May I let my voice be a clarion call. I will use these words for justice. I will use these words for truth. And humour.

Friday, September 30, 2005


Prepare for salvo of images

music: a little guitar ditty from my own head

colors: beige, brown, tan, cream

mood: peaceful. even if the world isn't at peace, it has to start somewhere. i've been working like a serious mad mofo to get back to a peaceful state, and despite all sorts of reading for classes, i'm just about there again, thanks to a revitalizing/recentering talk last night with a fellow minister in training.

thoughts: i've got the scanner working, and i've got a lot of pictures, including a ridiculous one i found in an ohio newspaper, where an orangutan is waterskiing for the most ridiculous reason. i'll upload them and talk about them as time permits. each one will be worth a thousand words, maybe. <g> (reminder to self: ampersand-pound-60 g ampersand-pound-62)


go get your livin' out life on,

Thursday, September 29, 2005


first formal contact with the oversoul

music: mozart violin something or other

colors: transparent

mood: good. i just received a rare plant (no, not that kind of plant!) that i ordered through the mail, but its stem is busted. in addition to giving it the correct amount of light and water, i've been playing it classical music at low volumes, so hopefully that'll help it mend.

thoughts: The idea below is something critical to my core theology -- the Oversoul:

From Emerson:

The Supreme Critic on the errors of the past and the present, and the only prophet of that which must be, is that great nature in which we rest, as the earth lies in the soft arms of the atmosphere; that Unity, that Over-soul, within which every man's particular being is contained and made one with all other; that common heart, of which all sincere conversation is the worship, to which all right action is submission; that overpowering reality which confutes our tricks and talents, and constrains every one to pass for what he is, and to speak from his character, and not from his tongue, and which evermore tends to pass into our thought and hand, and become wisdom, and virtue, and power, and beauty.

I still have a lot of reading to do, but it'll be interesting to see if he, or William Elery Channing, makes any distinction between spirit and soul.

tend the garden.

Link of the day: Here's the full reading.



Is Belief in God Good or Bad for Societies?

music: Billie Holiday

colors: Jazz Blue

mood: happy, i just touched base with an old friend (well she's not really that old actually ).

thoughts: Here is an interesting article my friend just forwarded to me, which shows that the strong religious bent of the United States compared to more secular European states actually correlates pretty highly with a lot of bad things, including more STDs, more prevalence of teen suicides, higher homicide rates, and many other things. The strongly held beliefs against evolution are playing a key factor in this.

I kind of figured all this was the case, but it's good that someone's investigating it. This has about the same chances of making it to the headlines as the pictures of blown-up Iraqi civilians taken by US soldiers, unfortunately....

Weeping willow tree, weep in sympathy.
Hear me Willow and weep for me.

life on,


$100 Laptop from MIT for developing countries

music: MC5 - Motor City's Burning (live)

colors: light blue, silver

mood: ok

thoughts: This looks like a breakthrough idea, so that kids and people the world over can communicate with one another, regardless of budget. The incredibly sturdy body, lack of hard drive, and hand crank for energy production are brilliant. (note that this will not be available for sale to the general public, only through major distributors for the purposes of getting these into the hands of those who need them, and also not to invade the markets where people are willing to pay $2000 for a Dell or Gateway.

I'm wondering what the downsides to this may be. The upside is that this is a huge blow against Microsoft and other big money in the computer business (some of the companies behind this are Google, Red Hat, and AMD). Oof, I just found the downside: one of the other companies behind this are News Corporation (Fox, Rupert Murdoch). The cynic in me says that this is backed by the ability to get hundreds of millions of new kids indoctrinated into playing ball and giving up their eyeballs, and that this is partially about making sure they have access, but also making sure that they can push the access toward Fox controlling where their eyeballs go.

As long as: 1) the boxes themselves aren't wired/coded not to see the greater internet, 2) the wi-fi griddability is really built-in (for amoeba-like connection to one another and the internet in general) and 3) these people read the cards that the news and information they're being handed is crap, and go looking for better news sources (see a few options in my list of media reform links) on their own, this could be a big benefit for all.

It'd be nice to get one of these -- they seem like they'd be better for my needs than what I've got right now in many ways. But I suppose it can wait until all the kids in Calcutta or Kabul who need them get one.

Starship, starship take me, take me where I wanna go.

