Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oversight













Brad Parsley, Choir Director at the New Life Church, son of Ross Parsley, the 'Worship Pastor' who made $443,000 last year.

Pastor Ted Haggard's New Life church is in the news again, and apparently there are now worrying signs of further soy contamination in Colorado Springs. This afternoon, the church posted a request on their website to aid the 'Restoration Committee' with the good reverend's 'restoration':

...To assist in both the process of Rev. Haggard's restoration and the protection of the Church itself, the Overseers are open to receiving current information relevant to either Rev. Haggard's recovery process or any concerns about New Life Church staff or its leaders. While they cannot promise confidentiality, the Overseers will handle any such information discretely...

So if anyone out there has done anything...inappropriate... with any of the good pastors at the church, they request that you drop them a perhaps confidential line. There's a helpful link at the end, too. Don't be shy, now's your chance.

The not-too-reverend Dan Savage, who runs a popular sex advice column picked up on this and is offering a more flavorful (and less workplace-friendly) approach. One interesting note that popped up in his comments section is the nature of the rather Orwellian sounding 'overseers' that seem now to be running things at the New Life Church:

...They use "overseer" because it is an English translation of episkopos, the Greek word from which the English word bishop is derived...

Which is also the root of Episcopal, so it would be appropriate for the Virginian Churches who succeeded from the Episcopal church to refer to their Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria (the one who favors the jailing of homosexuals) as their new 'overseer.' As in "We welcome our new Homophobic Overseers."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Merry Corporate Christmas



















I'm wondering who has the copyright on the Baby Jesus. From the BBC:

When James Worley paid a visit to Disney World in Florida his portly frame and white beard soon had kids asking: "Are you Santa Claus?" Not wanting to disappoint, Mr Worley, 60, played along with some "ho-ho-hos".But Disney officials descended, telling him to stop the impersonation or get out of the park. They said they wanted to preserve the magic of Santa...He said Disney had told him "Santa was considered a Disney character".

The BBC has other fun Santa tidbits in the news:

A Christmas beer brewed in Oxfordshire has been banned in parts of the United States because it has a picture of Father Christmas on the label...

Santa Claus has had to employ bodyguards after being attacked on his sleigh in the Black Country...

and my personal favorite:

More than 200 offenders in Oxfordshire will be sent a Christmas card featuring a drunken Father Christmas urinating in the snow.

Friday, December 15, 2006



If you're at all wondering what it is that I've been doing that keeps me from posting for long stretches - here it is. This is one of 4 movies that we made to market a new condo development in Brooklyn. Enjoy.

Mystery Solved













I took some time off last week to have some fun for my birthday. Festivities included seeing a couple of movies, including the new James Bond which is pretty dope, and is, as they say, the best Bond since the heyday of Sean Connery.

When I came back to work on Monday, a surprise was waiting for me. An eight-pack of double corona cigars and a funky cigar lighter (which looks like it was used in a Bond film), shipped from Martinez Cigars. The problem was a lack of card, note or any identifying mark indicating who sent it. What a conundrum - whom to thank? Suspects abounded but one by one they were eliminated from suspicion. Finally a call to Martinez, and some fleet research of their internet records yielded the culprit: my own brother, Mike, was the guilty party.

So many thanks, Mike. I'll be sure to bring a couple with me to Tucson when we go there next week.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Devil's Weed













Well my question of what's in that Rocky Mountain Spring water that I asked earlier today was answered by the intrepid reporters at the right-wing WorldNetDaily just a few hours later:

There's a slow poison out there that's severely damaging our children and threatening to tear apart our culture. The ironic part is, it's a "health food," one of our most popular.

Now, I'm a health-food guy, a fanatic who seldom allows anything into his kitchen unless it's organic. I state my bias here just so you'll know I'm not anti-health food.

The dangerous food I'm speaking of is soy. Soybean products are feminizing, and they're all over the place. You can hardly escape them anymore...

...Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality. That's why most of the medical (not socio-spiritual) blame for today's rise in homosexuality must fall upon the rise in soy formula and other soy products. (Most babies are bottle-fed during some part of their infancy, and one-fourth of them are getting soy milk!) Homosexuals often argue that their homosexuality is inborn because "I can't remember a time when I wasn't homosexual." No, homosexuality is always deviant. But now many of them can truthfully say that they can't remember a time when excess estrogen wasn't influencing them.

The author, Jim Rutz, goes on to explain about the shocking findings of all of these studies that were done. Oddly, a Google search reveals no such studies. In fact the top results for 'health effects of soy' yield two government sites aggregating the results of all recent studies, which essentially demonstrate moderate benefits to moderate soy product consumption. There are mentions of the suspected effects of the amounts of estrogen in soy, but all studies are either completely inconclusive on those, if they aren't completely debunked.

Of course one shouldn't expect rigorous scientific method from Mr. Rutz. After all, after being an Amway distributor for 12 years (see the 'about' section on his site), he is the founder of the 'open' church Megashift, whose website is one of the most wonderously cult-like I've ever run across (and I run across a lot of these sites in my recent quest to more further understand Christianity in our culture.) The introductory video shows a female victim of plastic surgery dressed in pilgrim garb talking about how miracles are sweeping the globe, including the 'raising of the dead in over 52 countries.' They document five of them here.

But who to blame for this plague of the vile weed? Well, us of course. The U.S. is the world's largest producer of soybeans, and this map of American soybean production highlights ground zero of the infestation:















Note the dot of high production around Washington, DC. But most of it is in the states of Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. Expect to see a further rash of church 'outings' in the Upper Midwest over the coming months.

Word Play












About a week ago the report of the Iraq Study Group was issued. I downloaded a copy (.pdf available here), and converted the .pdf to a word document using Acrobat Professional. This allowed me to have some fun with the report, using the tools available in Microsoft Word.

