THE CHAPTER FOUR BLOG

Questions? You can ask me anything ... just not anonymously.  

"I'm not even an atheist so much as I am an anti-theist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful." - Christopher Hitchens in Letters to a Young Contrarian.


"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." - Sinclair Lewis


...................................................

I am a painter. I also write, take photographs, wrangle dogs, garden, and travel when I can. People say I should have been a librarian or archivist of some sort. I think I should have been a paleontologist.

Recently divorced after thirteen years. Figuring out the life that follows. Looking for peace. After five years in New York City, I relocated to rural New England. I like the quiet. I like the forest. I like snow in the winter. I like buying fresh, local goat's milk cheese at the general store.

I have always had rescue dogs and you can see two of them throughout these pages. I eat Indian food every chance I get, but never say no to Chinese. Two of my favorite living musicians are Tom Waits and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy. Some of my favorite authors are Samuel Beckett, Gene Wolfe, and William Heinesen. Some of my favorite films are Henry Fool, Hannah and Her Sisters, My Dinner with André, Stalker, Trust, and Through a Glass Darkly.

This is chapter four.

I figure that since 90 percent of my vegetables are organic, 75 percent are local, all of my meat is free range, grass-fed, and local with no antibiotics or growth hormones, I finally found raw milk, and I don’t touch farmed fish, I’m doing okay.
Though Trader Joe’s does sell organic corn, too, the fire roasted corn is in now way marker to indicate that it is not the devil. Still, if three bags a month are going to do me in, the rest of the population is screwed.
Titus is the only land shark in this family.

I figure that since 90 percent of my vegetables are organic, 75 percent are local, all of my meat is free range, grass-fed, and local with no antibiotics or growth hormones, I finally found raw milk, and I don’t touch farmed fish, I’m doing okay.

Though Trader Joe’s does sell organic corn, too, the fire roasted corn is in now way marker to indicate that it is not the devil. Still, if three bags a month are going to do me in, the rest of the population is screwed.

Titus is the only land shark in this family.

— 5 hours ago with 5 notes
#corn  #GMF corn  #organic vegetables  #local food  #Trader Joe's 
Translation:
Dear Valued Customer,
We should have told you this yesterday, but we’re telling you now: We cut your internet and phone service for eight hours last night without telling you while we upgraded software or some shit, but after the third time you rebooted your modem this next morning it came back and you now have download speeds up to 105 Mbps.
Cool, huh?
Sincerely,
Comcast
(True story.)

Translation:

Dear Valued Customer,

We should have told you this yesterday, but we’re telling you now: We cut your internet and phone service for eight hours last night without telling you while we upgraded software or some shit, but after the third time you rebooted your modem this next morning it came back and you now have download speeds up to 105 Mbps.

Cool, huh?

Sincerely,

Comcast

(True story.)

— 15 hours ago with 4 notes
#Comcast  #xfinity 
"Fossils are not a test of your faith. Deciding whether to pray or perform the Heimlich maneuver when your child is choking to death is a test of your faith."
Eòin David Harris, while washing dishes.
— 16 hours ago with 6 notes
#test of faith  #science  #fossils  #prayer  #praying  #Heimlich maneuver  #anti-theism 
"Science is a way to call the bluff of those who pretend to have knowledge. It is a bulwark against mysticism, against superstition, against religion misapplied where it has no business being."
— 16 hours ago with 11 notes
#Carl Sagan  #science  #religion  #The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark  #anti-theism  #Demon Haunted World 
RE: NONSENSE.

scottstartsover:

One of our doctors uses a magical pendulum to guide her as she does chiropractic work on dogs and cats.

More importantly, people - actual adults who are allowed to be responsible for raising children - pay her to use a magical pendulum to guide her as she does chiropractic work on dogs and cats.

— 17 hours ago with 9 notes
#nonsense  #new age nonsense  #pendulum  #magic pendulum 

Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014)

The Associated Press has reported the death of Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Márquez.

— 21 hours ago with 8 notes
#Gabriel García Márquez  #obituaries  #giants 
YELLOW THINGS.

Very fresh lemongrass procured from the Vietnamese market. I could smell it in the car on the drive home and that made me happy.