Link of the day: Click here for more pictures of the laptop design.

go on,

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Perhaps this is an answer to the "what are they doing differently?"

music: Nirvana Nevermind

colors: Pink and Brown

mood: Hot under the collar

thoughts: Note in the article linked from the title that after Robertson says that Bush said there would be no casualties involved in going to war in Iraq -- the pictures mentioned in the previous post, plus several thousand dead and wounded American soldiers disprove that solidly -- Robertson follows by saying that "I just think God's blessing is on him."

Whoa. Therein lies the answer to my question raised from the Malcolm X reading. What are they doing that we aren't is "getting God's blessing," and that's what's making them 'successful.'" Considering that the results of their success in this case are despicable and evil actions (huge bombs, heads blown off, psychological trauma to soldiers and civilians, profits for energy companies and other friends, etc -- perhaps I'll expound on a useful, working definition of 'evil' sometime), this has serious and staggering theological ramifications.

I'll connect the dots. Faust. Bargain. "God" in this case, is giving his blessing on actions diametrically opposed to what is best for his people, including Christians, Muslims, and all others on Earth. This "God" they worship is not the same one worshipped by my kind of Christians (the ones who are falling behind in the race). This "God" they're getting the benefits from must in fact be the devil, working antithetically to the good of the people. If we make that same faustian bargain, we will get the same benefits, but in the process become them. They can keep their "God", and we'll keep the real Jahweh, Jehovah, Allah, Great Spirit, Creator, and all the other names for the one being with so many different names.

Dear One, please help all of your sentient peoples to recognize the real you, and differentiate you from others who would take your name or guise for purposes of leading your world astray.

Link of the day: Lyrics to 'Straighten Up and Fly Right' by Cole Porter

go, get on,

Monday, September 26, 2005


America in Iraq is now REALLY ugly

mood: disgusted

thoughts: Quote from an American soldier who recently returned, accompanying a picture of a man of Iraq who had just had his head blown off by the soldier's platoon at a checkpoint:

"This is an Iraqi driver and passenger that tried to run a checkpoint during the first part of OIF. The bad thing about shooting them is that we have to clean it up. The car was shot at with 5.56 and 7.62 mm rounds, The 7.62 did his head. [emoticons: Fuck You Machine Gun Jaw Drop Machine Gun]"

I won't provide a direct link to the picture or the thread it was on, because what happened to the man in the car is disgusting. And how he got his picture taken and put on the internet is even more disgusting (posting gore/snuff photos of Iraq carnage, in exchange for porn site access). For more info, and a link, go to
To find out the truth of what is going on in Iraq, go to

This is exactly the kind of carnage that the U.S. military brass has worked very hard to remove from the American audience back home. From Vietnam, they learned their lesson that if American citizens see what's really going on, they will not support what's happening, so they hide it from view, while they siphon tax dollars toward war.

If any of these photos were put in daily newspapers or on network TV news, support for the war would be over in a heartbeat.

My compassion for this dead man is only matched by my compassion for the one who did the shooting. How many soldiers over there are truly losing it and doing incredibly fucked up stuff like this, because they don't want to be there, and know they are fighting an unjust war? Or that the military has trained them to deal with devastation like this...?

never again.

a little peace please,


Christianity and Islam share many prophets and are both of direct Abrahamic lineage

music: Some Reggaeton from

colors: White, Orange

mood: OK

Here is a link where Christians can educate themselves about the role of Jesus in the Islamic tradition:

Of all the prophets, Jesus is probably the most written about in the Qur'an. Various stories in the Islamic text talk about his miraculous birth, his ministry, his disciples, and the message that he brought to his people. Muslims always speak of Jesus with respect, and "Issa" (the Arabic rendition of his name) is a common given name in the Muslim world.

The Qur'an makes it very clear that Jesus was a prophet, chosen by God to teach his people, but not associated with nor part of God Himself. He performed miracles, by the grace and power of God alone.

Muslims therefore reject the notion of the Trinity that is common in most Christian denominations today. Islam adheres to a very strict monotheism, and considers such a theology to be idolatrous.

I pray for us all if too many Christians reject this teaching wholesale because Jesus isn't given the Godlike status they've been told their faith demands, and/or because Islam uses another name for Jahweh. (A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. If only the Almighty were a rose....)

Also: A link to the Islamic stance on terrorism:

Terrorism cannot be justified under any valid interpretation of the Islamic faith. Muslim scholars speak out against terrorism in all its forms.

