Another resource hogging flash applet thingie...click the gray background to begin loading,

photo

then navigate with arrow keys. You'll need something other than Internet Explorer.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rubber, meet Road.


ryan and jenny bw, originally uploaded by use2blost.
     Wow.
     This was a milestone for me. The last couple of weeks, in between life shaking events, I have tried to learn a little more about shooting people, Hoping to kinda head in that direction. Yesterday, Debbie called and informed me about contractions, dilation, and other disturbing things having to do with the maternal vagina. She closed the phone call by informing me that belly shots of her daughter-in-law had to happen immediately, or during the next pregnancy. This was done in a loving, unpressuring tone of voice. Baby can send pressure, and threatening gloom simply with the power of her mind....often her voice is not involved. But I'm not saying she did that, here.
     So I strapped on some gear and tripodery (which I barely used,) and ran over to Ryan and Jenny's.
     Kapronto.
     Now, you should know I have an emotional scar...
     Decades ago, I had hair, enough that it had to be cut by a professional. Said professional went into a quick, intense labor during my incompleted 80's hair maintenance. I'll save the details for another post, but laboring women leave me feeling endorkened, with  fear and a sense of unfinished business.
    Anyway, I got a couple shots, and the laptop has been converting raw files all night, and Lily Saddler arrived. Yeah. the baby came shortly after I took this picture. Actually I got a few shots of Jenny wincing with contractions. I'll ask If I can display them in my public photos. I have never been around for the birth of a baby. and I am excited. It occurs to me I can abandon this slow, laboring laptop, run over to the Women's Center, and get some shots of cheesy, eye-boogery, howling perfection. I am going to teach her how to fly fish.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Imitating My Father.


This Is What I Do In the Bathroom..., originally uploaded by use2blost.     
Bigger

Love. Big, broad topic. Posted on it a few times...I'll try not to do it again for a little bit, so here goes:

     Love.
     The kind  patient thing. More important than the really impressive stuff, like speaking in angelic languages, or foretelling the future. Superior to faith and hope.  1st Corinthians 13 is probably the definitive passage on love. Paul explains it in detail. Paul doesn't mention (in this passage) that it's the only way to imitate God. The only way you can intentionally imitate God is by loving.
     Unless you can walk on water.
     Or sling together a space-time continuum, like our mascot.
     Imitating is not to be confused with resemblance. Imitating is better.  We resemble our Father, we are an image of him. There are things about you that are inexplicably beautiful, for this reason. Looking like Daddy is cute, but it's nothing compared to putting Daddy's hat on or grabbing Daddy's briefcase, and swaggering through the doorway, a tiny little voice intoning dadspeak over the shoulder as baby wanders off. That's even cuter. I guess that's my love angle. Imitating Jesus. Cuz I can do that. Some days I can even do it well.
    Often, I'm sadly lacking patience, kindness, spiritual fruitiness. I'm experienced at keeping track of your screwups, and of the times you've hurt me. Yadda yadda. I sometimes rejoice in injustice or the bad fortune of others...and I'm hoping y'all do too, or I'm even worse than I thought.
     I hope my failure to measure up to the standard I hold is a human condition, not a personal failing.

Perhaps agape sojourned here for 33 years, visiting from another world, the only place it occurs naturally. Perhaps love left a picture. Maybe we are just trying to sketch the photograph we have been given. Perhaps some of us sketch better than others.

    My love is bad. However, I can sometimes for a few moments, on a situational basis, imitate Jesus. I have these occasional episodes of shining excellence. I pull it off and you are amazed, or impressed, or converted. Andy Stanley talks about not having to ask a question, because he knew what his father was going to say, because he knew his father that well. There perhaps is a point where we reach an intuitive understanding of God's character (Only the tip of the iceberg...), and can begin to practice the imitation of God. This is probably where I should concentrate. Not on a bar set impossibly high by myself, my denomination, or the pulpit I sit in front of.
     There are I times when I know what he wants me to do. I can look back and spot these times. Practice lets me recognize them as they occur.Sometimes courage lets me seize the moment, sometimes fear drives me to scurry past it. As always, repetition promotes competency...and that other stuff, the spiritual fruit.

More about love @ Bridget's

About the photo:
I practice my hubris. I flex my chutzpah. This is my first attempt at staging a concept. Since it is the easiest room in the house to convert into a ghetto lighting studio, I do some strange things in the hall bathroom, but this takes the cake. I am hugely surprised...Twelve layers processed in PS elements, and Dynamic Photo. Everything except yours truly is taken from the Hubble website, and nope, I'm not wearing any panties!. I plan to post in a blog carnival thing on love and I've never done it before...the angle I intend to explore is love as an imitation of God....sort of  "in His image..." speculations. Thus, a visual pun.
For the ghetto lighting group...I'm standing in my bathroom perpendicular to the mirror using onboard flash, which was evidently aimed right at my tattoo.



Monday, December 28, 2009

Jack


Jack relaxing in the sun, originally uploaded by use2blost.

I felt my back catch, as I tried to stretch the kink out of it...that feeling that another quarter inch would take me down and have me in bed for twenty four hours, desperate for steroids and a visit to my chiropractor. I winced and began to move a little more gingerly as I shuffled about this morning, planning the death of my dog. I was up late (after midnight) and up early (5 0'clock, baby.)I am tired. Now I write, the voice demands it, and I wait for Debbie. Momma wants to go. She wants to take her puppy to the vet, and probably keep an eye on me. I am keenly aware that I am fallen, my world is broken, and only love redeems these things. Today is a bad day. Today as I see Jack struggle and wonder if I waited too long, I know there is something wrong with the world, I remember with embarrassment a casually caustic, irreverent prayer on the 23 of October. Cast upward on the smoke of the blogosphere, a gauntlet in the face of my God.

For over two more months, Jack seemed to bounce back. He regained his feet, and began to hold food down again, though it grew increasingly difficult to find items to tempt him. He seemed an old, decrepit, easily tired version of himself, following daddy around, waiting for me to stop so he could lay down in whatever room we were in. There has been a slow but noticeably decline that grew exponentially worse the last 36 hrs. I know he shall not bounce back from this and after my girlfriend arrives, I will take him down and have him put to death because I love him.

I feel like it is my responsibility. For over a decade If I was near Jack, and looked at him, I often found him with his attention fixed upon me waiting to see if I desired a companion for whatever endeavor was in the wings. He forgave quickly, except for maybe the baths...and would avoid me if I was showing my ass. He ate what we had, housebroke like no dog I'd ever known, and defended his territory with ferocity once we had women and children to protect.

The master/dog dynamic has a few disturbing concepts, analogous to the Creator/creature relationship. Master understands things so far above the dog's level, there is no point even trying to convey the Master's understanding. Sometimes master denies things to doggie, for good reasons doggie doesn't understand. Master get lots more enjoyment over a dog that comes when he's called, than a dog that is always leashed, and under thumb (or at least this master does). I cannot imagine letting Jack continue to suffer. Why does God handle his pets differently ?

That was quite an ordeal. I've never put my Dog to death before.

I'm gonna have a few beers, and dig a hole. And BTW...my left-handed prayer, uttered when I first planned to kill my dog, was over two months ago. Thank you, Lord.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Pidgin Bible


Overgrown, originally uploaded by use2blost.
Is an interesting translation...

