Friday, September 28, 2007


There is something called the "meme" in the blogosphere. As best I understand the concept, it is a question about yourself that you send out chain letter style into the void. Like paradigm, a word that people toss about freely ,and I never have quite understood.
At any rate, Mingaling has a list of 150 things that you can do. The idea is to read the list, and indicate which of these things you have done.
My life has been my life. (Like Popeye and the sweet potato, I yam what I yam). There are things I have done, things I have not done, and there are regrets and gratitudes on both sides. Anyone who gets to be 53 years old and says they have no regrets is a liar. I have told lies.
Next year will be something, btw. I was born in 1954, and I will be 54 years old. That and five dollars will get you a cup of coffee.
I had a friend once named Crazy Owl. (He is still my friend, even if I haven't seen him in twelve years). He lived in a tract of land on Flat Shoals road near the new Wal Mart. There are lots of houses there now, but twelve years ago he had his "monastery" there.
On certain Friday nights, he would have a sweat lodge. Like a crude outdoor sauna, you would build a fire, heat the rocks, and put them in the lodge, go inside and perspire. It is a Native American thing, and I have heard that they still have them in Candler Park.
So one friday, the people in the lodge made comments about what they were grateful for.
The previous friday, I had been in a bar in Tucker, GA. The hostess of the happy hour party had made xerox copies of a coupon for cheap food. The room next to the dining room had a band, and a room full of drunks, each and every one of whom was chain smoking. The band played " Is that all there is?" I ordered a cup of coffee, and was charged $2.75 for something I would not wash a dog in.
So, when we were expressing our gratitudes at the sweat lodge, I said " Last friday night I was in an unbelievably cheesy bar in Tucker Georgia. Tonight I am here. I am grateful for having variety in my life.
The song "Is that all there is" is about life experiences, and the disappointment they sometimes bring. If I ever send this meme out, item 151 will be hearing "Is that all there is" as performed by Sandra Bernhardt.
Peggy Lee, who passed away a few years ago, made the song famous. Ms. Lee had a stroke and years of bad health, and was by all accounts a vegetable when she moved on. It is highly unlikely that she said "Is that all there is?" on her deathbed

Item 152 on this annotated meme would be staying at the Hostel in Brunswick. I stayed in a treehouse there, on the night before a trip to Cumberland Island. They had a circle before dinner, where all the visitors hold hands and say what they were grateful for. My comment was
I am grateful for all the people at this meeting who keep there comments down to a short sentence or two. The inability to shut up before dinner is a serious character flaw.
This meme is good, and may supply fodder for more than one post. Since lunch hour is almost over I will settle for number 23 (23 skidoo), Gotten Drunk on Champagne.
On night when I was in Seattle, I went to a bar called WREX. They were giving away bottles of Andre’ Champagne, and I tried to insure that none were left over.
The next day I felt worse than horrible. A champagne hangover is used by the Southern Baptist Convention to convince folks not to ever drink again. Ever.
After a while, I pushed the cotton candy in my head to one side, and started to walk down Pike Street to the market. I crossed a street, oblivious to the red light in the yellow box. I also didn't notice the two policemen waiting for me, one of whom wrote a citation for Jaywalking.
A couple of weeks later I went to Pedestrian Safety School. That could be item 153.
Spell check suggestions for this feature:
meme- memo, mere, mete, melee
mingaling- mingling
wal- awl, wall, walla, al, wale, wail, walk, walt, whale, wad, wag, wan, war, wax, way
friday- freddie, frilly, frizzy, fridge, verify, verily, verity

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Is Life Sacred?

