Old Oligarch's Painted Stoa

Past Posts of Note
Substantative, in chronological order
The Sunday obligation and illness: question, research & my answer

Denial of personhood: Dei Filius & Terri Schiavo

On Modesty 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Differing with Dulles 1 & 2 on pro-abort politicians

Mad About Manuals 1 & 2

Absinthe recherches early, required reading, 2, 3, 4.

First time at an abortuary

The Maundy

TPOTC impact & analysis and more

Contraception reflections 1, 2

Meiwes, propheta, übermensch

Headship Loggerheads 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Matrix: Revolutions

Matrix: Reloaded
1, 2 & 3

Terrorist Attack Preparations, and follow-ups 1 & 2 & 3


Casuistry of Drinking

Review of Auto Focus

Parish Review 1

The Power of Shame

Biblical Hermeneutics

Ayoob on Guns

Against the Ordination of Women

Two Cents on Braveheart


Thematic Meditations

E-mail Me
oldoligarch @yahoo.com

Who Knows?
I Might Respond!

E-mail Policy
Any e-mail I receive is fair game for publication, with comments, unless you explicitly say so beforehand.

Gabriel Possenti

The WeatherPixie
Weather at Dulles Airport

Powered by Blogger

My Atom Site Feed
Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/29/2003 02:19:00 PM | link

Catena in Natale Domini

Gen 3:15: "I will put emnity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." (Traditionally interpreted as the first promise of the Messiah who will strike a mortal blow to Satan while being wounded himself.)

Gen 49:10: "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs; and to him shall be the obedience of all peoples.... He washes his garments in wine, and his vesture in the blood of grapes." (Jacob's blessing upon Judah.)

Num 24:17: "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh: a star shall come forth out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab, and break down all the sons of Sheth. Edom shall be dispossessed, while Israel does valiantly." (Prophecy of the pagan, Balaam.)

2 Sam 7:12-13: "When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your womb, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever."

The entirety of Isaiah 7-9!

Micah 5:2: "But you O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler of in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days."

Oh Israel, behold thy God: Jesus of Nazareth is born!

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/25/2003 01:46:00 AM | link

This is the digital rights equivalent of the 4th ID's "Christmas present to America" (i.e., bagging Saddam Hussein): Court Rejects Music Industry Subpoenas.

Last night, I went on IRC to meet someone. I was dumbfounded that the MP3-trading scene on DALnet had been completely obliterated. Ditto warez, although the usual traffic in child porn and such seemed vigorous (hundreds of channels with names like #0!!!!!!Get-filthy-pictures with dozens of users each). Nice reflection of our legislative priorities.

I was evil, wicked and bad for neither blogging this essay when he e-mailed it to me, and for not writing a response (I am pro-MP3 trading): Fr. K. asks 'Would Jesus download MP3s?"

And thanks, Harangutan, for this sound holiday advice.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/20/2003 10:48:00 AM | link

Thanks 100th sheep. I'll have to try that sometime. Get e-mail. Communicating like this is the blogosphere equivalent of graffiti.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/20/2003 10:47:00 AM | link

L'angelo mysterioso writes:

Your pro-gun pics were great. I am writting to find out if you, as a theologian, have any information on the morality of using pot. I get a lot of funout of your site. Thanks.

He actually has a list of more detailed questions here, which you can read on-site because I am too lazy to copy.

The Catholic Church considers drug use in general to be a serious sin. The arguments given usually involve three separate moral considerations:

1) The harm done to mind and body

2) Contravention of the legitimate authority of law

3) Involvement with and sponsorship of drug trafficking networks which themselves subvert the law, often much more violently

Your "phantom text" might be the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no 2291:

"The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage practices gravely contrary to the moral law."

Regarding pot in particular:

Admittedly it is the "mildest" of illegal drugs under consideration, which is why it is so often debated. However, even here, a moral theologian will generally observe a few things about pot.

Regarding criterion #1: Effects

There is a lot more I could write, but can't right now.

The norm which applies to any kind of intoxicant applies to pot smoking as well: One must not gravely impair the use of reason. (This same standard applies to what constitutes drunkenness as well.) What does "gravely impaired" mean? Broadly speaking, it means irrational thinking and abdication of moral responsibility.

