Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Transcendent Techs

Still here, and there simultaneously. Meaning that I am still posting at FDW/FerDW AND FB AND interacting w/humans in real life.
Looking at the date on the photo, I know that I was in Montreal, where my ship was in dry dock for four months starting just after Christmas 1977. technology has been around roughly 150 years. Napoleon might not have tried to conquer Russia if he had seen photos of it first. He was 30 years too early.
I'm kinda okay with Facebook, though I can't bring myself to repost much that I see.
Ooops! Just realized that I have gone beyond the attention span of FBers. 30

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dancing On Toothpicks, Or How i survived A Week On Facebook

Omy. The picture above was a postcard sent approximately a hundred and eight years ago, before the internet really caught on.
If you wanted to howdy someone, you wrote it on a card, applied a stamp, posted and waited a few weeks or a month for a reply. You know, like Internet Explorer.
Moving nearly three quarters of a century up this garden path, while looking for the original postcard to check the date, I found something else. Indeed.
Back in the darker ages of High School, some organization thought up the idea of students having "Pen Pals" from different countries.
My Pal was a Scottish girl named Ann, and I just found a letter she wrote in 1977.
Here's the funny thing-in 1978 I found myself somehow in Scotland, in Edinburgh...and I was able to find and speak with her on the phone. Surprised puts it lightly, but it was a nice conversation.
These electronic days? Kids have no wonder at the miracle of instant connections with everyone from their American Idol favorites to the 13th Earl of Hollandaise.
Facebook. I used to think of FDW as my solitary soapbox on the intrawebs-now the chaos chorus of a billion shouters and singers have joined me on theirs.
Some good, some bad, some?
I will keep at it for now. I might even have something of substance to share. Wait a month and we'll see.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Crazy Has A New Address

Well, maybe not Crazy, but Confused is leading the pack.
After researching the pros and cons, today I joined the 21st century and signed up for Facebook. Which is now probably going to go out of business.
It has been peaceful at FDW, but a few more humans might find their way here,  now that I admit to existing on social media.
So, welcome all, leap sideways, and absolutely no refunds after the blogpost has started.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cutting A Notch

Hope that the picture isn't too confusing-I can't recall if I've used it here before.
Not the easiest thing to do, get a double exposure on a Polaroid instant camera, but here we are. The ghost like figure facing the camera taught me about cutting a notch.
Cutting a notch makes so much sense that I'm surprised more people don't latch on it the idea, claiming it as their own.
Boston got a bit of snow in the past few weeks, and I imagine the sharper Bostonians know what I'm talking about.
I grew up in the country, and we had only a snowblower to keep the driveway clear. The hardest packed and deepest snow was at the end of the road, thanks to some slick yahoos driving County snowplows who seem to have an aversion to clear driveways. The also exhibited an affinity for knocking mailboxes. (Eventually the County got tired of mailbox complaints and set mailboxes that swivel out of the way when hit.) Anyway...
My Dad started cutting a notch in the snow for six feet ahead of the driveway.
Countyplows would push snow into the notch, and we'd still be able to get in and out of our driveway. Win/win.
I live in town now, and my 'driveway' only runs a good twelve feet, but I cut my notch just the same, and the City plows can't fence me in.  
Middle of February, and I've only run the snowblower a few times, as this Winter Boston stole all of our snow. I don't know which is worse for them:
seasonal SNOW or year around being so close to New York City.  I'd choose Snow.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Like Red On A Rose

Sometimes, it just is.
No deep/spiritual theorizing today. Just saw and like this picture.  Those in the know know that the title of this post is 'borrowed' from an Alan Jackson album produced by Alison Krauss, who knows a thing or two about beautiful music.
 Just enjoy.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Obama Finally Right About Somethings

"Christian conservatives furious after Obama says all religions have historically committed violence"

Screamed the headline. 

Not this  Christian conservative. I shrugged my shoulders and moved on to pictures of cute animals. 

