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, April 27, 2007


Mike Penner --> Christine Daniels

Looks like L.A. Times sportswriter Mike Penner is transitioning from male to female, and wrote about it in today's column.

It will be interesting to watch how this transpires. I wish hir (or whatever pronoun Mike/Christine prefers) all the luck in the world through this freeing change.

lyrics: "Ring them bells." - Bob Dylan

colors: yellow-green, with rainbows

mood: studious

chant/prayer/mantra: I pray that the people who are conditioned to hate or devalue people based on sexual orientation and/or gender expression because of their understanding of what their religious leaders teach will find the deeper truths of the heart. And soon.

pax hominibus,

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Quick quote from my friend Mark

My old friend Mark, who I haven't seen in a few years once said this to me over a decade ago, and I wrote it down on a little yellow piece of paper. (I have hundreds, perhaps tens of hundreds, of little pieces of paper with things written down on them. My prayer is that some day, they will come together and unite in harmony.)

"Our goal is not to make up people's minds for them, but to make the decision making process so agonizing that the only way to get out is to think."

I figured I'd write it down here before I lost track of it. He may have been quoting somebody else, or it may be original. Either way, it's telling of an important strategy of rhetoric -- I have faith that getting a listener/reader to really think is even more powerful than drubbing them over the head with repetition (though that probably has its place).

lyrics: Right outta iTunes shuffler: "That's it! I have had it with these motherfncking snakes on this motherfrcking plane!" -Cobra Starship, "Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)", vocal sample courtesy of Samuel L. Jackson

colors: coconut with rainbows

mood: busy busy

chant/prayer/mantra: That all these little yellow slips of paper may come together and unite in harmony.

pax hominibus,

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


The Big Veto: "The American people did not vote for failure..."

In today's news, regarding the fearless guy presiding over the United States:

... ordered a US troop increase in January to help end sectarian killings and bolster Iraq's government, has shown no sign he will budge.

'The American people did not vote for failure and that is precisely what the Democratic leadership bill would guarantee,' he said Tuesday.

Well, it takes two to tango. The American people did not all get to vote in 2000 and 2004, and may well not get to in 2008 either. This is bull hooey. The American people voted for success in 2006. If they don't get it, perhaps its because of somebody vetoing a successful plan. Just because we don't agree doesn't mean that one of us is right and one of us is wrong. I feel a planet-sized headache coming on, or more accurately, getting worse.

lyrics: My Pal Foot-Foot, by the Shaggs.

colors: cocoa brown with rainbows.

mood: crappy. my favorite cat sid has (likely untreatable) intestinal cancer.

chant/prayer/mantra: life goes on for those who carry the torch. carry it well.

pax hominibus,

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Ever heard of Yoism?

Neither had I, until today. Well, here it is. Hmmmm....

lyrics: "Call it what you will here. Way down down down in this subbacultcha." - Pixies

colors: grey with rainbows

mood: tired.

chant/prayer/mantra: sweet dreams.

pax hominibus,

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Prayer from a child in Peru, echoed by an Iranian, echoed by me

You are my love
Come down
from heaven
Into my heart.


lyrics: "Push the little daisies and make 'em come up." -Ween

colors: I think I'm going to try and figure out a constant color set and just make it my background, and then eliminate this category.

mood: pre-productive. I've been supposed to study, but had a whole bunch of laundry and housework to do first.

chant/prayer/mantra: Echoes. Something about echoes. Oops, gotta go.

pax hominibus,

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


II Thessalonians 2:3-10 made simple

Hello friend.

HERE is the text of Second Thessalonians under examination.

Important considerations:

1. There must be a significant falling away of the church from the truth of The One 'n Only.

2. There is the man/person of lawlessness, exalting oneself over God and the law -- a king who acts according to his will, speaking astonishing things against the God of gods, prospering until the indignation be accomplished (Daniel 11:36).
(Hint, who defies the articles of the Geneva convention, and of the UN charter? Consider that those articles are humanity's best efforts to date of emulating the true law of The One 'n Only.)

3. There is some force making the lies and actions of this lawless person seem normal, restraining us from lifting the veil.

4. As the spirit of Christ reveals itself in glory, the words that issue forth from "His" mouth will reveal the lawless tragedian (not necessarily a human individual -- perhaps a group of conspirators who (believe they) benefit from their lies and their twisting of the law according to their own purposes).

