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30 January 2011 @ 10:30 am
This is another check on LJ as everything as moved to Facebook and Twitter. I will check back later this month to see if anyone has updated since this post.
30 November 2009 @ 06:00 pm
Just a quick post to let any LJ folks that I am still alive.
08 August 2009 @ 10:04 am
My LJ has suffered from Facebook-driven neglect. I am considering what to do with this blog. It has been a helpful sounding board, a scratch pad, to work out some ideas.

Current Mood: awakeawake
13 June 2009 @ 10:20 am
My LJ has been sorely neglected the last four years. Now, between LJ, MySpace (which I hate), Facebook, Live Spaces, and Twitter, I have not decided which will be my primary means of updating my friends and family. I will probably use Facebook for that purpose. I am also using LinkedIn and Plaxo for business.

Current Mood: creativecreative
30 April 2008 @ 12:46 pm
April 30th is another date that sticks in my mind because of its occult history in my own personal narrative.

I first encountered it when in elementary school in circa 1976 while doing a book report on Werewolves, Vampires, and Witches. Then again in circa 1983 when I was calling myself a Pagan and I was attending a few feasts and festivals. Again, circa 1985 as I practiced conning tourist in the French Quarter using a tarot deck and stage hypnosis techniques -- April 30th was a good day for cash harvested from the superstitious. It was also in 1985 that I found this referenced in one of my favorite fantasy series, The Chronicles of Amber, in the first Merlin cycle book, Trump of Doom.

So here is celebrating 32 years of knowing what Walpurgisnacht means.

Current Mood: sicksick
03 December 2007 @ 01:36 pm
With job interviews including doing Google searches and reading personal blogs, it is becoming a bit dangerous to have a public blog with too much personal information. I am not talking about explicitly bad TMI posts (SSN, phone numbers, bank accounts, etc) but about the more subtle analysis of frequency of illness, professionalism in responding to comments, keeping comments clean, and investigating who you are willing to call friend. It is like six-degrees of separation. "How many friends between our job candidate and some public drunkard or self-professed anarchist?" Technically, such a background search should require the job candidate to sign a release but with the age of the Web, it is so easy to use a reverse vanity search (Google your name) to find out gobs of information on people.

Some job candidates are using this to their advantage and are getting their name on articles on various professional websites. Recently, I interview a candidate who include the Google search phrase to use to find all his/her posts and comments on some highly technical websites. It was kind of creepy for me as the interviewer. On one hand, that seems cool but it is not like these are in a peer-reviewed journal. As we all know, some websites will let users post anything to keep the UGC flowing (user-generated content), kind of like reality TV shows.

Anyway, I thought I post a quick update on my blog. Kathy and I are now living in the Seattle-area. My job is going well and, overall, our health is good.

Current Location: Home
Current Mood: chipperchipper
Current Music: blessed quiet
23 July 2007 @ 09:10 am
I have been taking a voluntary hiatus from posting to this blog and to my other social networking sites for a number of months. At first, it was very difficult to restrain myself from reading and posting. Using "just reading" as an excuse, I weened myself from my personal blogs and ventured into just reading other blogs based on technical, political, or other items of interest to me.

Now, I feel like I can responsibly use my LJ and keep from getting addicted again. Information overload is no good. We as humans need time to digest information and not just consume, consume, consume.

Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
09 July 2006 @ 09:45 am
So almost exactly two years ago on my LJ, I had a two post Sunday in July. What is the most interesting (a.k.a. "funny") coincidence is that yesterday I set up my Ridgeway grandfather clock in our new apartment. My pic in 2004 looks like crap. After I get the clock cleaned up a bit, I will get a better photo posted.

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that Paxton has finished reading "Snow Crash". This is a big step for him given the reading challenges he had in school. Now he is reading "Nine Princes in Amber".

Wish I had time and players for GURPS these days.

Tags: ,
Current Location: Emeryville, CA
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
09 July 2006 @ 09:17 am
I guess I missed that goal of posting at least once every 30-days.

Our time has been very busy as is usual these days. Work has required some overtime and, on almost every weekend in June, we have been helping my uncle get established in his new home in Cloverdale. It is about 90 miles from Emeryville so it is like driving to Twin but with CA traffic. His new place has come together nicely and, except for needing a small dining room table, he is doing very well.

Paxton has moved back in with us. He plans on just passing through after saving up some money. His destination is LA and the whole movie-making adventure. Within a short time, he landed a job at Starbucks and hopes to get some swing movie theater work. The plan is that in August he will be looking to move into his own place. I think he is delaying LA for at least six months at this point.

