Thursday, August 28, 2014

all we need to know

The existence of a thing called Bullets and Burgers tells us all we need to know about America's strange relationship with guns.

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At 1:46 PM, August 29, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

While obviously the dead instructor is a victim, it can be argued that in a way the child who shot him is one as well. I don't know whether anyone has publicly addressed this issue yet, but I worry about the lifetime of trauma (PTSD?) and sense of guilt that the 9-year-old could well suffer.

 
At 5:02 PM, August 29, 2014 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

Based on what I have seen of situations like this (obviously nothing exactly the same), I think the little girl is likely to be scarred permanently. A young girl of driving age who lived across the street from my parents had a little kid she was babysitting killed by a moment's inattention in a car. Her own life was destroyed as well.

I read that the instructor was a true believer.

 

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pics from the Edmonds - Kingston ferry

A few shots to brighten your Tuesday (did I say "brighten"? Hahahaha this is the Pacific North-west!):

Seattle


fog on the water


fog with sailboat


cute fogbank

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Monday, August 25, 2014

A provocative question

If protesters hadn’t looted and burnt down that QuikTrip on the second day of protests, would Ferguson be a point of worldwide attention? It’s impossible to know, but all the non-violent protests against police killings across the country that go unreported seem to indicate the answer is no. It was the looting of a Duane Reade after a vigil that brought widespread attention to the murder of Kimani Gray in New York City. The media’s own warped procedure instructs that riots and looting are more effective at attracting attention to a cause. (asked by Willie Osterweil at the new inquiry)

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Crazy?

Brad Paisley did a song about race that raised a bit of a kerfuffle. He's also got one about atheism. (Or agnosticism, as he puts it.) Or he thinks he has.

As one country source puts it,
The lyrics are written from the point of view of a non-believer, but Paisley himself was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition and still attends church. (Taste of Country)
And here's Paisley himself in an article on Faith Gateway:
The song is written from the point of view of someone baffled by people of faith. ... Most puzzling to the skeptic in the song is not the faith itself, but the actions that such faith produces. Things such as mission trips to dangerous regions, baptism, hospital visits to strangers, sobriety, forgiveness of atrocities, talk of heaven, etc., all must look insane to someone who is agnostic.
But the lyrics really don't catch what atheists think about Christians. And frankly, his insistence that only Christians do "good works" is annoying (though not nearly as annoying as characterizing nonbelievers as "poor lost soul[s] like me" ripe for conversion). The line in the song is about sitting "by the bedside of a stranger in a cold hospital room", but the source for it? A dying cousin for whom "[t]here weren't five minutes of intensive care that there weren't at least two church members at the hospital, around the clock." Not exactly strangers.

But let's not lose track of the song's denouement: Pascal's wager, conversion of "a poor lost soul", and "If I ever really needed help, well you know who I’d call" (because of course other atheists/agnostics/skeptics wouldn't help him out).

So I doubt that the "new backlash from religious conservatives" Paisley is "expecting" (according to Charisma News, anyway) will be as strong as all that. After all, this is as pro-Christian a "skeptic" song as you could find.


Those crazy Christians, I was gonna sleep in today
But the church bells woke me up and they’re a half a mile away
Those crazy Christians, dressed up drivin’ down my street
Get their weekly dose of guilt before they head to Applebee’s

They pray before they eat and they pray before they snore
They pray before a football game and every time they score
Every untimely passing, every dear departed soul
Is just another good excuse to bake a casserole

Those crazy Christians, go and jump on some airplane
And fly to Africa or Haiti, risk their lives in Jesus’ name
No, they ain’t the late night party kind
They curse the devil’s whiskey while they drink the Savior’s wine

A famous TV preacher has a big affair and then
One tearful confession and he’s born again again
Someone yells hallelujah and they shout and clap and sing
It’s like they can’t wait to forgive someone for just about anything
Those crazy Christians

Instead of being outside on this sunny afternoon
They’re by the bedside of a stranger in a cold hospital room
And every now and then they meet a poor lost soul like me
Who’s not quite sure just who or what or how he ought to be
They march him down the aisle and then the next thing that you know
They dunk him in the water and here comes another one of those crazy Christians