Da Boss Above, he take care me,
  Jalike da sheep farma take care his sheeps.
  He goin give me everyting I need.

He let me lie down wea da sweet an soft grass stay.
  He lead me by da water wea I can rest.

He give me new kine life.
  He lead me in da road dat stay right,
  Cuz I his guy.


Is that not the coolest thing? You can check it out Here 
I stumbled over it on this guy's blog

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Reflections


Debbie Shows Love, originally uploaded by use2blost.
     I think on love often. The Character of God. My Savior. Patient, kind, conveniently forgetful of my wrongs, and blindly optimistic about my character. He hopes and believes all things about me. This Friday, Christmas morning, I am thinking about love since I intend to post on it in a day or three... and I am at the Houston County detention center. This is a repeat of  Thanksgiving morning. My girlfriend's youngest son is in jail, visitation is especially important on these days and of course free ranging family and friends must be connected with also. This demanding day makes it a good idea to visit our prisoner first. I'm not even allowed back to see him (I'm not on the list...possibly because I threw the young man out of my house some time ago.)
     Thanksgiving Day I rode down with Debbie, on our way to dinner with her family, and walked around outside the jail and sat in the car as she saw her son through a piece of glass. It was actually not a terrible day for her. Her son had been in for a few days, and the shock had worn off. My Debbie is a coper, a survivor, and this young man has given her a lot of practice...the shock wears off quicker now. Thanksgiving morning everyone also expected Kalan to get out soon, so this was just something that sucked a lot, but we would get have him home for Christmas. It was not as rough as it could have been, for those of us outside. We found out later he would not quite make it home by Christmas, but he would be out by the 29th. That was too bad, and the holiday spirit at Debbie's house got a little more blue.
     My Baby loves with a heart to melt icebergs, and when something like this happens, she shoves the additional pain deeper and tries to be herself for the rest of us... other kids, grandkid, and boyfriend.
     I guess Wednesday, we found out Kalan is scheduled to remain incarcerated for several months, and Debbie's spirits plummeted. Christmas Eve was bad. Debbie has to work 7 to 7 today so I rode to Perry with my littler baby to visit her brother, providing moral support, and the gaining the pleasure of worrying about how she drives on wet pavement.
     It is cold and wet, so I am inside. Thinking about love. This is my first time in the building. The guards did not want me to take pictures, and I've been on the other side of the glass before, so I'm not gonna argue. I’m thinking about love, and wondering if Starbucks is open…Somebody that loves me gave me a 4 day job. I was broke until 4:30 Christmas eve, and would love to get some Starbucks cards for the kids, and nieces that I’ll see in a few hours. Debbie would probably love some Starbucks, later as well. Sometimes, on days like Christmas, the ER can get a little bit sporty. Debbie loves a treat like coffee, about eight hours into her twelve hour shift. I think about love as I notice the traffic, here at the Houston County detention center. Twelve people shortly after nine o’clock. Here to see their prisoner on Christmas morning. I'm thinking about drama, heartbreak and aggravation, I'm remembering Douglas John Hall- "God's problem is not that God is not able to do certain things. God's problem is that God loves. Love complicates the life of God as it complicates every life."
     I'm thinking about love and going to see my Aunt Judy in the nursing home later, and my friend that lost his job Monday because of office politics and a bad economy. I think about the baby to be born any day now... a little girl named Lily, and the puppies I suspect inhabit the womb of my bitch, Suzie. (Gotta love an unexpected litter of puppies. oops.). Love is our benchmark. Boards. The Exam for How Well You Live, or your spiritual development.
      Yes.
      Anytime you want to check your spiritual GPA, you just take the love test. God has left copies of it laying around all over the universe. You can find one. How well do you love? or, since that's none of my business how well do I love? This is what I'm thinking about now, back at the ranch. or back at the split-level, with the 3/4 basement and a moisture problem.
     Mysterious.
     Paradoxical.
     Noun. Verb.
     The Character of God.
     Love. Exactly what the hell is it? Am I any good at it?
     Tonight I will spoon on the couch, with a tired, marvelous, green-eyed blonde, and watch a movie with a hot cup of raspberry zinger, a bag of buttered popcorn on the side. I will think about love and be amazed. I will be warm, full, and lost in a sea of drowsiness and contentment. I may snore a little, from time to time. I have it worse than many, but better than so many more.
     Who am I?
     I think on love often.

     Merry Christmas, and special blessings to those of you who stroke the traffic whore in me, with your pageviews, and the wonderful comments that make me feel honored.  Special thanks as well, to those who visit the prisoners...in cells, beds, and broken lives. Thank you to my brothers and sisters who have brought me a cup of cold water in the name of love incarnate.

     Merry Christmas, and thank you Debbie,
     You are patient, kind, conveniently forgetful of my wrongs, and blindly optimistic about my character. You hope and believe all things about me. You even let me write about your personal stuff. You look kinda like a really hot Jesus. You make an A+ on the Love Test baby, in every way. May your thirst be quenched.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Where's that little Jewish kid?


Where's that little Jewish kid?, originally uploaded by use2blost.
     Actually, that title is misleading...any Roman soldiers around on the night of Jesus's birth would have been an unrelated matter, as far as anything in reality can be said to be unrelated to Jesus... The massacre of young Jewish boys happens later, after Herod put two and two together...and realized the Magi had blown him off. But that first dude on the left looks mean, baby. He wasn't drafted. He was a volunteer.
Larger

      I sometimes to hunger to write. It helps to quiet the voices, if I write about the right thing. There is no rhyme or reason to what the voices want. It can be anything. Writing for school usually doesn't satisfy this need (the paper on homosexuality, and the one on Rose Hill were exceptions.) Sometimes the writing seems to flow, and of course sometimes the well is dry. Though satisfying the voices is mysterious and  unconnected to factors like ease or significance, what stirs them up is easier to figure out.
      Often it is simply the passage of time. We must let our pet/demon out to play, or it whines. A kind of literary blue balls, the need to release the buildup of thoughts, that my spirit interprets as stress.
     Stress.
     Pain.
     Any discomfort intense enough to arouse special notice stimulates the questions, theories, and speculations as well as the undercurrent of babble. (It sounds like I'm a nut, doesn't it?) There is never a directive to put on a black duster and go shoot folks... The voices never claim to be God, or Lucifer, and thankfully they never tell me I am God or Lucifer. (Sometimes I wonder "was that you, Lord?", and obviously I will sometimes entertain the notion that it comes from the other guy.)
     When did the habit of journaling for mental health reasons become addiction? And why is there such a strong link between pain and creativity?
      It is written that God is love. The Biblical history shows that Love begets love, and the prerequisite of free will guarantees pain for the creator. It is inevitable. Of course there is delight, and much joy in creation (some say they are "not creative" and they are wrong. They just haven't found it, it's there. They are an image of a creator, after all.) but maybe as we display the "Imago Dei".... God's image, the link between pain and creativity is simply the way things are. A price that is non-negotiable. The stones scattered liberally through the rich soil of creativity come with the territory. As we plow this field, they are simply something that must be dealt with. Is this a picture or the way things are? Is it an insight, through which we garner a deeper, wordless (ha ha) familiarity with the Ancient of Days?

