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PenlessEJ

October 2017

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Popping My Head Up

Tuesday, 5 September 2017 08:05 am
penlessej: (Promotion)
I am still here! Do not give up on me fellow Dreamwidthers. Last week I went camping Tues-Thurs and this weekend has been busy rental hunting around the city. The good news is that I think I have found a place and everything seems to be coming together today. The bad news is that Meganne and I are not really civil at the moment. In order to make things a little easier, she has moved down to the mainfloor of the house completely. At least this way we are not compelled to acknowledge one another in one form or another (which usually came as rather snippy) when we see each other. Kind of weird, but for the best.

I have photos from camping (which included golfing nine holes in the pouring rain) and some insights from rental hunting so there will be a meatier post soon. For now, I am playing catch up on some posts and you know that work thing.

Some Christians

Monday, 28 August 2017 08:19 am
penlessej: (St Thomas Aquinas)
First off (and I feel stupid for really have to preface this post with this comment), I am a practicing and devout Christian. I was raised Roman Catholic and participated heavily in the Church while I was in high school. In university, I fell away from the Church but never away from God (those of you who shared similar paths, and they are named lot, understand this notion very well). I started to get back into the Church in my late-twenties and now I attend Church at an Anglican Catholic parish. So this is the place where these thoughts are coming from. Also, I have no idea what spurred these thoughts in my own head this morning.

Something that I will never understand about some Christians is how they want to change the world to censor people or bend their actions toward what they think and upright and noble life should look like. Not once in the Bible do I read any clear instructions from Jesus to force people to act one way. Specifically talking about sexuality, I couldn't care less what you do with your penis, your vagina, your vagina that was a penis, your penis that was a vagina or your whatever. And I couldn't care less what parts you used for what or how many people were involved. I also do not care about what equipment may have been used in the filming. And no one else should either. The same goes for all of the other so-called "sins" of humanity that some Christians seem solely intent in driving down the throat of the western world.

Here is the thing. The Bible is clear that the crux of the entire meaning of Christianity rests on two headstones; love God with all of your heart, all of your mind and all of your soul and love your neighbour as yourself. The rest of the Bible is pretty much a collection of stories that lead to the presence of God among us in the form of Jesus Christ (the Old Testament), with lessons thrown in about God creating the world (not necessarily in seven days exactly or in the two ways are told in the Good Book, just that He made it and we should know that and love Him for it) and a whole whack of "laws" that were essentially designed to keep a small population of people living in exodus in the desert alive. The whole story itself actually does not come to life until the Second Act when Jesus shows up. Suddenly all of the stuff that was said in the First Act that were very confusing make sense and are make clear. I liken it to walking on a rough path in the middle of the night. Walking without a flashlight you can figure out a lot of what is around you and you start to make assumptions and educated guesses based on what you are sensing and past experiences. Walking with a flashlight down the same path and retracing your footsteps, suddenly what you thought was a rock is actually a stump which makes sense now because it sounded hollow when you hit with your boot, etc. The path is illuminated and clear. The Old Testament of the Bible is like walking the path without a flashlight, and the New Testament is literally God showing up in the form of Jesus with a flashlight and saying "Let's take a walk bro" (yes that is how Jesus talks in my head). After Jesus dies and everything becomes super clear, the rest of the New Testament is Jesus walking you back to your campsite after the hike with the flashlight and you finding a generator and fully stocked RV waiting for you in what was a tent and a small fire. Jesus leaves the Holy Spirit, gives instructions for His Church and heads back up to be with God. There you go friends. That is the Bible. And what is the story all about? Love God, because He made you and loves you so much that He sent His son to light up the path for you (this is the whole ooh ahh God lowering Himself to our humanity, which will become important in the final part of this random thought post) and love your neighbour because, well, frankly you are all in this struggle together and God is clear on wanting you to get along with the rest of His creation.