With alcohol, for most people, there is quite a broad spectrum of effect, from mildly relaxing, to slightly energetic / euphoric, to uninhibited, to sloppy / slurring, and finally, to completely irresponsible. Moreover, I find that rationality stays around much longer too. (Or perhaps I have too much practice arguing after one too many?) That means there is a fairly comfortable "middle range" of acceptable drinking, judging solely from alcohol's impact on the brain.

But if you're an Asian, genetically alcoholic, a violent drunk, etc. your personal conditions might significantly limit whether and how much you can morally drink.

With pot, the spectrum is a lot shorter between "not feeling anything yet" to "giddy stupid." Alcohol effects the psyche in a variety of ways, several of which are positive, such as making shy people more forthright, or self-avoidant people more honest. Pot, I find, makes people more appetitive, introverted and silly. I think there are fewer psychological perks from mild pot intoxication, and few users who ever remain at "mild intoxication." With pot, when you smoke, you smoke to get high, and that level of impairment is sinful. Even if the "binge factor" were removed, I doubt your average pot smoker calls it quits at a mild feeling of levity.

Is a mild pot high intrinsically sinful? Not on the grounds of #1, IMHO, but I don't know many people who only take a few tokes and quit before they are genuinely high.

You may respond, "but what about the guy who takes only a toke or two before class?" I find that this type of person is usually a habitual user. In general, I think it is much less debatable that regular use really screws you up in ways alcohol does not. Perhaps you doubt this, but I'll stand by it.

Even if you debate the effects of marijuana -- which again, I think are genuinely different than alcohol even though not nearly as bad as cocaine or LSD or ecstasy -- the remaining two criteria are also part of the morality of marijuana use, and are the clinchers, for me:

#2: It's against a legitimate civil law. Even if one doesn't agree with the law, so long as the law doesn't positively command you to do something immoral, you are obliged to respect it. This is the standard Catholic position on obeying the law, even annoying or useless laws, and even laws based on flawed reasoning. (Again, if the law enjoins something evil, that's a different story. But here, it's just taking away an enjoyment.) This is a standard approach found in St. Paul and other Church fathers to civil law.

#3: Involvement in the drug trade. Again, I know the pro-legalization arguments that the violent drug trade would cease with legalization, but until that time, it is wrong to funnel your money into organizations which by their nature exist to subvert the law, and which frequently kill people to do it.

#2 and #3 seem non-negotiable, even if #1 is debatable in the particular case of pot.

To answer a question you raise on your blog, I think that habitual cigarette use is gravely sinful as well, because of the long-term health effects. Moreover, addiction to anything is sinful. But all forms of tobacco are completely fine for occasional use, since it is legal, and it doesn't impair reason.

How's that for a short answer?

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/16/2003 06:12:00 AM | link

Bernard writes:

"I was fascinated by the pro-gun images you posted immediately after your reply to my 'stole' comment. The 'gun culture' in the States contrasts strongly with the situation in Ireland where private
ownership of guns is very rare (mainly farmers who use them for vermin control) and the idea of owning a gun for personal protection is practically unthought of. The police force is unarmed, except in very special circumstances, and gun-crime is rare. There is no demand (either amongst the general public or any political group) for the availiblity of guns to be increased...

Now, I understand there has been a longspread history of gun onwership in the States, and the situation viz-a-vis personal protection is not the same as in Ireland. I can therefore understand why in an American context one would encourage gun ownership. In a certain sense, it seems to me that gun ownership in the States is so common (amongst the law-abiding and criminal classes) that the right to a firearm seems reasonable.

My question is whether in your opinion the right to bear arms is one
arising of necessity out of particular features of American society, or whether you would be of the opinion that the liberalization of gun laws in societies with different traditions (e.g. Ireland) is something desirable from a 'human rights' point of view?

If you want my plain ol' undefended opinion, here it is:

I am traditionalist. That means I don't think that one can rationally derive something like a "human right to gun ownership" that applies as a transcultural political norm. (There are some transcultural political norms one can derive a priori, but these are largely extrapolations from individual ethics, such as the legal right to property.) If a nation's history doesn't include a robust tradition of self-defense, but has instead evolved another political economy, I'm somewhat hesitant to leap in and say they must change their own situation.

