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Requiem for a Microwave

It May Want to Kill Me, But... Burritos.

By Jason Kettinger | Apr 05, 2021 at 10:57 AM

I don’t want to step on Mr. Powell’s toes, or encroach upon his territory as OFB’s crackpot-at-large, but I’ve got a splinter in my brain, and we’re going to talk about it. I’ve had one of those 1200-watt microwaves for ages. I used to call it “Satan’s microwave,” because if I followed the instructions on any package of food, I would be waiting 5 to 7 minutes minimum before I could reasonably attempt to eat whatever I put in there. You can adjust the cooking time, as is often advised, but you are playing with fire, or ice, as the case may be.

The Meaning of Words Ought to Include Their Flavor, and Beauty, and Nuance

By Dennis E. Powell | Mar 31, 2021 at 9:32 PM

Last week it fell to me to help assemble a piece of exercise equipment. There was no brand name or country of origin specified, but the enclosed documentation suggested that it was written in a distant land or else by an associate professor of one of the social sciences. In that once put together the thing actually worked, I’ll assume the former.

Are We Palm Sunday Followers of Jesus?

So Many Misunderstood Jesus Then and We Still Do Today

By Timothy R. Butler | Mar 29, 2021 at 3:27 PM

Palm Sunday was yesterday, marking the beginning of Holy Week. A week when Christians remember Jesus’s path toward crucifixion and His subsequent overcoming of death. While both Palm Sunday and Easter are filled with joy, the joy of Palm Sunday is striking in how the crowd was joyful – at least in part – for the wrong reasons.

The Music Files: “folklore”

Swift's Genius Hits a New, Contemplative High Point

By Jason Kettinger | Mar 27, 2021 at 1:00 PM

I am not a music critic, nor am I educated in the science of making music. I am just a guy who likes popular music. The genius of Taylor Swift is in putting words to intense feelings and experiences, even if other people think those feelings and experiences are silly or insignificant. I guess the knock on her was that she always wrote songs about romantic relationships, but listen, my friends: we wouldn’t even have popular music of any sort, if we didn’t have romantic relationships.

Mystery meat?

There’s no mystery: it’s not meat.

By Dennis E. Powell | Mar 24, 2021 at 11:01 AM

We’re in the midst of Lent, the pre-Easter period in which many of us who are Christians are called upon to give up some pleasurable item or practice. I am not a theologian, so don’t risk your immortal soul on this, but my impression is that the sacrifice should have some real meaning, be genuine: It doesn’t count if you forego hitting your head with a hammer or eating liver (unless you love those things, alas).

Improving My Coffee Game

Testing the Miroco 1.7 Liter Electric Tea Kettle

By Timothy R. Butler | Mar 21, 2021 at 4:46 PM

I have slowly been trying to improve my home barista skills for years, using the delightfully clever Areopress to make coffee when I have time for more than my normal rush to Keurigland. Recently, I have added pour over coffee into my repertoire as well. Both methods have the “flaw” of being dependent on that old fashioned task of boiling water. Both are improved with an electric tea kettle like one Miroco provided for us to test.

NCAA Men’s Tournament Musings

By Jason Kettinger | Mar 18, 2021 at 3:59 PM

We sit on the very edge of the beginning of the tournament. Just hours from now, the four teams playing in the play-in games for the 68-team field will tip off for the right to take their places in the main 64-team bracket.

WandaVision's Power was in the Human, not the Superhuman

By Timothy R. Butler | Mar 13, 2021 at 6:19 PM

What is grief, but love persevering? Disney+’s WandaVision is one of the best series I can recall gracing the small screen in decades and that question posed by the Vision (Paul Bettany) captures so much about what allows the show to be profound beyond the strictures of either of its roots: classic sitcoms and Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Live Streaming with Mevo

By Timothy R. Butler | Mar 10, 2021 at 10:54 AM

Last year, I put together a little overview of using the Mevo line of live streaming cameras for churches rushing to do live streaming in the midst of the pandemic. Since then, Mevo also released a new camera with a lot of additional features. We haven’t been able to look at that new model yet, but below is the guide I put together last year, which still serves as a good entry point into the world of live streaming with Mevo.

The Seventh Seal

Looking Back at Bergman's Classic and Questions of Existence

By Jason Kettinger | Mar 09, 2021 at 5:48 PM

I watched this film for the first time on Ash Wednesday. In the context of the present pandemic and its deadly effect on our lives, it is all the more compelling to view this film at this time. Also, as any good Catholic on that day, I was hungry, hoping to kill time until I could eat a hamburger or something. The Black Death served as part of the setting, and even as we are thankful that the present crisis is not of the magnitude as that, it was hard not to notice the existential dread, and to recognize that we are living with it, just as these characters were.

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