But as the 'ginning up of the bases' begins ahead of the next election cycle, some Republican 'hopefuls' to replace President Obama are acting all self righteous and 'how dare he' about what he stated. Free speech, Rinos. He can say whatever he wants, and often does.

So, what President Obama said was true. If you're waiting for the "but..." I have a big one.

BUT... The word he used was 'religions'.

Religions. I've yammered on and on often enough for most readers (both of them) to understand my point. 

Christianity is not a religion. Religion is Man reaching up to discover/remake God and Heaven as Man determines them to be. See examples ranging from secular humanist to hard core Muslim, with Catholicism right in the middle. Christianity is God reaching down and revealing Himself through His WORD, Jesus Christ. 

President Obama stated: "
“And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,".

Right again. In the name of Christ, not at the bidding of Christ.   

Jesus, the same Jesus who said, "Love your neighbor as yourself" also said, "Bless those who persecute you-bless and do not curse."  A lot of such good blessing was being done in the torture chambers of the Inquisition, but it was coming from the Christians being tortured by the Catholics. Read "Foxes Book of Martyrs" sometime.

So, the perps of the Inquisition and the Crusades? Catholics. Happens to be the religion of some of the self righteous Rinos now blasting President Obama for conflating their church's history with Islamic terrorism. They are trying to incite my religious indignation to defend their religion. Nopers.

So, has MY group ever done anything wrong? Individuals have, certainly. We are humans in every respect, and we often fail to do the right thing, whatever that happens to be. 

But as a group? Nothing rising to the level of genocide and religious bigotry and hatred advanced by Religions. 

Bottom line: If Salvation were available through Religion, then there would have been no need for Christ to come and redeem this fallen Creation. Any Buddah would do. 

But Jesus Christ, always and forever, is God on His terms, not on those imposed by religions.

Okay, I think it is funny for President Obama to accuse others of getting on a high horse, of not being humble. But the rest is true, too.



Monday, February 02, 2015

A Broken Clock Is Wrong 22 Hours a Day

1    “I loathe my own life;     I will give full vent to my complaint;     I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
2    “I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me;     Let me know why You contend with me." Job 10:1-2

To be VERY Clear right up front:
I love my life; this post is not in any way a cry of despair.
Job was having a tough time of it, though-his children wiped out, his fortune gone, covered with sores and without a single clue as to why God was allowing these things to happen to him, a faithful God fearing man.
'Let me know why You contend with me.'
Further along in the narrative we hear God's answer to Job, but right here in chapter 10 Job hasn't a clue.
That is how it is for all of God's children. We are protected, yes-safe for Eternity.
But in this present age, in this troubled world...God allows some pretty horrendous things to happen to His children. Such catastrophe arrive without warning. Even the 'best' Christians: ministers, missionaries and Sunday School teachers have no special protection because they are involved in "God's Work".
Some bad theology which crops up (Job also got an earful of this stuff from his friends) is that if bad things happen to Doug (me), it is proof that God must be chastising me (Doug) for secret sins.
Bad, bad theology-it ascribes cause and effect to God's workings, as if we muttonheads could possibly parse out the Whys of what God does.
Nope. While God does indeed chastise  me, the Why's belong only to God.
I don't usually share personal info here at FDW, but here is an example:
About three years ago I lost my job. Had been with the company 10 years, did good work, etc.
Was I being chastised? Purified? Tested? I have no idea.
The past three years have been tough, but through it all, I have learned more about the Grace of God than I could have if my life (which is His to do with as He sees fit) had been 'pain-free'.
After three years, I am back with the company, and my employment is more secure.
Job said, " The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.     Blessed be the name of the LORD.".
In my case, the Lord gave me that job, took it away for His own reasons, and then put me back in that same place.
Blessed be the name of the LORD.
I mentioned that God answered Job later on.
That answer is covered in chapters 38-42 of the book of Job, and it brings some perspective, understanding...but we still know only in part, and must trust God for the Why's and Why Not's we will never comprehend.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Forth Coming Explanations

