March 31, 2015

Funny statement of the day

Just bumped into this:
Gov. Steve Beshear's administration is arguing in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court that Kentucky's ban on gay marriage isn't discriminatory because it bars both gay and straight people from same-sex unions.
I roared laughing. He actually said those words, in the presence of others!

March 30, 2015

Unintended consequences and a movie

So Indiana thinks it's fine to refuse service to gays because of one's extra-special holy "religious beliefs". See, they're not being anti-gay at all. They're just being pious. And if you can't see that, you're sinful!

But, in the spirit of the Satanist Temple, an unexpected consequence has arisen. It seems if you believe that marijuana is a sacrament, the new law will protect you and your weed from the police. Fantastic. (Still, I hope Indiana falls into a huge sinkhole for trying this.)

And now, about that movie. I watched "Interstellar" last night. What a good movie. It works on all levels: cinematography, story, acting, adherence to scientific principles -- everything works! I bought the movie at iTunes since I was sure I'd watch it more than once. And I will. BTW, view it in letterbox format if you can. As I say, the cinematography (especially in the space-travel scenes) is stunning. You don't want to cut off even a bit of the screen.

Merry Monday, all. Perhaps Spring will arrive this week. That would be grand.

March 24, 2015

GC nails it

Greta Christina is an outspoken atheist. I particularly like her because she says things so plainly and doesn't give religion an inch. If you haven't read her articles before -- and even if you have -- give this one a try. It's about the absurd notion that we must "respect" religion. Hahaha. Not gonna happen.

I'm too busy to write anything, so you're getting links. Linky linky. Enjoy.

March 23, 2015

Good point

You have to hand it to those Satanists. They're always on the right side of justice. Read this for the explanation. Great idea!

March 21, 2015

Well-trained crows a joy to behold

My main friend in the wild (i.e., my backyard) is Crow. Yes, he's a crow. It's fortunate that his name matches his species, no? I consider it a miracle.

The secret to becoming a crow's friend is peanuts. They live for peanuts. Now, here's the thing: they know I have peanuts yet they don't pester me for them. They don't come right up to my bedroom window, say, and caw loudly and incessantly to wake me up because they want to be fed. They're tasteful crows. They wait for me to wake up on my own. I would say, if I had to pick their exact species, that they're brunch crows. They always let me sleep until a sophisticated hour. And even then, they don't caw. They simply wait in their assigned tree, knowing that I'll get up in my own time and feed them.

However, they know that when it snows I really really want to get some peanuts out to them, fast-like. And so -- at a tasteful hour, say, 10:30 am or so -- if there is snow on the ground, they do caw to wake me up. The snow is their get-out-of-jail free card; they know they can do this with impunity.

So this morning at 10:30, I heard a few tasteful caws -- not too loud but not too soft either -- and I knew there was snow on the ground. I got out of bed, opened the curtains and there they were, waiting patiently.

I gave them a slew of peanuts and a smattering of sunflower seeds. Shortly thereafter, other birds and then some squirrels joined in. Seriously, is there anything better than seeing a brilliant red cardinal in the snow? It's a lovely way to wake up. And I owe it all to Crow.

Don't tell me that crows are noisy. They're tasteful.

It's so obvious

The woman whose face deserves to be on the twenty dollar bill is Fran Liebowitz. There is no doubt about this.

March 19, 2015

Reach out and hate someone

Y'all have seen the stories about Dolce and Gabbana's hateful comments. "Synthetic" children, indeed. It brought to mind another hate-monger: Daniel Murphy, the Mets' second baseman. He too felt he simply had to say something vicious about gay people. And then both explained their comments. The explanations didn't work.

See, here's what happened, guys. (I'm talking to them, not my readers.) You were living happily within your million-dollar bubbles, getting everything you want every day, without question. And yet you felt you had to reach out and hate someone.

There is no "satisfactory" explanation for your remarks. You simply decided to reach out and hate someone. End of story. I can't even watch a Mets game now. And if I was even slightly aware of the clothes that D&G make, I'm sure the sight of them would make me nauseous.

Inside your zillion dollar bubbles, you felt the need to harm innocent people. You're pigs. Period.

March 15, 2015

This is great

Trust me. Just go check it out.


I finished writing my latest book (The Worlds). Now I've got to read it. It's always strange to read a book that I've written. Truth is, there are always parts of the book that I don't remember writing. To be more precise, these sections seem a bit familiar, like something half-remembered from a dream. Who knows? Maybe I'm a multiple personality. (Drat, I just remembered that no one believes in multiple personalities anymore. Never mind.)

As for blogging, I have nothing to say. The world is far too stupid to write about. I read all the news stories and, honestly, no one anywhere is making sense (except for digby). How do you critique nonsense? You don't; you just ignore it. In this way, blogging has fallen to the wayside.

But I've got another book. Hooray!

PS: In the meanwhile, go read Xmas Carol, if you haven't already done so. It's your duty as a regular visitor to my blog -- so much so that you may go to jail for not reading it. Sorry, but that's how it works. Oh, and those of you who have read it but haven't yet written a review at Amazon...what are you waiting for?

March 12, 2015

Life goes on

Subway tiles for backsplash.
I have four more scenes to edit and I'll be done with book 2. Sorta. I still have to read it and see what it is that I've written. But I think I'm almost there. (This book is "The Worlds", a sci-fi novel.) It feels good to be writing. I love to play with words. In heaven, that's all I'll do, you know. I've been told this by various deities. It's a for-sure thing.

So there's progress on the book -- and there's progress on the move to a new house. Yesterday, I picked out the tile for my kitchen backsplash (that's the stuff on the wall above the kitchen counter; the term is typical HGTV talk). That's a photo of the subway tiles I chose, along with the dark grout that will go between them. I detest white tiles with white grout. It ends up looking like a cheap plastic panel that came from China. Black or grey grout makes the tiles pop. So I'm quite happy. (The tiles are 2x4". The larger ones are great for showers but I think in a kitchen, this is the right size.)

