Sunday, July 26, 2015


You know what?  I love this.  (I also love the title of the blog, though it doesn't look like there's really anything else of worth that she says.  Too bad.)

I think that is fabulous.

I get the people who very strenuously disagree with what she's saying...I have always been extremely into privacy for myself.  But this has to go hand in hand with *actual good parenting*.  That's kind of the kicker.  I can well see how this good idea would backfire in many (most?) people's hands.  And sadly, a lot of people think they are being great parents when they are not.

But stupid people are no reason to throw out good ideas.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Color shapers

These things are amazing.  And I love them.

I use them for oil pastel.  Sometimes I blend with my fingers, but most of the time I am using these.

These come in two types...a softer and a firmer and I use the firmer.

It is possible to use oil paint mediums and such things with oil pastel.  I recently tried this.  I used some solvent to help cover my surface at the beginning.  It was faster, but I didn't ultimately care for it.  Usually I am just blending with my color shapers, which creates a nice layer and also is just very meditative and I don't think I could use oil pastel in the same satisfying way with mediums, for the most part.

The color shaper on the right is very much loved since I usually work on Colorfix sanded paper, and he could probably use some friends...

Jessica also loves her color shapers.

Culture Matters, Values are not Relative

I've heard people talk about how unimportant (or wrong) it is to attach yourself to some things...things like, identifying with a particular community or "tribe", or looking to others to prove our value or self-worth.  The idea, I suppose, is to be independent, to not allow "negativity" to "attach itself to us", not to allow yourself to be lumped together into a particular group or group mentality.  The idea belongs to that set of ideas which advocates relativity in beliefs and values, "tolerance" and "acceptance", that it is "okay to be who you you are" and to "find happiness wherever you may".  By all means, if it causes you distress, you are to cast it away.  If it hurts you, you must reject it because that is the only healthy way to live.  Heaven forbid we should be negatively affected or hurt.  Heaven forbid we should in some way allow bad things to touch us.

These people are self-deluded.  (As we all are in our particular ways.)  No one, and I mean *no one* can live like that.  No one does live like that.  It's completely and utterly impossible.

We all identify.  We all need a group.  We are all, each and every one of us, affected in the core of us by the society and culture around us.  No matter how introspective we are, not a single human being on this earth can realize how deeply they are affected by surrounding society and culture.  No matter how we feel that others are not the yardstick with which to measure ourselves against, the fact is that we do.  We allow our friends or family to affect us in deep ways; we allow these people closest to us a great sway over not only our emotions, but *our very being* and *our very identities*.  We tell ourselves that we are independent, but the reality is that we are all very dependent on people and things around us.

I like to observe people, and I like to observe their reactions to these things.  So I've seen these very same people (the very same individuals--people who reject being identified with something and yet I still see them identify with something that is just not labeled a "tribe") hurt very deeply by individuals whom they do identify with on some level, by those closest to them.  Sometimes the reaction is, well I will forgive them and cleanse my own heart if they do xxxxx first.  Sometimes the reaction is a reflection on how often they have bent over backwards and supposedly received nothing in kind.  Usually the reaction is some sort of selfish self-centeredness...and that is a perfectly acceptable *reaction* when one gets hurt, but it's not a way to live life.  It's not a correct way to formulate a worldview.

We should not be attaching our happiness and self-worth on the actions of others.  But we do anyway.  We should not be allowing society and culture (which, by the way, are often embodied by our friends and those we choose closest association with) to dictate anything within our minds and hearts.  But we do anyway.

This is part of what it means to be human.

So the question then becomes, on what do we rely?  What groups or identification do we surround ourselves with?

The problem is, many of us reject many good things for bad reasons.  And we accept bad things for good reasons.

Many many times I have seen it said that people are the same everywhere.  In a way that is true.  Human nature is human nature.  Our nature has been passed down through all of human existence.  This nature does not *basically* change.  We aren't going to find ourselves in some utopia one day where everyone gets along and peace reigns and individuals make good decisions and the people around us are genuine, caring, unselfish people.

That is true.'s *not* the same everywhere.  People are not the same in every society, in every culture, in every "tribe".  (Man, I still hate you, Joseph Campbell.)  They don't act the same.  They don't think the same.  They don't believe the same.  Even relativists, in their own lives at least, must conclude that there are good influences and bad...this involves one's culture, the nature of the typical person within a particular culture.  (It is culture, not race, that needs to be discussed far more...but I digress.)

Again, the question is, where do we find ourselves?  Where *should* we find ourselves?

This is where the *vital importance* of morality and values comes in.

