Thursday, July 2, 2015

direction

The title of this post was going to be "New Direction".  I pondered this and reduced it to simply "direction".  Emily and I are forming direction, and it feels good.  I am going to unfurl this as time goes on.

Here is the point:

- I'm separating from the active duty military in 1.5 years.
- We are moving Northishly
- I am going back to school for an Engineering degree

That is the plan.  I've never seen mice layout a decent plan, and I still often feel like a boy, so we should be good.



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Thirty Days Without god.

Around seventy years after being defeated by Christ, the Devil struck back.  Glass had been around for some thirty-five hundred years prior, but not until around 100 C.E. did the devil realize the potential.  In Egypt the Serpent guided the lonely glass-maker’s mind towards forming the molten silicon dioxide into a barrier between the world outside and the home.  Other materials had been used before, but never one that offered such a high-fidelity to the world outside.  One could get a sense of the thing, without the trouble of being subject to it’s forces; nature was being corralled. It took another fifteen-hundred years for the damage to be total.  By the early 17th century, most European homes had glass windows.  

We can now mistake the view for the goodness.  We can look out at a fabricated beauty, free from heat, or cold.  Free from bugs, wind, and stench.  We can isolate ourselves and still pretend we exist.  

I don’t believe time exists, but I am quite fantastic at wasting it.  

And so.  Thirty days ago I deleted all the gods of time from my phone.  Facebook and games.  It only takes me, on average, fifty-three seconds to begin and finalize a bowel movement.  My phone has extended this otherwise brief and refreshing action into a decade of miserable minutes.  

It was a pathetic gesture.  The importance I gave the role that games on my phone had in my life was perhaps overblown.  But perhaps not.  I’m not against fun; against leisure.  But leisure and fun should serve a function.  Restoration, building relationships.  Sitting on the toilet infinitely upgrading some bullshit serves no goodness.  The Devil’s glass-gods were pretty secure in my hands.  

This plays into a much larger narrative in my life.  The question of purpose or destiny.  Sometimes my vanity torments my lack of global importance.  I love science, and the devil knows it.  I’m no Werner Heisenberg, and that pisses me off.  Maybe if I learn my multiplication tables, I could change the world?  So I replace the games on my phone with a few false starts in the Khan Academy early math program.  

The glass keeps me inside.  The phones keep our heads down, eyes averted.  Kids these days.  

With no games on my phone, I started reading a little more.  It’s more difficult than it used to be.  My brain has been subtly rewired.  More difficult to focus.  I started praying a little more, but that’s harder too.  I don’t trust my prayers in the synagogues and street corners.  So I cling to established liturgy.  It at least serves as a scaffold to hang my thoughts on.  

To be honest I didn’t make the full thirty days.  At day twenty-something I download Star Wars tower defence.  

I wonder if I should cut off my phone that makes me stumble; drop it “accidentally” into the toilet and then order the new iphone.  I promise to at least open the glass window while I waste my time here.  Because time doesn’t exist.  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Truth.

Philosophical Skepticism teaches us that we can be sure of nothing.  Not even that.  But my human experience has led me to rest on one surety; Truth.  Behind everything there seems to be a root Truth.  Everything depends on it.  Take any thought experiment, or experiment experiment back far enough and we shall find Truth.  But perhaps it's more like infinity; we can never reach it, but we can get closer.  

The error that so many ex-Christians make, so many militant atheists, is that because it "seems" wrong, or because they don't "like" it, or because "that G-d is an asshole", they simply write it off.  But they forget about Truth.  Regardless of our thoughts on the matter, "the Truth is out there."  We are foolish who do the calculations, and proclaim the sum to be “unreasonable, and therefore false.”  Truth is belligerent.  It does not rely on our belief.  It Is (I Am).  Even if our understanding of it evolves, and will never hit it exactly center, shouldn't we endeavour to run towards it?  To wrestle with it?  To shake our fists at it?

Often times the compulsion for me probably comes from sheer stubbornness.  I am given little proof, or rather, I am aware of little proof, to persist in my belief.  

On my morning walk I was moving through this.  It occurred to me that the desire to doubt fully, to question to a conclusion, seemed to come from "somewhere".  And for this morning, that was the voice of G-d.  Even taunting me "Seek and ye shall find."  I don't depend so much on the promises of finding something anymore.  I breathe only for the seeking.

There is a Truth, and how ever terrifying It may be, I choose to run towards It.  

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Trend and Turmoil.

{BEWARE the VAGARY}

We vexed ourselves.   Correction:  I vex myself.  Or, I am suffering from the condition of being vexable.  I think you know what I am talking about, really.