5. The people who were duped -- those following the errant teachings of the apostatic church, and being gullible to the lies of the lawless one(s) -- will feel guilty as if they stand condemned.

6. Those people will repent and acquire the true teachings, including the part about loving your neighbor even if they seem different.

7. Everything works its way toward being hunky-dory.

Okay, enough Bible for now. I feel like a tired salmon swimming upstream when dealing with this stuff.

lyrics: All Melvins, all the time!!

colors: blue-green, black and white

mood: rushed. I have a whole buncha papers to finish up in the next four weeks.

chant/prayer/mantra: energy please.

pax hominibus,

Thursday, April 12, 2007


"President Asshole," Presidents and Assholes, Clown Bible

A friend of mine, who shall remain anonymous, used the phrase in the title of this post. When I accused her of name-calling, she said she "wasn't calling anyone names, just using metaphor as it was meant to be used." I guess have a lot to learn still.

It reminds me of the drinking game "Presidents and Assholes." I always liked the term "vice-asshole." The rules from the link previous are close to our group's (nothing special about 4's, the joker can clear after 2's have cleared, plus a couple more related to multi-card groups), but there are so many variations you just need to clarify them at the beginning anyway.

lyrics: "I'm Sa-a-amson, and I'm craaaazy."
I just got back from a low-budget start-up play called "Clown Bible." It tells the narrative of the bible using clowns. If you're reading my blog, odds are good that you'd like it (even you, E!). started off a little slow, and then all of a sudden midway through the show, all of the actors/characters really drew everyone in. I hope that this first run can inspire some "angel investors" (oh, how I do dislike that term), so they can tour it on the road into regular theaters and pay the performers what they're really worth.

colors: green and blue. no scratch that -- "spiraling prismatic lights!"

mood: tired, low-energy, goofy. i really messed up my sleep schedule a couple days ago and am still recovering. i gave six massages today. well, actually 5.5. and then i had the best meal i've had this month (including sushi) at the soup kitchen.

chant/prayer/mantra: bless us, every one.

pax hominibus,

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Post written from library

Yesterday I was at the library most of the day getting a rewrite of a paper together for the Biblical Criticism course I'm taking. Kinda sucked because I had already written the full paper and turned it in, but it wasn't what the assignment was looking for, so my rewrite was almost entirely different, probably borrowing about five paragraphs from the previous one. Here's what I wrote while taking a break from scouring one little chunk of the mind of the writer known as Paul(Saul) of Tarsus:

I wonder, how do I come across to the other students here at the seminary library? Today I have left my ear jewelry out, but am still wearing big ol' studio headphones with the Hendrix cranking: 1983 – (A Merman I Should Turn To Be). "And they threw this in my face. They said 'Anyway, anyway you know good and well it would be beyond the will of God….'." And I've got my favorite (well, my only) Clutch shirt on, with the simply stated words "PURE ROCK FURY" in four inch font on the back.

Oh, speaking of... I went to the psychologist today (my first visit), and we didn't get very far in the first 45-minute session. I didn't get to talk about the fury that burns within. We'll get to that eventually, but mostly dealing with anxiety, and we made some good progress on uncovering my "over-identification" issues. There are several fine lines between over-identification and disassociation (last night's topic). One of the most important is understanding how over-empathizing can thwart or distort one's effectiveness. In essence, if you're identifying AS the "other" rather than identifying WITH the "other," you can end up being part of the disease or feeling the pain in a way that's not really helpful. By keeping enough distance to work on that which is not you, yr able to work more effectively. Imagine trying to give a massage while you're hugging someone, or similarly, giving a massage to yourself. Its possible, but not as effective. (Though its nice to hug people of course. (If they're agreeable to hugging.))

Anyway, I do wonder how do I come across to the others here at the library? Do some feel intimidated? Do they dismiss me as just another nut? There are a lot of nutty people around here, but it all depends on yr perspective I suppose. Do they appreciate me? I think most of the people there like Then again, why do I care? I just want to get on with my business of leaving a trail of decimation/glory/love/electricity in my wake. [BTW: Hendrix – Moon turn the tides gently gently – 7:10 – 7:50, beautiful guitar sounds, like dolphins.] OK, gotta get back to my paper. I sure wish I could be theological in it. Dang.