      I'm wanting to step into portraiture, and/or professional photography. Twice this year, The pressures of a commercialized Holiday season have led clients to conclude painting can wait.
      "We're gonna have to reschedule, Chris."
     Shit. You're killing, me. You're making me want to write.
      Shooting kids for money would come in handy LOL.The going rate around here seems to start at about 80 bucks for a house call, and it begins to get complicated quickly. There are charges for prints, editing, ect. Furthermore, It is field populated by small independent parties. Not the most fertile ground for friendly advice...about business practices, or surprisingly, technique. I'm getting better. A half a dozen times I've been told my pictures are worth money, and  lately I am making a conscious effort to gain experience shooting people. I wonder if there is a niche for a local photographer who simple deals in files...and leaves printing to the client, who can shop around for the best deal?
    Well. Finals are happening right now, I just found my bathroom full of water, and my transmission went out. But the he voices are a little quieter, now. Maybe I can get something done. 1 paper, 1 comprehensive exam on the structure of American government. Two more hurdles to go...If I have to drop out of school, I'm leaving with a 4.0.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Whoah.


Whoah., originally uploaded by use2blost.



I didn't know my software could do this...this may seem stupid in a day or two, but I'm tickled right now. This is an old file...taken with an old, crappy camera. You actually have to slap it hard three or four times to get it turned on. Anyway, I was sick of studying.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Going to Hell.



Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
(NIV, 1st Corinthians 6:9-11)
Chris, have any thoughts on the "washed" part? I call myself a Christian yet I drink more than my wife thinks I should. Why haven't I been washed of the desire to drink? Greed, I would rather put money in my bank account than give it to a church (don't attend), yet I don't mind sharing with the guy who has the 'will work for food' sign. "...will not inherit the kingdom of God.." does this mean I am going to hell? Didn't Noah dring alot?
     This is a written reprimand against denominations. (my first heresy of the day!) the other stuff is incidental, and I myself will place the words in red before the words of Paul, and I don't believe that ongoing sin causes us to lose favor with God. Ya know, I don't read Greek or Hebrew (I've actually got some curriculum laying around, for when I get caught up...when I got it the first glance was intimidating :D), but your average churchy fella will probably say that this refers to our being "cleansed" of sin. There are lotsa verses people quote. I like "as far as the east is from the west." Quite a few Christians I have talked with teach that God does not even remember our sin (This is total bullshit...as Andy Stanley observes, if this were the case, every sermon that mentioned David nailing Bathsheba would leave God puzzled, and disoriented...divine Alzheimer's.)      Another popular doctrine is that we must ask for forgiveness each time we sin, in spite of the fact that Jesus died for every sin, past present or future. There are a dozen posts just in that concept alone...thanks for the fodder.           God has not removed your desire to drink. I don't know that he ever will. I predict if you continue to drink, the desire will become more entrenched. If we wanna go on a doctrinal acquisition foray through the Gospels, we find an interesting take on what mainstream religianity calls substance abuse.
  •       There is a serious party that has run out of the most popular drug of choice for that culture and that time.
  • Jesus's  Ma nudges him about this (she must think it's a problem...furthermore, she seems to think he can fix it and his first miracle, according to some, hasn't happened yet)
  • Jesus responds with an irritated "so what, Ma...you ain't the boss of me anymore"
  • Mary ignores him and tells servants to do whatever he says. ( Have you ever told your Mom you didn't wanna do as she asked, and she just acted like you never spoke? Mary invented this technique. I always forget, as this point in the story, Mary has got to at least  be in her early forties.
  • I've been to large weddings. When a large wedding has been drunk dry, their are a few serious buzzes stumbling around.
  • In spite of this, Jesus miraculously manufactures between 120 and 180 gallons of wine.
  • It's better than anything that has been drank so far that day/evening. (When Jesus makes drugs, he makes 'em good. You would expect no less.)
  • This takes us to a spiritual place the average Baptist (or any 'Alcohol Bad!' denominational) cannot bring himself to visit...Jesus has "kept the party going" with over 100 gallons of badass hooch when several people have already got a bellyful. This is recreational drug use.
     I get a few unconventional doctrines out of this.
  1. Obviously, Alcohol is not a sin.
  2. Quite possibly, getting mildly ripped upon occasion is viewed benevolently by God. Let it be so.
  3. It's okay to get irritated with your mother. Do what she asks, anyway.
Of course, Alcoholism is real. Will bite your ass. Just ask my ex wife.
     As to greed, IMO greed is not a have/don't have characteristic for most of us. It is a question of how much you got, and what form does it take. If you will give to a homeless guy, you must have a nugget of compassion, or guilt, or something buried in that little heart of yours. :)
    We know Noah got shitfaced at least once, we don't know if Noah drank a lot. I feel safe in assuming he didn't drink enough to be a fuckup.We all have a point where enough alcohol or any recreational drug for that matter, begins to degrade the quality of our life. I assure you that if we have begun to notice it, significant damage has already been done. There are places where "Hell" refers to the Jerusalem town dump, in the red ink, no less. There are references to the "Lake of Fire". Neither is a good spot to aim for, I would imagine. There is no place I know of where Jesus said "This is how to stay out of Hell"
     Religianity will detail things you must do to obtain what they call "The Free Gift Of Grace", which seems a contradiction to me, but I am a heretic. They will list ways you must feel, motives you must have, and even a chant you must utter, as in "repeat after me, to get saved".
     I don't think they quite grasp the reality of unmerited favor. I don't think you are going to hell.

     
Anonymous,
     I would like to mention a couple things.
     More than once, your comments have been sad. You drink. I don't know how much you drink, but drinking and sadness can precipitate a helluva nasty spiral and you know this, though it is easy to forget. If your wife has a problem, You have a problem. Period. Love comes with complications. Also, I've never met a wife who thought her husband drank too much....who was wrong about it. Your wife is afraid. Do something. These things don't go away and they will contribute to your sadness. And we know what sadness will contribute to, in a man who likes to catch a buzz. Be very careful.
    

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holding Up Well for 137 Years Old

     Rose Hill Cemetery was founded in 1840 on 65 acres of land nestled next to the Ocmulgee River on the north side of Macon, GA. The cemetery serves as the final resting place for thousands of people. There are over a thousand confederate soldier graves located in the cemetery; there are also graves for three GA governors, 31 mayors, and several senators/congressmen. Several notable entertainers are buried in the cemetery as well. (taken from the cemetery website)

     I was assigned Rose Hill Cemetery, in Macon Georgia to give an informative speech on out of a list of twelve local historic sites. I must accompany myself with a slideshow. I need seven minutes.
I got out there yesterday afternoon after giving the neighbor's prodigal grandson a ride. (grandma has thrown him out). The Afternoon sunlight, bouncing off of autumn leaves was amazing, but I was pressed for time, trying to beat the darkness. Rather than break out a tripod, and go for one of those Ultra-clear, You-can-go-swimming-in-me pictures, I shot all of my brackets by hand, or propped/wedged against gravestones or whatever. I wanted to get lots of statues, and I would shoot a few brackets before quickly moving deeper into Macon's largest garden and graveyard.
I had forgotten how neat sunbursts, sunbeams and such are and may have overdid it. Moderation isn't my strong suite.


     I just really started loving the whole sunburst thing and probably am lucky I didn't cook my eyeball, trying to outdo myself:


Dazzled by the Late Afternoon Sun, originally uploaded by use2blost.
     I even tried a new thing... the Orton Effect, which as far as I can tell is basically a hallmark flavor :)


Orton ears a ooh., originally uploaded by use2blost.

