The Tactical Kitchen Auction

Have you always wanted a kick-ass knife that can handle any kitchen task with ease and also protect you from Ninjas? If so, then you should head over to Stderr where Marcus is auctioning off 2 of his handmade knives, here and here. The auction closes on May 5/19 at 10:00 so be sure to check it out soon.

All of the money raised will go towards paying off the legal bills from the Richard Carrier lawsuit. The ridiculous suit is finally done and gone, but the bills didn’t vanish with it so if you’re in the market for a tactical kitchen knife now is the time to buy. You’ll get a fabulous knife (seriously, both knives are wicked) and you’ll be supporting Freethought Blogs. That’s what I call win-win. Of course, if you just want to make a donation to the fund that’s easy too. Just click on this link to go to our Go Fund Me page.

Good luck to you and thanks.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

©voyager, all rights reserved

The trilliums are here. And there. And everywhere. They’re positively busting out all over the place and I can’t recall ever seeing this many trilliums in our little forest. It’s a bumper crop. I couldn’t find any open blooms yet, but it won’t be more than a day or two before they appear. Jack and I plan to come back tomorrow and I’m betting I’ll find a few open flowers to share with all of  you.

Tree Tuesday

Trees in the News:

A massive yellow meranti found in the Dunam Valley area of Malaysia has been confirmed to be the world’s tallest tropical tree at 330 ft. (100.5 meters). Originally seen from the air, the tree was climbed by a daring local man with a tape measure to confirm it’s status. Logging is prohibited in the area and it is thought that there may be even larger trees as yet undiscovered in the same area. The video has some very nice aerial photography.


From The Smithsonian Magazine

The Art of Book Design: The Dark Way of Love

Le Goffic, Charles,.Dark way of love. Westminster : Archibald constable, 1898

A change of pace for today with a Celtic design from the late 1800’s. The lettering has a handwritten feel to it and I think it’s simplicity works perfectly with the complex, serpentine knots.


via:, (which is a great site for anyone looking for a specific piece of written work. The site will tell you which libraries carry the book you’re looking for and how far away they are.)

Let’s Play: At Legoland 4, or capitalism sucks

Theme parks will always try to milk you for more money. From the entrance fee to overpriced food to games where you can “win” overpriced toys at every corner, it’s an all out assault on your budget. I don’t know if other theme parks “offer” a similar “service”, but at Legoland you can buy “express passes”. In their most basic version (just 20 bucks per person per day!) you can reserve you place in line and then wander off to eat some overpriced food and then return at your scheduled time to take your place in the line. This goes up to the premium version (almost no waiting time for only 70 € per person per day!) and of course you are simply not making any friends when you walk past people who’ve been waiting for an hour and take “their place”.

Now, it would be perfectly easy to integrate the basic version into an app for all customers and thereby eliminate those fucking waiting lines altogether, but that might lose them some money (maybe it would make them some money because people would have more time to hang around the food courts instead of eating home made sandwiches while standing in line?), therefore it’s inconceivable!

On the other hand I mentioned to Mr: “Imagine we’d spent some 600 bucks on those express passes and could ride one of those things every 15 minutes. Wouldn’t that be horrible?”

I still don’t know what I find worse: waiting in line for the rolercoaster or riding it, but I’m tending towards the latter. Before you think I’m all grumpy, enjoy some images from the “Atlantis” aquarium.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

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April Light

The light in springtime is beautiful and Nightjar has taken some absolutely stunning photos to show it off.

The garden is full of Iris flowers this time of the year and I love the way Iris petals reflect light, so that’s what ended up inspiring me this month. I also couldn’t resist a shiny green garden visitor and a backlit ice plant.

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

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Jack’s Walk

Trout Lilies ©voyager, all rights reserved

Bloodroot ©voyager, all rights reserved

Yesterday was about as perfect as a spring day can get. It was full of sunshine, the air was warm and a gentle breeze whispered through the budding trees. Jack and I took a long leisurely walk through our little forest and marveled at all the new life since our last visit. The trout lilies are sprouting all over the place, making the most of the spring light before it vanishes behind the burgeoning leaves. The mayapples and false Solomon’s seal have poked their heads up and a few trilliums have appeared here and there.

I’m talking about yesterday because today is not a nice day around here. It’s overcast, cold and threatening rain. Jack and I haven’t even gone for our walk yet, but I won’t complain because at least we don’t have snow, which they do out west. We are also not underwater which they are to the east. I’m living in a goldilocks zone and a bit of cold and damp is hardly worth mentioning. I hope none of you are living in the flooded area around Ottawa and Montreal and if you’re in an area still dealing with snow you have my sympathy.

You may notice that Jack’s Walk is posted later than usual today and that’s on purpose. Most things on the blog get posted earlier in the day (New York time) and because we have readers all over the world I’m trying to space things out a bit. Jack’s Walk will now get posted later in the afternoon. I’m always open to feedback, though, so let me know what you think.


The Art of Book Design: Robinson Crusoe

Daniel Dafoe. Robinson Crusoe. Embroidered front cover of a 1791 edition of Robinson Crusoe, from the Newberry Library — Source.

Daniel Dafoe. Robinson Crusoe. Embroidered back cover of a 1791 edition of Robinson Crusoe, from the Newberry Library — Source.

This book cover is one of a kind. It was fashionable for ladies of this time period to hand embroider covers for books and this gorgeous piece of needlework has survived beautifully and is kept in the Newberry Library in Chicago. The Public Domain Review featured an article about this art form (it’s at the link below) and I’ll be posting a few other examples down the road. I keep thinking that in 1791 when this book was published it was considered an item of luxury. It was so valuable that the person who designed and made this cover spent hour upon hour with needle and thread to embellish it. It’s exquisite.


Via: Public Domain Review


I made some boasting noises about my magnolia, so just to prove that it really is an explosion of pink and white this year (it’s a youngling), I took some evening photographs, with a special dedication to Giliell. ;)

© rq, all rights reserved.

A slightly better angle, non? © rq, all rights reserved.

They remind me of birds, a flock of free-wheeling birds. © rq, all rights reserved.

© rq, all rights reserved.

© rq, all rights reserved.

Ah, yes… © rq, all rights reserved.