My last post might have caused querulous scratching of heads and puzzled looks, so this is a bit of an explainer, with hopefully clearer understanding.
My premise is that we are shaped by the events, good and bad, that happen to us in our lifetimes. We can be 'warped', as in turned, twisted from what we were to what we are. Sometimes the warping can cause us to Loop.
In the center of the picture on the last post is the image of a young woman whom I described in the comments as being 'half my age with twice my IQ' which may sound funny, but is pretty much true.
Without personal details, she (who will remain unnamed), by the are of 18 had already been 'warped' by the death of her father. It hurt her, changed her in some ways which are part of her still.
I have been warped also-for the last five years of his life, my father had progressively worsening dementia. My mother and I took care of him, shooting him with insulin, keeping him healthy, doing all of what goes with such a condition.
Yeah, it warped me. It was a relief when he died; what we didn't know was that my Mother would pass a few months later.
Moving away from personal experience, here's what I meant by the looping.
A person drinks alcohol to excess. Warp.
The alcoholism destroys his life, affects his family relationships, job performance, warping him until he's so twisted up that it is all he can do to survive another day.
He tries to stop drinking, but falls back into drinking time after time. Loop.
Loop. Loop.
Sometimes there are no happy endings.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Warp And The Loop

Mune. As in not im-mune.
Often here at FDW I point out the differences between Christians and everyone else-differing beliefs, world views
But we have common ground, as, according to Genesis, God formed us out of dirt. We ARE common ground.
We begin knowing nothing; the wisdom that we accumulate through our lives helps define who we are, opposed (usually) to who everyone else has become.
We clique together with those we share commonalities with.
One heartfelt commonality: we all want to do well, to make it through life with as few catastrophes as possible.
Not easy.
For some, impossible.
But we try.
Life events (which are Life) Warp us. Good events or bad, we are turned, bent, warped by what happens throughout our lives.
And sometimes the warp turns us so greatly that we Loop, going round and around the same old difficulties with the same tired results.
We all share that common-reality.
Mune. Muse. Hope.
As I've gotten older,  the loops are more infrequent, and the warping seems to have been sanded down (by Life. Again) to the point where I am straighter than I was, traveling a less convoluted road.
But I'm not immune to the warping and looping-none of us are.
But I got HERE, when and where I am in 2015 only by the Grace of God.
May He do for you what He is doing for me.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cookie Cutter Christians Need Not Reply

Heard the term 'cookie cutter Christians' today-I understand the concept represented, but in my life I have never met one.
The diversity of peoples whom God has saved is remarkable.
There is no superior Race.
No gender supremacy.
All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God so guess what?
We all are dependent not on our color or gender or strength or mental prowess
or any other discriminating "thing" by which the world measures success.
We Christians all share the same label:
Saved by the Grace of God.
Now, in this present age, we are all different.
But one day we will all be together in Heaven, our impurities and failings washed away.
We will all be alike. Conformed to the image of Christ.
May that Day arrive soon.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Past Relax (vs) The Present Tense

Norway. That's what the picture on the interwebs said, that this is a picture of Norway.
I would love to visit Norway as I am now, with time and money enough to really SEE it.  When I visited as a young sailor, I couldn't get out of my own way, as I was a troubled kid.
Possibly it is a feature of muddled-age, but I no longer worry about events that happened in the past.
I can't change them.
I can't revisit events or ages.
Good or bad, they have no claim on my life now.
Some (poor, unhappy) people expend mucho emotional currency trying to 'change' or 'get over' the past. And fail. Hit the wall of emotional bankruptcy.
One of those 'inspirational sayings' allegedly quotes Babe Ruth:
"Yesterday's home runs don't win today's games."
Yah. And whatever may have hurt you in the past can't hurt you now IF you don't let it. Because it's In the PAST.
Today is problemathmatical enough (events seems crazy bad, nothing adds up).
But today is only tomorrow's yesterday, and sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Stand Or Kneel