     You like? I don't know if I like it or not.
     Evidently, musicians are more popular than politicians (This does not surprise me). I'm told the most visited spot in Rose Hill is a little fenced in area that holds the remains of Duane Allman and Barry Oakley. I'll ask you to forgive this picture. I have no speedlites, and almost never am willing to use onboard flash, so these brackets are shot as night photos (It was getting dark) and edited within an inch of their lives, to pull this one HDR out of them. I really wanted to capture the inscription...


Legendary Troubadours, originally uploaded by use2blost.

     And the engraving of the guitar. I never noticed the inscription on my previous visits, in the last millineum. The two graves were not always fenced in. In my youth, you could go sit right next to them and many did. It was something of a tradition to smoke a fattie (blunts weren't invented yet...and 22% hydro was not a mexican mafia industry. The only people in the world back then with that kind of doobage were the botanical savants, those burned out High Times! subscribers who became marijuana rain men,  master breeders driven by their ever increasing tolerance. Yeah. this was a long time ago), and then cast the roach upon the grave of the musical legend... (and I would like to say, I have never done this...I don't know why I never noticed the inscription as a child) and drift in the grooviness for a few respectful moments.
I LOVE BEING ALIVE AND I WILL BE THE BEST MAN I POSSIBLY CAN. I WILL TAKE LOVE WHEREVER I FIND IT AND OFFER IT TO EVERYONE WHO WILL TAKE IT. SEEK KNOWLEDGE FROM THOSE WISER AND TEACH THOSE WHO WISH TO LEARN FROM ME.
     Is the inscription on the lid of Duane Allman's burial vault. I have no earthly idea who wrote this. The Consensus seems to attribute it to Duane possibly taken from "This year I will be more thoughtful of my fellow man, exert more effort in each of my endeavors professionally as well as personally. Take love where ever I find it, and offer it to everyone who will take it. In this coming year I will seek knowledge from those wiser than me and try to teach those who wish to learn from me. I love being alive and I will be the best man I possibly can." It seems after nearly four decades of my Half-Asian roots plunging ever deeper into redneck soil, I have had a spiritual awakening. As I struggled to make out the faded writing below the engraved guitar, I found my sinuses beginning to sting, and my eyes grew damp. Duane was rated as the Number 2 Greatest Gutarist of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine, between Jimi Hendrix, and B.B. King.
     We all hear the voice of our Creator, though we may never recognize it. Sadly, some never act on the voice of wonder. Some of us address specificities in our destiny to further the Redemptive work of God. Others may simply author works of beauty, throwing offerings on the scales of God's Glory, doing their part to insure that the ugliness and evil is outweighed by beauty and goodness. My guitar professor, at Georgia Southern told me that the pentatonic blues scale is the first one an arising civilization develops, that the blues are indelibly tatooed into humanity. Perhaps that is why visitors stroll past the graves of statesmen and legislators as I did, and pause instead at Duane Allman's grave, to  pay homage to a simpler man, so full of music it spilled out of him. We know when such talent is sealed away by the untimely, early twenties death of virtuosity, that we have suffered a casualty. A blow has been struck by the other side.

BTW...If you're interested in untrained photographers, or bored, or you love me... you can see the other cemetery pics here.  Every picture you click generates traffic stats for me. Hint.

Saturday, November 21, 2009



I got a link to some horror shorts off a twitter contact...I'll have to link him later. I am pleasantly surprised. I Didn't know this stuff existed. I have watched several of them...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Stars In His Eyes,


Stars In His Eyes, originally uploaded by use2blost.
     Naivete in his heart.
     History and Political Science have been an embarrassingly rude awakening to me. I knew about slavery, of course, and you would have to have lived on the moon to not realize we took a big dump on the Indians. Somehow, I still thought we were fairly well behaved as a nation. It seems this is not the case. I realized we had migrated away from the vision of government our forefathers held, but I had no idea the level of blatant self interest voter apathy permits in our elected officials. I had never reflected on the truth that a selfish, fearful population is the one most easily manipulated. I find myself alarmed, but try to keep in mind I am like a emotional savant, with childish expectations of virtue, and a petulance born of growing up in what counts for poverty in the one of the most prosperous countries in the world. I find myself considering political issues, and wondering at a lasting solution. It seems to me, probably the best thing we could do to straighten out politics would be to eliminate the middleman. The selfishness of the general population creates more than enough chaos. We want what serves us best, and to hell with the other faction. This makes the American Public easy to manipulate, and the political machine, which to me seems to include business, government, and organized religion, grows in wealth and power by siphoning these off of the American people. Most of us seem to realize that the roofies has worn off...we even know who is screwing us. We just can't seem to reach enough lucidity to do anything about it. A platform of specific reforms would be lengthy, and probably impractical after the editing required to get a huge grass roots movement to all agree on it. Perhaps just a few things at a time, is the ticket. we could chisel away at the problem rather than specific symptoms. I think the election process needs to be more about competency than money, and the name recognition /media exposure the money purchases. So from now on, no reporting on elections. every candidate gets equal time, his voting record on past issues is published, and media coverage is limited to live rhetoric or debate. Please do not analyze the candidates for us. We wanna grow up and learn to do it ourselves (I feel like I've been asleep).
     I also think election campaigns should have a cap on spending. If we remove the need to compete for campaign contributions, the public interest will begin to have the same clout as the corporate interest, and citizens will be as important as lobbyists. And we pay them too much. Pay them less, and make them utilize public health care. They'll come up with a great plan, overnight. I promise. My little pea brain thinks this would completely change the political climate of America.

About the picture... I seldom go to the trouble to take a self portrait, but insomnia can take you out of your comfort zone. The right eye is A star similar to our sun that has exploded, and the left eye is The Orion Nebula, both taken by the Hubble Telescope and gathered from the Hubble website. Airbrushing them into my irises with Photoshop Elements, was the last thing I did after processing my mug. The HDR was done with Mediachance Dynamic Photo. I tried a little bit of burning, on my wrinkles, to add some mileage.

as to lighting, this was taken in the bathroom with me sitting on the counter opposite the mirror, which has a fixture across the top holding 6 bulbs. for this shot, a couple of the bulbs are unscrewed. It definitely qualifies, so I submitted it to the ghetto lighting pool.

Art


04, originally uploaded by An Pu Ruo.
Imitates life? This is expected to break the record when auctioned. It is mildly amazing to me. I must show my lack of culture. It is entitled Benefits Supervisor Sleeping
This is my rebuttal..though, I gotta say, I just haven't hung naked women on my walls in decades. Other Couches, other nude women .
Beware. Merkley is a... umm liberal photographer. .if you find this woman attractive...she looks nothing like these others.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mirkwoood....