My gut instinct says that a well-armed populace can hardly be a liability, both for the private individual and the nation. I think the Swiss have a great tradition -- surely born of necessity -- insofar as every man owns a gun and has a basic level of military service. Clearly this makes them harder to invade. (I'm not proposing mandatory military service for America, for a variety of reasons, including the dying tradition of private schooling in arms, the basis of the "militia" of the second amendment.)

Ireland and Switzerland are both small countries, so what accounts for their radical difference in practice with regard to private firearms? Could it be Ireland's history of English occupation? I don't know. England is relatively gunless as well, however, so perhaps the point is moot. I'm not enough of an historian of these European nations to speculate.

On the individual level, I like guns because they are the great equalizer. Thus the American maxim: "God made man, but Samuel Colt made them equal." The firearm is the only kind of weapon that puts a 100 lb. woman on par with a 250 lb. male attacker, and gives her a fighting chance. Or a bantam-weight guy like me (150 lbs), who is relatively untrained in any kind of streetfighting, on par with some ghetto thug. I think Ayoob does a great job exploding the myths they tell women about how mace, coup batons, etc. are going to save them from a rapist.

Lastly, I like guns because I believe in subsidiarity, especially in the areas of education and self-defense. Having lived in a few big US cities, and having seen typical urban police response time, I'm not willing to entrust the life and safety of my family to strangers when I have means to defend them well myself. Because they are the "equalizer," a man can arm his wife and children again potential threats before damage is done and law enforcement arrives.

There. I'll keep it brief.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/16/2003 05:42:00 AM | link

Armin Meiwes: Just Another Man With An Urge; Logical Consequence of the Sexual Revolution.

Hear this word, ye fatted kine of Bashan! You must accept him, you who voted for gay marriage! All you who have long chanted the mantra that any voluntary interaction between two consenting adults is moral, behold! It does not matter that he is a homosexual internet cannibal. Viewed rationally, his proclivity is just another proclivity, just another novel way two men needed to get their rocks off, and no one can deny them anything without overturning the past 40 years of American legislation all the way to Griswold v. Connecticut. You cannot censor him as a pervert and say he should be thrown in jail without rejecting the very bedrock of our liberated modern sexual mores. The fact that he and his "lover" dined on the latter's own penis, flambéed, before Meiwes stabbed him to death, by mutual consent, and ate him, is a matter of taste.

Squeamishness has no place here if consistency is our goal. But for so long, it has been exactly that -- mere unfamiliarity, squeamishness, xenophobia, and archaisms like "good taste" -- which have been the only governor on what we are willing to consider socially acceptable moral behavior in the realm of human sexuality. Ask any Anglican, our cultural authorities on all matters of good taste. (They haven't wisened up and seen that they have been at the top of the long slide down since Cranmer and Henry VIII.) Ask Marilyn Adams, Anglican bondage-priestess and holder of the Regius chair at Oxford. Surely she who finds the Trinity to be "a model of kinky relations" can bring us to appreciate the theological depth of Meiwes own musings about his lover's leftovers: "With every piece of flesh I ate I remembered him. It was like taking communion."

Some moron is bound to defend only moderate perversion, and object by saying that Meiwes is pathologically demented, and not normal in his desires. But who can say anymore what's normal? You have reduced "normal" to a social construct. It is only a matter of time before your own fetish is shockingly passe.

It only took a decade of active lobbying by sodomites to get homosexuality removed from the DSM-IV as an official psychological abnormality. In the same few decades, we've gone from cheesecake pin-ups of the early Heffner variety, to crotch-shot close-ups of the Hustler variety, to bondage, to child pornography, to scatology and dwarf amputees as the subject of erotic photography. You modern profligate! You have an internet connection. Don't you dare tell me that anything can remain stigmatized as "abnormal" for long! According to Meiwes, a/k/a antrophagus@hotmail.com, there are 800 more of his ilk in Germany alone. Soon the cannibal cabal cliche "dining on the long pig" will be on prime-time television, just as the terms "threesome" and "assplay" now gleefully trammel our airwaves with piquant self-exaltation at their newfound social acceptability.