Purported to be a picture of Paris right now, a demonstration (opposite of angelstration) of unity in the face of attacks by Islamic terrorists.
It's easy over here, sitting in my computer chair, to denounce Islamic murderers, and to claim that I stand with those in Paris.  I do so right now.
Here's one for you paganistas out there: If standing strong against Islam meant that you must join arms and stand together with Christianity...all the while opening yourselves up to charges of religious bigotry, of being hateful towards someone based on their religion...could you do it?
France is part of the alleged "Post-Christian Europe", with empty churches
and populations too 'evolved' to need religion.
Well, they are getting a whole bunch of religion stuffed down their throats,
and whatever issues the French people had with Christianity pale into insignificance compared to the "Submission" under which Muslim controlled peoples live. Submission which France might be less than a generation from seeing as a reality.
Could it happen here?
Could Islam plants it's flag (metaphorically speaking) not only over Europe, but also the United States?
I think so.
According to Scripture, 'all the nations of the world' will be brought together against the Lord-read Psalm 2 for just one example.
At that time, whichever civilization or portion thereof "owns" whichever lands is moot-the entire world will be united against Christ, unified in attacking
Israel and Jerusalem (Now who does that sound like?).
The good news, as far as we Christians are concerned, is that Islam and all others who oppose God will be defeated by God when He returns and sets up His New World Order, sitting enthroned in Jerusalem.
But, what do we do now? How to answer an implacable  FOE of over a billion adherents who would rather die than see Islam defeated? Or even insulted?
Right now, stand with Paris. Denounce Islam as a false religion; if you feel that all religions are false, remain constant in your character and refuse to kneel before Islam. Loudly. I'll be doing the same.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

At It Again 2015 woo hoo!!!

Didn't expect to have my first post of the year be about more Islamic terrorism-France is the new battleground.
 I've been at this awhile-I joined in on the previous "Draw Muhammed Day".
                                                       Sorry-nothing this time.
The satirical magazine that got the Islumic murderers all hot and bothered
mocks ALL religions. Christianity, too.
But you know what?
I ignore such stuff. It doesn't bother me because I expect 'the world' apart from Christ to be mockers, haters, etc.
"17Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 
18If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 
19Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 
20“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 
21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:17-21 

 I may not appreciate my God being mocked, but I would be wrong to start a holy war against the mockers/haters. 
I'm leaving room for the wrath of God. He will repay.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Vee Was Running (updated)