Mirkwoood...., originally uploaded by use2blost.
     Twenty five years ago I was asked to leave high school. I had committed an offense (Not particularly bad, I thought.), and my Father was called to the school. Not for the first time.The closed door was unusual. My father and the principal on one side, and me on the other.
     My father had been abandoned by my mother. He already had a few issues going on, and a wayward 17 year old is difficult to handle in a healthy family environment. (I suspect he may have gone bat for me, but taken the walk, so to speak. I know he was tired.) Afterward, we never discussed the interview. I was relieved. From my seventeen year perspective, I had escaped without consequences.
      I was smart. My career as a slayer of brain cells was picking up speed, but heyWTF? I had plenty. At this time in Georgia a dropout could take the GED exam, period. Classes were offered, but not compulsory like they are for teenagers today. The Friday they threw me out of school as a sophomore, I got my GED and registered for college classes. Or a college class. English 101. My father took it too. He got a B. I got an A. Oorah. This was working out pretty good. I had kicked Dad's ass...and he was happy about it. It seemed the whole issue of me being unable to hold a job had fallen by the wayside, and I was a grown up college student.
This didn't last long... the following semester I flunked out of Macon State. Then West Georgia. Then I rallied at Georgia Southern, and began to learn about Bullshit classes. Mountaineering. White Water Rafting. Scuba. Also, at this point, I could occasionally show up in a real class and perform. I would make like A, A, F. Or A, B, F. Or F, F, B. You could limp along for a while, if your mother paid cash. Mom had a guilty concience, and a new Christian husband.
      I seemed to not get the hang of life, and though some of this is not my fault, I freely admit the larger part of this was simply a lack of character. I've been working on it.
      Today, as a transfer student, I wish to enter the nursing program at Macon State with a GPA of 3.64. Macon State, where I could walk to some of my classes, denies me financial aid, based on academic performance. When I was seventeen. This seems a little hardcore, to me. I coulda cleared a felony off my record by now. It will cost me several thousand dollars more over the course of my education to attend an out-of-town school. I will probably need another vehicle, and I am scared. Plus, this problem comes as a result of being a screwup, so it makes me feel bad. I am puzzled. The money comes from the same place. The school I attend now mails me stuff telling me I have kicked academic booty...and for fifty dollars an organization of greek letters will even put a big stamp on my transcript. I shit you not. (I'm still thinking about that.)
Anyway, that's my gloomy, whiny rant. Waah.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Heresy, Part II


Shrooms by a Pear Tree    Large
Originally uploaded by use2blost

Okay, I am probably not gonna have another 'to be continued...' blogpost. The pressure was horrible. Plus, thinking about Part II made me wonder if Part I sucked. It was totally different from posting and forgetting about it. Not good. And fair warning, BTW. This is a post on theology. It may be boring... and is contrary to what I have been taught in Church.

So, to recap Part I (actually, this will be much easier to follow, with a couple points I forgot to mention.)
  1. Much Church doctrine comes out of the epistles.
  2. I believe this is a bad Idea.
  3. The Apostolic Writer's Alliance (Peter, John, James, The Unknown Author of Hebrews, and of course, Paul) are surely special, and men to be taken seriously, but they should not be confused with Jesus.
  4. The Bible, in many ways idolized by mainstream evangelicals and put on a higher plane than Jesus himself, makes clear that even Church Fathers are capable of grave misjudgment. This is a clear distinction from Jesus, who never botched it.
  5. Jesus was God. They weren't. Why in the hell would somebody view their words with equal authority?
In Acts chapter 15, when Peter and the Boys hold palaver on the Issue of Making Gentiles Cut Off Pieces of Their Penises, they draft a letter for Paul's posse to carry back to the newbies explaining it was a false alarm. Which is all good. Nobody today seriously thinks you have to be circumcised to Go to Heaven.

But there is verse that catches my eye.
For it seemed best to the Holy Spirit and to us 88 not to place any greater burden on you than these necessary rules: 89 15:29 that you abstain from meat that has been sacrificed to idols 90 and from blood and from what has been strangled 91 and from sexual immorality. 92 If you keep yourselves from doing these things, 93 you will do well. Farewell.
Now, as they saying goes "Did it ever occur to you, that nothing occurs to God?"

Think about it. You're Peter. This means you are :
  1. Headstrong, and Transparent, and prone to making sure your ass is covered.
  2. A good Jew.
  3. You're also The Pope. Yeah. A Jewish Pope.
You are a Jerusalem Rock Star. A redneck fisherman, you hung with Jesus, and You have healed people miraculously in public. More then once, the bible portrays you as having a defective filter between your brain and your mouth. Now if this man hears audible direction from God, in an environment where such things were known to happen, He says "God told me that was WRONG." he doesn't use the word "seems".

It is from the Epistles that we get much of the doctrine regarding marriage, sexual morality, treatment of divorcees, treatment of homosexuals, and what to tell people about about the Good News That You Go To Hell If You Don't Believe What We Believe. If we rank scripture hierarchically, placing the speech of Jesus at the top, followed by His canon (The Old Testament), then the epistles, we can construct and entirely different set of protocols for how the church should behave about these matters. My point is that getting doctrine from the pulpit, is contrary to Jesus' directive in Matthew:
23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 23:2 “The 1 experts in the law 2 and the Pharisees 3 sit on Moses’ seat. 23:3 Therefore pay attention to what they tell you and do it. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they teach. 4 23:4 They 5 tie up heavy loads, hard to carry, and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing even to lift a finger to move them. 23:5 They 6 do all their deeds to be seen by people, for they make their phylacteries 7 wide and their tassels 8 long. 23:6 They 9 love the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues 10 23:7 and elaborate greetings 11 in the marketplaces, and to have people call them ‘Rabbi.’ 23:8 But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher and you are all brothers. 23:9 And call no one your ‘father’ on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 23:10 Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one teacher, the Christ. 12 23:11 The 13 greatest among you will be your servant. 23:12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

23:13 “But woe to you, experts in the law 14 and you Pharisees, hypocrites! 15 You keep locking people out of the kingdom of heaven! 16 For you neither enter nor permit those trying to enter to go in.
I think a good argument can be made, that we should read for ourselves, and never think we are in a position to decide people should be denied things we have because their moral performance is lower than ours.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Cowards

rapist Pictures, Images and Photos

The will to do the right thing, regardless of personal cost. This is the definition of Character given by Andy Stanley in his book, Louder Than Words. Being a Pastor, he adds, "as defined by God."
Character is the will to do what is right as defined by God, regardless of personal cost.
     -Andy Stanley
 
And then there is:
 You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.
     -James D. Miles