Driving home from a family camping trip, I saw another one of the bastards.  Pants low, scowl on his face.  I smiled at him like a good neighbor through the protection of my windshield and was met with suspicion.  Rightly so.  My heart was dark with judgment.  All the furry of a life of timid weakness rushed into my mind as I lost several minutes of drive time to imaginations of pulling my family-filled minivan over and raining my fists of thunder into his face. Of course for the purpose of teaching him that he should be full of love and forgiveness, not suspicion and revenge.

Mankind vexes me.  I vex me.  Lost in the sea of my mind, I oscillate from external hatred to inward hatred.  I am the wicked.  It's like I hate them in advance for what I am about to feel towards myself.  Does that make any sense?  No.  Try again.  I swiftly drift from a trained cannon of judgment to on the world, to myself.  I should not grow so angry at people, as loathsome as we are.

I like tall ships.  Beards.  Butchers.  Bow Ties.  Seriously, that was accidental.  But 'O How Trendy it is!  And I hate them all who made it so, I guess I wanted to keep it small and private.  Then I hate myself for caring.  I should love beauty for beauty.  The clothed lilies don't mind if the popularity of good font-type is increasing.  Or decreasing.  How then am I so infinitely concerned for the momentary dumbness of we-all?

Christ is my Salvation.  The peace in wild that I love, the glory of a well kept beard, the incessant smiles of my children, the trees of the field...all Beauty from Him.

Now the pizza man is here and I have to go tip his ass off because sometimes this is a shitty world and I'm too timid to go punch the bad-guys in the dumb faces.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Better...Stronger...Slower

Recently, I made an investment in some wood-working tools.  They are made by Lie-Nielsen Toolworks in Maine, USA.  Their tools are beautiful and made to last (lifetime warranty.)  I purchased them in downtown Charleston last month when Lie-Nielsen came to town and had a tool show.  I talked to one of the demonstrators and asked advice on what I should start with.  I said something like this:

"I'm new to woodworking, I've made a few projects, nothing fancy, just used dimensional lumber from Lowes.  I want to progress in wood working and I'm looking to use only hand tools.  I'm on a pretty limited budget but I want to start with high quality tools.  What kind of plane would you recommend "

They talked to me for a little while and ended showing me their No. 62 Low Angel Jack plane.  The advantage with this plane is that by changing the blades you can accomplish different grades of work from roughing to finishing.  This saves money up front by eliminating the need for multiple planes (that will come later!)

I appreciate well made things.  I appreciate things that are crafted, not vomited.  There is something important about taking a little more time.  I love taking more time, making things harder.  I think we live in a strange time.  With so many cheap things available at anytime of day or night, we accumulate a vast amount of stuff.  Stuff that should take longer to afford.  And so we loose any concept of value.  We live in houses filled with things we can hardly keep up with.  It would have been easier if I were actually extremely wealthy, and had a staff to maintain and clean all my crap...but it's just me (and my wife, mostly my wife) and we cannot possibly keep up with it all without becoming slaves to it.  So I endeavour to make things more difficult, not more convenient   This gives me time to consider the real "value" of whatever it is I'm doing.  I use a hand cranked coffee grinder.  I use a me-powered push mower.  I'm learning to use hand tools instead of power tools.

I admit that it is difficult for me to passionate about a certain way of doing things, and not to be judgmental about other ways.  I am not interested in being an apostle   I don't mind if you prefer a laser-sighted, neon-plasticed, dilithium-crystalled power saw.

"Wisley and slow.  They stumble that run fast."  - W. Shakespeare

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Beginings

THIS is my garage.  It is a mess.  It is a mess because I am lazy.

I am going to clean my garage.  When I am done it will not look like this.  It will look different.

I have a motive to cleaning my garage.  Use.  It looks the way it does because I have sort of used it, not fully used it, and used it in a lazy fashion.

I am going to use the garage to do wood work in.  I have made several things thus far with varying degrees of complexity and skill (read, not very much in the way of skill)  My goal is to continue to develop myself using hand tools.  No power tools.  I do not hate power tools (yet)  I am just choosing not to use them.  I can get into why later.  Mostly, I wanted to take this picture to shame myself into action.  See me shamed.  My next project is to build a work bench.  I will follow up with that.



Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why I find gladness when I hear of school shootings.



I do not believe the shootings were good.  I do believe good comes from things such as this.  For most of our lives we wander to and fro oblivious to reality.  Ever distracting ourselves with trivialities.  When we get so distracted, selfish, and lazy, evil smells that our guard is down and strikes at our slumbering existence. Like a crack of lightening in the fog, the veil is split and for a moment of terror we see clearly.  Notice each other.  Shortly we will slip back to sleep.  But for now we get a sense of value, value in life.  We are given no guarantees of life.  In all forms life is a brutal bargain.  The fit do not always survive, but the average remains, and so the individual has no guarantees.  We must die.  But before we do,if we get the chance it is good to see.  Not easy or pleasant, but good.  So I am glad for disaster, not because it is easy or pleasant, but because it affords us a moment of truth.