“Without people you are nothing, that’s my spiel.”

May 9, 2009

“So now I’d like to say, people can change anything they want to and that means anything in the world. People are running about following their little tracks and I am one of them. But we’ve all got to stop just following our own little mouse trail. People can do anything, this is something I am beginning to learn. People are out there doing bad things to each other, it’s because they are being de-humanised. It’s time to take the humanity back into the centre of the ring and follow that for a time. Greed really ain’t going anywhere, they should have that in a big billboard across Times Square. Without people you are nothing, that’s my spiel.”
-Joe Strummer ‘Punkrock Warlord’


The Hunt for Gollum

May 8, 2009

I have a confession- I have never read any of Tolkien’s Middle Earth stories, and I have never seen any of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ films. Not that I am opposed, or that I do not have an interest in reading (or seeing) them… As a matter of fact– I even have the books here in our house; it is just that so far… I haven’t.

(side note: Maybe I should consider getting the books on CD from our library…. I know it is not the same thing as actually reading the books; which is the root of my opposition to books on CD. But if I listen to the books on CD, at least I will have my foot in the door.)

On the other hand I have read the entire ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ series–hopefully that counts for something in the Middle Earth. And so from that platform I share that the fans of Tolkien’s Middle Earth stories might enjoy ‘The Hunt for Gollum’:

One of the email services that I receive is called ‘The Daily Dose.’ This morning, information was sent about a free online movie called ‘The Hunt for Gollum.’

Doug Levy, for the Daily Dose, wrote:

Fan-made film taken to new levels

Director Chris Bouchard’s The Hunt for Gollum revisits the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy with a glimpse at a previously unseen part of the tale.

The results belie the miniscule budget. Bouchard made the 40-minute film for just a few thousand dollars, employing makeshift camera equipment, orchestra synthesizers, and volunteer digital animators. Most of the cast and crew — roughly 160 in all — donated their time after realizing the extent of the undertaking.

Familiar faces abound. The film follows Aragorn’s quest to track down the titular ring-craving creature, also featuring appearances from Gandalf, Arwin, and other LOTR characters. The actor portraying Aragorn bears more than a passing resemblance to Viggo Mortensen, while the wizard is a dead ringer for Ian McKellen.

It’s available to watch for free. In order to steer clear of potential problems with movie studios and the Tolkien estate, the filmmakers agreed to make the production completely nonprofit, meaning that the final result is yours to enjoy in its entirety free of charge.

To see the film visit the ‘Hunt for Gollum’ website: http://thehuntforgollum.s3.amazonaws.com/index.html


May 7, 2009

I have begun our garden. So far I have planted Cabbage, Radish, Carrot, Spinach, Snow Pea, and Potato. I have also added some mixed flower seed near the Cabbage, and also near the backside of our shed.

I keep waiting for the temps to warm up a bit more before planting some Tomato and Bell Pepper seeds. I am doing this because last year it took so long to warm up that my Bell Pepper really had a hard time… although they did give me one pepper–which Andrew picked in it’s botanical infancy and then tossed on the ground.

But this coming week I think I will take a gamble and plant some Tomato, Bell Pepper, and Corn seeds.

I have been using lawn clippings to mulch the garden paths. Visually I like the look. Functionally, I hope it will help to keep weeds down and then in the Fall I will turn it over into the soil and help enhance the soil for next year’s garden.

Andrew and I painted the main posts used in the supports for the Snow Peas. Giving the garden some early colour and character. A part of gardening for me is the fun of doing in, and these posts are a part of that.

I have also placed some sticks in the garden for the dragonflys that I hope will return again this year. The past two years I have enjoyed watching the dragonflys come to the garden, sit on the sticks and then fly up and eat bugs that are flying about.

I have also started a second compost pile. Our original compost pile has served as a location to dump household compostable wastes, but because it is always working it has made using the compost an ify venture. By adding a second compost pile, I hope to let the original compost area finish up, and then use it.

Another idea that I am playing with is to start working in the backyard. This morning as I took a mid-Service walk with Andrew I saw two houses near our Church that made me think of English Cottages… I liked the look, and have begun to look at some websites that feature Hobbit gardens. I am toying with the idea of using that idea as an inspiration for our backyard; not that our yard will look like some English cottage garden (a look that is too busy for me) but mearly an inspirational tool to move forward. Perhaps I will look at various European garden styles and mesh it together… after all, aren’t we Americans (i.e. United State-ians) Euromutts? But for the moment I am looking at the English.

Years ago, I found the program Northern Exposure to be inspirational in how I wanted my yard to look.

Various things can serve as inspiration, which we then tweak to our own style. I know a Priest who made the comment about Serbia being a look he was going for regarding the fences in his yard.

It is all fun. Functional fun; and in the case of the garden itself: Functional and edible fun.

UPDATE: After work I planted some more seeds in the garden. I planted:
+Spinach–completing my row.
+3 rows of Sweet Corn–a variety called Ruby Queen Hyprid; the kernels are a ruby colour.
+A row of Bell Peppers (California Wonder Pepper aka Pimiento Maravilla de California)–although it still is not consistently warm enough, I am going to go ahead and take a gamble.
+2 rows of Sweet Salad Mix: Mesclun Lettuce.
+And a row of Zinnia.

how to treat people

May 6, 2009


“Showing love for people–The rich and poor, the learned and the simple, officials and non-officials, the righteous (if such people indeed exist) and the sinners, the Orthodox and the non-Orthodox, as well as non-Christians and even heathens– was for Fr. Isidore just as necessary as breathing.”