     According to Yahoo! News, Marcelles James Peter, 17 was charged with "rape in concert and sexual penetration with a foreign object." Yeah. Smile for the camera, Peter. The article goes on to inform us:
Peter's aunt, Monica Peter, said before Thursday's hearing that her nephew told her he was only a bystander and didn't participate in the attack. She said he didn't do anything to stop the attack because he feared "he would get his ass kicked."
     The attack lasted +2hours, and was witnessed by as many as 24 people. It was a high school dance. A 15 year old girl went to her homecoming dance and got gang raped. My first read of this this morning, brought forth a caustic, scornful disgust of my gender. Then an attitude of judgment, naturally. I confess to have given a 51% probability of guilt to these young men after the reading of a mass media document. How stupid is that? Of course this is one of those  "Blink" instances that I attribute to the adaptive unconscious. I figure the whole 'penetration with foreign objects' thing kinda eliminates the possibility that Peter was simply standing too close to the action, and a witness got confused. To be honest, that is simply a trackback to support a snap judgment I made. I convicted these boys, and their parents. Uh huh. I gotta deep conviction that if you are willing to gang rape a drunk chick for a couple hours in front of witnesses, you grew up in a shitty family environment. In the South we say "He watn't raised right."
     Now with a couple of cigarettes and some of my world-class coffee under my belt, my Inner Hypocrite is beginning to Hold Forth and I have expanded the list of guilty parties to include You. (OMG).
     Not You, my friend that I love, but You, western society. As a whole, we are not growing in Character.
Look at this. The Bystander Effect
Now look at this. The Milegram experiment
     Please, I'll wait.
     Interesting? Perhaps these are not simply psychological phenomena but fundamental problems with the human condition.
     Defects in the collective level of Character.
     The Heartbreak of God. (Whoah. Where did THAT come from?)
     Maybe these things are our responsibility.  What if we measured the Bystander Effect over generations. What would we see? My own theory is that there is no Status Quo. In physical health, personal development, mental acuity, reaction time, whatever. It all tends to go down hill. Life deteriorates. The Law of Entropy applies to everything. Things tend to diffuse. Not stay together.
     This includes our Shit. As in Getting and Keeping Your Shit together. Shit Creek is one of the deepest philosophical concepts western civilization has developed, and we don't even know who to give credit to.
It's a river. You really can't stay still. If you tread water you go backwards. Ya gotta swim against the current.
     Quit working out, and see what happens. Leave your clubs in the closet for 6 months, and check out your handicap. Take college algebra after a quarter century vacation from math. When we get lazy, things degrade. Social Development is constantly moving backward and forward. I have observed a changing attitude about Hindu Convenience Store Owners, so I know we can change our behavior as a society. LOL you tell me if out attitude toward Hindu shopkeepers is becoming righter or wronger, 'cause I promise it's going one way or the other.
     I just don't know where to begin. I think apathy is the first problem. Remember when Congress voted themselves a pay raise? I was a child, but I felt like there was a bipartisan agreement in the general population that that was bullshit. Was I wrong? I wonder if Congressmen joked in private about getting away with that. They are mostly men still, and I know how men can joke in private about people who they consider dumbasses.  My casual observation is that the Average Bear (including myself) has only a vague notion of how to effect governmental change. We add our name to e mail petitions. I have no idea what that accomplishes, and a growing embarrassment of my ignorance. In Georgia, we have a Regents Exam to make sure you are literate before you can receive a college degree. Isn't that something?
     Well, I didn't mean to get on my soap box...I likes Mile's definition of character better than Stanley's. Mile's standard paints a more flattering picture of me.
    
 





Sunday, October 25, 2009

Heresy. Part I

     Just a thought...A lot of Church Doctrine comes from the epistles. In my mind, Scripture should be weighted selectively. First priority, or the heaviest weight should be accorded to the red ink, the speech of Jesus. From there, I tend to give equal credence to the remainder of the Gospels, and the Old testament as a whole. Lastly, The epistles, and Revelation. My reasoning for this is a little convoluted. Jesus endorses the older writings, and he did rise from the dead, after all. That's a big deal.
     Interestingly enough, Jesus tells the blindly religious:
"You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you'll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me!"
John 5:39, The Message
     Jesus places himself above Scripture more than once (Imagine that!). It's funny. As soon a religion overwhelmed relationship, we began to use Scripture to explain Jesus, rather than Jesus to explain Scripture. When we do this, we get funny.
     We burn witches. And Protestants. And Catholics. And Mormons. We persecute homosexuals. If Church leaders are capable of something as asinine as the Crusades, surely they are capable of a couple of theological errors. Paul, Mr. Gung Ho Off the Freaking Chain, speaks to the fact in 1st Corinthians, when he holds forth on what he and God think about marriage and divorce, making it a point to mention that his ideas and God's are separate. What a concept. I have never  heard any mention of this from a pulpit. Another troublesome verse in Acts speaks tellingly to the fact that even Peter and the Jerusalem Apostle's Association don't know where God stands on doctrine. Peter even goes so far as to put this in writing.
     One passage of Acts tells us a story of some new gentile Christians. They have been relaxing in euphoric generosity (Old school Christians would sell their shit and give the money to the Church to parcel out to the needier Christians), because they don't have to go to Hell and Burn Forever. Hell Yeah! (hell, no?) Of course we love Jesus! Have some money, and lets eat together!
     Often,  just as we are thinking how cool Jesus is some religious guy comes over and has to ruin it. God wanted to make sure we knew this has been happening since the very beginning, as we see from Acts of the Apostles. Some ultraspiritual dudes pop up and tell the newbies "Ah, You need to cut off part of your dick to do this Jesus thing, and not go to Hell and Burn Forever."
     There is naturally a stunned silence. (Ya gotta love Luke. His Gospel, and the Book of Acts are fascinating.)
     The Committee Representing Those Who Read the Bible and Know What God Wants continue: "Not all of it. Just part of it. And not even the most important part. We just want you to cut off the skin that keeps the head sensitive. So sex is more fun. Cut that part off. We had to do it. Don't you love Moses? Jesus did this. Jesus loved Moses."
     This seemed like a big step. These new Christians wanted a second opinion. Even the girls. (I'm sure this was the talk of the congregation, even though Luke doesn't explicitly state this).
     They send Paul's Posse to confer with Peter and The Jerusalem Apostle's Association. (This had to really annoy Paul, who thinks he is an Apostle...good stuff, the Bible.) They Have A Meeting. Never known for verbal restraint, Peter begins to preach.   Then they write a letter. A letter where Peter makes clear that apostolic opinion on doctrine is only that. An opinion. This is special. We'll take a look at the letter next week.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Did you get the shot? Can I quit smiling, now?

I wondered if it was worth it to take a camera on some of the rides. Got this pic with a little samsung about the size of your wallet, when you need the clean the junk out of it. I'm pleased. Would have hated to drop the Nikon. I heard someone repeating " My God, oh, My God, please, please." But Shep's not religious. Maybe  it was someone else.

Doggie Diabetes, and The Decline of Political Character.

     Not necessarily in that order.
     I found an amazing little nugget in my political science textbook. In 1787 the absence of a Bill of Rights was proving to be quite a hurdle in ratifying our Constitution. So the guys who supported the constitution said (This is Chris's paraphrase):
It's all good, dudes. You can go ahead and ratify this baby.We will put in a Bill of Rights. We promise. It's the first thing we'll do. We give you our word.
     The Second Group of Politicians then withdrew their objections, the Constitution was ratified, and The First Group of Politicians did exactly what they said they were going to do.
 This seemed really strange to me.