Namely the Word Count tools. It can help one get a gist of the document without all of the pesky reading of it. For example the word ‘war’ appears 31 times and the word ‘peace’ is used 40 times. Also ‘death’ and ‘life’ are each used five times.

Some notable things result. ‘Sunni’ is used 86 times, ‘Shia/Shiite’ is used 69 times, but ‘Kurd’ is only used 53 times. ‘Win’ is used 4 times, ‘lose’ just once; but ‘lost’ is used 4 times and ‘won’ is not used at all.

Of more note are the following words and how often they are used:

‘Mass Destruction’: Once
‘Democracy’: Seven times
‘Election’: Seventeen times
‘Politics’: Fifteen times
‘Oil’: Sixty Four times

Quite telling. But what is sadly the most telling is the number of times any of the following words are used in the 168 page report: ‘Apology’ ‘remorse’ ‘guilt’ ‘shame’ ‘sorrow’ ‘mistake’ ‘humble’ ‘humility’ ‘blame’ ‘regret’ ‘contrite’ ‘repent’ ‘atone’ ‘error’ ‘blunder’ ‘underestimate.’ None of those words is used even once.

Something in the Rocky Mountain Stream Water...



















And the fun continues in the great state of Colorado. From the AP:

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The founding pastor of a second Colorado church has resigned over gay sex allegations, just weeks after the evangelical community was shaken by the scandal surrounding megachurch leader Ted Haggard...On Sunday, Paul Barnes, founding pastor of the 2,100-member Grace Chapel in this Denver suburb, told his evangelical congregation in a videotaped message he had had sexual relations with other men and was stepping down...On the videotape, which The Post was allowed to view, Barnes told church members: "I have struggled with homosexuality since I was a 5-year-old boy... I can't tell you the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep, begging God to take this away." Barnes, 54, led Grace Chapel for 28 years. He and his wife have two adult children.

No word yet on meth or prostitution. Grace Chapel has a less impressive website than that of Haggard's church, but it is yet another conservative church with an emphasis on salvation through faith, growth of the church through aggressive outreach and end-of-days theology. Their 'doctrinal statement' is a very standard, if somewhat banal, document (good reading for those who want to understand basic contemporary evangelical theology.) And the church is complete with the requisite 'man-classes' which are hilarious studies in homoerotic undercurrent.

One thing of note that both Barnes and Haggard share are long marriages. Barnes has two adult children, so I assume that he has been married for decades. Haggard was the same. I feel for the women and children trapped in those situations.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Stacks of Snacks















As a followup to the post below on the mediocre quality of the food in North Carolina, it appears that Kathy and I visited a little too early in the season. Courtesy the Virginian-Pilot:


A tractor-trailer-size container filled with thousands of bags of Doritos washed up here early Thursday, prompting Hatteras Islanders to summon their inner scavengers...

...Long before National Park Service ranger Brad Griest learned that the cargo container had beached, Hatteras Islanders were busy with their time-honored tradition of wreck salvage. A stream of folks stuffed large garbage bags with Cool Ranch, Nacho Cheese and Spicy Nacho Doritos...

...Schneider said the team is responsible for cleaning up a hazardous material, such as an oil spill. There may be some argument to be made about the health hazard of chips, he said, but the risk didn’t quite qualify. 'When I found out it’s Doritos, it’s pretty much out of our jurisdiction,” he said. “It’s definitely litter, but it’s not a contaminant.'

Road Rage













One advantage of working in animation for the architectural and engineering professions is exposure to topics that normal architects don't get exposed to. One of particular interest to me has been traffic flow, which I have found to be rather fascinating. It's basically fluid dynamics with the individual particles having specific behavior that can be quantified in a chaotic sense. Congestion results from all of the drivers behaving in cumulative ways - for instance a huge amount of freeway congestion is actually the result of drivers constantly changing lanes trying to avoid freeway congestion.

There is a fun German site, which I found, that simulates many of the most common sources of congestion. It's interactive, allowing you to change the parameters of the traffic, including how polite the drivers are. It seems that the Golden Rule is actually useful to alleviating much of the problem. A good thing to remember this holiday season as the stresses accumulate...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Monkey Junction





























Another posting I should have done a while back. Last month Kathy and I went down to the beaches of North Carolina to celebrate Andy Blocha’s 40th Birthday. Kure Beach near Wilmington. The weather was in the unbelievable 70s, allowing us to swim in the friggin’ ocean in November, so we all behaved like little happy loons in the water. The evenings were a wonderful time to catch up with plenty of drink, and spend a little kid-free time. The food in the restaurants, however, was abysmal. I could try to say that Kathy and I are becoming too much like snotty foodies, but actually no one could stomach the acres of soggy deep fried seafood.

It was a great time catching up with Dan and Andy, who are both doing well; but both should try to get involved in the 21st century a bit more – Googling “Andy Blocha” in quotes currently leads to only one hit – an obscure bulletin board in Polish that appears to be about poker. Dan fairs a bit better – you at least get several hits for Google Mail invites he’s received.

On the way back from a celebratory dinner, which at least had some superb seafood chowder, we were driving back our of the restaurant parking lot when a somewhat crazed young woman asked us for a hitchhike ride to ‘Monkey Junction.’ She was clearly drunk and we just chalked it up to inebriation or our inability to understand what she was saying. Turns out that the place does exist:

“The name Monkey Junction harkens back to the 1920s when the bus to Carolina Beach stopped at this intersection. An enterprising gas station nearby featured live monkeys as an attraction to draw customers from the bus. When the driver stopped, he announced, "Monkey Junction," and that’s how it has been known ever since.”

Monday, December 04, 2006

Dave gets Down with Arcade Fire


A musical interlude on A Good World

The Farming of Thistles



















A couple post-worthy events happened in the last week that I didn’t have the time to write much about, so I’ll try to play a bit of catch-up during my brief bouts of free time.