Allahu Allah


Sunday, September 25, 2005


A Critically Important Anachronism

thoughts: a while ago, my friend ebbin and i shared an exchange, where we had this art/animation film script, but haven't gotten around to it yet. it'd be great if somebody ran with this:

basically, in from the upper atmosphere, comes a floating egg or space-vehicle of some type. it comes zooming on in toward a plain with 5-10 dinosaurs sitting around eating trees, attacking each other, etc, and ends up hovering about 50-100 feet in the air, just out of reach of danger. then the top of this vehicle pops off and out comes a futuristic robot, seated in the lotus position, and hovering in circles orbiting around this egg. he begins waving his robot arms frantically, and making amazing robot faces, trying to get the dinosaurs' attention, and shouting alarms in english that these dinosaurs are in extreme danger, and they need to take every precaution, etc, or they'll be extinct very soon. of course, the robot showed up at the wrong time, and the dinosaurs don't know english. that's what makes it so funny. :|

see this pic.
(for some reason from my main machine, the compose/edit toolbar doesn't show up, so i'm stuck having to edit these pics later..) [later note: just figured this out. The NoScript browser extension for FireFox was playing havoc with not just the toolbar, but with FireFox itself. It had gotten to the point where I could only open FF in safe mode. Uninstalling NoScript seems to have fixed it... rather than fixing up this paragraph, i'm going to leave it because that link actually goes to a page with relevant text.]

all i wanted to do was be myself

Link of the day:

go get your livin' out life on,


Quote from The Autobiography of Malcolm X

music: morrissey :)

Really, I am still devastated, in fact *more* devastated than yesterday, as it sets in and I also realize that I'm going to be reading Night by Elie Weisel, a true account from a Nazi WWII concentration camp survivor (then finishing the Malcolm X autobio).

colors: silver and red

mood: devastated, hopeful, a little active, borderline crying

thoughts: WE must be doing something wrong. THIS QUOTE (originally referencing how he was able to shoot the rabbits before the other people in his party, but easily transferrable here) speaks volumes about why those of us who are behind in the world, actually are behind: "Anytime you find someone more successful than you are, especially when you're both engaged in the same business -- you know they're doing something that you aren't."

The political parties in power, driving their bus now with nary a real interruption from all the passengers, the religious denominations that are getting people coming through the door like electronic flux on a power cord between pete townsend's guitar amp head and speakers, the business people who are getting ahead both personally and for their businesses as if money flows in their blood, the beautiful people who attract eyes and senses like 105 bpm trance techno at a rave -- all of them are doing something to get ahead. Those of us not in power, with stagnant congregations, counting change to do the laundry, or only filling the gas tank half-full, hoping the price will go down the next time we go to fill, or alternately, taking public transportation for economical, spiritual/social, and environmental reasons, and often find others look the other way when we walk down the street or try to make eye contact -- what lessons can we take from them? Note: consider their methods only. not their goals or motives.

busy, busy, busy

Steph and I made this today (I got all the garlic out of the bulbs and into peeled cloves): PESTO

go get your livin' out life on,

PS - I am in love with Bokononism and Islam. Still in love with Christianity, Buddhism, Native American, Pagan, and Humanist -- just that the two I first mentioned are new to me.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Every minister (and person with political influence) needs to do this

music: none

colors: red, black, white

mood: DEVASTATED and exhausted

thoughts: today, several fellow seminarians and i went to downtown san francisco as part of a saturday intensive class, and did the faithful fools street retreat, which was an entirely singular experience. it destroyed me, and broke my heart. it also grounded me in a realization that i hadn't had before. i mean i knew that the plight of the homeless and inner city poor was bad, but i didn't fully realize (or have it be truly real to my senses) until today.

we walked for several hours in the most economically devastated square mile of downtown san francisco. as soon as we left the 'faithful fools' hq, we split up and walked through the streets by ourselves -- a little money in our pockets for food (I had $5 and some change), no mobile phones, no pda, just ourselves and clothes on our backs -- to experience a bit of what life among the homeless is really like, or what it would be like to be homeless. the first thing i saw after less than a minute from splitting off from the group was a very large pool of dried human blood on the sidewalk and a large amount of blood spattered against the building right next to the pool. after that, i met a man named jerome and he started telling me his story and we talked for about five minutes, and he told me that he'd had 50+ felonies stacked up against him, which were just numbers to inflate his record, and shortly after that, it turned into him wanting to sell me something, using drug terms i couldn't understand. and when i refused his offer, he wanted me to give him any money i could spare. i had my five dollar bill for emergency, and i really didn't feel it would be appropriate for me to act as if i were homeless and then give my spare change away, so i said i didn't have any money for him. then he said that he was working for somebody and had to keep selling to make his quota so i just moved along.

