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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

If You Didn’t Want me to Film You Naked, Why Did You Shower That Way?

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

We’re All Exhibitionists Now

I did my time today working on Quickbooks, and then I relaxed with Herodotus, after which I flew the drone. People probably don’t believe me when I write about my thrilling life.

Accounting is still a horror. I’ve gotten to the point where I understand it well enough to enter things in Quickbooks, and I will be glad to have the skill and knowledge, but once again, I am reminded of one of my dad’s courtroom stories. His client passed out in the street drunk, and a man backed over him and broke his leg. The defendant’s lawyer testified that the man had no damages because a broken bone that has healed is stronger than a bone that has never been broken at all. My dad asked him how much he would charge to break the other leg.

That which has not killed me has made me stronger, but it definitely has not put a smile on my face.

Herodotus is surprisingly entertaining, but after Homer and Sappho, the phone book would be entertaining, so my perceptions may be distorted. I have the Robin Waterfield translation, and I would describe the tone as “folksy.” When you read it, the voice you hear in your head is like an American talk radio host. Somewhat irreverent, not altogether serious, and very informal.

I have been reading about the rise of Cyrus, the Persian emperor who helped the Jews. In case you don’t know, a prophet mentioned Cyrus by name in the Old Testament. I am too lazy to look it up, but the prophet spoke long before Cyrus was born.

I don’t know if Herodotus ever mentions the Jews, but he mentions lots of figures who are either in the Bible or separated from it by only one or two degrees. Sennacherib, Ashurbanipal, Darius, and a bunch of others.

Herodotus wrote about Cyaxares, a Median emperor who married a daughter off to Nebuchadnezzar II, who happens to be the guy who sacked the temple in 586 B.C. Cyaxares was the grandfather of Astyages, and Astyages was the grandfather of Cyrus. Herodotus says Astyages had two dreams that indicated that Cyrus, whose father was a Persian, not a Mede, would depose him and take his empire. Astyages told his consigliere Harpagus to kill the child, and Harpagus delegated the job to a herdsman. You can guess the rest. It’s a lot like the stories of Jesus and Moses. A deliverer is promised, so a heathen ruler tries to kill children.

Cyrus reminds me of Donald Trump. He was extremely bold and decisive, and things went well for him, as though a higher power had given him extraordinary favor. Of course, that’s the correct explanation.

I cant’ say I approve of Cyrus, any more than I completely approve of Trump. Cyrus was not a good person, but he served a purpose, and he did a job.

Herodotus is incomprehensible if you just read what he wrote; you have to look at external sources. I use the Internet to explain things and fill gaps. I use it to put dates beside things. For example, the Scythians ruled the area the Medes later ruled from around 553 B.C. to about 525 B.C., until Cyaxares got them. If you put dates next to things, you get a picture of what was happening outside of Israel when various things happened in the Bible. The dates are highly dubious, but they’re better than nothing.

I don’t know if I would call Herodotus a historian. To me, he’s more of a gossip. He can’t verify what he says, and he admits it, but he passes it along all the same.

It’s a funny coincidence (if that’s what it is), but a good friend of mine generously sent me two huge books about the Revelation, at about the time I started going back over the books from Columbia University’s Lit. Hum. course. I’ve written about this. Evangelist Rick Renner wrote the books, and they’re stuffed with information about the ancient world.

The neat thing about going back over the torment of Lit. Hum. is that it will help me understand Renner’s books. Herodotus will not cover the time period of the early church, which appears to be Renner’s focus; Herodotus died in the fifth century B.C. But he provides a lot of groundwork on the ancient world that provided the foundation of the world that existed in the time of Jesus and the disciples.

After the Greeks and Virgil, Lit. Hum. shoots directly to Augustine, who lived in the fourth and fifth centuries A.D.

I don’t know how anyone learned anything before the Internet. It makes this stuff so much easier.

Abusing my brain with accounting and ancient literature has to be countered with pleasure, so I keep working on my drone skills. Sometimes I’m able to stay aloft for maybe 20 seconds now. The drone doesn’t drop out of the air as often as it used to. Maybe something in the power trains has loosened up.