Last Tuesday, my brother posted a brief note about Becca Stevens, the founder of Thistle Farms in Nashville, a noble organization that aims to provide aid to women who need to recover from addictions and prostitution. He refers to her as ‘the finest preacher I know,’ and based on a brief quote he gave, I can believe it:

“…And God forgive us when our theology becomes a position to defend and not a story of serving others in our lives…”

The aptness of those words was posted by my brother ironically on the same day that an article came out in the New York Times, covering the resignation of the president-elect of the Christian Coalition of America, the Reverend Joel C. Hunter, who is also a pastor of one of those ‘mega’ churches sprouting up all over America like mushrooms after thec rain. His church, Northland, helpfully is posting a live webcam of its future facility construction, posted by its ‘Ministry of Construction.’ I don’t want to beat down Northland too much here – it strikes me as more of the ‘watered down’ catechism churches designed to appeal to the masses than Ted Haggard’s fire and brimstone approach. And at least his church doesn’t seem to have a Starbucks franchise inside.

And I also don’t want to rag on him too much because of why he quit the Christian Coalition. As the article says:

“..Dr. Hunter has argued that a large number of conservative Christians feel that right-wing religious groups do not represent them, because they focus their energies too narrowly on what he calls moral issues, often to the exclusion of economic and environmental concerns…Dr. Hunter said that although Mrs. Combs [chairwoman of the Coalition] had indicated that the organization also wanted to expand its priorities to include the issues that concerned him, the board backed away from such a commitment during a conference call last Tuesday. By the end of the call, Dr. Hunter and the coalition had decided to part amicably, according to both sides.”

Said Mrs. Combs:

“We’re a political organization, and there’s a way to do things, like taking a survey of your members and seeing what they need,” she said. “Joel had a different way of doing things, so he just went out there.”

I love the idea of poll-testing religious faith. Dr. Hunter seems to be running into the same ‘Christian’ wall that the Republican Governor of Alabama, Bob Riley, ran into three years ago when he tried unsuccessfully to pitch a tax increase as aiding Christ’s ministry for the poor. The tax increase was designed to increase taxes on the rich and lower them on the poor, while raising an additional $1.2 billion for education and social services. The measure was soundly defeated by the 93% of Alabaman’s who self identify as Christian, forcing the governor to cut the budget of state agencies by 18 percent.

I hope that Becca Stephens is as rhetorically gifted as my brother says – she has a lot of work to do among the Christian ‘Faithful.’

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Schroedter's New Blog










My nephew, Schroedter, has a new blog, so go check it out if you haven't already.

My brother points out that it was our mother who had the idea for setting up Schroedter's blog. An excellent idea, but one that makes me giggle. When I started this blog up less than a year ago, she told me she didn't like the idea and pretty much refused to read it, saying that blogging was far too impersonal for her taste. The inexorable march of progress I suppose. Glad to see that she has turned to the dark side.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Makin' Bacon



















Well, I voted today. Of course here in New York the Republican party has completely collapsed, making the elections somewhat of a foregone conclusion. So what to do? Vote for the Communist Party, of course. Why? It's what Jesus would do:

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet.

-Acts 4:32-36

Of course, the apostles could get real old school on this:

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property.
With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet.

Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God."

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?"

"Yes," she said, "that is the price."

Peter said to her, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also." At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

-Acts 5:1-11

Pretty harsh stuff. And perhaps a bible passage that the friendly folk at Pastor Ted's New Life Church in Colorado Springs should read as they ponder a replacement for him now that he's on that downbound train. Here are the salaries for various ministers at that church:

Ted Haggard (old pre-meth salary): $617,795.00
Rob Brendle (Associate Pastor): $629,447.00
John Bolin (Teaching Pastor): $386,000.00
Lance Coles (Church Administrator): $483,777.00
Ross Parsley (Worship Pastor): $443,898.00
Matthew Falentine (Associate Worship Pastor): $351,303.00
Glen Packiam (Associate Worship Pastor): $335,136.00
Ted Whaley (Small Group Ministry Director): $519,431.00
Bill Walton (5th and 6th Grade Pastor): $381,395.00

Obviously only a partial list. But clearly Jesus pays quite well. One would think that the local meth dealers and whores would up their rates somewhat.

Monday, November 06, 2006

We are all Going to Die















The most recent scientific estimates are that our sun's lifespan is about 10 billion years, and we are not quite halfway through it, our life source being around four and a half billion years old. The earth is somewhat younger, but under normal conditions would last about the same as the sun, until the sun goes nova, engulfing us in a quick nuclear flameout.

Unfortunately for us, the universe is not so normal. It is estimated that the nearest large galaxy, Andromeda, is on a collision course with our own Milky Way, and is due to hit us in three billion years or so. And while our sun may survive, things don't look as rosy for our homeworld.

Based on our 'safe' location in one of the galactic arms (safe from the ravages of our galactic core), computer simulations show us being ejected from the Milky Way by the Andromeda collision, and sent into a crazy elliptical, almost comet-like orbit around the merging galaxies. Our Solar system will fly out (all well and good) but then careen back into the merging mess, slamming us through the galactic core, and then spun out again. The cycle will repeat itself over and over until our sun does it's normal burnout or is torn to shreds by the (likely) massive black hole at the center of the galaxy. Earth wont be so lucky. If it survives the initial collision and ejection, it almost certainly will be obliterated by the first pass through the center of the galaxies.

The astronomer John Dubinski, of the University of Toronto, has produced a series of helpful movies of our future doom. 'Galaxies in Collision' shows the event from the peace of distant space, making the violence like a ballet. My personal favorite, 'Future Sky', shows the collision from Earth's vantagepoint. It's fun to watch us repeatedly slam into the center of the madness.

Don't forget to vote.