Which brings me back to the first post. Some Christians shouldn't care at all what others are doing. The Bible is clear on what the crux of Christianity is, the Bible is also clear that life here on Earth is a constant string of disappointments and let downs that will never go away. Probably because we don't belong here. The key is to get through the struggle and get back to the place of Eternal Life to be in full communion with God. Jesus lowered Him as God to come down and become man. He did that to share in our struggles. He was tempted by sin just as we are, if not more. He did not demand that such temptation be removed from the world (far from it actually He fucking embraced this shit). So some Christians who think that society should conform to their version of Christianity need to learn to ignore the world around them. Because another thing the Bible is clear on is that snakes and traps and snares lay all over the world for many reasons to catch unsuspecting sheep (I use the sheep analogy here because we know of a story where the shepherd leaves to get the one missing sheep). To me, that means it isn't going away, it is a fixture of this imperfect world. And if it wasn't here, how would it be a struggle? What would make the fruits of Eternal Life after getting through this evil world in a upright and moral state worth it if we removed all sin and vice from society?

Meme: Just For Fun

Saturday, 26 August 2017 11:48 pm
penlessej: (Default)
This meme has been making the rounds, so I figured I'd throw my two cents in.

CAN YOU FILL THIS OUT WITHOUT FIBBING?
I generally fill things out without fibbing, so I think I can, yes.

1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
Coffee, before that a bagel. I am eating breakfast at night because I am up all night standing watch keeping an eye on the wildfires in BC.

2. Where was your profile picture taken?
In my office. It is the floating shelf above my television which sits on top of one of many bookshelves.

3. Worst pain you've ever experienced?
I get cluster headaches twice a year around the solstices. They are the worst pain that I have ever experienced. Feels like someone is drive a spike down through your eye ball and into your cheek bone and then tap, tap, taping on it with a hammer. I cringe thinking about the pain and never look forward to headache season.

4. Who was the last person to make you laugh?
I haven't genuinely laughed in at least a week. I think I have pretty good reasons though. Want to try?

5. How late did you stay up last night?
So late I never went to bed. I stood my first watch last night from 6 pm to 6 am this morning. I went to bed after a little bite to eat this morning around 7 am and woke back up at 1 pm. And here I am again for my 12 hour watch.

6. If you could move somewhere else, where would it be?
I love where I live right now. If I could just drop everything I'd move somewhere into the interior of BC in the mountains somewhere. Get away from everyone.

7. Ever been kissed under fireworks?
Yes in Las Vegas during New Years.

8. Which of your Facebook friends lives closest to you?
Probably the women formerly known as my SO, we are still friends on Facebook and we still own and live in a house together. So yeah, I'll go with that.

9. How do you feel about turkey burgers?
Given an option between them and real burgers, I wouldn't pick them. If it was the only thing being served, sure but there had better be some fancy cranberry aioli or something.

10. When was the last time you cried?
Too much this week. I am not afraid to admit and since you told me I had to be honest earlier. Too much this week.

11. Who took your profile photo?
I took it. You have something against my profile photo or something?

12. Who was the last person you took a picture with?
Something work related no doubt. I honestly do not recall.

13. What's your favourite season?
Summer and into Fall.

14. If you could have any career.
Author/journalist.

15. Do you think relationships are ever worth it?
Fuck off and ask me in a few months.

16. If you could talk to ANYONE right now who would it be?
Fucking right my younger self. Smarten the fuck up is what I would say. He would get it too.

17. Are you a good influence?
I like to hope so...

18. Does pineapple belong on pizza?
Anything you want can be on pizza really. What kind of a question is this? Would I put it on my pizza? No, I do not like mixing salty and sweet too often. But again, if it was the only pizza in the room, I'd eat it. My philosophy with all food is generally that if a group of people eat it than it is at least safe and won't hurt you.

19. You have the remote, what channel are you watching?
News channel most likely. If not that than probably the Discover Channel. Anything but sitcoms with laugh tracks.