You have a society of relative values, a society that places a great amount of importance on "personal happiness and fulfillment" over an actual set code of behavior and belief, and you reap a society rife with selfish behavior, with people who cannot put others first.

Society is not where we *should look* for morality or guidance, but it is where the morality of our culture *resides*.  Goodness is not bred by human nature; leave human nature to human nature and you get human nature.  You allow human nature to be something untouchable and given up on and then *all people have to look to* for their morals is their culture and society...because no matter that we choose to deny this, we *are*, each of us, influenced by that.

What we ought to do, individually, is find ourselves a decent culture and identity.

Sadly, that's not going to happen for most people, because first they'd need to identify something as good and more correct than what they have, and we aren't good at looking at things beyond our own history and experience.  It's nothing against the person; here we are again, up against human nature.
So, I would suggest that those of us who do find something good and healthy that can be given to the world--I suggest those people share that.

While society by its very definition is not something we can individually is individuals who make up a society.  I see too many people shrugging their shoulders and staking claim to the idea that people are people and human nature is human nature and the faster we accept that, the faster we can move on to easy solutions.

Sometimes we need those easy solutions.  Sometimes we sell our souls for them.

In either case, it is not the easy solutions we need to fight for and accept, but the hard ones.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The world is an awful place.

I've not been posting lately because, honestly, the world is breaking my heart.

Of course, this has always been the case.  It will always be the case.  I have seen the progress of it over the course of my entire life and looking back through years of recent history, and well, forever.

The world has always been sick, twisted, and evil, amongst whatever good, delight, and joy there is also had.  The two things will always and forever go hand in hand so long as the world exists.

But it's possible to reach a point where I just can't handle the exposure anymore.  The things parading rampant about are *just too much*.  I either must back away, or I must do something, say something, be proactive in *some* way.

I've no sphere of influence beyond the small one I've been given thus far in my life; and I don't mind that, and don't think it will remain forever small because I have children.

I don't like raising hackles on people, especially when the only people receptive to what I say are my friends and family and they either think the very same as me or might only be annoyed at what I say.  And in either case, I usually get misinterpreted.  I rarely seem to get my points across no matter what I really do.

But, I can't stand it.

So here, go read this article:

It's not so much the current event it is opining about (because I am neither surprised by that nor do I think it is worth a whole lot of mental energy, because other points are far, far more valuable to be discussing), but further into the article are some very, very good points.

Some quotes because maybe you don't want to go read that article and even if you do, I believe these things deserve reiteration:

"...I don’t think we’ll convince liberals to oppose the sale (or “donation with reimbursement,” which is totally different) of baby parts. To oppose it means admitting the child has some kind of human worth and dignity, and to admit that it has worth and dignity is to contradict the entire pro-abortion platform..."


 "The fact that body parts are being “donated” clearly indicates that the child has a body with parts. It is not a blob nor a lump nor a ball nor a clump. It’s a body. With organs. And limbs. A body. A body that is living. A body belonging to a member of the human species. A body that must be caused to stop living through a method that is commonly referred to as 'killing.'"


"Granted, in one sense, the babies with arms and legs and livers are “clumps of cells,” but it’s also in the same sense that all people are clumps of cells. A clump is a mass, and cells are those little tiny things of which we are all comprised. We are all masses of cells, in other words. Saying “it’s not a person; it’s a mass of cells,” is like saying, “it’s not a dog; it’s a furry thing with legs and paws.” Restating the definition of something in a more reductive and childish way is not the same as creating a distinction between the thing and itself.
"But this is all liberals do. The “cells” of their pro-abortion argument consist entirely of coming up with weirder ways of saying the same thing.

“It’s not a child; it’s a fetus!” 

"Yes, and “fetus” is Latin for “offspring,” and a child is an offspring.

“It’s not a child; it’s a blob of cells!” 

"Yes, and it’s a blob of cells that make up a child.

"Next are you going to tell me that Cleveland isn’t a city, it’s a Cleveland?  Or elephants aren’t elephants, they’re large mammals with big, silly ears?

"Now all that’s left for the liberal is to insist that the fetus — which is an offspring, which is a child — is more blobby and clumpy than older humans. The difference between life and death now hinges on a measurement of a human’s clumpiness. This is what passes for thought in liberal circles. It’s also not even accurate on its own terms, considering that, arguably, the average Cinnabon patron is far clumpier than the average unborn human.