Friday, November 03, 2006

When You're Going to Hell, Don't Pack your American Express











Price of Meth Amphetamines: $25/ quarter gram

Price of Gay Prostitutes: $200-$250/ Hour

Value of telling the press that you bought the meth, but didn't use it, and that you only got a massage from the Gay Prostitute: Priceless

When You're Going to Hell, pack for warm weather, but don't pack your American Express Card...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Boom










Well I had planned on using my limited free time to post on the scandal enveloping Ted Haggard, the pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. It seems that Pastor Haggard found the collection of erotic art in the church's buildings too arousing and fell into sin. An excellent article on the church appeared in Harpers earlier this year, and they have helpfully posted it on line today. It's a must read even before the scandal broke. A choice quote:

'He was always on the lookout for spies. At the time, Colorado Springs was a small city split between the Air Force and the New Age, and the latter, Pastor Ted believed, worked for the devil. Pastor Ted soon began upsetting the devil's plans. He staked out gay bars, inviting men to come to his church; his whole congregation pitched itself into invisible battles with demonic forces, sometimes in front of public buildings. One day, while he was working in his garage, a woman who said she'd been sent by a witches' coven tried to stab Pastor Ted with a five-inch knife she pulled from a leg sheath; Pastor Ted wrestled the blade out of her hand. He let that story get around. He called the evil forces that dominated Colorado Springs—and every other metropolitan area in the country—“Control.”'

So much for control...

His church revolves around subdivided groups (it's otherwise going to be impossible to manage a congregation in excess of 14,000 souls). The group list makes for some enlightening reading, and as the good pastor embarks on spiritual counseling he will be well taken care of by his church. Some of the groups include:

Tri Lakes Mens Gathering - ' to build Godly men of character'

Real Men - 'A real man is one who is REAL with other men'

In his Grip - for golfers

Soul Safety - sexual purity for men - 'for men struggling to remain sexually pure'

Soul Safety - sexual identity issues - ' biblically based study for men & women struggling with homosexuality'

Becoming Mighty Men - 'Male heroes of the Bible including their strengths & weakness, to help today's man become a mighty man of God'

Marketplace for Men - 'Start your week with men just like you from the marketplace to share ideas for life.'

Warrior Poets - 'Begin the Journey of A Warrior Poet...'

and, of course:

Men of Caliber - 'Guys and Gunpowder; Now there's a great combination(usually)!!!'

I had actually wanted to write something more inspired on these lines rather than pointing out the homoerotic undertones of all of these courses. But before I had the chance, and got too tired, this lovely bit of news hit the wire, and my limited amount of tolerance for hypocrisy was overwhelmed.

Back in the Spring, the Administration set up a website to post captured Iraqi and 'terrorist' documents to allow the general public (namely the 101st fighting keyboarders) to 'translate' them to help them find dastardly things. Quite a PR move. Although they apparently screwed that one up:

'Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who said they hoped to “leverage the Internet” to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.'

There's really not much more to say. That large nuclear sound you hear is the noise generated by a star turning into a black hole, collapsing in on itself because of its immense gaseous weight. The latest (too optimistic in my mind) predictions have the Democrats taking over both the House and the Senate. It can't happen soon enough.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Baptism

Baptism done right:




















Baptism done wrong:














From the Comics Curmudgeon:

"This may be the first time ever that I’ve appreciated the Family Circus in a non-ironic fashion. Then again, this may be the first time that the Family Circus featured the aftermath of a ghastly parody of a religious sacrament that quickly descended into child-injuring violence. My favorite aspects: the discarded bible, face down in the grass, its pages no doubt scratched to ribbons by Kittycat in a desperate attempt to escape salvation; and the dripping water and anger-produced steam emanating from the aforementioned still-unsaved feline. I am a bit curious about the transistor radio — tuned to some cheesy contemporary Christian channel, no doubt. I also think that it was overkill to use the hose and the bucket and the water already in the birdbath. They really tried to baptize the hell out of that cat."

Definately a site worthy of checking out. And congratulations to Baby Gracie (and thanks for the lovely card!)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Signs of the Apocalypse, Part III


A test to see if we can get video running here at 'A Good World.' Enjoy

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fear of Math



















Well as you all know by now there was a plane crash in a building on the Upper East side about two hours ago. The coverage is an object lesson in how the press works and thinks:

" NEW YORK - A small plane crashed into a 50-story condominium tower Wednesday on Manhattan's Upper East Side...The plane hit the 20th floor of the Belaire — a tower overlooking the East River, about five miles from the World Trade Center..."

Now, I'm hoping that this report, which hasn't been corrected in a couple of hours, eventually does get fixed. But when you look at all of the photos, you'll notice that if the plane crashed at the 20th floor of a 50 story building, then there would be 30 stories between the site of the crash and the roof. Clearly this is not the case. I suppose that it would have been too much to ask that someone actually count the floors of the building. My guess is that someone mentioned the numbers 20 and 50 and it just stuck. What's also interesting is that all of the reports, from CNN to ESPN to the NY Times are saying the same thing.

Obviously a quibble, but a good example of careless reporting that shouldn't be trusted. But what gets my ire is this line from the article:

"...The crash struck fear in a city devastated by the attacks of Sept. 11 five years ago..."

Blow me. I know that the administration banks on there being eight and a quarter million people in this fair town cowering in basements and having flashbacks every time they hear a plane engine, but that is far from the truth. Far, far from it. I'm so tired of this insane story line.

Now they are reporting that the plane was piloted by Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle. Not their best postseason.

Wednesday Cat Blogging



















Orestes Helping Papa change the lightbulbs edition. And in case you didn't catch the latest example of better living through chemistry, here's an article about new breeds of cats for sale that have been genetically modified to be non-allergenic.

R.I.P. Eve Adamson















Eve Adamson, the founder of the Jean Cocteau Repertory Theater, died this past weekend. Obit Here. Apparently she died from the same bad cold that's been infecting me and everyone else here in New York. Never mess with the flu.

