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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'
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