within a minute, i saw a police car stop next to a sidewalk, and there was a man laying there (I thought he was just sleeping like most of the other people on the sidewalks, but alas he was not). one of the officers got out and walked over to him and kind of kicked at him -- not hard, but just enough to rouse him. he flipped over and started swinging around and kicking spasmodically, then the officers helped him to his feet and he could barely stand and was obviously wasted and i'm not sure what drugs it was a result of; if i had to guess, i'd say meth or crack, but i don't know that that would be accurate. he was totally incoherent and standing with the nuttiest posture. the part that brought it most home, the saddest, shocking part, was that he had tattoos and looked like the type of person i could've been dancing with at lollapalooza or some rock festival a couple years ago, but now he was here, desperate and entirely incapacitated.

i walked a bit further, down to mcallister street, and ran into a man who was selling 'street spirit' newspaper, which is a familiar sight sold by people without homes, who live in the bay area. after a minute of talking with him, i realized he was the real deal. his name was gregory. he was displaced from louisiana, was missing his left eye, and had a leg that was seriously fucked up (his ankle was swollen up to about the size of a grapefruit all the way up to his calf. he had no health insurance, no connections yet, and was obviously a good man (i don't mean to judge, but he was). here was a man who had lived and prayed the bible every day, had lived in new orleans his whole life, and now was here, with no means of support. he asked me for money, and to me, $1 for a copy of 'street spirit' didn't seem at all right. even though i had planned to keep it for an 'emergency,' i offered him my $5 and he said he needed $20, and i said i couldn't do it because i was a student. he didn't have to do much more than say 'you're a student???' and then look at me squarely before i realized the idiocy of my excuse.

i'm a student, i don't have money to spare. fuck! i do have some money. way more than he did, and he needed it! i told him i'd go to the cash machine and come back with another $20. he said he couldn't trust that, since he'd already had people just leave when they said that. from past experiences, i felt like i was being taken, but in this current experience with this man in this condition, i knew i wasn't. so he and i walked and talked for a couple blocks while we walked to the cash machine. i had a little difficulty working the cash machine, since the arrows didn't really line up with the buttons (i'm tall, so they seem to be offset by one), and i accidentally pushed Espanol as my language, which usually i'm functionally conversant in, but not with the wording on this cash machine wizard, not today. so i was able to cancel out and do the english route. when it said "do you want your receipt?" the choices were "sure" and "no". no wonder i couldn't understand the spanish...

anyway, he shared some big knowledge with me as well, from his christian experiences growing up in new orleans:
  1. HOLY BIBLE stands for He.Only.Left.You.Basic.Instructions.Before.Leaving.Earth
  2. You go ahead and be the most righteous man you can. Here's a story: The devil calls up to God and says "Would you please take this guy up to you? He's been pissing me off so much that he's putting out all my fires!" (He made sure I noted that the devil has to make the request of God, he doesn't just make demands from him. Note who's in control.)
  3. You do God's work. It isn't so easy, but it ain't that difficult either.
    1. I asked him what he meant by "it"
    2. He said "How do you spell it?"
    3. I said "I-T?"
    4. He said, "See it ain't that difficult, is it?" and smiled.
he was missing several teeth and many were yellow, but from that smile and the way he was telling truth to power about god, i thought he was just beautiful. lest you think he was smiling because of the money, i really don't think that was why. a beautiful man, despite not being given much in the way of the worldly. he taught me a lot today. i ended up seeing him again later, and he said he'd gotten his first hot sandwich since coming here and also got a stocking cap and a pack of cigs. i don't begrudge him those. if your life had that condition, the taste of cigarettes might be just what you need....

after that, i just walked around and around and around, probably put on ten miles walking up and down the grid. while walking, at one point, i felt so crushed by the reality of the scene that i just had to stop on the sidewalk and start chanting "om namah shivaya gurave..." (mentioned a few posts back) on the sidewalk to help me center, and that's when i heard gregory calling me from about half a block away, though i had my eyes closed trying to chant, he kept calling until i realized that it wasn't just more random shouting (there was a lot of shouting in those neighborhoods). we talked a bit more (including his story about pissing off the devil) and after shaking hands, i taught him namaste and the meaning of it. upon walking away from that exchange, i had a realization that the "the divine in me greets the divine in you as one in the same" in namaste is one in the same as "the divine in me greets the divine in god/allah/great-spirit/creator as one in the same" and that the creator creates through me/us.

