Thursday, November 02, 2006


The story so far....

Well, I had no real idea for a story, so I decided to go ahead and start throwing out some characters and a couple of provocative situations. Maybe if I toss enough stuff on the compost heap things will begin to happen.

One thing I want to do is try to at least keep things moving so that it doesn't get too bogged down in conversations that go nowhere. If I can just keep everyone a little out of breath maybe they'll just have time to say what's necessary and skip the elaboration.

Naturally, I'm behind, with about 2100 words as of this afternoon. I need about 1200 more to keep up the pace.

I still haven't overcome the barrier of wanting things to be just so. Afraid of committing myself to any particular thing in case it doesn't pan out. Sooner or later something will have to happen that upsets my apple-cart and sends everything rolling off in a new direction.

Sunday, October 29, 2006



Well, it's time to take the plunge.

Everybody's got a novel in them (or several to make up for those unfortunates who don't) and it's time I got mine out. November is National Novel Writing Month, a thirty day marathon to write that novel you were always planning to do some day.

While I have sort of fallen down on the job as a blogger, I'm sure I'll do better writing fiction than fact. 50,000 words in one month? Why that's just an average of 1667 words per day. I could do that standing on my head! Or at least if my head weren't so round that I keep falling over.

All there is to do is do it. There's nothing really to lose, and everything to gain. Why, there's even a screenplay-writing version to be held this summer for those who think novels are old hat.

So with any luck, by December I will be an authentic novelist.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Odd Coincidence

Having just spent some time reading about the Christian church's history of violence, it was disconcerting to hear about Pope Benedict's recent speech. While I do not approve of anyone gaining converts by force or the threat of force, it was ironic that he should single out Islam given the historic record.

Perhaps this incident will in some roundabout way create the basis of a fruitful dialogue. But if Christians remain in denial of their own history, we can hardly complain when Muslims condemn us for hypocrisy.

Monday, August 28, 2006


A little light reading?

I've been spending a lot of time with a fascinating book lately.

CONSTANTINE'S SWORD The Church and the Jews by James Carroll tells the story of the relationship between the Jews who remained faithful to the God of Israel and those who came to call themselves Christians. It is really nothing less than a history of anti-semitism: from simple polemics to empire-wide discriminatory laws, from the establishment of the first ghettoes to the introduction of genocidal pogroms.

The really scary part is the slow transformation of a small cult that worships the Jew Jesus to a culture that reviles and hates real Jews to the point of trying to wipe them out completely in the Holocaust. It is not merely incidental, this turning-against, not something that happened by accident. It was promoted by the most influential Christian leaders of their times.

Up until the time of Constantine, there was little difference between 'the Jews' and 'the Christians'. It is often impossible to to tell the difference between Jewish and Christian tombs in the second and third centuries. Churches and synogogues are decorated the same. While Christians celebrate the Eucharist with bread and wine, the Jews celebrate the Sabbath Kiddush likewise. The Church fathers had to continually warn against Christian participation in Jewish observances.

Struggling to create an identity for itself, Christianity begins to define itself by how it differs from the faith closest to itself: the faith of the Jews. The Sabbath is moved from Saturday to Sunday. The celebration of Easter is detatched from Passover. It is conveniently forgotten that Jesus and his disciples were all Jews. A new sermon genre is born: Adversus Judaeos - 'against the Jews.' But as a repressed minority, the animosity of the Christians toward their Jewish bretheren was impotent.

But with Christianity's adoption by Rome's ruler, things changed drastically. The cross was seized upon as a symbol of Roman and Christian unity. The Nicene Creed was amended to emphasize Christ's crucifixion (which was not even worthy of mention in the original Christian profession of faith.) Who gets the blame for it? The Romans who brought the cross to Palestine, sentenced Jesus to die upon one, and carried out the execution? How would that serve to unify the new Roman empire?

And thus begins a tragic history that culminates in the horrors of Hitler's Final Solution.

Thursday, August 24, 2006



10 more days withpout a posting.

Am I even a serious blogger?

Well I suppose there must be a block somehwere, some internal critic that says "This had better be good!" So I refrain from just jotting down everything/anything that comes to mind. But I don't make time to really think about it either.

So, what is new?

Dog: Mr G. Puppy takes a lot of attention. Took him to the river the other day and actually got him to get into the river of his own accord. He still doesn't like it though. He gets in to 'save' me, and when he gets close seems to want to stand on top of me to keep himself out of the water.

Camera: I got a camera, but it developed a problem about powering up. I Googled the problem and it is apparently a common complaint. So- do I get it fixed or just start fresh? My feeling is that this is a design problem, and fixing it won't solve the bad design.

Scanner: just got one off of Ebay, and so far it works great. I have some ideas how to put this to use. I faced a similar dilemma with my old scanner as with the camera: fix or replace? Well, I had a hard time finding parts for the scanner, and was a little unsure about my ability to repair the thing anyway. So for a small amount of money i went ahead and got a better scanner than the one I had before. Cool.

Website: coming along. Chipping away at adding things to it, and incoporating some old records. i'm feeling sort of slack about it lately.

Anyway, that's a short update on activity here on the Left Coast.

Monday, August 14, 2006



Ten days without a post!

I guess my resolution to do better faded a bit. There are always excuses, but I won't repeat them now. After all-- I still manage to find time to watch TV!

I have been doing some work: adding lots of information to my website, to the point where I'm getting paranoid about backing it up. Instead of doing it only sporadically, I'll begin to just add it to my schedule. This is the sort of open-ended project that will never be finished, no matter how much I put in. So it's just a matter of deciding what's the most important thing on the list now without getting overwhelmed that the list itself is infinite...

We've also done some re-arranging in our house to accomodate a couple of steel desks I picked up (for free). The previous arrangement was a board spanning a couple of two-drawer file cabinets. This is so much nicer both as a practical matter and an aesthetic one. The room is tidier and inspires even more house-cleaning.

And that's also to the good.

Friday, August 04, 2006


website forum

Part of my plan for my hobby website was to add a forum or bulletin board. This was to enable vistors to participate in the process, and give people a reason to come back.

I went ahead and subscribed to a service to do it for me, as I was overwhelmed by the prospect of building it myself. I didn't want to get halfway through and then abandon the project from frustration. I'll think of this as an interim board: I'll put up the 'real' one later.

It looks forlorn now, with no entries. I'll see if I can drum up some enthusiasts to get the ball rolling. Kind of like a busker putting the first bits of change in the guitar case.

I have been making improvements on the site, mostly by adding information. But as I go I am starting to perceive some major drawbacks to the way I went about it. I wish I had known about CSS when I started. And there must be a way for me to simply update the data base without having to 'hand-craft' each page when I add a bit of info.

No doubt this whole project will have to be completely rebuilt once I've reached a certain point.

Sometimes I just have to learn the hard way.

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