If you were to go to most people and ask " Is life sacred?”, I dare say the majority would answer yes. It is when you get into the details that the contradictions arise.
A few years ago there was a group called the Seamless Garment. Their position was that life was sacred, and the only one with any business ending a human life was G-d. The motto was: ”All of life from conception until natural death is a seamless garment.”
They have since changed their name to Consistent Life. Their mission statement is: “We are committed to the protection of life, which is threatened in today's world by war, abortion, poverty, racism, capital punishment and euthanasia. We believe that these issues are linked under a 'consistent ethic of life'. We challenge those working on all or some of these issues to maintain a cooperative spirit of peace, reconciliation, and respect in protecting the unprotected."
A few thoughts come to mind.
The Bible is little help here. While it says, "Thou shalt not kill" on one page, it condones taking "an eye for an eye" on another. Ultimately the Bible is only as good as the person reading it.
The statement that “all life is sacred” is a hypocrite’s playground. I have never met a person who is against all forms of life taking. Many of those who condemn abortion in the strongest "life is sacred" voice are ardent supporters of wars and capital punishment. (I bet more than a few have had abortions).
When I first heard about Seamless Garment, the big four issues were abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, and war. Somewhere or another, poverty and racism were added to the shopping list. To me, this is a mistake. While poverty and racism certainly contribute to early deaths, they are not the instant killers that abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia and war are.
There are some other issues which possibly could be included. This would include murder, suicide, substance abuse, inappropriate medicine, environmental degradation, and unsafe driving. This is not a complete list, and has the potential for going so far as to include most human activities.
Since this is my blog, I feel obligated to share my opinions on the big four. This is going to be the rest of the post. If you skip ahead to the pictures my feelings will not be hurt.
Abortion and War are similar issues. Both are horrible, ghastly events. I have never participated in either, except as a sponsoring taxpayer. In the case of War, there are side effects to a society that wages war, no matter how just. It takes resources away from better uses, is damaging to the economy (except for a handful of profiteers), and is generally bad karma. The same can be said about abortion.
However, I stop short of saying we should never do either. Sometimes War is needed. (Often though, by the time a decision has been made to fight a war, the country has been railroaded into this action.) Sometimes Abortion is an appropriate measure. We need to keep the option open.
Capital Punishment is pretty muddy also. There are some cases where it is appropriate. It is not always used in these cases, and is used at other times when it should not be.
Capital Punishment is strong stuff. It is "Playing G-d". I simply don't think our justice system is fair or wise enough to use this strong medicine in a beneficial manner. We would be better off as a society without it.
Euthanasia is even fuzzier. As medicine advances, we are going to see more people who are technically alive, but unable to "live". Should we off them, or should we leave that to G-d? Could the resources used to keep them "alive" be used more profitably on a person with a chance of a full recovery? Should lawyers and insurance companies make by the family or this decision? On this one, I can say without question that I don't know.
As for Poverty and Racism, I am opposed to both, of course.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

294 Mandala Pie

Thursday, September 20, 2007

six oclock news

It started out as a beautiful late summer day, but by 5:45 I was over it. This is normal, and being tired from a job is better than well rested unemployment. Still, I was ready to be home.
The traffic backed up at a key part of my ride, and I took another route the rest of the way. All in all, not the best mood, but not the worst either.
Getting home from work is the worst time of day for confrontations. I am tired, hungry, and more than a little bit crazy. I get in the house, leave the lunch dishes in the kitchen, go turn on the computer, and come back to fix a sandwich.
My brother is watching the news in the room next to the kitchen. As I pull two slices of bread out of the sack, the report on the idiot box has a familiar turn. Something about the church where he was once an alter boy. But today, it was the scene of a tribute to his too short life.
It gets worse. I don't remember the exact words, but it was a report from a soldier's funeral in Carroll County. And it got worse and worse.
Finally, I snap. I hope you are enjoying that poison. Another brave man has died in that useless war
There is plenty of anger to go around.
My brother is watching the noise while I am fixing dinner.
The TV station is exploiting the grief of the soldier's family to sell advertising.
But most of all, I am boiling mad at THAT STINKING COCAINE ADDICT IN THE WHITE HOUSE

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pizza of Mind

I realized something once, and it brought me a great deal of peace of mind.
Or, maybe that is pizza of mind. My thought is a full buffet, with salad, soup, dessert, and mexican soap operas on the wide screen TV. ( There is a place like this in Norcross).
The thought is …
I don't have to have an opinion about everything.
Back to the Pizza of Mind buffet
There are two issues on the media serving line today, and neither one is to my taste. Maybe some hot sauce would help.
The first is taser boi in Flaraduh. I can't decide whether or not it was ok for the cops to taze him.
I did find a link to his website,The Andrew It is tons of fun. I may even order a pimp light from him.
“Don't Taze Me Bro” would make a good t shirt. A quick trip to google confirms this.
Don't Taze Me Bro Tshirts
Make a statement in style!