The only consolation is that post-moral exaltation of the ego has its own form of poetic justice, as dark as that forthcoming maelstrom is. Those teraphim of Moloch -- the defense attorneys -- have already assured us: "Our client is not a monster." Let then the words of Clark serve as my conclusion, since he revealed this years ago:

"The day is yours. You have won completely. All the old moral arguments, all the old hypocrisies fall before your victory. Homosexuality is no perversion of nature. But in your victory, do not be surprised if a real pervert like me comes to remind you of the consequences. Certainly, you'll have your men sleeping with men without any public ridicule. But you will also have nothing to say when the Strong come and rip them out of their well deserved love-nests, throw them out on the street and bash their brains in with the butts of their rifles. Pervert that I am, heretic that you will judge me, I must still shout that you will be able to say nothing. But how peaceful your amorous homosexuals look, lying there, freed of all societal slurs and negative judgments, lying next to the thousands of traditional families killed so that your friends could have their tryst in moral peace."


Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/15/2003 02:11:00 AM | link

Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) *

When your parish priest paints a 30' tall mural of a naked, effeminate Christ with an erection on the side of his church, I think you can safely presume he's a pederast even before the court finds the hundreds of child porn images on his computer (link from Envoy Magazine).

Anyone with a decent classical education knows that artistic achievement and moral character go hand-in-hand. Art is about Bildung, whether on the part of the artist or the audience. Contrary to the commonly-quoted but misunderstood sense of the late-modern apophthegm, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," I've always maintained that people who intentionally make ugly art -- not bad because of poor technique, but bad by design -- are generally artists with screwed-up souls. "Intrinsically disordered" to use the CDF lingo.

My favorite example was the now-demolished New Haven coffee house called "The Daily Cafe" which always featured a fresh display of local New Haven art on its walls every week or two. Sickly, bent charicatures of the human form were the norm, or cubist explosions of any natural shape, or satirical inversions of classical paintings, or neo-primitive art which imitated the fetishes of savages (pierced genitalia, bulging lips, women with a few dozen breasts), and so forth. Even then, when goth was a new phenomenon (early 90s), it didn't take a genius to figure out that this was the art of pain, and confusion, and hatred of the unamendable laws of nature. Which is why the clientele, primarily goths, loved it.

Conservatism -- both political and ecclesiastical -- needs to crawl out of its foxhole and develop a better lingo on this problem. We all know that when Card. Mahoney builds a monstrosity of a cathedral that deconstructs everything about the sacred synaxis and feels like something between fallout bunker and East Berlin chic, that something is spiritually wrong with Mahoney, and the architect, and with everyone who dotes on this wreck as the next best thing.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder insofar as degenerate people are drawn to degenerate things. That maxim should only serve to strengthen the classical position on art -- that it is inescapably normative, and even when it tries to mock its own normative power, it always tells us something about the artist's own soul, held up as source and paradigm.

* Yes, I know that Hitler used this term in his censoring of modern artists in Germany. That's no reason to let the left own this point, in the same way that liberals call pro-life people "Nazis" when they're the ones throwing babies in ovens. Hitler's own aesthetic ideas were degenerate as well, except that he preferred aesthetic glorification of the will-to-power over glorification of the will-to-belly and will-to-skepticism. IMHO, he chose the better part of the atheist's options. But even here, the Fuehrer could not resist indulging in Neo-classical Greek homoeroticism, since he himself, like so many of his henchmen, were drawn from Weimar Republic cadres of fags.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/13/2003 01:47:00 PM | link

A Googler came here searching for the word I coined in the solstice post, namely kakangelize, an antonym of evangelize, i.e. to spead the bad news. I am a one-hit wonder on Google for this word.

Presuming the Googler wasn't reading that word in my own post and then used Google for a ersatz dictionary lookup, then my neologism is becoming part of the House of Being. O.O. assumes Mr. Burnes' voice: eeexceellent. Taps fingers together.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/13/2003 05:58:00 AM | link

Ahhh! I sorted 153 back e-mails that needed to be filed in my "real-life" e-mail account. That's besides the blog and the "junk mail" account I use for vendors. Like Spring in December, the end of term is here, and I have an iota of time. But like Springtime which brings allergies, I have these interminable stacks of papers to grade as well. These too will pass.

In the Robinson fray, I missed these two priceless pieces:

Weigel: Robinson is Anglican business-as-usual from Cramner to today. I can't imagine an analysis any more correct than this. Amen!