She started her New York Career as a hat check girl at the Copa Cobana. She may have lived a shorter life than others (68) because she lived it fully, perhaps too much so, some might say. Others. such as myself, would disagree.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Extremes of Good and Evil
















"On the other hand, we denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are so beguiled and demoralized by the charms of pleasure of the moment, so blinded by desire, that they cannot foresee the pain and trouble that are bound to ensue; and equal blame belongs to those who fail in their duty through weakness of will, which is the same as saying through shrinking from toil and pain. These cases are perfectly simple and easy to distinguish. In a free hour, when our power of choice is untrammelled and when nothing prevents our being able to do what we like best, every pleasure is to be welcomed and every pain avoided. But in certain circumstances and owing to the claims of duty or the obligations of business it will frequently occur that pleasures have to be repudiated and annoyances accepted. The wise man therefore always holds in these matters to this principle of selection: he rejects pleasures to secure other greater pleasures, or else he endures pains to avoid worse pains."

-Cicero, 'The Extremes of Good and Evil', written c. 45 B.C.

Quite a mouthful and especially appropriate today. This quotation from Cicero begins to hint at more modern concepts of evil, such as Hanah Arrent's 'banality'. Evil, or unintentional pain on oneself and on others, walks in when you are not paying attention. So one must avoid getting into those situations in the first place.

Words to live by, and ones that should be read every day. Actually they are, for this is the source of the famous 'Lorem Ipsum' phrase used as placeholder text by typesetters and graphic designers for the past 500 years. (h/t Janni - thanks for the cool link)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Signs of the Apocalypse, Part II













Echidne of the Snakes has the YouTube of the ABC news preview of the new Magnolia Pictures Jesus Camp.

Soldiers for the Gospel. Worshipping the President. One doesn't know where to start. As TBogg puts it, "No wonder Jesus hasn't Returned. These people are nuts and He wants no part of them."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tribute in Light













After having been quite intimately involved in the clusterfuck that is the redevelopment of the World Trade Center Site for the past five years, I can say that the Tribute In Light is the most eloquent memorial that could have been constructed. The first time it was lit, back in spring of 2002, I had the fortune of seeing it from the air on a plane landing at LaGuardia. It was spectacular; a beautiful, simple and haunting beacon that can be seen from the entire city.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has guaranteed funding through 2008, but beyond that the fate of the Tribute is up in the air.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Conan the Ovarian




















As most of you know it often takes me a long time to get around to doing things, and a post along these lines is no exception. My sister-in-law sent me an email several months ago as part of research into the latest book she is writing, ‘She’s Not the Man I Married.’, asking questions about relationships and gender. I never got around to responding to it, mainly because the questions were deserving of well-thought-out answers, and I didn’t have many of them:

1) Why do people pursue long-term companionship? (marriage, commitment, partnership - whatever you call it in your universe.)

2) Why, specifically, did you (if you did)?

2b) If you didn't, why didn't you?

3) How close is what you intended/imagined it to be to what it actually is?

4) Do you "feel like" a man or a woman (depending on which you are, or not)?

5) What is it that makes you feel that way? Something internal or external? Abstract or concrete?

6) How do you imagine your life would change (or if it would) if you woke up the opposite of what you are, tomorrow?

7) How much do you think your being a man or a woman has to do with the kind of relationship you prefer to be in (whether you're in one or not, whether the one you're in is the type you'd prefer to be in or not)?

Quite truthfully, most of these questions I could only answer, ‘I don’t know,’ which is unfortunate. I have been mulling them over in my mind for the summer and haven’t made much progress. Why did I get married? Because I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Why? Ultimately, it beats me. I can list all sorts of pragmatic and non-pragmatic emotional reasons, but adding them up doesn’t yield much. Too much is unobservable, sort of like the dark matter comprising the majority of substance in the Universe.

Why am I a man? Well, that’s easy – As I replied to her earlier, I have an average-sized Mr Happy between my legs. Beyond that it’s all externally defined. Why do I consider myself a man, and what makes me a man (other than the basic hardware) are the better questions, and more along what she was interested in.

Seriously, in most of this country I wouldn’t be considered much of one. I collect fabulous neckties, art deco dishware, and routinely shave my head. I have just about zero interest in watching sports, although I have enjoyed playing them. Lately I’ve been a voracious reader of religious and political history. This is not exactly ‘driving my enemies forward and hearing the lamentations of their women.’

Of course all those things are mostly fluff – the above listed affectations and their counterparts (NASCAR, John Wayne, Steak) are used more in making assumptions of someone’s sexual orientation instead of gender, though they are obviously linked, if only rhetorically. ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ are more often referred to by attitude instead of affectation – Sort of like that Justice/Mercy dichotomy popularized a couple of decades ago.

What actually prompted me to finally write this post is what made the internets today. A complete wanker, David Warren, whom I wasn’t familiar with until today, wrote an idiotic column about the release of the Fox News reporters from captivity (Note: Fox News reporters – It’s always fun to watch conservatives eat their own):

And the two Fox journalists, whom I will not stoop to name, begged for their lives even though, in retrospect, their lives probably weren't in danger. . . . Men without chests, men without character, men who don't think twice.

I don’t want this post to get to crazy long, so I will instead link to Glenn Greenwald’s definitive smackdown, but you should go through TBogg’s link first. Also essential reading is Greenwald’s earlier post which he links to as well. In these posts, Greenwald covers male identity more eloquently than I ever could. Here’s a preview:

Warren has a biography page on his website. In telling us about himself, Warren complains that "the thumb on (his) right hand still hurts sometimes from when it was broken in a dodgeball game," tells us that his favorite sport is cricket, talks of his love for Ella Fitzgerald and Jane Austen, touts his devout Catholicism, confesses that he has "been estranged [from his wife of 18 years] for going on four years," and says he is "fascinated by seeds, small shells, tiny fishes, & insects."

I also read Mr. Warren’s biography page – he does a hundred bullet points describing himself, and it is a laughable list. My eyes lit on #12:

My favourite Epistle, which I incidentally think genuinely by St. Paul, is the one to the Ephesians.