 "Of course, before this reasoning leads to mass abortions at our nation’s food courts, it will first and most inevitably result in the euthanizing of the sick, infirm, disabled, deformed, and elderly. Putting aside any effort to quantify an individual’s blobbiness, what is really not-so-cleverly hidden in the “it’s just a blob of cells” argument is the notion that a person’s humanity, or in this case a human’s personhood, can be determined by, first, its physical resemblance to other humans, and second, by extension, its physical development.

 But if a human at an early stage of development, or at any stage before birth, is reduced to nothing more than “cells” (and limbs and brains and kidneys and a random assortment of other features that coincidentally add up to the sum total of a human being) merely because it doesn’t look completely like a born person, and isn’t developed to the same physical extent, then why would the matter suddenly be settled upon birth? What pro-aborts are contending is that we acquire our humanity in degrees. It is not absolute. It does not materialize at the same time we do. We exist, for a time, as humans without humanity, or with a portion of humanity, while the rest of it will be endowed at the exact rate that we un-clumpify (again, remember, liberals are all about the science).

"If this is true, if personhood is a gradual acquisition and contingent upon our physicality, why do we grant an arbitrary reprieve once the clump/human exits the birth canal? Infants don’t look like adults and aren’t developed as much. For God’s sake, their skulls aren’t even fully formed — that’s got to subtract at least 3 or 4 points from their Personhood Index, doesn’t it? And what about people born without an arm or a leg? What about the mentally handicapped? If a baby without fully developed limbs is not a person, what about an adult without fully developed limbs? And what of an old man who has limbs but lost his command of them over time? Is he now an elderly clump?

"Logically, if the pro-aborts are correct, these individuals cannot be considered people, or at least they can’t be considered as people-y as the rest of us (once again, this is science, folks — try to keep up).

"You are left, then, with only one other option. Either advocate for the mass execution of the disabled, or accept that humans are humans, and humans are people, regardless of their physical development. It’s really one or the other. You side with the slave owners, eugenicists, and Nazis of history, or with the people who defeated those tyrants. We are all human, or not. Pro-aborts say not, and it’s time they confront exactly what that means.

"You are not defending the killing of clumps and blobs, but of humans. And in so doing, you are using logic identical to the sort that has been used to justify nearly every human atrocity in the history of mankind."


 "Call me presumptuous, but when I hear a group of people scream that they want a particular thing “on demand and without apology,” I generally assume they must like that thing, whatever it is. They must be pro- it.

 "Yes, I am aware that you prefer the term “pro-choice.” But I’m afraid we cannot use that name when referring to you, due to the fact that it’s a preposterous lie. You are not pro-choice; nobody is. No group of people on Earth, aside from lunatics and toddlers, actually think “choice” should be totally legalized and sanctioned. No rational adult would seriously assert that every choice is justified simply because it was a choice. We all believe there are good choices and bad choices. Legal choices and illegal choices. Ironically liberals have an even longer list of unacceptable choices, which is why Christians are often fined for choosing not to bake cakes for homosexuals.

 “But a woman has a right to choose!”

"That means nothing, friends. It is a nonsensical statement. Of course we all have choice. We have the intellect to discern one thing from another, the conscience to determine right from wrong, and the will to act upon these calculations, for better or worse. But you are conditional in the choices you believe we should act upon, or should be allowed to act upon. And that’s OK — we are all pro-choice conditionally. Your conditions may be bizarre, macabre, and grotesque, but the fact that you have conditions means you cannot universally declare yourself “pro-choice.”

 "On the other hand, you defend abortion unconditionally. You are unwilling to accept any limits or constraints on it. You are opposed to any form of restriction placed on the practice. You are so wholeheartedly invested in abortion that you won’t even tolerate laws that regulate abortion clinics to the degree that the government regulates your kid’s orthodontist. You suspend your normal zeal for government oversight and taxation, insisting that Planned Parenthood be subject to neither."


 It has made me sick all of my life (since old enough to learn of such things, anyway), the evil that people will condone.  And it's getting worse, this insistence of calling evil good and good evil.  The idea that there are these "rights" that are only now coming out of the woodwork to be claimed as "rights", justified by sickening or completely unrelated arguments.

I was just reading a comment from someone responding to a liberal article, referenced in the above article.  The commenter was going on about the great injustices of the world, as if this is a good rationale for making abortion universally available....

Do you want to go there?  Do you *really* want to go there?  Because that type of argument can lead to one place, and one place pays lip service to "human life", but only certain human life.  Are women and minorities and those oppressed the only ones worthy of being defended?  You want to stop injustice in this world?  It's a very, very short step from such arguments to genocide.  In fact, such arguments *are* arguments *for genocide*.  No amount of sputtering denials will change that fact.