Satire: Robinson brings genre-wide unemployment for poets.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/13/2003 12:02:00 AM | link

Fabulous Pro-Gun Website: http://www.a-human-right.com/

Wow. Really great posters, images, t-shirts, and short articles. I haven't looked at the majority of them yet. The author is an American Jew whose family was nearly exterminated by the Nazis. Just some of the awesome graphics, beautifully photographed and edited, with a punchy moral, and sometimes great use of irony:

Thermopylae stats are probably taken straight from the ancient accounts and therefore the number of Persians is inflated. At the same time, the moral of the story is the same. From the site: In ancient Greece, the Spartan General Leonidas was charged with guarding a mountain pass with just 300 men to delay the invading million man Persian army. When the Persian leader Xerxes offered to spare his men if they gave up their arms, Leonidas replied "Molon Labe", or "Come and get them."

I do NOT recommend sleeping with a loaded pistol under your pillow (largely because I prefer safetyless guns and I constantly reach under my pillow to adjust it while sleeping). But on the nightstand is fine. Just harder to photograph together with a blonde and a teddybear.

Before you think this is extreme, ask someone who has been stalked by someone or raped in her own home. I've known the latter, and if you ever want to talk about never feeling safe again, ask her.

This one has the author himself in it, I think:

Buy the t-shirts, mousepads, etc. here:

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/12/2003 12:50:00 PM | link

Regarding the image I posted for the Immaculate Conception below, Bernard writes:

I'm assuming that your depicition of Our Lady wearing a stole (crossed Tridentine style, no less!) isn't a tacit approval of the women's ordination movement! :)

A keen observation on her dress. The illustrator, von Car0lsfeld, tends to make theological allusions in his art. The stole signifies parrhesia, the freedom to speak, usually with the connation of boldness or public proclamation. Thus those who may preach during the liturgy wear the stole. In this picture, drawn to illustrate the New Jerusalem in Revelation, the woman doubtless is intended to represent the Church (of which Our Lady is a type, which is why I used it). The presence of the stole indicates the Church's ability to speak freely for Christ. He may also have in mind a text like 1 John 4:17, since he's already included Gal 4:26 tucked away on the left-hand end of the top scroll (in the corner of the illustration).

Also notice that she is surrounded by 12 angels, each of which wears an ephod with a single gem, making twelve gems in all. This signifies the Church's charism of infallibility, since she is guided by divine inspiration in making judgments as the high priest once was when consulting the ephod. Since the drawing was done in the early 19th century, I wonder if the distribution of the gems of the ephod amongst twelve angels is a reference to conciliar infallibility or the infallibility of the universal ordinary magisterium in particular.

Get more pictures like this here.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/12/2003 11:54:00 AM | link

Sears & Roebuck's Corporate Leadership by Example

I normally don't read business news. But a veteran I know passed this on to me via one of those e-mails that has been forwarded infinitely many times. I thought it deserved mention.

Sears Offers Extended Benefits for Reservists.

From the letter:

Have you seen the reports about how Sears is treating its reservist employees who are called up? By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up. Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years. I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution.

I suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves. Pass it on.

A friend of mine decided to check this out and sent the following e-mail to the Sears Customer Service Department:

"I received this email and I would like to know if it is true. If it is, the Internet may have just become one very good source of advertisement for your store. I know I would go out of my way to buy products from Sears instead of another store for a like item even if it was cheaper at the other store."

Here is their answer to his email.

Dear Customer:
Thank you for contacting Sears. The information is factual. We appreciate your positive feedback. Sears regards service to our country as one of greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make. We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time.

Bill Thorn
Sears Customer Care

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/10/2003 06:11:00 PM | link

We had a small earthquake yesterday. I wasn't in the area, and Zorak slept through it, so it couldn't have been that big. I would have liked to have been there, just because I've never experienced one, and I'd much rather start small.

O.O.: You slept through it?
Zorak: Now that you mention it, I did wake up briefly when it happened.
O.O.: What did you do?
Zorak: I heard all this rattling around, so I thought someone was in the house. I didn't think it was an earthquake. So I went back to bed.
O.O.: Your response when a stranger might be in the house is to go back to bed?
Zorak (slightly indignant): I did call out, "Hello!"
O.O.: So the buglar or rapist can find you more quickly?
Zorak: Well, no one answered.
O.O.: So you went back to bed?
Zorak: Yeah.