(i have a whole bunch more to tell, but my wife is telling me i need to come to bed or i'm going to miss church again tomorrrow morning). my next post will be a continuation of this story. (actually, i should be reading my malcolm x autobiography for one of my classes, but i feel compelled to wriite this story down while its fresh to me)

after today, starpower reports totally discontinued. they were an unnecessary diversion and irrelevant. if i'm feeling good or crappy or whatever, i'll just report it in text. all love to thurston.

what holds us separate?
what keeps us separated?
as we walk the streets
what still connects us?

Link of the day:

go get your livin',

[edit: this story continues with this post.]

Friday, September 23, 2005


more insipid song lyrics

i was singing this to my pets earlier, as "hello all you animals...", but realized that even though they're cunning, clever, and willful, they still can't understand english, so changed up the words a tad. it's a simple simple tune, and a generalized outward proclamation of love (isn't that sweet?).

"hello all you people (x3) [A4(x00220)/A9(002200)]
i lo-o-o-ove you. [A4/A4+9 (x00220/x00200 - hammer on/off 2nd string)

"hello all you people (x3)
i lo-o-o-ove you.

guitar solo while singing "la la la da da..." along with it (d c# a, d c# b a, ...)

it's so simple and syrupy it's almost embarrassing, but you gotta walk before you run..

that's it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Identify this woman

music: willie nelson something or other

thoughts: identify this woman. No fair cheating by looking around the page. i sure did love this show growing up....


hint: "love is all around"

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


hope you like the new look

music: none

colors: orange, yellow, blue, brown

mood: sleepy

thoughts: i just learned a whole bunch about cascading style sheets and adding stuff into the head section in html to make mass changes easier. lots of trial and error, but hopefully the new look on this page is worth it.


i thought that if you had acoustic guitar
it meant that you were a protest singer

go west young man,

Monday, September 19, 2005


a new blog dedicated to media reform

I put a link on the left for permanent access as well, but here it is. If you know of other media democracy advocates, ideas, etc, or want to become a contributor, please let me know by leaving a comment there.


former description for this blog

i've decided to have a little more directed theme for this blog, so in the interest of archiving, here's the old description:

Named after a PSA ad from the early 70s with a Schoolhouse Rock type character showing how to make a sandwich out of two crackers & some peanut butter this is.

More info here.

Also, probably not too long before something like a big shoe or penny drops. Anyway, if you like, pass it on. If you don't, due to content, or something you'd like me to rap Anchower-style* on, amp it.



personality schmersonality :)

music: meat beat manifesto - mindstream / mind the bend the mind single

colors: yellow, grey, light blue

mood: contemplative

thoughts: last night stayed up late at some friends, playing a couple games, and then talking about myers-briggs, and then doing enneagram-style personality assessments. yeah, they're subjective in the nature of how the categories are set up and linked, how the subject self-reports, and how the test admin finds patterns, but all in all, i'd say my assessment was pretty close. i had high scores for individualist, investigator, helper, and reformer, but relatively low scores on challenger/leader, enthusiast, and loyalist. wish i had higher scores in the leader category, but those folks tend to be dominating and wanting to exert their will externally. i want to do that, but i just see dominance as mean and hard-nosed, in the nature of folks like some of my past bosses and our president. i think, for me at least, perhaps there's another model of dominance, or a better style of leadership, like cutting a good path loudly. then again, that could be more of an adventurer type i suppose....

starpower report availability now limited to those special moments when the clinton/gore t-shirt is on your tv screen...

trees are a bendin'
in one direction
because of somethin'
(from 'the dragonfly' by clutch)

go get your livin' out life on,

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Dang, I gotta get up for church in the morning.

music: res / amyp mix, including coltrane, deus, butthole surfers, stone roses, pixies, the orb, mary lou lord, multiplication rock, clutch, and an impromptu sloppy guitar duet i did with a friend when i was first starting out playing.

colors: blue, white, orange, green

mood: nut

thoughts: i have this picture of gandhi that i wanna put on the back of my door. in the caption next to it, he's quoted as saying "wise people speak clearly and reasonably." i recognize that that's been a real struggle for me. also i plan to put up this pic i recently found in the pocket of a folder, and had forgotten about, of my head tattoo back when it was just the prismatic mobius strip, the swiss cheese sky, and three birds (albatross, falcon, golden eagle). in the pic, i had my orange shorts with the mickey mouse patch on, and also a green helmet shirt where the alien is shaking hands with the businessy man in a suit with a strong jaw. and i had this weird little tail just behind the rainbow mobius. i lost the shirt somewhere along the way, and the shorts just got too beat up...

that was back when the lyrics in my head went something like this:

i was
love-bombing at the border,
bloodshot eyes but feeling fine,
just then i met him on the corner,
he said 'mister, got the time?'

so then i gave that man a quarter
and i gave that man a dime
i said 'hey there mister,
pick up the phone and hear this rhyme'

so then i gave that girl a quarter
and i gave that girl a dime
i said 'hey dear sister,
if you could read my mind,
you'd see the rapture.
exactly nothing just-shy of the rapture,
and see the birds are flying free.'