Also, a quick question for anyone reading. What do you do when your old favorite rock t-shirts (or other t-shirts) get threadbare or start to rip around the seams? Today I was briefly thinking about my N.I.N. shirt from Lollapalooza when it rained and my new red hat dripped on it so it turned pink in spots. I dyed it kind of a bluish and it was actually better than before, but then after years of wear, it started to rip out along the armholes and neckhole, with some random other holes in the fabric. I got rid of it, and don't remember the circumstances, but sometimes its hard to let go. Got any t-shirt stories?

Before our heads go under we take a last look at the killing noise
Of the out of style, the out of style, out of style(oooh)... (Merman - see above)

colors: milky white and blue

mood: heeyagh.! Still tired from not enough sleep working on that paper.

chant/prayer/mantra: the water walks in waves these days, or at least its good and ready, they say.

pax hominibus,

Monday, April 9, 2007


The lengths to which disassociation goes to quarantine the "immediate here and now"

(This post is some rough notes toward a reflection I hope to deliver in a chapel service next fall called "Extending the Present" intended to connect the past, present and future into a unified whole.)

Not seven hours ago, I was in extreme pain in the ER of my local hospital, and now that pain has subsided. Apparently, it was a gallstone, but the specifics aren't really relevant here. What's relevant is that I'm already trying to put that bad event behind me.

I'd like to take a quick check of the definition of "disassociation" on MapMyWord Dictionary, which is one of the best Google gadgets around, we have:

the state of being unconnected in memory or imagination
a state in which some integrated part of a person's life becomes separated from the rest of the personality and functions independently

It is so easy for us to dissociate ourselves with events and people that are distanced by time and/or space, such as an earthquake or tsunami or the bombs of war dropping half-way across the world. Or the lives of civil war soldiers or antebellum slaves, or the lives of migrant workers back in the "Grapes of Wrath" days. Or the lives of future generations who will struggle with global warming, or with any of the many things we're putting into place.

For all of them, its much easier to disconnect, and focus on our immediate surroundings, and on today. We focus on the assignment due next week for school or work. We may tend to focus on the problems we see in our own lives or our own community, even if they pale in comparison to those of a neighbor, or of the problems still going on in New Orleans.

In my case, while I was suffering and one of three guys laying on the floor of an emergency room in Oakland (among about twenty people all waiting to be seen), in between agonizing bouts of pain, I thought about how important it is that the U.S. healthcare system become more robust and more equipped to serve people in oh so many ways that extend well beyond better emergency rooms. Now that its several hours later and I feel better enough as if almost a different person, that passionate thinking has begun to become unconnected in my memory. I think this happens to all of us to some degree, but I pray to every form of divinity and humanity that I and You and We can struggle against this.

Considering the first half of the definition of 'disassociation', we can strengthen our imagination to envision people suffering across the world, rather than disconnecting from them, addressing them only through the TV, or not at all. We can strengthen our imagination to envision what kind of life we've inherited from past generations, and what kind of life we are building for future generations, who we CAN imagine, but will never meet face-to-face.

Considering the second half of that definition, when we're disassociated, we separate a part of our life from us. A part which we would do well to acknowledge as integral to our existence. I imagine that our shoes are put together in a factory near a recent tsunami. There may be Jews who have been through the holocaust who have given the sagest of advice to others, who may have passed it along to me. There is somebody from the recent past who looks like me, who was suffering from long lines at a medical facility, but now I would want to separate him away and function independently from that person's desires? To stay connected, we have to pay attention to our extended connections and give them the benefit of our imagination and our compassion.

Actually, as an added bonus, today while I was laying on the floor with abdominal pain and chest pain, and it got bad enough, it reminded me of some super-severe chest pain I experienced back in 1996 that went unrelieved for quite a spell. I was younger then and more able to hack it, but still.... I recall at the time wanting to get a tattoo on my left palm (kind of like those notes we leave for ourselves to make an appointment for a haircut, or to pick up milk). I wanted the tattoo just to say "REMEMBER THIS." I never did get that tattoo for practical reasons (certain frequently used areas of the skin tend to rub away and the tattoos get really bad), but I've remembered it all this time.

lyrics: some Bangles on vinyl

colors: red, white, black, brown. my mom just sent us an article about a little jack russell terrier who plays with an eight pound red bowling ball

mood: recovering

chant/prayer/mantra: stereo MCs - connected.

pax hominibus,
joel coming along

If you had any doubts about the sincerity of's good intents, they are all but put to rest by this official Google team post, which conveniently doubles as a press release of sorts.