They look to heaven their whole life
And I think what if they’re wrong but what if they’re right
You know it’s funny, much as I’m baffled by it all
If I ever really needed help, well you know who I’d call
Is those crazy Christians

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Week in Entertainment

DVD: Two (of four) episodes of Shetland, a well-done series based on Ann Cleeves's "Shetland Quartet" (Red Bones, Raven Black, Dead Water and Blue Lightning). They're filming more next year, going off on their own, I guess, since they've done the books (much like the Dalziel & Pascoe series did). Interestingly, I see the program originally broadcast them as two one-hour episodes per story, but they've been consolidated on the DVD as two-hour episodes.

TV: Doctor Who - yes yes yes. I love the new theme/title sequence, I think I'm gonna love the new Doctor, and Clara might actually turn into a real character before she leaves. Also? "I'm not your boyfriend." "I never thought you were." "I didn't say it was your mistake." Yes. And was that a Matt-Smith-Doctor Ganger mask they used when Capaldi disguised himself as an android? All in all, a very nice handover episode.

Read: Finished The Magician's Land, which was an utterly satisfying end to the trilogy. Lovely, lovely writing and a helluva story. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami was delivered to my Kindle (from a pre-order) and I devoured it on the plane ride yesterday. It's one of the quiet, almost melancholy ones (unlike its predecessor, 1Q94), accessible and haunting. I also read Designated Daughters, a Deborah Knott novel; this one's almost overrun with her family, but still a nice little read.

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Salmon at Sekiu

Here's some odd carvings for the By the Bay Cafe in Sekiu, and the view from the front window.


Sekiu Welcomes You
welcome sign for Sekiu

Girl salmon fish (I don't know what kind, but on reconsideration, that's not a salmon face, and it's different from the next one!) up by the main road
carving of a walking salmon is skirt, halter top, and sneakers

The By the Bay Cafe
by the bay cafe

Boy salmon outside the cafe
carving of a walking salmon in shorts and sneakers

The view of the other side of the harbor
across the Sekiu harbor

Bald eagle over the harbor
bald eagle

Adult and juvenile gulls in the Sekiu harbor
gulls on docks in harbor

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Birds around Neah Bay

A gull
gull over beach

Crows
crows over water

I think this is a Wilson's Warbler? Maybe?
small greeny bird with yellow face on beach

Cormorants
cormorants on rock

Great Blue Heron
great blue heron in bay

A crow
crow in fir

A whole group of barn swallows
barn swallows on line

Barn Swallows
two barn swallows

Pair of adult bald eagles with a juvenile
bald eagle family on beach

Bald eagle with following crow
bald eagle and crow over water

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More of Neah Bay

Or more accurately the coast between Neah Bay and a little place called Sekui (SEEK you), where we ate one evening at the Bay View Cafe.


coast

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coast

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Neah Bay

A few shots of Neah Bay, including the carvings at the wonderful Makah Museum and Cultural Center. The town is the main one on the Makah Reservation (you have to buy a pass, but it's cheap and good for the whole year); the museum was sparked by the discovery of a village at Ozette that had been buried in mud in 1750 or so - "the Pompeii of Native America" it's been called. I'll do another post of Cape Flattery and one of the beaches around the peninsula, the north-westernmost point in the continental USA.

Neah Bay is that little indentation up at the top. The dotted lines are trails; the lighter gray is the reservation.
map of the Olympic peninsula

The road was full of these signs - because the previous mile had been so straight ... not:
road sign - wiggly road for 2 miles, slow

View across the bay from the inn's balcony (that's Canada across the water):


Canada's up to something!:
fogbank in front of Canada

And more view:
Neah Bay

Tide is out in the bay:
view of the bay

The innkeeper recommended the Wormhouse Restaurant. You can imagine my relief when we got there!
the Warmhouse Restaurant

The General Store (nice little place, with some souvenirs, and where you can buy the pass):
Washburn's General Store in Neah Bay

One of the tribal buildings:
building with tribal painting

Wood sculptures on the front lawn of the Makah Museum:
Makah statues

Great salmon adorn the museum's doors:
museum doors with Makah salmon painting

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