The other issue is the jena 6. I heard about it a couple of weeks ago, and while it sounded horrible, I kept wondering what the other side had to say.
Now Jesse Jackson is mouthing off, and Neal Boortz is expressing himself. Choosing between agreeing with one or the other of that pair is not a pleasant thought.
Since I am not likely to be on a jury in this case, I will be neutral. That is the selection between reverse and drive-low.
I have been mentioning religion in every post so far this week. This is another subject where it is acceptable to have no opinion.

As W.C. Fields said “ A man has to believe in something. I believe I will have a drink”

I drank my last beer December 31, 1988.

Spell check suggestions for this feature:
taze- tax, take, tale, tame, tape, tare
bro- bo, ro, bra, brow, brood, brook, broom
taser- taster, tassel, taker, tamer, taper, tares, teaser, laser, maser

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The F list

It seems as though the Maliki government in Iraq is showing a bit of independence from its Yankee benefactors.
They have "revoked the license" of a firm called Blackwater. Didn't the Doobie Brothers have a song about them once?
Now, the use of private security firms/mercenaries in Iraq is rather controversial on a number of levels. There is the matter of these forces being more expensive to operate than "government" military. There is the widely held belief that they are above the law, and can do all sorts of nasty stuff that the "standard" military cannot do. (This is a semantic quandary here. What do you call traditional, government based military to distinguish it from mercenaries?) The people in Iraq don't seem to care for them, but they don't count.
There is an emotional tie to our troops here, and supporting the troops is seen as being a good thing. Does this extend to well paid contractors?
The whole thing raises some interesting issues. Does the Iraqi government have the right to tell its occupiers how to run their country? Will this prove the Maliki government to be mere puppets, as many have suspected? And if they succeed in kicking out unlikely prospect, but let’s say they do...can they get us to leave merely by asking?

One thing about Kathy Griffin at the Emmy awards, she did not kill any civilians, terrorists, or Jesus.
She did make a tasteless remark about Mary's problem child. Before she made the comment ( which rhymes with Bucket, and is not a city in Thailand), there was this gem, which qualifies for inclusion in this clean language blog..."A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus."
The catholic league was not pleased. On the page linked here, there is a link to a page about Pope Pius xii. You remember him, he was Pope during World War II. Hitler wondered how many divisions he had.
But back to Kathy Griffin. While her comment that "This award is my G-d now" is a bit of tmi, the rest of her comments were much less offensive. Those who would drag the name of Jesus into a tacky awards show are the blasphemers.
Many of us could not care less what Jeeziepoo had to do with someone getting an award.
Jesus offends many of us, and we came by this opinion honestly. And yet, with all the bumper stickers, t shirts, chrome fish, and award show speeches, we have Jboi shoved in the face constantly.
There is also the matter of the third commandment, but my lunch hour is almost over.
Spell check suggestions for this feature:
malliki- malice
emmy- emma, em, emmett, amy, omni
Pius- pus, pious, pies, pigs, pins, pips, pits
Jboi- job, boi

Labels: ,

Monday, September 17, 2007

The First Seventeen

While casting about for words to put between the pictures, I remembered this email I sent a couple of years ago.
Religion and autobiography are a dangerous mix, but no one is forcing you to read this.