Here's another thing.  You want women to have a choice in her body?  Who, I demand, is against that?  Only true nutjobs.  No one I know.  Guess what.  Women *do* have a choice.  And choices, by their very nature, have *consequences*.  Some choices have very, very large consequences.  By and large, sex is a choice, people.  Having protected sex is a choice.

Rape isn't a *choice*.  Having your life in danger due to the child you are carrying...that is not a *choice*.  I've never heard a single sensible person deny that abortion should and could be an option in cases as these.

Here are a couple of other comments from evil people:

"just for this stupidity, i will get pregnant twice and have an abortion both times"

 "If it wasn’t so much effort and so expensive I’d totally advocate for some sort of mass spite-abortion protest."


I want to say that those are minority opinions, and in a way they probably are...but I see that kind of thing a lot.  Sure, conservatives can be vehement in their hatred of the opposing ideologies.  But I refuse to actually acknowledge any similarities, because these women here are talking about taking the the life of an innocent person out of spite and hatred and protest.

 And that, my friends, is a very, very big thing.  It's not just a talking point; it's not a joke.

The Holocaust?  That makes me sick.  Soviet Russia under Stalin?  Christians and other minority groups being beheaded and burned in the middle east?  Raising children in a way that they are able to kill or kill themselves?  These things make me sick to my stomach.  I would fight in any way I am capable to stop such things...I only wish I was more capable or that I had any idea of how to go about changing anything.  How is genuine liberal ideology any different from any of these things in the genuine valuing of human life?  So much lipservice is given to "rights" and "doing what makes you happy" when in reality these ideas are connected to ideologies born directly of the devil and perpetuating true evil.  Not mere human evil, which is bad enough, but true, addicting, seductive and subversive evil.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sharpie Requirements

The other day, I was at the store buying, amongst other things, a package of Sharpie markers.

At the register, the cashier had to ask if I was over 18.

For Sharpies.

There I was, going through the usual motions of purchasing some things...and I get asked about my age over some markers.

Jessica thought this was incredible, too, so she went to see if the same would happen to her.

It didn't.  Twice, actually.

I'm not at all convinced this had anything to do with her state laws...I think that people there just ignore laws more.  (And more.)  (And more.)

But I'm glad to know she has a good supply of markers now, so she can mark what kind of twice baked potatoes she has wrapped up in her freezer.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Slinky Inky Inktense

Here is another post in tandem with Jessica!

Ever since I got my smaller tin of Inktense blocks, I have been needing the larger, complete tin because they are so fabulous for plein air.  And there were just some colors that I was really, really missing that I am used to having in my pencil set.

So I finally got it!

Alas, I was missing!!  It didn't drop out of the package; it didn't get misplaced within the tin.  *They forgot to put it in!*

This made me very unhappy.  On principle, I'd send it back, but the best thing I could do would be to get a replacement tin...and I just didn't want to wait.  These *are* available open stock, but it will be a bit of time before I place any other art supply orders.  But I wrote to Derwent itself to see if they will have the type of customer service they ought to have, especially it being their fault to begin with.

And, they replied that they would be sending me a replacement block!!  Go Derwent!  Yayyy!

But, not only was I missing one, I then discovered I had a duplicate color, so really I'm missing two.  So, I had to tell them about that, as well.


I am, at least, very happy to report that there is good reason to shop Derwent products!

Anyway.  Below are a few of my initial color can see the second missing color here.  These charts are done with both the pencils and the blocks.

Because the blocks do not need an outliner pencil included, they added a new color, which you can see below.  Number 1215.  This color is in my tin of blocks, but not my tin of pencils.

See all these greens I really, really needed?   (Also visible is the color I am missing...hooker's green, a really nice staple color.)

I did a chart with all of the colors, kind of a rough rainbow blended together.

I wasn't super careful, so this could have turned out a little better, but it was a fun experiment that I will probably duplicate again at some point (perhaps when my missing blocks have returned home!) taking more care to get better color gradients.

I did a sketch with only my blocks...and oh how I love them!  They are very fast and fun to work with.  I did keep putting them in the wrong place in the tin because of that empty space, so I stuck something in the space to prevent more mix-ups.

I love that it has multiple methods of application, and I used several (on dry paper, getting my brush wet with the pigment, dry-on-wet).  I do love to see texture show through, as well.  This was done on some nice drawing paper in my sketchbook.

(Two-year-old's opinion of my sketch..."The horsie butt is stinky.")

Another thing I noticed is that the mass color of many of the blocks are difficult to tell what they will be on paper (especially but not exclusively darker colors), so I was glad to have the above color charts to reference.

Yay for Inktense!  And yay for Derwent!