105 Years Old, originally uploaded by use2blost.  Shot by MY BABY! Detail     

      Jack has got diabetes, I guess. He's also having a helluva time getting around. Soozers, an exuberant  fifty pound muscle covered with black hair, casually slams him around, making his life a little more difficult. Because of the diabetes, Jack drinks constantly and pees all the time. For 15 years Jack has been an immaculately housebroken dog. He is still excellent in this regard, though he can have an accident if I oversleep. When we were both younger and my irresponsibility left Jack between a rock and a hard place, he would hop into the bathtub, and cut loose. (Whatta Dog!) Now hopping into the bathtub is just too difficult. He can still get in there during a thunderstorm (yeah. He's a wimp about thunder.) but a quick hop is out of the question for Jacks old, arthritic ass. Wednesday morning I overslept until six-thirty or so, and Jack pissed on the rug I keep for him to lay on. (Jack is allowed on the bed, unless he needs a bath and I haven't gotten around to it.) Jack is mortified when something like this happens. 
     Another effect of the diabetes is extreme weight loss. Jack is heartbreakingly scrawny, and because of this he is also almost always cold. I've talked to a vet, and was advised to put him on a high fiber diet to slow glucose uptake, and maybe that would help. Jack and Suzy get about the same level of health care that I do, so treatment for Jack's diabetes is gonna be a home remedy and/or euthanasia when things get a little worse. I had my first serious consideration of euthanizing Jack yesterday, while driving. It was an embarrassingly tearful episode with a little bit of snot, too. This could be kinda bad. We really need a success with the high fiber diet. I'm hoping that a heating pad, and half a children's aspirin daily will allow Jack to have a life worth living, until he hopefully dies in his sleep.
    Jack has been my friend for fifteen years. He is just a Damn Good Dog. He understands when you point, to look at what you point at, not your finger.That's a smart dog.  I haven't really asked God for a big favor in about eighteen months. (Dad died while I was carrying divorce papers to my wife, so she could sign 'em. For hours I was like "Papa, hold off on one of these, for a day or two. I never ask you for shit. C'mon. Please? ") I am quite upset about the dog thing. Irrationally, I hope he will handle the Dog thing a little better than the Father thing, and Marriage thing. For the Record, I want Jesus to make my 15 year-old dog gain some weight or kill him in his sleep. If he doesn't mind. Please.


                   


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nice Beginning To a Fall Camping Trip

     I left the battery to the Nikon in the charger. I also did not bring a fishing pole. I ended up buying a rod and reel combo from a Ma and Pa store. Said combo came with what looked like 20lb line. There was no notation on the packaging. Attaching a tiny rooster tail to the ah, rope, I proceeded to catch trout. It was wonderful, one of those times when the fish are biting so well, you begin to think it's YOU. You are a badass. An expert. You can sling a 1/24th oz rooster tail on the end of a freakin' hawser, and catch fish anyway.
     Fishing with this rig is kinda like circumcising with a broadsword. Not just anybody can do it. So I shot this with the little point and shoot, and really like it. The fall colors do it for me, but I'm not gay. The textures of the various lichens and algae on the water-rounded stones, and the scattered autumn leaves tickle my manly fancy. The earth tones, they call out to the  heterosexual outdoorsman within. Too bad I had to shoot it with the low-res fujifilm. I wanted to get it uploaded so I can send the link to some folks I want to make jealous, but that's it. I need to stay off this computer for a couple days.
     Trout fishing is a treat for me. There are no trout where I live, though bream are perhaps a reasonable equivalent, sport-wise. I think it may be the environment. Trout are an oily fish, having oils throughout their body, unlike a whiter fish. Trout are rich in the omega-goodstuff that helps the ticker. These fish generally prefer cooler water, and The local waters around here are like soup much of the year. Usually when I go to North Georgia, it is to hike. As I was leaving this time, Jack my oldest screamed a howling protest. Jack knows what a backpack is for, and my ear and guilty conscience picked up a note of anguished abandonment in Jack's plaintive wail. It occurred to me that I could backpack less, and camp more, until Jack dies. I really don't think it will be long.
     So I changed plans, upgraded a couple items, and threw a second dog in the car, but I forgot my fly rod...and my battery for the Nikon.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Youth, and Bucking the System..


Bucking the system., originally uploaded by use2blost.
I am trying to take mostly conventional portraiture, lately. I wish to hone my skills. Today is the Day, the powers that be have sworn that my financial aid will be in my possession. I await it nervously, sure something will go wrong. There is much I should do, but a lot of time I find myself lost between my ears, thumb inserted in posterior. Not only do I have some overdue bills, But I am desperate to get away to the mountains. Backpacking is my idea of a good time, and once you have your gear, the cost of a getaway is minimal, determined by how much gas you need to get where you're going. However... I've had a bad road trip experience in the past, related to mechanical failure and prefer not to go out of town without a little chunk in the bank. The experience of spending several days in the forest without hearing a machine is a drink of water to my soul. I feel less distracted from God, and usually manage to sort out a thing or two. This happens when I am alone, and last break, I simply did not have the right combination of time off and an empty schedule to get away. I prepare myself for disappointment.
The van reminds me of my time living in Little Five Points, a neighborhood in south Metro Atlanta. I had flunked out of college at 19, and It just really seemed like a good idea to not come home (they have been throwing me out of schools since I was a HS sophomore). Of course, in Little Five the van woulda had a peace sign or two on it. Little Five is THAT place. The place in the city where you can buy crystal (meth), crystals (not meth), Birkenstocks, tie-dyed shirts, nude paintings of artist's tattooed and pierced girlfriends, and LSD. And you can go into a restaurant and get a special meal. One with no animal in it. At all. It was wild. (Not the vegan meal...that whole period of my life.) I went up there for a party and ended up getting an apartment with another dumbass who had flunked out of college, though he was a little older than me. It is amazing, what can seem like a good idea sometimes. The adventure didn't go to well. Moving my roommate's couch in, I found a magazine under the cushion.
The magazine had been folded backwards, probably so the reader (Ha!) could peruse with one hand as he gazed upon the muscular nudity of a blond man with an erection much more impressive than my own. Wow. I stuck it back.
That was the start of my two year attempt to be a grown up. My rent took all of two week's checks and dollar or two of a third. After my roommate fell in love, he moved out and moved in with Micheal. They were both named Micheal. I lost weight. A lot. I had a friend  murdered. I learned a few things about commerce. Acquisition, distribution, profit. I remember a titty dancer got raped outside the apartment one night. (I had forgotten about that...but as I write I can see her face streaked with tears, as we waited for the police.)
Life in Little Five was a struggle, but I had some good times, and quite a few coming-of-age experiences. I want a good job, later so we won't really go into a lotta things about this part of my youth, but the van made me smile. We drove past it Thursday night as Debbie took me to a movie (The Proposal). I ran out the next day, sans tripod, and shot these with the Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm, resting the long-ass lens on my vehicle windowsill.
I'm gonna go check my account.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Photogenic or not ?


Photogenic or not, originally uploaded by use2blost.                                                           Larger.  

Photographableness is a linear umm...continuum. Everybody is somewhere on this scale. (This is just a theory... welcome to my thought process.) I photographed these kids twelve times. It seemed to me, in terms of who turned out the coolest, it was Tall Chick, M&M, and Redcoat. In that order... consistently in 3/4 of these shots. The photogenic level of these kids seems to be tightly grouped, but sometimes it's exagerated. One kid can come out relatively horrible compared to the others, even though he/she may be the cutest one. It's funny. Do we all know a Johnny Badpicture, and a Jane Goodpic? Or is this just some crap I feed myself? and if photographableness is a valid concept, what is it?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My stuff is weird.


The Stronger of the Two., originally uploaded by use2blost. Larger

My photography, that is. I like it, but it is overedited by conventional standards. (Actually, maybe my writing is weird, as well. My url is not a hard one...a couple family member expressed some curiosity, but I have never gotten any feedback.) So. Back to the weird photography. Nobody wants you to take weird pictures of their kids, spouse, or wedding. ( some of my friends are weird, :D And I've shot their kids lol... that'll turn up in a google search.).Excellence is a plus, distinctive style doesn't hurt even, but generally, no weirdness in a paid portrait photographer.
Yeah.
Paid.
I've become aware that portrait photography pays a little better than painting and carpentry (not always, but often) and the equipment is not as heavy. In view of this, and the fact that I always get enormous enjoyment whenever I shoot an event for Theophilus Ministries, I thought I might brush up on my 'normal' skills.