What a pompous twit. How ‘erudite,’ that little aside. Of course, most scholars agree that not only did the Apostle Paul not write Ephesians, almost certainly the Epistle wasn’t originally even written to the Ephesians. The writing style is wrong, and more importantly the author of Ephesians contradicts many of Paul’s earlier writings in important theological points. Also, the earliest copies of the letter don’t mention Ephesus in the first verse. Actually the earliest copy of the complete New Testament that we have, The Codex Sinaiticus, has the words ‘In Ephesus’ written in the margins of the epistle’s text.

The reasons for Mr. Warren’s love of the Epistle are pretty clear. It is the Epistle with the famous verse:

Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the church, being himself the saviour of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their husbands in everything.

-Ephesians 5:22-24

Can’t argue with the Lord, as they say. Of course, I doubt that Mr. Warren has read that Epistle lately, or at least shortly before writing his vile screed. Here are some other edifying quotes for him to chew on before questioning the ‘masculinity’ of people held at gunpoint:

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:1-3

Wherefore, putting away falsehood, speak ye truth each one with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil.

Ephesians 4:25-27

Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and railing, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:29-32

Be ye therefore imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved you…

Ephesians 5:1-2

The Apostle Paul (and those who wrote letters in his name) had definitive ideas of what it means to be a Christian. Descriptive words include ‘love,’ ‘child,’ ‘sacrifice,’ ‘mercy,’ and, of course, ‘forgive.’

Actually the word 'Mercy' is used over three times as often as 'Justice' in the New Testament. Clearly Christ was a man without a chest, without character...



Thursday, August 31, 2006

My Flat Daddy













Dear Jeebus, I wish this were a joke:

From Boston.com:

Maine National Guard members in Iraq and Afghanistan are never far from the thoughts of their loved ones.

But now, thanks to a popular family-support program, they're even closer.

Welcome to the ``Flat Daddy" and ``Flat Mommy" phenomenon, in which life-size cutouts of deployed service members are given by the Maine National Guard to spouses, children, and relatives back home.

The Flat Daddies ride in cars, sit at the dinner table, visit the dentist, and even are brought to confession, according to their significant others on the home front.

``I prop him up in a chair, or sometimes put him on the couch and cover him up with a blanket," said Kay Judkins of Caribou, whose husband, Jim, is a minesweeper mechanic in Afghanistan. ``The cat will curl up on the blanket, and it looks kind of weird. I've tricked several people by that. They think he's home again."


This is disturbing on so many levels. I wonder what Tom Friedman thinks. Of course the best part is taking a cardboard cutout to confession. Pretty impressive that a cardboard cuttout can participate in a sacrament. Of course, I'd like to see how it fares with the sacrament of baptism:

John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

-Matthew 3:4-6

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Another Example of Better Living Through Chemistry




















(Image from the excellent site, Plan59)

Some of you know that high cholesterol runs in my family (Thanks, Mom.) Well, my biology is no exception. Everything was great until about a year or so ago when it went off of the charts. Everything was wrong – not enough ‘good’, far too much ‘bad’, and apparently after my doctor did a high-end blood test to get down to the molecular makeup of my blood, it turns out that of 15 or so cholesterol markers or whatnot, I was off-the-charts bad in 13 of them.

My bad rating was 195. And my diet, while not completely perfect, is a damn site better than most – No Mickey D’s, no Doritos, etc. So it wasn’t lifestyle issues as much as bad genes. In the end my Doctor put me on Vytorin, one of those statin drugs. Two months later he did some new bloodwork.

And my bad was down to 100. Pretty amazing stuff. And it has actually been making me rethink my rather negative views of the pharmaceutical and medical industries.

Except that, even though 100 is a very good level, my doctor wants it down to a super human 70 or less, which according to some of the latest studies would reverse any damage the two years of high cholesterol may have done, eventually allowing me to live forever, or at least longer than any of you suckers.

Or so that’s the theory at least.

So he’s adding monstrous doses of Niacin to the mix. The side effects include flushing of the skin, which means that for the next several days I’ll be turning beet-red on a regular basis. I love how the side effects pamphlets they hand out with drugs always say that the benefits of the drug outweigh any side effects, otherwise the doctor wouldn’t have prescribed them, so chin-up.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday Planet Blogging













The week’s biggest story, surpassing even a revival of the Jon Benet Ramsey murder, was of course the demotion of Pluto from the exalted ranks of planetary status. Personally I feel that a true definition of planets should only include four – Neptune (the smallest), Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter. Seriously, it’s a major step down from Neptune to the next largest mote of rock orbiting the sun, which would be Earth – less than 1/17th the mass of Neptune.

But if we insist on such a geocentric mode of looking at our solar system, allowing our humble home-rock to be lumped into the same category of object as Jupiter (100 times the mass of Earth and with 62 moons so far discovered, only 38 of which have been named), we will of course end up with absurdities such as whether or not a slightly smaller lump of stones (Pluto is actually a quadrinary system of four rocks orbiting each other) is also a planet.

But what the whole event reminds me of is my fascination as a younger lad with the earlier planetary battle that took place back in the 19th century. (As both of my parents are astronomers, my youthful fascinations tended towards the astronomically geeky). As a kid my favorite solar system object was Ceres, which had the honor of being considered a planet for over 50 years, before it, too, got unceremoniously booted from the club.

Ceres was discovered in 1801, by Giuseppe Piazzi, and it was assumed to be the ‘missing’ planet that the Titius-Bode law said should exist between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It was deemed to be a planet, given a planetary symbol and remained so even after the discovery of Pallas, Juno and Vesta – the next three objects discovered that would ultimately deemed to be asteroids.

