Petra and I rather enjoy chaperoning. Next break we hope to supervise a group from Southern…

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Petra and I baked bread last night. It’s simple—mainly whole-wheat flour, corn meal, and olive oil, with a bit of barley, white flour and salt—but it’s mighty toothsome. Eating physical bread reminded me of metaphysical bread, so I opened up the Gospel of John to have a feed. I read the story of the Samaritan women at Jacob’s well.
After the women left her water pot at the well and bee-lined it back to tell her lovers that she’d met the Messiah, the disciples offer Jesus food. Jesus turned them down, saying he’d already eaten. That puzzled the disciples, because they were all out of munchables—in fact, He’d just sent them into the city to stock up.
Then Jesus explained, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:35). TV preachers often talk about “breaking the bread of life” for their listeners, and most Christians think that the Bible is the “bread of life” (see Matthew 4:4) but Jesus’ statement shows that there is more to eating the bread of life than reading the story of the woman at Jacob’s well. Spiritual meditation and/or reading sacred writings seems to result in access to the bread of life. But actually chewing and swallowing involves doing God’s will—i.e. meeting folks’ physical and spiritual needs. (See Matthew 25: 31-46).
This is where most of America has missed the boat. There are plenty of Bible thumpers who never give world hunger a second thought and plenty of altruistic humanitarians, but these aren’t getting the metaphysical nourishment any more than window shoppers at a bakery or air-swallowers at a burping contest. Most Americans are trying to get through the glass wall to happiness or choking on their own hot air.
Maybe it isn’t that simple. On the other hand, the potential benefits are so great that only idiots would refuse to try…

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

camping at whaleboat

after surviving the post below, we arrived at whaleboat island. most of us slept under the canopy. good food and fine songs were enjoyed by all. Petra and I created island art. Per and Ali caught up on their reading

Monday, August 06, 2007

Sunday, July 08, 2007

getting wet

law firm life is keeping me busy, but I'm still finding time to get wet. exploding juice and and wakeboarding crashes are keeping me humble.

summer at tumbledown

some things (like Petra and Tumbledown) grow sweeter with time...


our sailboats have been much more active than my blog. these pictures were taken during an weekend trip to Whaleboat island and a day sail past Raspberry island. photos involving the International 14 and Laser are lacking, as I couldn't justify jeopardizing my camera's good health to a "more probable than not" chance of capsize.