20. Who do you think will fill this out?
Some of my friends already have. I suppose bored people who people who just want to share something. I dunno really...did you fill it out?
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I am feeling a little sad today about not being on the ship. I think it is mostly because where I am working right now is the watch floor for the entire west coast fleet of the Canadian Navy, so I am reminded of my ship at sea and what she is up to. At any rate, a friend suggested that I use writing as a means to deal with some of the issues that I am going through right now. Writing is indeed a means to deal with these sort of things, and it certainly has always been that way for me to some degree. Today, I decided to sit down and just write about a part of what I loved about my job when I was at sea. Writing about it helped and this is just a start.

The Morning Watch )
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Another band that played a huge role in my formative years was Broken Social Scene, an eclectic combination of Canadian indie artists out of Toronto who all worked under the Arts and Crafts label. Gift giving and birthday "celebrations" were alright today; very emotional, but alright. She is out with her friends right now and I could not get this song out of my head all day.

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Bathroom Book

Building the Canadian Nation - George W. Brown

The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors: Canada at 150 - David E. Smith

Periodical

Foreign Affairs September/October 2017 - Trump and the Allies: The View from Abroad

Evening Read

The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors: Canada at 150 - David E. Smith

Smith's latest book came in the mail via Amazon this week so it has taken up most of my reading time. The book is very heavy subject wise and makes me wish that I had a vast library of political science and constitutional law books to follow-up on the citations.
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Metric was without question my favourite band during high school. The sharp tongued and borderline non-sensical lyrics strung out by Emily Haines and her crew were the angst of my own youth. I am glad that they are still putting out great songs with their wonderful and unique sound. 

From their 2015 album titled Pagans in Vegas I give you Lie Lie Lie by Metric. And from their 2012 album titled Synthetica I have Youth Without Youth. Both are wonderful examples of Metric's undying sound.
 
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This is most certainly relevant and spot on. When the last major solar eclipse happened in North America we did not even really have cell phones mainstream let alone the internet and in your pocket with information flow via 140 characters no less!


If you took the band Mother Mother and threw them down a long hill with all of their equipment and instruments this is surely the song that would get produced. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did...
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I came home from work today with an Amazon delivery at my door. There were two items actually, one is a birthday present for Meganne (which immediately triggered the "oh my gawd, what I am going to do about her birthday in two days" fear, more on that later) and the second was a book that I totally forgot that I had ordered. The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors: Canada At 150 by David E. Smith. This will be the third book of Smith's that I own, each one (and I am sure that this one will be no exception) has earned a special place on my bookshelf; no one writes about the Canadian parliament like Professor Smith!

I just finished the forward and had to share the last paragraphs in it because I think it is a beautiful way to open a book on the Canadian constitution:

In April 1660, as he was about to depart France, where for nearly a decade he had sought refuge during the Interregnum, Charles II proclaimed his faith in parliamentary government. A wise commitment in light of past events, the king's pronouncement signalled more than self-interest, for it acknowledged the central importance of the Crown and Parliament-- even more, the Crown-in-Parliament-- to the future governing of the United Kingdom and, as was to transpire, the settler colonies, including Canada. "We do assure you ... that none of our predecessors have had a greater esteem of parliaments than we have ... we do believe them to be so vital a part of the constitution of the kingdom and so necessary for the government of it that we ever know neither prince nor people can be in any tolerable degree happy without them."

Echoing that royal testament, I have dedicated this book to senators and members of Parliament, upon whose support and service the people of Canada depend in the era of politics now unfolding.

Tarot Card Readings

Monday, 21 August 2017 12:50 pm
penlessej: (Default)
...because of the new moon and also the eclipse in case you haven't been following. wyld_dandelyon is doing a card reading here. You get the first card free (from a choice of decks) and a reasonable price system for the remainder. Head over and try it out, if not for fun, maybe for that one burning question in your heart or soul...
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