I made a fourth drone purchase. Revell, a company that makes the kind of plastic airplane models we all used to set on fire when we were 12, makes drones now, and they have a neat one with six props. It has lots of lights on it. Clearly I needed it.

Once my second drone arrives, I’ll have the ability to fly more or less continuously for maybe 15 minutes (my flights are lengthened by frequent pauses to retrieve the drone from behind furniture). That will help me practice efficiently. When I have four drones, I’ll be able to practice considerably more than I want to.

Some day I’ll get a drone with a camera. Sounds extravagant, but you can get all sorts of cool ones for under a hundred bucks. I don’t have any neighbors who sunbathe naked (as far as I know), so I don’t think I can be condemned for operating a camera drone.

Of course, I may get a surprise when I fly it. Hmm.

I think the most annoying thing about camera drones is that the punks who use them to torment us have put us on the defensive. When people complain about drones in their yards, the punks will actually say things like, “You can always stay inside and draw your blinds.”

Technology is going to get incredibly cool, and we will lose all semblance of privacy and liberty. Then Jesus will return. That’s my guess. So I feel like I need to get my droning in while I can.

As I have said before, I don’t think God will tolerate the destruction of privacy and free will. Without them, you can’t have judgment or reward. A world like that serves no purpose.

I’ll put up a Youtube of the hexacopter. I hope you like it. After all, we bought these toys with the rights we held precious.

Slow Down!

Monday, June 28th, 2010

On Second Thought, Don’t

I can no longer keep up with the good stuff God does in my life. I just don’t have time to blog it all.

On Saturday, I cooked for our church’s Rhythms Lounge event. Young people come to the cafe and perform. Some play music, some recite, and others sing. This weekend, we had a guest performer: Zach Freeman, the son of two of our pastors. He plays guitar and sings.

What a show we had. We have a regular house band composed of church members; oddly, it’s not the same band that plays during worship. They jammed with Zach for maybe an hour. We heard a lot of blues and even a long funk session.

I can’t describe the quality of the playing. I had no idea these kids were this good. They were so tight, you would think they had been playing together for years.

Zach started off with his Strat and some effects, and he created an ambience you could almost swim in. I wish we had recorded it. Ordinarily I’m not a big fan of reverb and sustain pedals, but he used them to draw us into a world that did not exist before he started playing.

When the other players got going, we heard bass licks that started and stopped the show at will. The keyboard player, who claimed he couldn’t play blues, performed gymnastics that had everyone gasping. When it was over, the whole crowd started yelling and crying out. A friend of mine leaned over and said, “They’re praising God in Creole.”

I couldn’t ask for a better end to my first week of renewed guitar practice.

It gets even weirder. I have a new guitar! For a long time, I’ve wanted a thinline Gibson guitar with single-coil pickups and a Bigsby, but doubting that I would use it, I never gave in to temptation. This week I started reading up on Epiphone guitars. This is Gibson’s Asian line. Ordinarily, I won’t go near an Asian instrument; Japanese dreadnoughts sound like cigar boxes and have actions that tear up your hands. But I kept reading reviews, and I thought to myself, “If I get one of these things, I have 30 days to try it out, and if it works, it will be a fantastic asset, and the price will be so low, even if I get a better instrument later, I’ll be able to drag this one when I travel without worrying about what happens to it.”

I drove down US1 to buy some bird seed, and I was praying in the Spirit while I drove (good way to redeem the time), and I started thinking about Guitar Center. I felt I couldn’t stop myself, so I decided to go with it. I went in and found an Epiphone Riviera on the wall. I still didn’t intend to buy it. I asked the salesman a few questions, looked it over, and told him I would take it. I felt like I had to do it. I think he nearly fainted. I didn’t even ask to play it. There was no point.

This guitar was made in China. They get spotty reviews that go in two directions. Some instruments are written off as junk. Other buyers say they can’t understand how Epiphone can sell such gorgeous instruments at this price point. It looks like I’m in the latter group. This thing is virtually flawless. It sounds good. It plays well. So far, I’ve only been able to find one tiny imperfection in it. And it cost about 13% of what a new Gibson would cost. I could put a thousand dollars’ worth of upgrades into it and still be way ahead.