(phones in the madison area cost 35 cents back then. there are some other lyrics to go with it. i've got them written down somewhere.

it'd be an understatement to mention that was an interesting time in my life.

reluctantly 3 thurstons

trees are a bendin'
in one direction
because of somethin'

Link of the day: Here's a unique picture blog that I'm a contributor for.

go out get your livin' out life on,


A bit on ANTiSEEN

colors: green, black, blue

OK these guys are a true southern punk rock band as over the top as anyone. Other than most times they're exactly the opposite of correct, politically or sensibly, they tell it straight and from their heart, and they've been around about two decades.

I can only take so much of them though, as the musical dynamics are pretty minimal, and the lyrics represent as small-minded and bigoted, and I'm ambivalent about the confederate flag as apparel. The album of theirs "The Destructo Years" that I have doesn't seem to be available for purchase anymore. On that album, they do sing a song of tender loving hate-smashing, complete with calling Christians to the carpet for the depth of their hypocrisy, called "N C Royalty" that just rolls/roils in its own sincerity.

thurstons: 1.5

mantra: sounds sights and sensations always want to satisfy their divinely inspired purpose

get your day on,

Thursday, September 15, 2005


A Little Rumi

colors: still orange, white, and blue

mood: happy. just got a note from some friends about the hard work they've been doing, and am super-eager to see it.

thoughts: you might like this bit by Rumi:

The thirsty man is moaning,
"O'delicious water!" The water
moans too, saying, "Where is the

Click the title above for a link to the original page.

starpower measurements discontinued...

chant/prayer/mantra: om om om om om om
# om namah shivaya gurave
saccidananda murtaye
nispraprancaya shantaya
nirah lambaya tejase #
(repeat # to # x3)
om om om

get your day on,


Poem by Marge Piercy

colors: orange, white, blue

The poem I'm linking to is something that someone read in class yesterday.

chant/prayer/mantra: namaste

Link of the day: This poem includes phrases like I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience...

a fran-style bus hug to ya,

Monday, September 12, 2005


Saturday was definitely different

colors: red and yellow

mood: aware

thought for the day: over the weekend, steph and i went up to napa valley with some relatives and friends who like to do the wine-tasting thing. we met up at a winery where they store their barrels in a cave while they age and soak up flavor from the oak casks. the guide took us around and gave us quite a bit of samples from the variety of wines. for the most part, the cabernet's were pretty much in the same bballpark, with the level of toasting and the type of oak used being what made them taste different. there was a pinot noir and a cabernet franc that were different, but the rest all just tasted pretty similar to my untrained palette. i suppose after they've aged a bit more in the bottles and the complexities show up, it'd have more difference and a real wine person could taste that kind of thing in its infancy, but not me. anyway, we had a whole lot of wine there, and one of the guys in our party, pretty much a hugh hefner wannabe, bought three cases (12 bottles per case, $85 per bottle, that's a lot of math) in order to be part of the VIP club there. steph and i thought abbout buying a few bottles of the $58 wine to open one every five years for special anniversaries or something, but figured we could wait until we're done with school.

after that, we went to another winery, where we shared a flight of wine that was IMO kinda OK. they had a t-shirt for sale there that said "take the pinot bowling", which seemed nice, and lots of nice outdoor and indoor architecture, which to me was a good deal more aesthetically pleasing than frank lloyd wright's stuff. then we went to another winery, and everyone other than me split a couple of bottles of something or other. i decided to become the designated driver, since i figured the roads up in napa (so many people just driving from winery to winery) were filled with drunks and i better maintain some sobriety to navigate all the weaving cars on the two lane highway

one of the women in our party had very large fake boobs, perhaps a 36 F or G, and a relatively low cut tanktop. needless to say i couldn't help looking, probably abbout 50 times over the course of the day. steph said she probably looked 25 times herself -- they were pretty difficult NOT to look at. when i found out she was well over 50 it was even more shocking as she looked like she could've been 35, but i'd guessed 45. plastic surgery apparently can be used on faces as well....