My favorite frozen corn - the roasted corn from Trader Joe’s - safely in my freezer. Three bags. The cashier said, “I take it you like corn.” I said, “The roasted corn is the best for chili.” She said, “You don’t put corn in chili.” I said, “I do.”

Urine sample donated to the federal government. Since I have an FBI file - from our aborted adoption proceedings in California - and they have my DNA as of today, should I ever even bother giving another moment’s thought about what other information is being/has been collected?

— 22 hours ago with 5 notes
#yellow things  #lemongrass  #frozen corn  #Trader Joe's  #urine sample  #NSA 

laughingsquid:

Action Bill, A LEGO Stop-Motion Short Film About William Shatner Traveling Back in Time to Kill William Shakespeare

-

Very clever and well executed.

Also, the only time in your life you will ever see or hear the words, “A stop-motion short film about William Shatner traveling back in time to kill William Shakespeare.”

— 1 day ago with 150 notes
#LEGO  #Action Bill  #William Shatner  #William Shakespeare  #stop-motion  #short films  #Patrick Stewart 
GAME OF CUPS.

So, I’m off to have my third pre-job-offer drug test in two weeks, which is illegal in Massachusetts. (One was actually pre-interview.)

What I’ve been told:

"Yes, it’s illegal to force someone to take a drug test before an offer of employment is made, but it is not illegal to not make an offer of employment if a candidate pushes back on that law.

I haven’t done anything that would show up in a drug test in 20 years and I know I will pass every time - now that I know the prescription medications I mentioned concern about a couple of weeks ago are neither detectable nor give false positives - but this is ridiculous.

It’s one thing to require drug testing after an offer has been made by a government agency or a hospital, but a part-time job in a grocery store? And a criminal background check. And a credit check. And a non-disclosure agreement.

But, we must be good little soldiers and fall in line so that lower mid-level retail management feels powerful.

Also, I hate driving 40 minutes to hand a cup of my warm urine to a strange woman who will never even know my name. It makes me very uncomfortable.

— 1 day ago with 7 notes
#drug testing  #Massachusetts 

The real takeaway here is that the City of Portland’s priorities are so detached from any sense of reality that they will waste 38 million gallons of the water supply because 0.0000002 percent of the reservoir is some dumbass’ urine?

Apparently not one bird has ever flown over it. Ever.

And, no one in Portland has ever been in a swimming pool. Ever.

How much will this cost? Who is paying for it? And who voted these morons into an office where they can make decisions like this?

flamingatheist:

breakingnews:

Portland reservoir to be drained after teen urinates in water

NBC News: Portland, Ore., officials plan to drain millions of gallons of treated drinking water from a city reservoir after a teenager was caught on surveillance cameras urinating into it.

The unnamed 19-year-old was captured urinating through the iron fence at the Mount Tabor Reservoir just after 1 a.m. Wednesday, water bureau officials said. Two others with him, ages 18 and 19, were also caught trying to scale a fence.

Video via pdxwater on YouTube

Second time in a couple years they’ve had to drain the reservoir, glad my water comes from another source than Portland Water since they have shown to not do a good job at protecting the water supply or being fiscally responsible.

— 1 day ago with 263 notes
#City of Portland  #urine  #water 
What bugged me most in Frozen was Olaf, the snowman. I know Disney movies need to have something silly, even infantile at times, to keep the youngest audience members entertained, but it crosses a line in some of the films and Olaf was an example of that for me. Too much silliness for a fairly serious movie.
Compounding that, his animation didn’t match the other characters who, while highly stylized, were rendered to be very realistic. Didn’t match it at all. Obviously he’s an integral part of the script/story, but I constantly felt like a completely different team created him - a team that had never seen any of the work on the other characters or even the overall look of the film.
As the movie progressed, I became increasingly immune to him, but I still didn’t like him. It was only when he said, “I don’t have a skull. Or bones,” that I was okay.
When Disney changed in the late 1960s and into the early 1970s, they began to add more and more of these silly and cutesy elements. In their very best films - Beauty and the Beast, for example - they were there, but were not glaringly out of place the way I felt Olaf was. In the worst films, they can make it unbearable for me.
Olaf wasn’t unbearable, and like I said there are many, many good things about Frozen. The animation is beautiful. Some of the songs were really good - especially when Elsa and Anna were singing together. The presentation of gender roles was great. Anna’s rejection of “a man to save her” was especially good. The idea that love conquers fear - while overly romantic and idealistic - is a good take-home for the kids.
Incidentally, after reading a half dozen articles last night - both hysterical Christians who can never think about children without thinking about sex, as well as thoughtful, well-reasoned pieces by gender studies professors - I actually agree that there was a pretty strong agenda built into the dialogue, the songs, the story, and the aesthetics of the film. But since that agenda is teaching kids to be decent human beings, I’m perfectly fine with it. It actually reminded me of those lines from Beauty and the Beast in “The Mob Song” when the villagers sing:

