Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Tower of Babel

What if the story had played out differently?

11 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 
2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there 
3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 
4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 
5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 
6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 
7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. 
8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 
9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. 
Genesis 11:1-9
What if Yahweh had not been threatened by human striving?  What if He had let us build a tower to heaven?  What might He have taught us?  Read Ted Chiang's Story of Babylon in Stories of Your Life and Others and find out.  Clever and satisfying stuff.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I've Got Just The Place for It

Some family heirlooms now grace the man cave...

My father sent me a table hand-made by my Great-Great-Grandfather shortly after he immigrated to the United States from Ireland.  The side chair was purchased later, perhaps by my Great-Grandfather Michael.  It was re-upholstered by my mother Kay in our generation.
 They look just right under the stairs.  

Andy’s Leather Holding Black Friday and Christmas Sales

Our friend and benefactor is having a sale...

The popular Rhodesian Sling in use.

The press release:

Save 10 percent off all leather goods from now through Dec. 24 and 15 percent off all products, including slings, belts, jingle bells, holsters and accessories, from Nov. 24 – 28, 2016 at 
Nebo, N.C. (November 2016) – Andy’s Leather, purveyor of fine leatherwork for rifles, Scout rifle slings and accessories, is pleased to announce two special sales just in time for the holidays. From now through Dec. 24, save 10 percent off all leather goods during its Christmas sale (use code “Christmas” at checkout). For Black Friday, customers can save 15 percent off all products from Nov. 24 – 28, 2016, including the popular Rhodesian Sling, belts, jingle bells, holsters and accessories (use code “BlackFriday” at checkout). These special offers can be taken advantage of by shopping at (Offers cannot be combined.) 
“I’ve found myself in the giving spirit this season and have decided to offer not one, but two exclusive sales, to customers who buy my products direct at Whether you’re looking for rifle slings or holsters or simply a special, handmade belt to give to dad, I’ve got you covered this year. Come check out what we have and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by our pricing,” remarked Andy Langlois, founder and owner of Andy’s Leather.
Andy’s Leather’s fine products are also carried by Ruger®, Gunsite Academy, A.H. Larsen (Denmark), Brownells® and Acme Armament. Holiday discounts and sales may vary by dealer.
For more information on Andy’s Leather, visit

My personal experience:

Andy Langlois' work and materials are of the finest quality.  His service and commitment to clients is second to none.  Buy with confidence.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Tonto National Monument

Spent Sunday visiting some cliff dwellings...

The Tonto National Monument, located in Roosevelt, AZ, is about a two and a half hour drive southwest from Prescott. We met the rest of our party, who arrived from Phoenix, at about 9:30 am. The ranger guided tour to the upper dwellings, which is offered November through April, started at 10:00 AM and concluded at about 1:00 PM. Wear sturdy shoes or boots. Bring water, a wide-brimmed hat, a walking stick, and your camera of course...

The pre-history of the American Southwest is fascinating. Where did its people come from? How did they live? How were they affected by their environment? Why did they leave? Where did they go? I've been reading a few books on these and similar questions lately.

Cactus? The climate was cooler and wetter during the time the cliff dwelling were occupied as many as 300 people and thousands more lived, farmed, and manufactured pottery in the Tonto Basin.  
Those of you unfamiliar with the topography of the Southwest may be surprised to learn we have to drive an hour or two to see the Saguaro cactus many non-Southwesterners might assume we all have in our backyards.

If you're looking for a substantial and tasty meal after your walk up to and down from these well-preserved upper or lower cliff dwellings, drive south on State Route 188 to Boston's Lake House Grill. Everyone at the table liked what they had.  Three of us had the pulled pork sandwich and were delighted.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Monsoon III

Watch this...

...and all of Mike Olbinski's marvelous short films.

Monsoon III is very much like what living in Arizona during the monsoon season is like, only faster.

As a bonus Kerry Muzzey's music accompanies and compliments the visuals.