when we got back to the cabin they were staying at, one of the guys cooked veal and several vegetables and pasta. even though it was veal we tried it and it was good. i plan to make that my last time with veal though. i also ended up hanging out with the guys and watching football -- ohio state vs texas -- ohio kept fumbling at the end. i still understand football just fine, but i have no idea how any of the teams are doing, or the names of any players, and i'm fine with that. there are times where its nice to just do a little male bonding and watch a football game, with everybody comparing armchair quarterback notes.

i forgot to mention, a special aside for steve, on the way up, we drove by several gas stations with names like "gas for america", and "usa gas." i got some pictures, and may upload them when i get a chance.

starpower: 3.0 thurstons

chant/prayer/mantra: knucklehead


Thursday, September 8, 2005


OK, let's find holes in this scenario, and plug them

The story linked to above is pretty much exactly the utopia I've been envisioning. Rather than reinventing the wheel, I'd roll with this one given the option.

Obviously, the first hole here is that we do not have autonomous robots yet.
2. We are still a private ownership based society.
3. The people who are "have's" or "have more's" or "have most's" need to be convinced that a system such as this would be better for THEM, or it will be difficult to string together the resources.
4. We gotta get a few friends together to buy some robots once they get to that stage. The single monolithic $600 billion system the author brings up is just one model, perhaps the best model. Though as an alternative, we could create microsystems for a million bucks at a pop with a smaller number of robots. Could corporate (in the good meaning of corporate body) ownership on a smaller scale work, such as in groups of 1000 or 10000 people per community?

For those uninterested in reading the whole story, the basic principles put forth in the Australia Project are:

1. Everyone is equal
2. Everything is reused
3. Nothing is anonymous
4. Nothing is owned
5. Tell the truth
6. Do no harm
7. Obey the rules
8. Live your life
9. Better and better

Anyway, even though the stuff on the linked page is a long read, you may want to bookmark it and try digesting it in smaller chunks....

The first few pages of Manna include a more dystopian vision where the robots control us, rather than serve us. It starts here:

Also, the author of the article is the creator of a very informative website:


Islam on prophets and messengers

Color me wowed.

Near to every prophet you can also find an angel, and you'll find they are inseparable to the point that you can't tell which is which. Angels are God/Allah's messengers.


Wednesday, September 7, 2005


Maybe this post will make a difference...

colors: brown and green

mood: yeah!!

kind or unkind thought for the day:
well, here goes... I didn't get a good enough night's sleep last night, so will try this evening to get to bed a little sooner. I need to finish the blog and walk the dog and take a shower first, because my scalp gets all itchy on the second day. I don't know how the people who leave their hair unwashed for long enough to grow dreads can actually do it - perhaps there's a trick that doesn't require not washing...

Anyway, here it is:
I was just looking down at a box of Stephanie's from The Body Shop, and on the cover it said "animals in danger", but from a cursory glance, I thought it was a kids book, because it had several animals drawn in kid's-book style on the cover.

Anyway, I thought what it would be like for a kid to grow up with that as one of their books for learning reading and how depressing that would be. And then my mind, never satisfied, thought of a more depressing book - "Earth in danger", and it could have a kid's-book style drawing of the Earth on the cover. Yes, that would be more depressing. I'm sure Zoloft and Prozac sales would find a new market in the pre-teen demographic.

Well, here's a little light for those youngsters. The fact that we ccould actually be floating the idea of the Earth, or at least our civilization, being in mortal danger is nothing short of staggering. Here is this place, unique for all we currently know, where sentient life exists in the universe. Who or what caused our lives to be here is not as important as the fact that we are here, and we could blow it.

The marble that bounced around inside my headd hard enough to make me do a double-take and turn the laptop right on was the idea that we don't realize what the consequences of blowing this really will be BECAUSE with our intelligence and creativity, we have been able to work out so many prophetic glimpses of a wide variety of futures (Blade Runner, Terminator, Brazil, Star Trek, Firefly, St. John of Patmos, Vonnegut, Nostradamus...) Very few of those pictures show our world in the fragile state it's really in. We believe (because we want to believe) that the world shown in Blade Runner, or Star Trek, the Book of Revelation, etc, is going to come true because that's all we've seen. Most of those visions are dystopian. Many of us have more utopian, or at least more egalitarian visions, and ways to get there given the opportunity.

If you're bothering to read this far, I encourage you to create your own vision. Spend a year on it.