From the book ‘Salt of the Earth’ by St. Paul Florensky

I recently came across some words, in this same vein, words that I had written down a while ago after reading them on another blogsite; unfortunately I do not know who the quote is attributed to.:

“Being completely present to people may be the greatest kind of love we can give them. For in a strange way, we are giving them our whole attention. Perhaps this is the most real way to value a person as a human being — to really be with him and take him seriously as he is. A single such contact may change the whole direction of a life. So, descend with the mind into the heart to be completely present not only to God but also to people. It is a great act of love.”

Both quotes are good words.
Now the challenge for me is to practice them.


May 4, 2009

As a parent… as a dad…
I can provide an environment…
I can provide the example…
I can attempt to teach and pass on the Christian faith to my children…
But left to my own devices I cannot guarantee success in my endeavors.

As a parent I need God.
My children need God.
And so I must run. I must run aware of my many shortcomings. I must run to God and pray–
Pray for my children.
Pray for my wife.
Pray for myself.
And at the same time be open that God may wish to use me to answer my prayers.
I must must remain aware that any love and devotion that my children have is only by the work and grace of God.

questions about the A word.

May 3, 2009

How does our aesthetic environment affect us?

Does paying attention to the aesthetic enable us to create a false sense of who we are, or does it encourage us to explore deeper?

In other words, How does creating a “vibe” an “ambiance” in our surroundings impact us? Is it for good? For bad? Depends?

For good in that: Does it lead us to something better. Of course this is provided that the aesthetic surroundings is one that would naturally lead one to something better.

For bad in that: Does it makes us think that we have already attained the goal that we were trying to create by using positive aesthetic qualities in our surroundings.

Does creating a positive aesthetic do more harm than good? Does it push us forward, or does it think we have already arrived?

Is a desire for an aesthetic surrounding a by product of a superficial society?
Can it have a good impact?

I welcome and invite your thots, comments and/or additional questions.

good intentions with no explanations can create a memory all of it’s own

May 1, 2009


When my Mom was a girl growing up in Iowa she had fond memories of May Day. My guess is that these memories involved a May Pole, flowers and etc.

Being a good Mom she wanted to pass this pleasant experience on to her children.

THIS is where I come in.

My guess is that I was of Kindergarten or First Grade age. It was a Saturday morning and my Mom took me, my younger sister and two of the neighborkids to the local park. Along with the neighbor boy, I was dressed in a clown outfit. I know this not only because of my vague recollection, but also because I have seen a picture of me sitting with the neighbor boy in our clown outfits. My hazy memory is of my sister and the neighbor girl wearing dresses.

The morning dragged on and at some point things went into the Activity Center thing that the park had. It was in here that we walked (paraded?) around the room and then I sat, in my clown outfit, as I watched other people in the middle of the room.

I did all of this without question, or even any explanation as to what this was all about; I was an obedient child like that.

Many years later I asked my Mom what that whole day was about. It was then that she shared that it was a May Day festival… I told her that for all of these years I have wondered about that day. She then shared about her childhood memories and wanting to pass along a pleasant experience with her children.

She passed on a memory allright… It’s not like I was not beaten or anything, I just had no clue what I was doing and why I was dressed like a clown… and it was boring.

I think my Mom found amusement in my lostness over the whole situation as is evident by her words that I received from her today via email:

Thinking of you today and wondering if you went to any May Day parties, this is your favorite holiday!

Now May Day is a good natured joke between my Mom and me. I guess a pleasant memory was created after all.

how would you describe the flavor?

April 15, 2009

“I like the unusual flavor of Thunderbird wine…. Thunderbird has an unusual flavor, all it’s own. Not quite like anything I’ve ever tasted….”

Are this really the kind of descriptive words that someone should be using in advertising?

everything is amazing, nobody is happy

April 12, 2009

This afternoon I spent time with Compadre David.
Good times.

In the course of our conversation we touched on the topic of the phrase “be kind rewind.” How it used to be that video stores wanted you to rewind your video tapes before you returned them. (i dont know if they still do that, i currently get all my movies from Netflix or the library) David reminded me that some stores even would charge you if you did not rewind the tape.
And now… with DvDs, there are some people who will never know the phrase “be kind rewind.”

Does anyone even rent video tapes anymore?

When I returned home I saw that my friend Catherine had sent me a link to a an interview with Louis CK on Conan O’Brien’s TV show. His words resonated with me… maybe “bits” like this are a sign that I am old… I don’t know.

As I hear Louis CK talk about highspeed internet available on a plane I was reminded of a time I went to the Walla Walla Public Library.
There was a sign on the door of the library that the internet was not available on the library computers that day. I overheard a woman say “No internet… Why did they even bother opening?”


April 6, 2009

As a mere mortal I often wonder, at nite, if the house is secure… who knew that the Grim Reaper worried about the same thing.