This is why we are getting a large dog a.s.a.p.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/10/2003 08:47:00 AM | link

Et macula non est in te
-Cant. 4:7

(Click for a close-up. It's worth it.)

Happy Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception!

Salve Regina, Mater Misericordiae,
Vita, Dulcedo, et Spes Nostra!

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/08/2003 03:31:00 AM | link

Revisit the best of last December:

My rant on Kwanzaa.

My long post on A Christian response to this Solstice crap.

And more graphic panda hatred.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/08/2003 03:27:00 AM | link

Hello to the freak who came here via Google looking for "joined angel kiss intercourse androgenous [sic]," for which I am ranked #2, although I spell androgynous correctly.

Zorak and I each had the same reaction to the Orexis ad that Google seems to always give you when searching for the above combination of terms: "What the heck is advanced intercourse?" Somebody in that company's marketing department is clearly having fun with their passing exposure to classical languages. (Note orexis =desire and the pseudo-pharmaceutical formula beneath the logo, "pervalidus obduro.")

I am also ranked #1 and #2 for the search "Oligarch Jew," narrowly beating out some random anti-semitic conspiracy theory webpages for the top spot. Whew.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/08/2003 03:11:00 AM | link

Treatise in mixology submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for resident chief mixologist of the blogosphere.

Abstract: Soy milk has become increasingly common in the dairy sections of most groceries. Originally designed for the lactose intolerant, the increasing quality of such beverages suggests the inevitable question: Is it more stable for mixing milk-based drinks than the traditional cow-derived alternative?

Intro: The instability of milk in high-proof mixtures has been a longstanding limitation of the use of this beverage in mixology (commonly called "the curdle problem" or, in larger volumes, "The Head-Cheese Cup"). The author was pondering the vanilla flavor of his recently purchased Silk Is Soy milk substitute. The question arose: Would this work better than traditional milk?

Method: Using identical gradiated shot glasses, the mixologist poured equal portions of milk and soy milk into each glass (approximately 1 oz.) Since his only concern was acid-induced curdling of alcoholic beverages, he added 1/5 oz vodka to each immediately to simulate a low-proof alcoholic mixture (14 proof). Then, using a dropper, he proceeded to add single drops of lemon juice to each mixture, then stirring, then waiting to observe the onset of the dreaded curdle.

Results: Soy milk curdles at nearly the exact same acidity as regular milk. The only difference is that soy milk curdles more slowly, so one must be careful and observant when approaching the curdle threshhold of soy milk. Unfortunately, soy milk did not prove to be the magic bullet enabling high-powered grasshopers and fabulous creamy-citrus vodka-based confections. Yet it has no liabilities compared to conventional milk. Those who prefer the vanilla-soy flavor, richer than 2% milk, may opt for its greater compatability with Kahlua, etc. in sombreros and so forth.

Further questions: Since soy curdles much more slowly, one wonders, but did not test, whether a soy-based mix could be "rescued" from the curdle point by the sudden introduction of more soy. A more error-tolerant milk base may save many a mixer from the sudden curdle that results from trying to "push the envelope" of milk pH balance, a failure which requires discarding the entire drink.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/03/2003 10:39:00 AM | link

Back from my long trip. Zorak and I had an enjoyable thanksgiving.

One highlight of our mini-vacation was our trip to see the famous Lipizzaner Stallions, where we learned all about Lipizzaner history and saw demonstrations of their fine dressage choreographed to classical music.

Pas de trois
An Andalusian takes a bow

You do not need to know much about horsemanship to enjoy the show, but I bet it deepens one's appreciation for the skills of these magnificent beasts and their riders.

The second portion of the show demonstrated military maneuevers. Particularly dramatic was their demonstration of the "airs above the ground," performed first without rider, then with.

If you're surrounded by footsoldiers, the capriole is designed to solve your problems:

The Capriole

The Lipizzaner Stallions have just completed their thirty-third touring season. If someone in your family loves horses, it's well worth the money to go see the Lipizzaners when they are next on tour.

Posted by Old Oligarch on 12/01/2003 10:52:00 AM | link


Friends Outside the
Prophetes Viatoresque:
(but still worth reading)

Recently Read

In my MP3 Player