While its usually not good to be entirely trusting and naive about anything, if I had to throw in with any corporate entity, Google might likely be my best bet. A PR-related press release is one thing, but the fact that they are bringing in some heavy-hitters from all sorts of industries says to me that they are serious about making good things happen.

And I find it intriguing that they are looking to hire a team of people who meet some seriously high minimum requirements (advanced econ or public policy degree, mathematical prowess, 15+ or 7+ years experience in the field, depending on the position) to address "Poverty and Sustainable Development" in their business model.

When they're looking for a generalist or a minister, maybe I'll be there.

Though I'm slightly troubled -- only slightly. In one of the job opening requirements, they state, "Our mission is to accelerate growth and positive social impact using market-based, entrepreneurial approaches that promote sustainable economic growth and empowerment." I wonder what if in our present world "sustainable" and "economic growth" don't go together, at least without a lot of twisting and bending? I can see areas of the world where there will definitely *need* to be economic growth in the future, but I hope their model of economic growth is an order of magnitude better than the Dow-Jones-worshiping "Growth-for-growth's-sake" mentality that has been subjecting our world to some pretty futile actions for some time now.

Note that the verse (Amplified Bible)linked to previously states, "nature (creation) itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and corruption [and gain an entrance] into the glorious freedom of God's children." As a Universalist minister, that brings joy to my heart. Once we get a good working defn of "God's children," and elaborate enough so as to bring a well-grounded understanding into the mix, we end up with a declaration that we here on Earth are going to start doing right, and in so doing, transcend the common shackles of humanity that have hounded us for millennia. THAT will be an exciting time. In the meantime, "GO TEAM!"

lyrics: Pixies - Gigantic

mood: tired

colors: color of my cat sitting next to me, or maybe purple and green again.

agape to everyone,
and pax hominibus,

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Friday, April 6, 2007


Post 5 for today: Great Moments in Recorded Electric Guitar, Part 1

Sweet Willy Rollbar, by The Melvins:
1:12 - 1:19 -- some songs are well known for having a good groove. Melvins songs typically have a strong groove to them, but in this section, the groove lurches, stops, and restarts in such a powerful way that the "rhythm" all but causes a fold to open in the fabric of time.

Stranglehold, by Ted Nugent:
7:49 -- Once we get over the concept that the Nuge kills animals of every kind to cook them and make jerky from them, we look back and fondly recall his awesome prowess on the axe. Here are four of the fastest notes ever played, and with such precision.

Rub 'Til It Bleeds, by P.J. Harvey:
Throughout this entire song, the passion of the playing matches the vocals, and though the guitar line mostly just repeats, it is placed perfectly at the very front of the mix! Its rare that a guitar can be so far forward, as if leaping right out of the speaker, and sound right. The guitar tone and break-up are excellent as well.

Strange, by Wire:
Speaking of tone and distortion.... The guitar in this song makes me almost want to cry from envy. Its not the tone I'd want for every song, but I wish I knew exactly how to get that sound. A Big Muff Pi comes close, but I have a feeling this requires a great deal more, as if its happening in a rare expensive 70's Orange amplifier that's had its tubes warming up for hours, preceded by just the right pick-ups. (If you're wondering where you've heard this song before, it's likely the more popular cover version by R.E.M.)

Seether, by Veruca Salt:
Much of the guitar is just Green-Day style distorted punk I-IV-V power chords, but during the in-between times, it's a testament to the beauty of occasional harmonics and fretting sounds when the gain is turned up.

pax hominibus,

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Post 4 for today: Shorter Dog Leash

So, my dog ran around too many corners and trees while we've been out on walks, so her 20' leash (one of the ones that rotarily retracts into the handle) started to get really frayed and the protective sheathing was gone. So, I had to cut off about 6 feet of it and tie it with a big knot, so the knot wouldn't get sucked into the handle. She's still getting used to the fact that she can't run 20' ahead of me, so she often she gets yanked, even though I shout "don't pull!" to her right before she's about to clothesline herself, and I try to swing my arm toward her.