First, we need to realize our visions in the mind, then realize/weave them into the fabric of this ttime stream.

Peace out.

starpower: 2.0 thurstons

chant/prayer/mantra: catch a fire

bus hugs to all,


Two blog spams in the last half hour...

colors: pink and green

mood: mixed

kind or unkind thought for the day:
Here is a bit about a potential solution that is already being circumvented in a way that helps make it easy to think of people using people just as experimenters do with rats pressing a lever for food or cocaine.

"You get to view this porn for free, but only if you type in the words on this captcha so I can sign up for a yahoo group and spam people...."

starpower: 0.8 thurstons

chant/prayer/mantra: put yr $muscles$ where your mouth is

a fran-style bus hug to ya,


As long as I'm blathering on and on about Christ

Just to speak clearly about this...

Without doubt, Jesus would be FURIOUS about what's going on these days in his name by quite a few people who (IMHO errantly but innocently) are calling themselves Christians. Woody Allen put it so eloquently, and at the time it was a bit shocking to me: " If Jesus Christ came back today and saw what was being done in his name, he'd never stop throwing up." Jesus would also be furious about a lot of other stuff going on that has nothing to do with his name, of course, so it's not just the nouveau-Christians to take fault here.

The funny thing is he knew human nature, so had a good idea this would happen. Anyway, here's an opening stanza I picked up on my bike ride home today...

(in 2/2 time, & denotes beat)
"I've done &everything I &could
To &temper all my &fury
To &deliver this with &awesome grace
and &hopefully &mercy."

The funny thing is that it was his fury that got him into trouble in the first place -- that part about flipping over all the moneylender's tables. When I saw that in Jesus Christ Superstar (which was so very accurate, right?), it looked like a pretty violent act. It also got him a whole lotta notice and people wrote a whole testament dedicated to his work which has propagated worldwide. Perhaps Gandhi could've taken a lesson or two from Jesus about violence, with the result being that he'd have a bit more recognition and people would start a cult around him. Then again, Gandhi did pretty good....

Anyway, I don't recall where I heard it, but at one point in my past, I read or heard that God first arrives as fierce, then arrives as mild, then arrives as merciful. Kinda like goldilocks and the porridge too hot then too cold then just right. What was she doing going into a bear home anyway? Did she not have a home of her own?

Oh jeez, homelessness.... That's a whole 'nother subject. If you are in the lower class or working class, take a look at the conditions of the homeless today, because if our system doesn't change dramatically soon, odds are in 15 years you could very well be joining them (read the Robot Nation article referenced two or three posts ago for why). IOW, the investor class will have a boatload of money, and everybody who's been replaced by robots becomes irrelevant to them, at least as far as warm bodies of labor production is concerned. Hopefully those in power in businesses and government will see the light very soon and make the changes we're requesting. Another quote, this time from Rush - "The men who hold high places must be the ones to start to mold a new reality, closer to the heart." Of course, our government and media ARE molding a new reality, but it's painfully obviously further from the heart. Hint: if it would make Jesus throw up continuously, it's further, not closer.

In the meantime, you and I would do well to spend some serious time figuring out what we really want, other than "not this." If you're going to change location, you need to have velocity, which consists of both magnitude and direction.

  • Those against war need to define peace.
  • Those against oppression in any field need to define liberation.
  • Those against the church need to find "not church" or a substitute church.
  • Those against the government need to define a different government.
  • Those against corporations and the fascist system need to define an alternative that still meets the needs of the people.
  • Those against environmental despoilation must define a real environmental solution.

    For all of the above: frame the problem accurately, devise solutions, pick the best one(s), make a plan, implement, evaluate, repeat.

    That's just the basic building blocks, and it sounds so simple as to be trite, but hopefully not banal. Sorry if it seems as such.


  • Tuesday, September 6, 2005


    A Note Regarding the Nature of Christ

    Now that I'm in seminary, I'm probably still not qualified to state the following (and will likely amend and re-amend it for better wording over time), but here is this:

    the one primary thing it takes
    to be one with christ
    is to be assiduously vigilant
    about acting out a humble, loving, and personal
    subservience to a free (free as in liberty, but not necessarily free as in beer) education,
    dignity, needs, peace, and happiness
    with others and self.

    a secondary thing is having
    a connection with the holy
    -- as defined by yourself, by way of any known or knowable religious pursuits
    or artistic connection to the world --
    and also perhaps a singularly
    object of worship for a master.

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    free page hit counter