Beyond this, baseball is back! Like a rejuvenating balm, the games are washing over me and wiping away the world's sins. I am clean and renewed. And Jeebus had nuthin' to do with it. Yay!

Anyway, I'll be posting when I can. But mostly I want to knock out that book. Someone has to, right? And if not me...

March 10, 2015

The greatest intrinsic evil is religion

Religion loves to chastise. So it's not surprising that the greatest chastisers sit in positions of power within each religion. My own bailiwick is Catholicism, since I was force-fed this drivel as a child. To me, the Roman Catholic church seems to be the greatest chastiser of them all. But even after decades of watching Catholicism force its adherents to squirm and squeal in the mud -- with guilt, shame and fear -- I can be surprised.

Usually when the Vatican rolls out the term "intrinsic evil", it does so to pillory anything gay or trans. But they're branching out. I found this delightful turd in the news today. First, let's focus on the good news:
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — A jury was correct in finding that a Roman Catholic diocese discriminated against a former teacher by firing her for undergoing fertilization treatment, a federal judge has ruled.
Thank goodness for the outcome. At least there's that. The church loves to police women's vaginas and wombs. On the list of Vatican joys, vagina/womb policing is in second place only because it's more fun for priests to chastise gays. The latter type of fun is almost biblical; it's that good. But back to the wimmens.
"It was for the Church to decide whether Herx's contract should be non-renewed for failing to comply with Church teachings, not a court or jury," diocesan attorneys argued.
They love their power, these priests. They positively revel in it. Sorry guys, but you lost this one. Hahaha. But back to the point. Here it comes; watch for it:
According to the diocese, the Catholic Church says the medical procedure — which involves mixing eggs and sperm and transferring the resulting embryo into the womb — is an intrinsic evil that no circumstances can justify.
I just love the term "intrinsic evil", don't you? It's so Vatican. And let's remember that they're talking about a woman who simply wants to have a child, and is using science to help her achieve her goal. Intrinsic evil? That's a bit much, don't you think?

(Now, if I could only insert a bit of Robert Benchley's essay on "Inherent Vice" here, this post would be perfect. Alas, when you go out of print, you are lost forever in the wilderness. Benchley was one of the primary Algonquin Roundtable residents, laughing it up with literary wits and producing some of the funniest writing of that era (1919 - 1929). In the essay I'm referring to, he wrote about a manufacturer's insistence that it was not required to provide a refund for a product that exhibited "inherent vice". It's just like "intrinsic evil". I wish he was still alive so he could blast the church for this sickening and inappropriate use of language -- in a funny way, of course.)

Keep it up, priests. In the end, you'll lose everyone. Americans see nothing wrong with what this woman did. In fact, she deserves kudos. Now that's a mother. But I love it when religious leaders do things that harm the faith, as these remarks certainly will. And let us always remember that it is faith that displays an "intrinsic evil" at its core: the lie that there is a god. No idea could be more unhelpful to humanity. It truly is intrinsic evil.

March 9, 2015

Earning sanctifying grace

One always wants to reduce one's time in purgatory -- and the best way to do this is to earn sanctifying grace. (This is a real thing for Catholics, who don't notice the whole thing is kinda like a board game with prizes.)

Last week I did something to earn a ton of sanctifying grace. I hand-washed four cotton sweaters. Oh sure, you're saying. How hard is it to dunk some sweaters in soapy water? True, that part is easy. But the sanctifying grace stems from my next step.

Reaching back into The Things Mom Taught Me, I remembered that you're supposed to roll the wet sweaters tightly into a towel "log". So that's what I did. I laid the towels down on my rug, smoothed out the wrinkles, and put one unwrinkled sweater down on each towel. Then I rolled them into logs, pushing really hard with my fingers (that's where the sanctifying grace really comes in!) until they were very tight tubes. Finally, exhausted, I laid them in a row on the rug and left them there till morning.

As I walked away from the sweater logs, I could feel the rush of grace coursing into my body. Through my ministrations, I probably lopped off maybe 6 or 7 years from my sentence in purgatory (and they have super-burning fire there, so this is a big deal). The next morning, feeling refreshed by all the grace, I unrolled the towels to see if they were dry. They weren't.

But here comes the theological problem: I never vacuum my rugs. Never. So what I really accomplished when I rolled the sweaters up, was to jam lint, dust and hairs into the fabric of all four sweaters. So at this point, they were clean -- but filthy. Still, I trusted in the lord and moved on. (Sometimes that's all you can do.) Besides the filth issue, the sweaters were still wet. So I hung the dusty things in a window and hoped that the sun would dry them out. Lo and behold, a day later they were dry.

Now all I have to do is take them outside, hang them on a line and beat them with a tennis racket for an hour or so, to get the filth off. Success!

But in the end, I had to face a hairy religious question. Would I continue to earn sanctifying grace with the tennis-racket move, giving me absolutely massive benefits? Or -- and here's the rub -- had I lost all hope of gathering any sanctifying grace by being such a filthy git?

No wonder they have theologians to unsnarl these deep questions of faith. Maybe the Templeton Foundation or Alvin Plantinga could help me out. Or maybe one of my readers is a super-Catholic who already knows the answer. If so, do tell in the comments. Oh, do! My immortal soul is at stake.

March 2, 2015

Not blogging

At this moment, the entire world seems to be low-hanging fruit -- and yet I still can't blog about anything. Why would I bother when there are so few sentient people left out there? It's a fool's errand. I'm going silent.

I'll pop back at some point. But at the moment, I got nuthin'.