Because her system has gotten a bit less capable, she's now got a bit less freedom, unfortunately. Likewise, if there are other dogs and people around, I typically reel her in, so she doesn't jump up at them. (Though it's often a bit comical when they bend down to pet her and she jumps up and bops them in the nose with her own.) If we're walking through a big crowd, or there's a lot of cars around, I pull the leash all the way in.

What I'm getting at with this little post is that as things get more crowded, there's less freedom. As the world population gets more crowded and population areas get more dense, we will have less freedom. If you're standing out in the middle of a farm field at midnight, you're free to do pretty much anything without it infringing on anybody. But if you and your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/partner were to try and have sex in downtown Tokyo, that would impinge on other people's freedom not to see you doing that, and to have their children not see you. In the middle of the Utah salt flats, you can drive 500 m.p.h. On the other hand, you can barely even change lanes at a crawl on a five-lane freeway, just north of Chicago.

My real point is: If we get our world population down far enough (say 2 billion), we can have more freedom. If America REALLY stands for freedom, let's see you put yr $$$ where your mouth is.

"Rockin' for the One who is the Rock"
Stryper, To Hell with the Devil

colors: bumblebee yellow and black, with kinda a DIO sound going on

mood: slightly better. need to practice some up-dog and cobra. maybe i'm feeling so crappy because i haven't done any yoga for two weeks (usually do it on Friday, but last week was Spring break and this week is Good Friday) and been skipping the gym on account of heavy-duty studying.

"if you follow there may be a tomorrow
but if the offer is shunned you might as well be walkin' on the sun"
Smashmouth, Walking on the Sun.

pax hominibus,


Post 3 for today: Repetition is a Powerful Strategy in Rhetoric

In class last week, our professor was talking about Rhetorical Criticism, and made clear that one of the best tactics of rhetoric is to repeat yourself.

Two quick examples that express my ire about media oppression:

1. In the New Testament in the Christian Bible: Paul of Tarsus gets an awful lot of column space to express his arguments. So much space does he get that it seems that there were hardly any other voices or opinions from Christ Followers in the early days of the first millennium AD (CE). But we all know there were a million other people in Rome, many of them familiar with Jesus' teachings, and many who were traveling around spreading the good news. We don't hear much if anything from them. Why? That falls into a type of biblical criticism called "canonical criticism" which basically says the people who compiled and authorized the bible chose their books, and the versions of those books to match their ideologies/theologies.

2. In the mass media of modern America, and much of the rest of the "developed" world: Certain pundits, politicians, generals, experts, and "leaders" get to be on television quite a bit, because the words they say reflect the ideologies (and more tacitly, theologies) of those who are allowed to control the broadcast spectrum, and of those who have the money to put together and control the digital cable and radio. Turn on the radio and search for a Christian station. When you find one, will they be saying something that reflects our (yours and mine) theologies? Or will they be trying to persuade you to think in terms of their own frames of reference?

In either the case of Paul, or today's newscasters and preachers, you are welcome to believe the words they say as the absolute truth ONLY if you are going to accept the responsibility for how their words will affect your life, the lives of those around you, and life in general.

The band is playing our song
And we won't go home 'til morn
Tom Waits "Woe"

colors: blue and grey

mood: blue

chant/prayer/mantra: free speech is only free when its accessible. saying what you want to 5-10 people is not the same as broadcasting to 10,000,000 people. because the human nervous system works to set up neural connective patterns based on the frequencies of messages/thoughts, the free speech of the mass media, especially if repeated and drummed into listeners' heads, is an infringement upon the free speech of those who do not have access to broadcast media. that is a crime against democracy, because it means that one-to-one conversations are beset upon by all sorts of pre-conceived notions that have been emblazoned into our brains, depending on which bias of media source we choose. i still want my own tv station though -- i think i could be a lot more responsible to the truth. after all, with the freedom to express your views, one also has the responsibility to be honest, on a deep level that transcends presumptions.

pax hominibus,


Post 2 today: All yr eggs in one basket

So, this business about a large portion of our pet food supply being tainted...
Humanity BETTER LEARN FAST from this problem. Just a few months ago, there was a problem with tainted spinach. If all of any certain supply comes from any one source, or even a part of the chain has little or poor redundancy, we're taking dangerous chances. The business with Monsanto and the new "sameness" of all of the corn and wheat is BAD, and not worth it.