In 1828, the book, ‘First Steps to Astronomy and Geography’, lists the planets as "Eleven: Mercury, Venus, the Earth, Mars, Vesta, Juno, Ceres, Pallas, Jupiter, Saturn, and Herschel." Herschel was the name used for Uranus for several years after the Astronomer Hershel discovered the planet.

This remained until 1847 when a whole slew of new asteroids was discovered, bringing the number up to 15. Still, even until the 1850s, by which point the number of known asteroids rose past 100, the first 4 asteroids discovered were referred to as planets, avoiding the term ‘minor planets’ until different national astronomical journals slowly adopted the new terminology. Ceres and the other three were viewed as both planets and asteroids until the time of the American Civil War. Unlike with Pluto their status changed not with a bang, but a whimper.

I always felt more affinity for a tiny rock like Ceres than Pluto, as it is much closer to our own tiny rock. It always seemed more accessible and more exotic to me, especially since no one paid any attention to it in our science classes. It was sort of like having your own planet nearby that no one else was aware of

Pretty pathetic, huh?

On June 20, 2007, NASA hopefully launches the Dawn Mission, a probe that will visit two of these former planets, Vesta in 2011, and Ceres in 2015.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Signs of the Apocalypse








From the July 27th Economist:

According to the National Police Agency, which oversees the industry, the Japanese collectively spend some 30 trillion Yen ($260 Billion) a year playing pachinko and its upstart cousin, pachislot – roughly equal to spending on health care. Borrowing money to pay pachislot is thought to account for almost half of consumer debt.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Monday Cat Blogging














































A good series of kitty shots to keep you all going this week, courtesy of Kathy's new digital camera. I'll be posting more later, but in the meantime if you are jonesing for some new blog reading, you can always head on over to the new blog being run by Imad Moustapha, the Syrian Ambassador to the United States. The politics is to be expected, but it has a series of interesting posts on different Syrian Artists. From Jonathan Schwarz at This Modern World.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Monday Cat Blogging

































Well it's been a while for cat blogging as well, and they are back in good graces since Electra snagged that mouse. Though she needs to get some lessons on killing them rather than playing around with them and freaking Mom out. The big news is that Misty is now down from the top floor, and hanging out on the first floor, and as you can see is very happy hanging out with everyone.

Of course now that he eats with the rest of them, we are realizing exactly how many cats we have. Starting to feel like one of those crazy cat people.

Petey and Misty had their annual vet checkups today. Misty may have a Thyroid issue, and Petey has been declared blind, but other than that both are well, especially considering their age.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Pharaoh's Dream














Peter Cornelius: Joseph interpreting Pharaoh's Dream, 1816 (actually Joseph makes the point that he's not interpreting the dream, because only God can.)

Genesis 41:1-8:

"When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.

He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind. The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.

In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him."

Yes, yes, I know. It’s been far too long since I posted. As you might imagine things have been pretty crazy at work, what with late nights spent working on projects designed to impress and convince people to spend righteous bucks on condominium apartments at the peak of the market.

That’s pretty much the situation right now. Everyone in the residential real estate business is like the Pharaoh after meeting Joseph who successfully interprets his dreams: they are waking up and realizing that the seven fat years of plenty are up, and heading this way are the seven lean years of famine. So time to make the marketing phone calls.

So we are being deluged with these phone calls from panicked brokers and marketers, desperate to set up campaigns to sell their apartments before what will undoubtedly be the last decent autumn selling season. My God, we absolutely HAVE to have these renderings by September or the whole damn world ends.

So I’m taking the work while the going is good, which means a lot of late nights until October when everyone realizes it’s now too damn late and they’re stuck with a whole mess of apartments with Viking appliances and Dog Spas in the building that no one in their right mind would pay a thousand a square foot for.

Smell the fear...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Welcome to Earth!













Well, I got a lot less writing done in LA than I had hoped. Actually none. So it will be a little longer before I can post on the topics mentioned below. But I wanted to welcome two new people to this planet:

First, of course, is Grace, who arrived on the afternoon of Erin and Windy's 2nd anniversary on Monday, weighing a spritely 6 pounds. And now second is Betty's Sister who just delivered a slightly less spritely ten pound (!) baby boy today. Congrats all around.

And Welcome! The per captia national debt today is now $28,229 per person, so get workin'. We'll take it in tens and twentys...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Off to LA













No more posting until Tuesday, as Kathy and I are off to Los Angelese for the Baby shower of Erin and Windy. We'll be hooking up with Airman O'Malley and my Mom, so a good time is guaranteed.

But fear not. While there I will be writing on numerous topics to be posted next week, including more follow-up on the Left Behind video game, a discussion of my gender orientation and a review of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. Good Times are a-comin'.

Stay tuned.

Oh, and by the way, the previous post seems to have had an effect. The Kitties have been paying a lot more attention to the mice in the house, especially Wee Girl. Nothing like a little public scolding to motivate the soul...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tuesday Mouse Blogging
























Normally when I skip Friday Cat Blogging, I make up for it later. Can't deprive the readers of kitties, after all. Well today I will, for this weekend they proved themselves to be utterly pathetic creatures.

As several of you know, in addition to having four (five, temporarily) cats, we have also found ourselves with a bit of a rodent problem in our house. Yes, we have mice. And the kitties have proven themselves incapable of dealing with the task.

Which leads to the event on Sunday morning. Waking up after a late night shindig with the usual supects, I started doing some cleanup in the kitchen, including taking out the trash from below the kitchen sink. After tying it up, I heard a curious sound, a sort of 'thump, thump, thump.' Now I am familiar with this sound, having dealt with it before in my office. But the kitties just stared at me, oblivious to the sound, and watching me curiously as I picked up the trash can and looked at the little mouse trapped inside, leaping in the air ineffectively in an attempt to get out.

So I took the little thing outside to let it go, and still, not a reaction from the cats. Nada. Nothing. So as a lesson to them, there will be no cat blogging this week, only a medley of lovely images of cute mice.

