Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Whole lot of Shaking Going On

(the photo is from my phone. Sucks, I know, but hey. It's easier to get photos to my work computer from my cellphone than from my regular camera.)

Downtown LA has a lot of construction going on. My building has construction projects on two sides and lots more down the street. There's a lot of really big booms as foundation holes are dug/sunk and steel girders placed into position, that sort of thing. In the downtown of a city that's high on the terrorist list it's rather disconcerting.

The other thing that sometimes happens is that there won't be a bang, just low frequency rumbling. Just like when an earthquake starts. That's fun. We haven't had an earthquake of any importance since 1994, but the whole Katrina thing, and how so many people were unprepared, has me really cautious. I have a pretty extensive earthquake kit at my desk. Everyone is supposed to have this stuff at home and work and in the car but hardly anyone does... I have a couple gallons of water, canned food and snack bars, flashlight, batteries, windup radio, change of clothing, backpack, first aid kit, wipes, etc etc... all I can say is hurry up, earthquake, before all this food expires and I have to buy more.

The good part is that a lot of the construction is in the "new urbanism" vein where businesses are on the ground floor with residences above. Next door later this year/early next we'll have a Ralphs supermarket. This will be a godsend for me, because I am terrible at organizing lunch and there's no markets around, so it's either cheap junk or expensive good food. And if there's an earthquake it'll be easy to get there and loot for supplies.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Lucky Trader

I like this photo. It's not clear at all-- it's shot through a sea-spray covered ferry window. But I like The Lucky Trader and how she looks here... mysterious, misty, kind of impressionistic, very Red.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


So, I wanted to reply to Stacey's comment here because Paul as a subject is deserving of more space and exposure.

I don't have a problem with Paul as some have, saying he was a closet homosexual with other issues that he focused on, thus warping the early church and its focus.

My problem is really with Christians, not Paul. He wrote his letters, people saved them. It's not his fault that he's been made into a false god. And he has. Most Christian strains, especially Protestant/Evangelical/Fundamentalist strains, choose to focus on Paul's letters to the exclusion of Jesus and his teachings, and not just Paul, but all the letter-writers. Sure, most Protestant friends of mine have the "Red letter" bibles with the words of Jesus in red to stress how much more important those words are than anything else, but in real life, Protestant/Evangelical/Fundamentalist Christianity is more about Paul and the other letter writers than about Jesus.

We see this in the whole faith vs works argument. It's plain from a thorough and fair reading of Jesus that he was all about the work. He was a man of action. SELL your stuff, FOLLOW me, you'll have treasure in heaven. When I was hungry, did you FEED me? WHen I was in hospital, did you VISIT me? Whatever you DO to the least of them you DO to me. His parables are all about ACTION. It is clear that he is interested in what you DO. Even John's latecoming gospel, when read in context, can clearly be seen in this context of action. But Christianity splits into Catholic/Protestant over an obsessive debate over what Paul wrote in some letters about faith vs works, and Jesus is left standing there, ignored.

Or the idea of not being "unequally yoked." Jesus hung out with everyone, didn't judge people but loved them, and the only people we know he got MAD at were observant priests. But because Paul wrote in one letter about being unequally yoked, it's a major Christian preoccupation. When one person gets religion, often, ironically, they leave their longtime mate because of the unequally yoked thing (I am now sober, they still drink and dont' believe like I do), ignoring Jesus saying that people marry for life...

For another example, take the idea prevalent in Evangelical/Fundamentalist churches that the Man is the Head of the Household and that women should be subservient to their husbands. Now, this is a constantly popular and important issue, and to get support for it, people turn to Scripture. But they don't turn to Jesus, because there's nothing Jesus said on the matter to justify the position. So they turn to Peter. To Paul. To Timothy especially (and Timothy is plainly a terrible reader of Bereshit).

Same with many doctrinal issues. The proofs come from the Letters, not from the Gospels. So we have a religion that claims to follow Jesus but follows his disciples much more closely. If Christianity were built on the Beatitudes and the other red-letter stuff of the gospels, Christianity would be a much different religion.

Anyway. It's all so interesting, I could go on and on, showing you tract after tract where pretty much everything referenced is Letters and not redletter Jesus stuff, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

IDF, Gaza... Oh, Never Mind

I can't even talk about it. Went to Israelisms, read this:

"News Flash: Mother, 4 children killed in IDF strike; IDF cuts Gaza in half.

Discuss..... "
posted by one Adrienne.

Well, that got me going.

[I]t's rather funny. I can imagine her on June 6, 1944: "73,000 American troops Invade French Beach. Hundreds of French Civilians Dead and Wounded. Discuss."

Or July 4, 1976: "Israel Violates Uganda Airspace and Sovereignity. 20 Ugandans, several Arabs and Germans killed. Discuss."

If any other country but Israel had this happening, we'd see none of the restraint, none of the care that Israel is exhibiting. We know full well that the United States and Britain show none of the care that Israel does as far as avoiding 'collateral damage.' I doubt Adrienne really cares, though. Dead Arabs are just an opportunity for more Jew-bashing. Despicable.

Civilians in Gaza keep dying because the motherf*cking terrorists purposely hide like the piece of sh*t cowards they are amidst civilians. And from these positions they lob grenades, direct bombings, and hold captive soldiers, those soldiers lucky enough not to be wholesale murdered.

And what happens to the civilians in Gaza that are injured accidentally while Israel tries to rescue it's soldier before he is savagely murdered? They are often treated in Israeli hospitals. You know DAMN well that folks in Gaza are not treating Israelis with such decency and compassion.

Why can't people get it through their thick idiot skulls that while Israel may accidentally kill civilians while trying to go after terrorists, the terrorists main goal is to KILL INNOCENT CIVILIANS? Why the F*CK is this basic fact impossible for people to understand?

Oh, I remember. When the Israeli military is trying to stop terrorists from killing innocent Israelis and rescue its hostages and they accidentally kill civilians, this is an act of MURDEROUS IMPERIALIST APARTHEID NAZI TERROR.

And Israeli deaths? Oh, they are just not worth getting upset about. They _are_ Jews, you know -- aren't they like 3/5 of a person or something? Israeli deaths (JEWS and the Arabs and Christians who collaborate with them) are perfectly fine. When Israeli children and mothers are slaughtered, it's a LEGITIMATE ACT OF RESISTANCE.

Now can we go back to discussing the parade??

And Charley, this is me ON my medication...

And after reading this again, I think I actually UNDERstated things a bit. I wish I was back on Catalina with my woman.

Monday, July 10, 2006

26 Miles Across the Sea...

So, to celebrate my g/f's 50th birthday I took her to Catalina Island. We had loads of fun but I was sick (still am) so didn't have as much fun as we would otherwise have had.) Here's a shot of where we stayed...


here's the private beach. reefs and big orange fish and stuff.

We would have kayaked and swam if not for my cold, but it was still fun. It's an hour by ferry, but the ferry is a highspeed jet catamaran thing that's really smooth and goes around 25 knots. I was almost sick on the way there, but managed to keep everything in. It's a really pretty island that's mostly undeveloped except for the town of Avalon. There are buffalo living on it from when a Western was made there in the 20s. Lots of sea movies of the thirties were filmed there. There are few roads and not much use for cars for most people so most people have golf carts as their transportation. And the condo I rented included a cart. Very cool. :)