Other than profit for a few companies, there is no reason for doing this stuff. And profit for a few companies is NOT a good reason for doing anything, especially when humanity is dependent on this working.

lyrics: Lovin' Spoonful - Money.

pax hominibus,


Post 1 for today: Prep for 2nd Coming: Aug 2

Ho, ho. Onion.

Favorite quotes:

"The Second Coming isn't just Me sitting on a great white throne and judging away," Christ said. "I also have to make all of the stars fall and shake all the powers in Heaven. That's why I've been working a lot with the medicine ball."

Even Sabbaths are spent doing yoga, swimming, and basic strength-training isometrics such as push-ups, leg lifts, and chin-ups.

"There can be no day of rest," said Christ, His eyes filled with flaming fire. "Rest is for mortals."

You're motoring
What's your price for flight
In finding mister right
You'll be alright tonight

Babe you know
You're growing up so fast
And mama's worrying
That you won't last
To say let's play
"Sister Christian" by Night Ranger

colors: orange and blue

mood: crappy. my body is totally sore -- i think i caught a bug giving massages in san fran yesterday.

chant/prayer/mantra: "creation is laughing matter" - larry jones

pax hominibus,

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


My Virgin Mary Recipe

1. In a sufficiently large jar with a lid, start with a 46 oz. can of High quality tomato juice, or mixed-vegetable juice such as V8.
2. Shake worchestershire sauce into the mix until it turns to a "tasty shade" of brick red. Start with 10-12 shakes.
3. Shake in some good-quality hot-pepper sauce (Tabasco brand or better, don't be cheap). If a small bottle, shake in 10-15 shakes, if a large bottle, 8-10 (modify to taste of course).
4. Shake in some ground black pepper until it forms a pool in the middle about the size of a standard poker chip.
5. Add one capful of lime juice, either from a lime or a lime juice bottle.
6. Add a couple ounces of pickle juice.
7. Add 2-3 shakes of celery salt, but don't go too heavy on it.
8. Add a couple shakes of regular salt or kosher salt, to add extra flavor.
9. Add horseradish to taste. I usually put in about the size of a marble.

Put on the lid, then shake the jar like mad for 20-30 seconds.
Serve over ice in 16 ounce glasses (serves about 6).

Garnish with pickle and olives on a toothpick, spear, or skewer. Optional garnishes include celery, mushroom, onion, and if you're a meat-eater -- sliced chicken breast, shrimp, or beef jerky (if not too tough).

lyrics: Something unintelligible off of Godflesh's "Pure" album.

colors: scintillating gold, with periwinkle specks.

mood: la la.

chant/prayer/mantra: shake it like mad.

pax hominibus,

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High Speed Trains: The Future of Transcontinental Travel

Yeah, they're a little slower than planes, but they can run on electricity. Maybe some day planes could as well, but that's a lot of battery to carry around up in the sky.

Here's an article on the latest speed breakthru. A conventional (non Magnetic Levitation) train reached a speed of 357 miles per hour (574 kph) in France. While the United States is spending its resources on war, France, Germany and Japan use their resources for better transportation. Oh, why am I being such a Negative Nelly? It's cool that they're doing it, and I just hope that the United States either buys their technology or creates its own. Nuff said.

The thing that I'm really keeping my eye on is the Magnetic Levitation trains with Inductrak technology. I'm no professional engineer, but I have some ideas on this that I'll spit out in case anybody wants to entertain them. I'm picturing them someday being about 20 feet wide, and up to a mile long. Very lightweight, and in tubes with vacuums in front of them. The tracks, and bottom of the train, instead of being two parallel tracks, could be a wedge, so that the train would ride in a groove, making it much more stable, and also providing a larger surface area and potentially better tracking. The downside would be that the energy transferance might be diminished by the sine of the angle of the wedge. Given time and attention, the idea above might be decent.