I don’t know what the story is. Maybe it was God. Maybe I just like shiny new stuff too much. But I try to walk by faith, and this felt like God’s urging, so I didn’t want to screw it up.

On Saturday, the music materials I ordered arrived. I got a copy of Tony Rice Guitar, plus Dan Crary’s Flatpicker’s Guide, plus a giant tablature book called The Big Slab of Tab. I used to play things from these books, many years ago. Back then, I had some trouble with a little bit of the Tony Rice stuff, but as I noted the other day, my practice habits were completely wrong. Fifteen minutes a day.

I got these books because I feel that God is restoring my life and undoing past failures (and also because I owed Tony Rice a royalty).

I’ve been working on the tunes, and it’s crazy, but there is a big long Tony Rice lick I could never conquer in the past, and after two days, I nearly have it beat. I figure I should be able to play coherently, with the correct super-heavy Dunlop pick, within a week. Maybe I’ll upload an MP3 when that happens.

To get back to church, I cooked for the first two services yesterday, and then I served as an Armorbearer at the last service, and I attended a meeting at which we welcomed four new ABs. Guess who one of them is? Zach Freeman. He goes to college in another state, but he’ll be here all summer. I spoke up and informed him of the rule that ABs have to give each other free guitar lessons, and he said, “I GOT you.” Ha!

I keep meeting remarkable people at my church, semi-ghetto though it may be. The background of the people is totally unrelated to their potential and the contents of their hearts. Some are from the neighborhood, which is pretty depressed. Some are from areas that are more affluent. But there are incredible human beings there, from all sorts of different areas.

When I met Zach on Saturday, I was looking forward to meeting a young man everyone admired so much, but he treated ME like a celebrity. He kept talking about my cheesecake and how great it was. I’m just the guy in the kitchen. He, not me, was the talk of the church. It’s wild, how God raises up powerful people and keeps them humble. With his help, an camel really can go through the eye of a needle.

I may have to make him pay off on that lesson thing, although when he sees how hopeless I am, he may wish he had kept silent.

Another new AB has a wonderful trait we needed badly: he’s Cuban. That means he can FISH. And we need that, if we are going to keep angling for my dad. We talked about dolphin fishing, and he told me a few things even I didn’t know. So I’m hoping we can get him on the boat in a few days. He’s also a professional photographer, so maybe we can preserve a few images.

We don’t get very many Cubans in our church. Strange. I know a bunch of Puerto Ricans, though. God tends to recruit from the bottom of society, and Cubans are at the top.

Today I got up, hoping to rest after a busy weekend, and what did I see on Drudge’s page? The Supreme Court has INCORPORATED THE SECOND AMENDMENT. At least, that’s my understanding of it. I don’t think I’m exaggerating, but I haven’t read the opinion. I’m sure liberal judges and lawyers will do their best to interpret incorporation out of the decision. Anyway, Wayne LaPierre says firearms bans can no longer be enforced anywhere in the US. This is gigantic news. God has worked a real wonder.

For a long time, I’ve believed God was going to preserve and expand our gun rights, even as our government pushed farther and farther in the directions of sexual perversion, anti-Semitism, military weakness, weak boarders, and socialism. It looks like I was hearing from God, and not from my own limited mind.

An evil time is coming. When it does, people will remember the Jewish names Madoff, Stearns, Goldman, Sachs, Bernanke, Emanuel, Frank, and Geithner. I think these names will be used to justify a wave of anti-Semitic barbarism. In that day, Christians and Jews who have armed themselves, bought rural land, and learned how to use tools will be way ahead of the game. I strongly suspect God is getting us ready. This decision will certainly help.

What will God do next? I can’t even guess. The spectacle is exhausting me.

Intruder Alert

Friday, August 8th, 2008

All Your Cheese are Belong to Us

How do you make one of these go away?

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A website says they like cottage cheese. Guess I’ll avoid storing it on the deck.

Life in Miami

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Get the Drawn Butter

The other day I kicked one of these things to make it get off a plant. And it just looked at me.

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