Tuesday, November 21, 2006

John 11:35

Mug: Generic Chinese mug. OK functionally, although the walls seem thin. The mug came from the Old Russian Orthodox monastery outside of Blanco, Texas as a souvenir (an ancient tradition for all pilgrimage sites). They used to possess an icon of the Infant Jesus with Mother (the Theotokos). An oil seemed to "weep" from the yes of both Mary and Jesus. I made a couple of trips there, and while I had great suspicion about the authenticity of the icon, there was undoubtedly a strong sense of the Spirit's presence (which I attributed to the gathered pilgrims as much if not more so than to the icon itself).

What bothered me about the icon was: A) It was crudely "written" (seems like a tacky criticism, I know, but it pointed to a more serious problem); B) the icon was presented on a stand that concealed it's back side (so that doubters couldn't inspect it for tubing).

I said that the monastery (Christ in the Hills) used to possess it, because the Blanco County Sheriff confiscated it earlier this year when a couple of the "monks" were arrested on charges of indecency with a minor. I don't know, but I suspect the worse.

The weeping of Jesus and Mary is real, even if the icon is fake.

Coffee: Drinking Central Market's Colombian Supremo again. Linden bought a pound and a half to help get our bill over $50 (excluding beer and wine). By hitting that magic number, she got a very nice German-made Wusthoff butcher knife.

I'll be roasting green beans again tonight.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Crate & Barrel demitasse cup set. Made in Poland. Cute. Functional. Good finger placement (
to indicate scale, I have employed a "hand-model" for this shot).

Coffee: A generic "French Roast" bean from Central Market. The remnants of last year's supply (I only drink this stuff in the winter months... a low of 36ºs last night makes today qualify). I make espresso in my Estro Vapore pressure-pump espresso machine my girls got me for Father's Day a few years ago. It's a nice one.

Confession: I usually make lattes with this machine.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wake up and smell the coffee.

Mug: A replacement for the mug I lost at City Hall. Oddly shaped mug and handle, to be expected for a mug designed by reknowned architect/industrial designer Michael Graves. Good-drinking mug, lousy travel mug because it won't fit any any cup holder I'm aware of (doesn't show in the picture, but the base is twice as wide as the mouth) .

Coffee: Still drinking the organic Columbian I roasted myself in the hot-air popcorn popper.

Note: The mug I lost at Dallas City Hall was replaced by this Michael Graves designed mug. When I.M. Pei was designing Dallas City Hall, Michael Graves was designing Portland, Oregon's new Municipal Building. The two designs were seen to be in a kind of competition with each other: Ultra-Modernist Pei vs. Post-Modernist Graves. Whereas Dallas' city hall looks like the coastal defences along Normandy prior to D-Day, the Graves design looks like a big wrapped gift-box awaitng a child's birthday party.

I have my favorite, but I like them both.

P.S. I awoke to discover it's dawn in America. Thank God.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Content: Constant Comment Green Tea. Snifffles, sneezing, sore throat, allergies gone wild. Seeking some comfort (local honey added).

Mug: Got this at Schilo's Deli in San Antonio (right above the RiverWalk, and relatively tourist-free). The Alamo, the Menger Hotel, and Schilo's are the reasons I still go to San Antonio. I used to go for the Pearl Brewery, but General Brewing Corporation (ne: Pabst) put a stop to that. Schilo's is a great place for breakfast and lunch, but dinner is only served on Friday and saturday nights. Used to see Henry Cisneros there (it was one of his getaway offices), maybe still do, I don't know. Rustic.

My only real complaint about the mug (a Chinese product) is that the glaze is too shiny, almost like a clearcoat (which it probably is: a clear glaze over ceramic base).

BTW: 1917 was a brave time to open a German deli. But, German was San Antonio's third (or FIRST) language back then.