Curious.
LARGER
Eh? Normal?

Or this one.

Hoping for a french fry.
Larger

I grabbed these going through the drive-thru at Checkers, and did not attempt to shoot HDR brackets. I just tried to shoot what I saw. It was fun. Now I just need someone who can't afford a wedding photographer (Like my younger self), for a little practice.

I was also desperate to post...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Drumroll, please...




Got my first award, from Jody, @ Take me as I am . That's it up there. Nice, huh?
So there are some non-obligatory obligatories (Jody said it was optional.):

Thanks to Jody, for my honorable mention...BTW I pasted the code into my sidebar. It looks good on the black background, doesn't it?
and here is the optional list of seven things about myself people might not know:

One: I was born abroad.

Two: I was in my mid-thirties before I ever voted. I still find politics very distasteful ( I'm trying to grow up into an attitude of responsible activism, but it is hard, for a recovering cynic.)

Three: Because of  my religious views, I qualify as a heretic in every Christian denomination that I know of.

Four: I love to spend the night alone on a mountaintop in bad weather, even though this makes me afraid.

Five: I dream of making a huge difference in the world, even at my age...{blush}

Six: I have seen ghosts, with my own eyes. Actually there have been four instances in my life of forty two and a half years, where I have been situated at places where the fabric between this universe and another was thin, and abraded. At these times I have encountered things difficult to describe, but the memories provide anchors when my faith falters. When the voice inside tells me I am a superstitious fool, that this world I can see, taste and touch is all that is, I go back to these four milestones, and I know the voice lies.

Seven: I was arrested almost immediately after losing my virginity....and no money changed hands.

I in turn will nominate the following Kreativ Bloggers:
(This is hard...My blogroll is pitiful, and out of date,  I don't read as much as I would like, and am horribly out of touch with the blogosphere, but here goes...)

Brandi, @ Living Freely I've followed her blog since I stumbled across it. It gives me a reference point for faith with hands and feet.
Eva, @ The Square Peg Curiously strong...Eva and her husband Moose  are in my small group. I'm an itsy bitsy blogger, Eva's comments and dropping by her blog remind me of the real world and keep me from occasionally getting a little too crazy in my posting. People I know can see this stuff.
Paul @ Catch the wind Paul's blog is strictly theology, but clearly written, and thought provoking. Don't go there for light reading.
Mama, who is Losin It, stops by with the greatest of timing, putting in two cents on a day when it cheers me up the most. Her blog is one of the first I started lurking around. Her Writer's Workshop is great for stretching the boundaries, and getting a little comment love from the world at large. Don't miss the poetry.

phew. Thought I'd never get all those links done. I've been amazed with school being out, how little time I have to blog and browse. It's also killing me not to upload a picture with my post... ( I didn't wanna detract from my award.) So  here:

Skeeter On Your Ass

Thursday, October 1, 2009

God Don't Speak to Me 'cuz I'm Schizophrenic


Rest In Peace, originally uploaded by use2blost.
I went through a spell where I really wanted to hear God speak to me.
But not anymore.
Our Mayor shot himself in the head Monday. A tragic beginning to an unusual week. I have made an A in Comp II. This is surprising. I was asked to leave high school as a sophomore, and at the time I was failing English, and everything else miserably. Too, In the first grade, Miss Suzuki (I shit you not. That was her name.) told my parents I was retarded.
There was never a formal retraction of this statement from a representative of the educational system.
So there you have it.
Though my mother swore in broken English that this was not the case, I may be a retard. (Don't worry, it's like the 'N-word'...it's politically correct if you are a member of the offended category. I defend my right to use it).
Hell, what was she supposed to say?
We moved from Grand Heights to Yokota Air Base before they could treat my ah, condition, so I never had to actually ride in one of the little buses. (Ironically, now I have a CDL with a passenger edorsement. I can DRIVE the short bus.) At the Base school, I did well, except for scrambling my letters, and writing backward. They sent me twice a week to special class. I guess I was a borderline 'tard. I don't remember special teacher's name, but he had a puppet.
The puppet was named Dooso. (DEW soh).
Dooso was a dolphin, and Mr. Special Teacher would put his arm up Dooso's um...posterior during my special class (It looked like fisting.), and sometimes even in front of the normal kids, for special occasions. (I think Mr. Special Teacher was also Mr. School Mental Health Professional).
A couple times, Mr. Special Teacher would give Dooso a break, and do other things with me. Like shine a light around the room, and ask me to follow it.
Really. In the seventies, that's one of the ways they helped us.

I've really gone off into left field. Sorry.
So my week has been interesting. My amazing grade in English, I attribute to the grace of God, and much exposure to the written word, not the least of which was shown to me by the bloggers I have browsed so much this past year. I am grateful. Academically I have knocked it out of the park this quarter. I can make as low as a 50 on my history final and still pull a 4.0, which is why I am allowing myself to blog at 8:30, two and a half hours before my test.
Anyway, I am no stranger to suicidal thoughts or thoughts about suicide in general, and Mr. Walker's choice is sad to me, and contributed to a strange flavor for my interesting week.I figure anybody thinks of suicide from time to time, (That's what the poll is about) but most of us stop before we walk any distance down that  path, which is what the poll is about( are you getting the hint about the poll?)...
I speculate some people glance in the direction of suicide, and chuckle at their foolishness and move on. Some people pause.Some people pause for a long minute.
Some people pause for a cigarette and a cup of coffee.
Some people go down the path a step.

or two.
or Ten.

You can do any of these repeatedly, and the further down the path you walk, the deeper the understanding as you peer ahead, to the next more desperate level. If you have only been a glance and chuckler, you may be able to relate to Mr. Pause, but Ms. Ten Steps may be a little more different. Harder to identify with. This is a good reason not to judge.

Some people go all the way. Of course, you can only do that once.I've never gone far enough down the path to say how much of that is their fault.

The Nueroskeptic says most people experience mental illness by age 32. My own layman's opinion is that ya got something wrong with you. It's just a matter of  how bad it is. As John Ortberg says "Everybody's normal til you get to know them".


Studying for psychology, I came across this:

Shizophrenia test

According to my psych textbook (Intro to psychology, eighth Ed. James W. Kalat. Thomsom Wadsworth, Belmont Calif.), People with Shizophrenia have difficulty picking the faces out. Yeah. And it took me several minutes.
Really.
So.
There you have it. I'm  probably possibly retarded, and at least a fledgling borderline schizophrenic.( I'm am pullin' a 4.0, however.) Perhaps God doesn't want to add to my confusion, cuz a voice in my head that told me to do some crazy or miraculous shit would surely be confusing and make things a little sporty between these ol' ears.

BTW

I've become a TWIT. Though, Twitter may be stupid...we'll see.

Thinkin' About Jumpin'

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Vampire Hunter sips his coffee,


The Vampire Hunter, originally uploaded by use2blost.
waiting to clock in.

I'm having a few problems with low-light HDR imaging. I like the concept. The building isn't...ugly. The problem seems to be the photographer. I'm not pleased with the shadows on the statue and the ghosting on some of the foliage. Would have liked to keep the sky, but go darker on the grass. It's funny. This is a shot with faked HDR processing:

Riding into the sunset
Larger

looks better, huh? discouraging. :(
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