Praise the Lord and here we go!We don’t likeWhat we don’t understandIn fact it scares usAnd this monster is mysterious at leastBring your guns!Bring your knives!Save your children and your wivesWe’ll save our village and our livesWe’ll kill the Beast!

Howard Ashman, who was slowing dying at the time, was candid that the song was about AIDS hysteria and how easily public perception and fear can be turned to a frenzy by one hateful voice.
I just didn’t like Olaf or anything about him, and, for me, his presence and presentation kept my overall enjoyment and appreciation of the film significantly lower than it could have been.

What bugged me most in Frozen was Olaf, the snowman. I know Disney movies need to have something silly, even infantile at times, to keep the youngest audience members entertained, but it crosses a line in some of the films and Olaf was an example of that for me. Too much silliness for a fairly serious movie.

Compounding that, his animation didn’t match the other characters who, while highly stylized, were rendered to be very realistic. Didn’t match it at all. Obviously he’s an integral part of the script/story, but I constantly felt like a completely different team created him - a team that had never seen any of the work on the other characters or even the overall look of the film.

As the movie progressed, I became increasingly immune to him, but I still didn’t like him. It was only when he said, “I don’t have a skull. Or bones,” that I was okay.

When Disney changed in the late 1960s and into the early 1970s, they began to add more and more of these silly and cutesy elements. In their very best films - Beauty and the Beast, for example - they were there, but were not glaringly out of place the way I felt Olaf was. In the worst films, they can make it unbearable for me.

Olaf wasn’t unbearable, and like I said there are many, many good things about Frozen. The animation is beautiful. Some of the songs were really good - especially when Elsa and Anna were singing together. The presentation of gender roles was great. Anna’s rejection of “a man to save her” was especially good. The idea that love conquers fear - while overly romantic and idealistic - is a good take-home for the kids.

Incidentally, after reading a half dozen articles last night - both hysterical Christians who can never think about children without thinking about sex, as well as thoughtful, well-reasoned pieces by gender studies professors - I actually agree that there was a pretty strong agenda built into the dialogue, the songs, the story, and the aesthetics of the film. But since that agenda is teaching kids to be decent human beings, I’m perfectly fine with it. It actually reminded me of those lines from Beauty and the Beast in “The Mob Song” when the villagers sing:

Praise the Lord and here we go!
We don’t like
What we don’t understand
In fact it scares us
And this monster is mysterious at least
Bring your guns!
Bring your knives!
Save your children and your wives
We’ll save our village and our lives
We’ll kill the Beast!

Howard Ashman, who was slowing dying at the time, was candid that the song was about AIDS hysteria and how easily public perception and fear can be turned to a frenzy by one hateful voice.

I just didn’t like Olaf or anything about him, and, for me, his presence and presentation kept my overall enjoyment and appreciation of the film significantly lower than it could have been.

— 1 day ago with 5 notes
#What I'm watching  #Frozen  #Disney  #Frozen will turn your kids gay  #Howard Ashman  #the gay agenda 
What I’m watching:
Gravity - Alfonso Cuarón, US/UK (2013)

What I’m watching:

Gravity - Alfonso Cuarón, US/UK (2013)

— 1 day ago with 4 notes
#what I'm watching  #Gravity  #Alfonso Cuarón  #movies