   Vee was running. Up the street, past the grocer, the police station and Mrs. Abel’s Millinery-
She ran with the wind at her back, laughing and singing to the beautiful day.
“Vee!” her mother called, waving a dishrag from their fifth floor window.
“Vee! Home for lunch now!”
   Vee nodded, ran back and started climbing the tenement steps two at a time but her feet hurt and as she looked down she saw her feet all red with blood, and then they were blood and hurting horribly.
“Veronica!” came her mother’s voice again, strangely angry.
Vee looked from her feet up to the window where the dishrag fell away from her mother’s limp hand. Her face burned and
“Veronica! Wake up!”
   Nurse Margaret, hand raised to slap, was next to the hospital bed, her hatchet face dark with anger.
“I don’t know why an ignorant beggar child should be such trouble! You complained about me to Dr. Aust again, didn’t you?”
   “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I only asked…”
   “You asked to be moved next to the window. I decide the bed arrangements on this floor and you don’t need a view.”
You need to quit whining and crying to get your way. You’re no princess to be waited on! Just trouble, an orphan who should keep her mouth shut!”
   Nurse Margaret pulled back the blankets and pointed.
“There! Look! Your feet won’t grow back- you will be an invalid, a nuisance and worthless all your life!”
   Vee shut her eyes as Nurse Margaret stalked away, cursing the misfortune of having such a child on her ward.
Pulling the blankets up to her chin, she wanted to cry but had no tears left.
   Mother and Father and Jack.
   A picnic outing, where the Chicago World’s Fair had taken place a few years earlier.
They were excited to be riding the elevated train, watching the buildings whizz past so close that at times it seemed that you could almost touch them.
   Mother in her best, lunchbasket at her feet.  Father looking dignified in his suit, Jack running up and down the train car as it sped across the sky.
   He cheered as the Ferris Wheel came into view but then the train lurched sharply, grinding noises so loudly, and…it fell.
   Vee didn’t think her father could be scared, but he looked frightened, locking eyes with his wife.
   Jack ran and tried to brace, to protect his little sister in the few seconds before it all went dark and she awoke in a hospital bed with bandages where there should have been feet.
   Vee felt her face and wondered if it was red. Soon she was asleep, and no more dreams.
   When she woke the next morning, her bed was next to the window; she could see it was a warm summer day.
Two Lemon drops landed on her bed and she turned to see Dr. Aust smiling. He knew they were Vee's favorite treat.
   “Good morning, Veronica. Did you sleep well last night?”
   “Good morning, Dr. Aust. Yes, I did, and thank you for the lemon drops and for moving me to the window. It’s beautiful outside today!”
Dr. Aust reminded Vee of her Grandfather, except instead of a butcher’s apron he wore a nice suit.
   He was smiling, but a frown clouded his face for a moment as he pulled a paper from his pocket.
“Vee, I know what happened last night, and I’m sorry that Miss Hampton acted so horribly towards you. She has been dismissed, and she won’t be mistreating you anymore.”
   “Doctor! I’m sorry! I didn’t…”
   “You have nothing to be sorry for, child. One of the other nurses witnessed what she did, and told me. I apologize to you on behalf of the hospital, and I must beg you forgiveness for something else.”
   He handed her a postcard.
   “Veronica, this card came for you some time ago, and Miss Hampton…kept it. It was in her locker and I’m sorry that I didn’t know about it until now.”
   Vee read the card, postmarked two months earlier, four…no…five weeks after the accident.
Dearest Veronica,
I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to get back again to see you, but you have a home here with us as soon as the doctor releases you.
You will be like our own daughter, and my sister will be smiling down on us from Heaven- we are family. Have the hospital send word and Henry and I will come for you when you are ready. Love, Emily.
   Dr. Aust pulled up a chair and sat.
   “I met them, Vee, when they came to see you-you wouldn’t remember, as we had you medicated for the pain. They’re good people-have you been to their place before?”
   Vee nodded.
   “Once we went for a Christmas visit-snow was up higher than our heads, and they met us at the station with a sled and two horses! No buildings at all! Just empty prairies and a few trees all the way to their farm.”
   “I grew up on a farm myself. Do they have cattle?”
   “A couple of cows, some pigs, chickens and a garden. My aunt makes the best pies!”
   Aust smiled. “I’m sure that she does, Vee. That postmark says Topeka-do they live close to there?”
   “I think so, though Mom talked about growing up near Hays.”
   “I’ve been there, and it’s a nice town. Vee… I want you to think about something.”
“Your life is…changed. We all have things happen that we didn’t expect, and the best way to keep moving forward and doing well is to not let your troubles hinder you.”
   “Doctor, I think Nurse Margaret has been…hindered. She’s not very happy.”
   “I think you’re right. You’re a bright girl, Vee, and I’m sure that you will do well in life. You don't know, but I delivered you when you were born, and I knew your parents well.”
   “Mother pointed you out on the street once and told me how nice you are.”
   “She did? Well, bless her. You’ll be starting a new chapter in your life; it’s important to make the most of a fresh start.”
   Vee nodded.
  “I’ve had a lot of time to think, here in this bed, and when I go to Kansas, and I want to use my middle name, which was my mother’s first name.
It will remind me of her and Dad and Jack every time someone calls me Dorothy.”
   “That sounds like a fine idea. Do you remember anything else about the farm?”
   “Well, I slept in a big, big bed with lots of quilts, and on the wall facing there was a cross-stitch Aunt Em had done: “BE IT EVER SO HUMBLE,

That night, after watching the moon come up, Vee dreamt of Kansas.
Dorothy was running...