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Russ Stutler's Message Board

Russ, We were, in 1895, the first monastery founded by St. John's, Collegeville. They also opened a priory in Tokyo, Trinity Benedictine Monastery. It was moved, relatively recently, to Fujimi and the monastery was awarded major prizes for it's architecture. It looks to be about 30 miles N; NW of Tokyo.
You could celebrate the St. Benedict blessing there..... Aelred

Admin reply: I had heard there was something out there in Japan. It sounds definitely worth a visit if I can find a train going out in that direction. Thanks!

Added: August 31, 2014
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Wonderful site, Russ! I use your helpful articles on music for the liturgy of the hours when i help present a weekend confernce on the hours for the Archdiocese of Settle. I am choirmaster of our Benedictine Abbey, St. Martin's. I'll refrence your whole website as "required reading" when I next meet with the conference participants in mid-September.
(Br.) Aelred Woodard OSB

Admin reply: Wow, that's great to hear! I don't get to communicate Benedictines in Tokyo -- and I've really tried find one in the past when I needed to find a priest to consent to "properly" bless my St. Benedict medals! So this is a great honor to finally hear from one. Thank you!

Added: August 30, 2014
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You may enjoy the following, recalled when reading "A Strange Wind Blowing":

I work as a Federal contractor in schools on a reservation and we often have strong, strong winds on the high desert and next to mountains. My young students walk between buildings with me during the day.

Occasionally, as we are blown along or into or sideways, I ask a child if he/she would like to have a string tied to a button and go sailing off. To see things. To try flying. Just to do it.

Some children may briefly consider the idea while most others tend to shrink back and hurry on.

One little boy's face lit up and with a faraway look in his eyes when I asked him the first time and he was ready to go. And he always is.

This is the student I talk to about the world.

I want to thank you for the enjoyable hours I have spent on your site. And now my return to sumi-e painting as well as the soon-to-be owner of a yatate.

Admin reply: Thank you for the great story! I myself often had dreams of flying because of the wind when I was a kid.

Added: July 2, 2014
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Hi Russ, thanks for putting together such an extensive book list. Is it in any particular order?

I'm new to sketching and I'll be using mechanical pencils, draft pencils and lead holders. What brand, type, size, and such sketchbooks would you recommend? I have a Winsor & Newton Visual Diary 11' x 14' 110gsm acid free, left from school. The paper's not exactly smooth, but can I still use it for sketching/drawing?

Admin reply: The book list is not in any particular order, except perhaps the order in which I discovered those books.

As for paper, I haven't used the paper you mentioned, but if you are using pencil alone, then it is simply a matter of what you personally prefer, and what fits your drawing style. Almost any paper works well with pencil, and you can get away with something inexpensive.

It's fun to experiment, but I'd do a web search or asking the folks at the local art supply shop so you don't blow too much money on the way.

Good luck.

Added: June 25, 2014
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Hi Russ , thanks for your well put together page about psalms and psalm singing. Your enthusiasm is infectious and you obviously have a love for the psalms. Have you come across the efforts of Christ Church, Moscow, ID, USA in putting together a psalter? It is a work in progress, I suppose. The psalms are not metrical but are what can be described as 'through composed' and are suitable for congregational singing. I hasten to add I have nothing to do with them whatsoever but speaking as an enthusiast they are certainly among the best psalms i have ever heard and thought you might be interested to know about them. Sort of between metrical and plainsong, for me, they hit the sweet spot and are exemplary in their whole approach to psalms.

Admin reply: I hadn't heard of their work with the Psalms, but when anyone from Scotland says nice things about another Psalter, I stand up and take notice. :)

I'll do a web search then.

Added: June 23, 2014
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Hi Russ. I've recently bought an early version of a Pilot Capless pen (Vanishing Point). What kind of cartridges/converter does it use? Having trouble finding something that works. Any suggestions where I can buy a converter/cartridges for it? Thank you in advance.

Admin reply: Check the date stamp on the nib. If it was made since the 1970s then it takes a regular cartridge which is available today. If it was made in the 1960s, it takes "double spare" cartridges or a special double spare converter. Check with the person who sold it to you; they really shouldn't sell a pen without providing a means to use it.

Added: June 10, 2014
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Hi Russ,

In my search for reviews on the "water brush", I came across your site. So glad I did! Thank you for the wealth of information you share and your generosity in doing so.

You have also sparked my interest in learning to read and write Japanese. Any suggestions on where/how to start?

Admin reply: I'm glad you found the information helpful! As for starting out on the Japanese learning venture, I'm not much help because it has been so many years since those days, and what I used was primitive. As I recall, I had some Berlitz cassette tapes and a few text books. Eventually I just went to language school for a few years, and even now I'm working on improving my own Japanese language ability.

Watching Japanese movies will help, as will reading Japanese texts related to your own hobbies and interests. Finding Japanese friends is a great way to learn and practice the language, of course.

Added: May 28, 2014
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Nice work on the Fender Telecaster vector graphic. I was actually looking for a vector version to use in a non-profit logo. Sorry to hear about the hassle in trying to sell it. Hard to imagine that Fender could imagine a copyright on the general look of a guitar that's been successfully duplicated by tons of manufacturers of musical instruments out there.

Admin reply: Yeah, I think Zazzle's lawyers get spooked real easy over nothing. I spent many hours on those vector graphics, too! Oh well...

Added: May 20, 2014
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I love the idea you had for the portable version of a St Dunstans! Imagine such a book, but put together with the quality of the Baronius Little Office.

Thank you for all your reviews on psalters, very helpful.

You might find helpful a few programs that I wrote that are like square-note pianos: Solfeggionation for free for Mac, and iChant Gregorian on the Android and iOS phones.

Admin reply: Thanks for the comments. Yeah, I've been dreaming about a dream psalter for a long time now! Wonder if it will ever come true...

Added: May 20, 2014
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Gentile Mr Stutler

I discovered your blog for some time. Your works are very beautiful and great source of inspiration. I'd like to ask you a question about the tools that you use. For my draw l use disposable markers and I would like to start using a fountain pen. Unfortunately I can not find an ink completly waterproof. I tried the permanent black of montblanc but in the end in contact with the water melts. what kind of ink do you use for your fountain pen if you have to use watercolours?

thank you very much and I hope tthat you have time to answer me.

Valerio from Italy

Admin reply: Hello Valerio,

Two waterproof inks for fountain pen I know of are Platinum Carbon ink (which comes both in a bottle and Platinum cartridges) and Noodler's Black ink.


Added: April 25, 2014
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