Kathy and I are still coping with all the changes in the past couple of years. I will be honest - it has been very hard. Deep despair and seemingly insurmountable financial issues has waltzed in and out of our lives during this time. Our faith and reason have been strong enough to stem the tide but not without strength sapping exertion. Evidence of my illness that we had believed God to have completely healed has led me to start talking meds again. The memories of those painful days has given Kathy something akin to PTSD.

To combat these challenges, Kathy and I have improved our diet, increased our level of exercised, and keep on working to get every last box unpacked. The vetting of the books continues and the apartment feels more like home everyday.

Books: Process Theology by Cobb, Generation of Swine by Thompson

Current Location: Emeryville, CA
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Morning quiet
22 May 2006 @ 04:15 pm
I have to say that the more I read Karen Armstrong's book "A History of God", the more I like it. It is fairly detailed as a good general-public history books should be without too much depth. For any book interested in Christianity, Judaism, and/or Islam, I recommend it heartily. The book is reinforcing an idea I've had for oh-so-many-years now but is become more refined and clear. The idea is that the concept of "real" orthodoxy is not a biblical or even completely Christian concept. There are multiple paths to God all that lead through Jesus Christ. The term "valid" I am about to use is a general term and I am using it here to communicate a complex idea as simply as possible. So far I have found at least three (3) "valid" paths to God with in Christianity: traditional, philosophical, and mystical. Each reveals the truth of God but in ways that are best suited to persons of differing personalities.

Traditionalist are those who follow Christianity because their parents or other family members do so. This does not mean their belief is weak or that they love God any less that followers of another path. It does mean that they function best with liturgy and established rituals and answers. In many cases these are people who God has gifted to do well running businesses or armies or governments. With what position God has given them, they have little time for deep reflection, study, or to dedicate time to contemplation and prayer.

Philosophically inclined believers what to "know" God rationally. Most mature philosopher-Christians realize that God, by definition, is unknowable. However, what we can know of Him and how "religious" knowledge informs other areas of knowledge, especially, the natural sciences. While the philosopher may have studied a lot thus may have great knowledge of languages, history, and traditions, it does not mean her discussions are more "real" or "right" than a Traditionalist or a Mystic. A command of knowledge, logic, and rhetoric does not imply wisdom or knowledge of the Truth.

Mystics are believers who know God via personal, subjective experience. This includes those who have visions and dreams. It also includes those who find their expressions of faith are best made in a subjective medium like music, poetry, dance, painting, or mime. Just because the mystics may not know their traditions or be able to argue scripture does not mean their knowledge of God is any less "valid" or "real".

As you read through these categories you can see that they are not absolute. Most people straddle more than one category and many participate in all three in their lifetimes. I see myself as mainly Philosophical with mystical overtones and some traditionalists notes.

The more I understand this idea, the more true it seems. It also leads me to ask for forgiveness for judging others and trying to find "the Way". Perhaps Jesus suggests this triad when he says, "I am the Truth, the Way, and the Light." Truth = philosophy, the Way = traditionalists, and Light = mystical.

Knowing that we have three groupings with in one church (how trinitarian is that?), you can see how we, in the West, have had such division. Western Christianity, grounded as it is in Latin, late introduction to Greek philosophy, and battling heresy in North Africa, is the only branch of Christianity to not highly value the mystic tradition. In Judaism, mysticism was incorporated into the faith with great deference to the rabbis as Kabalah (the original, not the sanitized version in vogue today). In Islam, the Sufi are highly regarded as informing the faithful. Greek Orthodox and Coptic Christianity have embraced and venerated their mystics. Roman Catholicism gave some coverage to mystics but Protestantism, born near the Age of Reason, has never been really comfortable with mysticism.

My current theory is that Charismatic/Pentecostalism is a move in the West to get back to mysticism. However, it is a dangerously organic process that seems to be doing more harm than good. The root of this problem, I think is imbalance. If you think of Christianity as a stool, you can see that missing a leg or two means it is not a good stool. I guess using the simile of a building with three pillars would be more respectful but I know of more three-legged stools than buildings being supported by only three pillars or columns. Each "leg" is inadequate to support the stool. Too much tradition and you get a so-called "dead" church of form with no heart. A philosophical church becomes quickly elitist because study is paramount and non-readers would be left in the dust quickly as well as the fact that some people can get neurotic by thinking too much about philosophy (see the movie, I Heart Huckabees, for one of my favorite new examples). A mystical church can have people doing weird stuff and is where the poor (not traditional) and uneducated (not philosophical) can get really fleeced of hope and savings.

I study that I may know God and His creation more and love Him all the more for the complexity and simplicity He reveals.

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative