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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fun and games

So I was taking a shower and said, "Well, should I stand here and admire myself or think of something to blog about?"  Lucky you, I came up with all sorts of ideas to blog about.  Also lucky, none of them included selfies. (Which spellcheck doesn't consider a word, apparently.) 

The great (and hopefully last) snowstorm.  Laurie was in the half-bath getting ready for work last night when I peered out the front door.  "Sure you aren't getting sick?" I asked as I watched a fluffy downpour that would net us almost 2 inches in about an hour, topped off with 20 MPH winds.  She made it there and back successfully, and the roads had been excellently cleared by the time I got up to go in myself.  However, there were little two-foot high drifts in strategic locations all along the sidewalk TO the car.  For you all not from here, Fort Wayne set it's season high for snowfall in a winter with the three or so inches  last night.

At work, two ladies didn't make it in.  One of them had been complaining Monday about "not coming in if we get ice", so I kinda think she looked out the door last night like I did and said, "Hmmm, 3 inches, close enough."  The other left the nebulous message of being "stuck somewhere", and as there are a variety of ways for that to be true, so I'm good with it.  Of course, the rub is that it got up into the high 30's this afternoon, and there was actually a concrete sighting in the work parking lot. 

Nice enough, in fact, for me and Scrappy to take a bit longer walk- though not anywhere real interesting.  Though he did get to say hi to Molly.

Comment replies fleshed out, part one.  My friend Mynx over at Lizard Happy has been mired in taking an art class featuring Abstract art.  She has found it less than challenging, and I asked her:

I have a question from the peanut gallery- how does one know when an abstract piece is done?

Her reply was a classic:

Excellent question. For me it is either when I am bored with it or it just looks right. The balance of colour and shapes is right and appeals to the eye.

So that makes me question: is that the standard the great artists used?  So let's take a look:

Chris's Art Appreciation 101

So I looked up abstract artists and found a likely subject:  Agnes Martin.  A Canadian, her style is minimalist- and bohemian that I am, I have to add, "with a vengeance."  Here is a set of four of her prints.  Keeping in mind she says we should "approach her paintings as you would cross an empty beach to look at the ocean"  you tell me- finished or bored?

I'll be grading your answers, so be polite, to the point, and clear!

Comment replies fleshed out, part two.  I mentioned on a Stephen T McCarthy post on Bob Seger that Katmandu brought back "youthful memories of going up and down in an elevator in a Cleveland hotel during a trip to watch the Tribe play the Yankees."  So let me tell you that story.

It was the 26th of May, 1979.  That means that I was just past my 17th birthday, and my compatriots were a 14-year old nephew and a 9 year old niece.  My brother in law's brother was a huge Yankee fan, and he often took us to ballgames to see his beloved Bronx Bombers.  The game Saturday ( to be followed by a doubleheader Sunday) was not to his liking, though it was to mine, being a Yankee hater.  Bobby Bonds homered off Tommy John, the Indians rapped Ray Burris around in relief, and the home team won 8-4.  When we got to the hotel, my big goal was to work my way down to the lakeshore.  A 10-foot high, barb-wire topped fence and a 8-lane highway just on the other side disabused me of that notion.  So what to do in a Cleveland hotel on a Saturday night?  Well, you get some pop, ride up and down the elevator, shaking carbon dioxide from the cans to get a rush, as well as jumping up as you go down, and basically just explore.

So at one stop we saw this dude that put me in mind of an older version of Rudy from the fat Albert cartoon. 

We ran into him a few times, and had some nick-name for him, though I can't honestly remember what it was.  Later, we ran into a blonde lady who became known as "Miss Big Tits" for obvious reasons.  Somewhere in between- I think it was the eighth floor- a party was going on in a room with Katmandu blaring into the hall.

Moral of the story:  Next morning we had breakfast in the hotel restaurant, and saw that not only were "Rudy" and Miss BT together, but had a gaggle of little mixed race kids, which seemed amusing at the time.  But so did putting a quarter tip into a quarter-eaten, syrup-covered pancake.  At the game, the local radio gave out "beat the Yankees hankees", Rick Wise 5-hit the Yankees 5-0, Uncle Dave got mad, and we left without seeing the second game.  The BTYH hung on my bedroom wall until it rotted off.  Good times.

Comment replies fleshed out, part three.  On my recent post about my tiff with a valiant Catholic troll, I got a comment from new follower Mich, who at the end, says this:

I was raised strict Catholic, and in school they actually discouraged us from reading the Bible. I read it anyway, and stopped believing in Catholicism. Heretics unite! ;)

Now I had never though of myself as a heretic.  Probably because my base line lie not with the Church Fathers but with Paul in Galatians 1:8-

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

So I thought I'd go check the definition of Heretic, and see what it was.  Sure enough, I get beaned on definition #2:

a professed believer who maintains religious opinions contrary to those accepted by his or her church or rejects doctrines prescribed by that church.
Roman Catholic Church . a baptized Roman Catholic who willfully and persistently rejects any article of faith.
anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle.
Okay, you got me there.  Or do you?  You see, even my erstwhile opponent that night said that the Catholic articles of faith are boiled down in the Nicene Creed.  So, I looked that up (Not that I don't know it by heart):
We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Okay, I can honestly say we have a technicality- there is one line that might brand me a heretic here, the one I boldened.  It just depends on whether you take "catholic" for "the name of a denomination" or for the definition, "universal".  Universal would mean that ALL believers are united as one, no matter the denomination they follow in.  For my troll adversary, Universal is a very limited micro-universe that won't let you in unless you give man's teaching equal weight with God's.

So, I'd have to say, even by #2, I'm off the hook.  Unless you believe that universal means "a closed system" and the Crusades saved us from the infidels.

What you want....  Almost forgot about our world tour of what happens when you Google (name the state/nation) wants.  Tonight, we are in Asia- at least the part we didn't hit in the British Commonwealth episode.  As usual, we have some slackers who claim to want nothing- Including all but one of the former Soviet Republics, which is a good thing, because I had to look up how to spell about half of them!  Joining them in internet contentment are Laos, and Yemen... along with Jordan (which comes up giving what Michael Jordan wants) and Oman (which brings up what woman wants).  Of course, we have the usual dastards looking to beat the hell out of someone:  China wants war with the US of A; Japan wants to invade China (because that worked out so well the last time); Indonesia wants to invade Australia (serves them right for wanting to kill me last time); Azerbaijan (the lone former SSR to want something) wants to attack Armenia (oh, surprise, a Muslim nation wanting to attack the nearest Christian one); of course Iran wants to destroy us and Israel; Israel would like to return the favor;  Qatar wants to invade Syria, while Saudi Arabia would be just as happy if the US of A did it.  For once, I didn't see anybody who wanted their gold back, although Qatar (when it's not busy invading Syria) wants to be Shell Oil's biggest shareholder.

Of course, land transactions are popular once again.  China, in addition to Taiwan, would like some land in the US of A; Mongolia would like to just chuck it all and be part of China again;  Thailand, apparently short on ancient temples of their own, would like Angkor Wat; Iran would like a side of Bahrain;  Syria would like the Golan Heights.  And the whole Bieber/One Direction thing is big here, too:  Lebanon, Vietnam, and Kuwait want a Bieber tour, while Thailand and Lebanon (again) want One D, and Indonesia is holding out for Coldplay. 

Speaking of entertainment, Cambodia would like tourists from Kuwait, Bahrain's hoping to be a permanent stop on the Formula 1 tour, and Lebanon would like fast internet and a chance to sue the TV show Homeland.  Other nations would like equipment.  In addition to Iran and Saudi Arabia wanting nukes, Japan wants to build a super train, as well as to turn the moon into a giant solar-energy collector (but is struggling with the necessary subsidies, no doubt); Qatar wants 6 satellites, as well as the International Civil Aeronautics Organization to help fly them; and Vietnam wants 4 Sigma Corvettes.

Yeah, I thought they meant cars, too.

And finally, the hard stuff.  Taiwan wants independence (which they technically have) and a separate peace with China (who they really aren't fighting).  Azerbaijan wants to be famous (they could go on Armenian Idol, if they didn't want to fight them); Syria wants either freedom, democracy, or Khilafah (which is either "the Caliphate" or a strong Indonesian coffee made by beans that mongeese have eaten and shat out); Israel wants peace, but will settle for a King; Saudi Arabia wants Ethiopia to apologize; The UAE wants to "build with the BRICS" which as EVERYBODY knows are Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa; Bahrain wants democracy (yeah, sure), while Kuwait and Iraq both want the US out... but then Iraq wants them back in, too.  So now you know what they want... maybe you could let them in on it, because sometimes I ain't too sure they know what they want.


  1. Firstly, thank you for introducing me to a new (to me) artist. It certainly is minimalist and monochrome but she has the balance and so I guess we could say she probably is more methodical about her abstracts than perhaps I am with my splashing of colour in random ways.
    As she has painted 4 very similar ones, I guess it is not a case of being bored. She must like them that way

  2. Mich IS right about Catholic School and the Bible. Mrs. Penwasser, the "Godless heathen Protestant" (like I already told you, that was the nuns' term) is always amazed at how much the Bible is downplayed by the "Holy Mother Church" (nuns again).
    As far as the last snowstorm? Give it up, brother. It's only February 19th. As much as I [kinda] want the Global Warming zombies to be right, we've got lots of winter left.
    So don't put that shovel away.

    I had a rather hectic weekend (well, the days that serve as MY "weekend" anyhow), so I'm afraid I didn't get the chance to read through that Email again like I had anticipated. I did start but then got interrupted very soon afterwards. (All I got done on this weekend of mine was 2 blog bits - one that had been written years ago, so all I had to do was copy and paste - and another one with very minimal text and a movie trailer video. Plus, I responded to comments.)

    However, I have NOT forgotten and I will NOT forget to go over that Email at least once more before we wrap it up with pretty ribbons and a bow.

    I was hoping you would return to my blog and explain that "hotel elevator" / 'Katmandu' connection, but I see you did that here, and that works just as well. Thanks.

    One last thing before I head out the door for the next "graveyard" shi(f)t...

    >>... I was raised strict Catholic, and in school they actually discouraged us from reading the Bible. I read it anyway, and stopped believing in Catholicism. Heretics unite! ;)

    Having never been Catholic, I had occasionally heard this stated but was never really sure just how true it was. Well, I guess that settles the matter. And... what a shame!

    I saw that comment from Mich show up in my Email InBox because I was subscribing to be "Notified" of new comments posted on that blog bit. I was planning to go to it and remark on it there, but I see you've made my job easier by posting it front and center here as well.

    Anyway, Brother Martin, I shall get back to ya soon'z ah can to finish up that E exchange. I think it's just about complete though.

    Yak Later...

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'