Enjoy.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Your Funk's off the Hook
















Last funkin' week we funkin' got free funkin' tickets to see funkin' Maceo Parker perform funkin' live in funkin' Prospect Park. The funkin' guy funkin' jammed for almost two funkin' hours, then funkin' went funkin' backstage to bring out funkin' Prince to play a funkin' encore. So then funkin' Prince funkin' jammed for another fifteen funkin' minutes.

It was funkin' great.

Also last week I finished season two of Deadwood. Better than the first. Onto Carnivale...

Monday, June 12, 2006

"This game tastes like burning"















Well my quick earlier posting on the upcoming video game, ‘Left Behind: Eternal Forces,’ has lately been getting me somewhat involved with an increasingly turbulent situation. It seems that my post, along with numerous others on the same topic, raised the awareness of one Chris Price, aka Layman, who is undertaking a one-man crusade on the ‘propaganda’ and misinformation on the game, and who is also now a reader and commenter of my blog (welcome, Chris). Mr. Price, who helps run a Christian apologetics website, has been fighting the good fight against those that seek to diminish or misrepresent his faith. To be honest, more power to him in that quest. I find that if one doesn't stand up for what one believes in, no one else will; although what I’ve read of his website seems to be primarily geared to the attacks on Christianity from inaccurate representations of the Left Behind video game and from ‘The DaVinci Code.’

Now the ongoing video game issue has actually made a top diary listing on Daily Kos. In the past week there are now lawsuits flying and resignations from the staff of Rick Warren, a mega pastor who wrote ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ over the issues that resulted from the publicity surrounding this game. Most of the critical commentary on the game has been (rather snarkily) posted by the website ‘Talk 2 Action’, and it is this website that has received the brunt of Mr. Price’s ire. A good old-school flame war has erupted which makes for some good and fun reading.

One of the problems with all sides to this conflict is that the video game has not had its official release yet. So as I point out in a comment to one of Mr. Price’s latest posts on the topic, it is somewhat unfair for all sides to get too crazy on this. Nonetheless, based on the lawsuits and resignations now flying, it does seem to appear that at least some of what the critics thought distasteful about the game is (or at least was) actually planned for it. After all, the screen shots I posted were from the marketing website for the game. But now, one can safely assume that the final game, if it is now ever released, will never be like this. Which is too bad, as it actually sounded like hilarious fun.

Whatever the merits of either sides’ arguments over this game, the folks behind ‘Left Behind: Eternal Forces’ have to admit that publishing screen shots from a game about a religious war showing New York City burning have to expect some inflammatory responses. Mr. Price makes the point responding to my comment that he doesn’t find the images that inflammatory, at least in the context of other video games which are in fact more violent. Perhaps. But any New Yorker who sees those photos are going to be reminded of other images of New York burning because of religious extremism.

As for the DaVinci Code, if I were a devout Christian I wouldn't be taking the success of the book and movie as too much of a threat. This is a book filled with goobers, including the idea that the bathrooms in the Louvre have bars of soap in which one can hide a GPS transponder. What rubbish. There isn't a museum bathroom in the world that doesn't use liquid soap. Sheesh.

Update: As per the posting in comments, I have edited this post to change the name 'Ware' to 'Price'. I'm not certain where that came from. Apologies to Chris Price.

Don't Mess with Jersey Cats















Jack the Cat meets:




















A Bear.




















From the AP:

WEST MILFORD, N.J. - A black bear picked the wrong yard for a jaunt, running into a territorial tabby who ran the furry beast up a tree — twice.

Jack, a 15-pound orange and white cat, keeps a close vigil on his property, often chasing small animals, but his owners and neighbors say his latest escapade was surprising.

"We used to joke, 'Jack's on duty,' never knowing he'd go after a bear," owner Donna Dickey told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Friday's editions.

Neighbor Suzanne Giovanetti first spotted Jack's accomplishment after her husband saw a bear climb a tree on the edge of their northern New Jersey property on Sunday. Giovanetti thought Jack was simply looking up at the bear, but soon realized the much larger animal was afraid of the hissing cat.

After about 15 minutes, the bear descended and tried to run away, but Jack chased it up another tree.

Dickey, who feared for her cat, then called Jack home and the bear scurried back to the woods.

"He doesn't want anybody in his yard," Dickey said.

Bear sightings are not unusual in West Milford, which experts consider one of the state's most bear-populated areas.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Congratulations, You are the 1000th reader of this blog

























Well, this week this wee blog hit a a bit of a milestone: over one thousand unique visitors to the site. Of course, it's really more like the same five people hitting it 200 seperate times each, but still. Actually you five are not alone - the past 100 vistors come from the following places:

Newtonville MA
Davis, CA
Brooklyn, NY
Redding Center, CT
Tucson, AZ
Sunnyvale, CA
Bronx, NY
Decatur, GA
Arlington, VA
Massapequa, NY
Los Angeles, CA
Yakima, WA
Denver, CO
Berlaar, Belgium
Vilnius, Lithuania
Doylestown, PA

What can be interesting is how people are visiting. My 'Yelling Theater in a crowded Fire' post was linked to by a pro-life group who answered the question of whether or not to save a petri dish or a two year old boy by saying, "Save both!". Well, ya got me on that one. Unfortunately I don't have the links to that, as my cheap (ie free) sitemeter usage only saves the previous 100 links, and this one was a few hundred links back. I have had the review of Hedda Gabler linked to, along with a description of a dinner at Rosewater because of one particular wine that I mentioned.

A decent number of people visit as the result of Google searches. Some of them are Googling me, but most are googling things like 'Judas and Giraffe' and coming up with one of my postings on the Judas Gospel. The good news for results like that is they are apparently staying long enough to read the posts, and not flying back to Google to try again.

At around 9 or so visits a day, by year's end I suppose I might end up breaking 2,500 visits. Not bad, I suppose. Of course, I need to keep up posting for that to happen. My brother should take heed...