A very wacky idea I have related to this would be to have the tracks themselves levitating and held in place by one magnetic system, and have the train's "wheels" surrounding the tracks entirely, and not only pushing against the tracks from above and below, but on all sides. That's gonna be too futuristic for now. Before that happens, we need to find a second form of magnetism.

lyrics: I think I might go work Orlando if them orange groves don't freeze.
Southern Accent, Johnny Cash

colors: generic orange soda orange

mood: hippity hoppin'

"bring it in, let's go." -Big Dad, my high school track coach

pax hominibus,

Sunday, April 1, 2007


christians, flags, and the future

a liberal friend of mine just posted about how christians in america are working to coopt the flag to represent just themselves, and are also trying to affix their version of christianity to the concept of america as a christian nation. IMO, his new version of the american flag is ugly and unflattering, but sadly accurate from a variety of points of view, with some qualifications.

(if you don't read his post, you may not follow what i say here, so go there now. sorry its a long read, and with a heavy liberal bias of course.)

first, i think that its a travesty that good people like him, and perhaps you dear reader, might think of "america" and the flag which represents it as being composed and run by a bunch of rich white guys with a tacit agenda of oppression upon gays, people of color, immigrants, citizens of other nations, and citizens of future generations. the travesty is that you may be right. the flag with its 50 stars in a field of blue and its 13 stripes was not meant to be a tool for warmongering, or of oppression. it is a tool of freedom. freedom is NOT and never should be defined for one person by another. if it is, then the very freedom to define the word "freedom" is denied. but i will define it here for our discussion and you can follow along if you like. for the record, i think this definition is elegant, and i'm hoping that it catches.

FREEDOM is the right to do exactly as you wish, as long as you do not trespass upon the freedoms of others. there is a large smudgey line there, which is an example of the grace of our great creator (who assumes a multifold form). the most simple example is that if person A wishes to kill person B, or claim sole ownership of an item, or horde food, that infringes upon the wishes of person B to remain alive, or to have free use of said item, or to eat from the food store which person A lays a claim to. but what if i have a favorite guitar, or a cherished family heirloom, rather than just "an item?" then my right to claim possession of it, rather than just control of it, is a little bit stronger.

freedom also demands the responsibility of good judgment. that is not easy, because that requires wisdom, which requires either learning vicariously (ask any parent how frequently their child follows to their sage advice to the letter), or making mistakes and learning to avoid them.

god's grace comes in because if all of these delineations of freedom were totally clear-cut, then we would always know where to draw the lines and could perform our roles here on Earth as if we were automatons. It's much better that we have the choice, and the ability to strengthen our wisdom through exercise of our rights and responsibilities associated with the inherent freedoms of existence.

so, returning from that digressionary diatribe.... the flag does NOT represent fascist christianity. that brand of christianity is one that is passed on by people who believe that everyone must believe as they do because OTHER people have previously told them that they must believe as they now do. in other words, its an inductive process.

i'm in the mood to start a new, more contagious inductive process. how about we resurrect christ, and watch the contagion spread?

first, the cross as the symbol of christianity? COME ON!.... Jesus never had any say in that becoming the symbol, and *would not* appreciate it. Rather than having a cross in the middle of the flag, how about a new christian symbol?

here's a description of the flag above. first, in the middle, the kiss of christ -- a new thing -- which has a gradient that goes from blue to red, or red to blue, depending on yr perspective. then, surrounding it is a nice bright starburst, representing the love, charity, and goodwill of all. there's a whole crapload of stars (50 for this initial image, but eventually one to represent each region, community, "nation", group, etc). if i had more time before april 1 was up (west coast time), i'd make them non-uniform in size. in the background, is a circle, representing the globe we ride on. framing the globe, kinda, is the red stripe, and the pink stripe. the red stripe represents the strife and oppression we have going on around the world right now. the pink stripe represents the peace, joy, and fun to come when the christians in america come around to a kinder way of thinking soon enough. the corners fade out a bit on the frames to represent that the human race can transcend boundaries, as soon as its ready.

can i rest a bit now?... btw, it'd be great if someone with a bit more artistic skill or vector-based drawing savvy were to work over this rough sketch with more beauty and style. if you want the source images, so you can try a different open-source design, drop me a line.

lyrics: i got the blues like no other with my song inside the sun.

colors: red, white, blue, purple, pink

mood: elated.

chant/prayer/mantra: let there be peace. and let's roll.

pax hominibus,

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