I suppose I have been remiss in answering your last letter.
I was a Southern Baptist all my life. Arguably, I became a Baptist when my mother converted in 1938, but really didn’t get with the program until I was born in 1954.
First Baptist in Atlanta was a big church on Peachtree Street about a mile north of downtown. (A few years ago, they sold the land to a developer and moved to the suburbs. I was working a block away when they tore down the building, and got some chips of brick as a souvenir.) I sang in the "cherub" choir, which was quite an experience when we performed in front of a full house. I have good memories of Sunday school, vacation bible school, and the choir program.
One thing I did not like, even at that young age, was the preacher. He was a greasy haired man who shouted a lot and had a mean streak. (Sounds like some of these bloggers). Years later, I heard rumors (from more than one source) that he was gay.
There is one thing I will always remember. We were watching him preach. He shouted, "this is the word of G-d", waved a bible in the air, and slammed it into the pulpit. I thought, if that is the word of G-d, maybe he shouldn’t slam it down like that, but should be nicer to it.
Around 1962, mom and dad decided to move to a church a bit closer . I liked Briarcliff Baptist. About this time, I first heard about being "saved from sin" and thought it was a pretty cool idea.
I also was in cub scouts, and since their meetings were the same day as choir practice, I quit the choir.
I attended church regularly the next few years, but never did join the church and get baptized. There are some other family issues that came up about this time, which is way too personal to get into here, but affected my attitude towards the church.
The Baptist custom of pressuring pre adolescents into “making a profession of faith” and being baptized is a gruesome form of child abuse. It is the emotional equal to what “some” Catholic priests like to do with pre adolescent boys.
After a while I was 17 years old, and working in a restaurant that was open until 1am on Saturday night. I decided one Sunday that I didn’t want to get up for church. I have only been back to that building once in the intervening 36 years. (I was a delivery driver for a blueprint company, and I delivered a copy of the plans for a new sanctuary)

Spell check suggestions for this feature:
atlanta- alternate, alter net, atlantic, atlantis
haired- hairdo, hared, hayride, hailed, highroad, harried, hatred

While posting this feature, I cut the TV on to watch a bit of Monday Night Football.
MNF is no longer available for free, but is on ESPN/pay tv. It is the end of civilization as we know it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pinko Rino


The following is a comment I made at The Shaqawa.
He posted a feature about the demise of Abu Risha. He is the Sunni leader who was a part of the turnaround in Anbar province. This is where the Iraqi Sunnis have joined forces with the Amerikan troops to fight the Saudi fighters. It seems like the Saudis got a bit too aggressive in their treatment of the natives, which provoked a reaction.
Before I get to my commentary, I should pass along one tidbit that I read somewhere. It is late, and I cannot find the source, although if I can I will update this with a link. The story goes, Anbar province is not that big a deal, at least not compared to the oil rich south part of Iraq, and the Persian Gulf ports that are used to ship this oil. These regions were conquered by the British troops, who are now leaving. The Brits are being replaced by much fighting among the different varieties of Shiites. Many of these Shiites...indeed, probably most...have close ties to Iran. It makes you wonder why we are making such an effort to "secure" Anbar province, which does not have much oil.
Maybe this war really isn't about oil after all. The fact that Iraq has the second largest supply of oil in the world is a coincidence.


When I opened a wordpad to write this, I copied over a post at my blog called "war pigs".
I like to do this when commenting at a blogspot site. It is very frustrating to write a long comment and have it disappear when blogger has a hissy fit.
Now, to the subject of this comment.
"BG" said :
"i wish to personally thank the Democratic leadership, of which could not hold a candle to Sheihk Sattar, for EMBOLDENING THE ENEMY & PROLONGING THIS WAR VIA THEIR DECLARATIONS OF FAILURE!! #$%& YOU & YOUR COWARDLY ILK & MAY YOU REAP WHAT YOU HAVE SEWN 10 FOLD, SAME GOES FOR THE PINKO RINO'S, AMEN!!"
There is plenty of blame to go around for the American disaster in Babylon. The Democrats were all too willing to believe the nonsence that W and his buddies were spouting, and voting to approve this self destructive fiasco.
However, to say that Democrats are "prolonging the war and emboldening the enemy" is rubbish.
There are many indications that our government has no intention of leaving. The building of enormous bases is one sign that this is intended to be a permanent occupation.
And who is the enemy? I hear a lot of talk about destroying Al Queda , before they attack Amerika again. Of course, this is Al Queda Mesopotania, which is different from the branch of Al Queda in Pakistan. The Pakistani crowd is the one pulling off 911.
Also, I dare say there is no shortage of Amerika haters around the world who are willing to replace the ones we kill in Iraq. Among these may be family members of women and children killed as "collateral damage" in this ongoing tragedy.
And , isn't Al Queda largely a Saudi organization? Whenever you buy gasoline refined from Saudi Oil, you are aiding Al Queda.
Yea, the talk of the Democrats may be emboldening some members of Al Queda. But I dare say they would still be fighting if the Democrats were not asking tough questions about the war.
I may recycle this at my blog. If I do I will cut out the bad language used, as my blog is for general audiences. It is fine and dandy to talk about killing women and children, but don't use words about body functions while you are doing so.
Shaqawa, thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment.

Since I made my original comment, BG has replied.
He posted a fire breathing quote. He also had a link, with the words "Answer here , check the dates" When I went to that site, I found a scary picture of Hillary Clinton, with a different quote from the one in the comment. The quote in the linked page was made September 13, 2001. BG added the sage comment "nuff said about W's nonsense"
It is getting late, and the alarm clock takes no prisoners at 6am. I may or may not deal with this later.
I will say that the thought of Slick Willie as First Philanderer is truly awful.
As for BG, he made another comment. "chamblee54 said...let me put this nicely as don't know your b*** from your elbow..
seriously, get educated.."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

War Pigs

A little while ago, I was coming back from Kennesaw when the perfect song came on the radio . The song was “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath.
Now, when I was younger and should have been enjoying BS, I was into a “rock snob” thing and looked down at them. As a result, I missed the seminal concert at the Municipal Auditorium where Ozzy got a tummyache and the band quit playing after 25 minutes.
But enough faux nostalgia. It is the day after the 911 anniversary, and General Petraeus is giving his much awaited report to the parliament of theives. And the radio whiners are in a dither because some folks were not nice to the man.
To begin with, “betray us” is such an obvious joke. While is hardly known for its wit, they could have done better than that. And no, I haven’t actually seen the ad, but I heard about it.
But back to General P. I suppose I have respect for him, and agree with much of what he says. But I don’t think the critics are off base by making fun of him. The commander of a six digit army is a dream job for a military man. I am sure than General P is a master politician, and had many allies...and victims... in his rise to the top of the heap. War is hell…kill or be killed. So why should we give a free pass to the boss soldier coming to congress to give a progress report?(Which is not coming to progress to give a congress report).


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

six years later

It is 9-11 once again.
This is a non election year...or rather, a year without voting in November (the presidential circus is going full throttle). This means that politicians and their camp followers do not see the need to make noise about this anniversary, unlike last year.
Now, the radio whiners were in full throat today. I heard one say, over the soft tones of "Amazing Grace", that the terrorists were trying to take G-d out of public life in America. This is odd, considering that the 911 nineteen were motivated by service to G-d.
Maybe this is one thing we can get out of this...the knowledge than Man really doesn't know much about G-d, and what we do know is not worth fighting over.
There was a lot of noise six years ago to the effect that 911 changed everything. Today, I really don't see that. My life is very much the same, at least on the surface.
The big difference is a self destructive war America is stuck with. Our leadership gained a great deal of good will and power in the wake of the attacks. This mojo was wasted in a ruinous war in Babylon. This, a big increase in the national debt, the erosion of many of our freedoms...this is the legacy of 911.
The attacks were very beneficial to our leadership. They had only been in office a few months, and had been elected under highly shaky circumstances. While I don't think they were smart enough to pull off 911 as an "inside job", I cannot rule out the possibility that the plot was known about, and allowed to take place.

Last year, lots of bloggers told their 911 stories. Through the miracle of memory/copy/paste, here is mine.

Most of my fellow bloggers are telling their 911 stories. Mine is not that dramatic. I was at work, and someone called out that someone had run a plane into the World Trade Center. I didn’t think much of it, until I heard that the second tower had been hit, then the pentagon, then the towers collapsed, then a plane crashed in Pennsylvania.
I focused on my job most of the day. There was always a lot of melodrama at that facility, and concentrating on my production duties helped to keep me sane. This was roughly the halfway point of my seven year tenure at this place, which featured an unfortunate association with a professional Jesus worshipper. After the extent of the damage became known, he shouted “ They are doing this for Allah” and he prayed at his desk. After seeing just what a hateful loudmouth Jesus had made him, the spectacle of him praying made me want to puke.
I became alienated from Jesus during these years. Where I had once been tolerant of Christians and Jesus, as one would be with an eccentric relative, I had come to loath the entire affair…and I do not make excuses for Jesus either. I hear of others who found comfort in religion during this difficult time, but that option was simply not available for me.