Saturday, December 24, 2011

Very pregnant mama

Trying to relax in her computer corner :-)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The 12 Days of Unschooling

From some Bunnies:

(sing to the tune of 12 Days of Christmas)

On the First Day of Unschooling, My Wondering Eyes Did See . . . 


A treehouse in a big tree
Two tie-dye shirts

Three French curse words

Four bird calls

Five ice cream sundaes (for breakfast!)

Six hours of gaming

Seven empty boxes

Eight toddlers nursing

Nine hula hoopers

Ten trampolines

Eleven LARPers LARPing

Twelve teens a-texting

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bubble Samurai Flash Mob

Some folks from SFBUN having more fun than is allowed :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7AR5dC9Prc&feature=youtube_gdata_player


--
Larry Devich
http://larry-devich.blogspot.com/
----------------------------------
"It's not denial. I'm just very selective about what I accept as reality." Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes")

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Party

So it's 38 degrees out and 11:00 PM so of course Serenity is at a Birthday Party outdoors! All Spanish speakers except for us :-). Happy 5th birthday to Chelsea!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cannon ball story UPDATED

OK, maybe the dude is right to be pissed... look at the stinking hole!  They really could have been killed.  That thing went all the way through the house!  Yikes. 

Caption: An exit hole next to a 2nd floor window is seen in the rear of the house that the cannonball passed through when the "Mythbusters" TV show accidentally shot a cannonball through a house in Dublin, CA Tuesday December 6th, 2011.By Michael Short/Special to the Chronicle


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2011/12/06/BA1D1M99V5.DTL&object=/c/pictures/2011/12/06/ba-cannonball07_0504692324.jpg

Full story is HERE.
--  Larry Devich I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. Philippians 4:11b

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

SFGate.com: 'Mythbusters' cannonball hits minivan in Dublin

I would be HONORED if the Mythbusters hit my car with a cannon ball!  This cry baby needs to get over it. I'm sure their insurance will cover the damages. :-)

A story from SFGate.com:

'Mythbusters' cannonball hits minivan in Dublin

Download the SFGate.com app for your iPhone from the App Store today!



--
Larry Devich
----------------------------------
"It's not denial. I'm just very selective about what I accept as reality." Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes")

SFGate.com: Copper thefts around tracks bedevil BART officials

Now I know why there was an hour long power outage on the ride to work Sunday!  These people are NUTS!

A story from SFGate.com:

Copper thefts around tracks bedevil BART officials

Download the SFGate.com app for your iPhone from the App Store today!



--
Larry Devich
----------------------------------
"It's not denial. I'm just very selective about what I accept as reality." Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes")

Animal School


A version of this was posted to the SFBUN mail list, I loved it so I posted it here as well.  This version is from Jane Bluestein's web site.  According the site "this story was written when George Reavis was the Assistant Superintendent of the Cincinnati Public Schools back in the 1940s! This content is in the public domain and free to copy, duplicate, and distribute."

The Animal School: A Fable

by George Reavis
Animal SchoolOnce upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a “new world” so they organized a school. They had adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.
The duck was excellent in swimming. In fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his webbed feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school so nobody worried about that, except the duck.
The rabbit started at the top of the class in running but had a nervous breakdown because of so much makeup work in swimming.
The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. He also developed a “charlie horse” from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and D in running.
The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class, he beat all the others to the top of the tree but insisted on using his own way to get there.
At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceeding well and also run, climb and fly a little had the highest average and was valedictorian.
The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Living the Peace of St. Francis

I just got home from St. Charles where we had an "Advent Evening of Reflection: Living the Peace of St. Francis" with Fr. Ed Shea, OFM.  It was wonderful.  I've been fascinated by Francis and the Franciscans for years and to see Fr. Ed in action was amazing :-)  I laughed, I cried (really) and I sang songs.  What more could you want?  Francis was all about Peace and Love and tonight was about how we can live out those things.  I wish I had a recording from tonight, I'd like to hear it again.  Years ago I went to a Franciscan monastery and asked about joining, having a kid to support disqualified me though ;-/  Just as well probably, besides, I wasn't Catholic then anyway so it was an Anglican Franciscan place... now that I'm becoming Catholic though I think I will look into the "Secular Franciscan Order" which is not living off in a monastery but is living a Franciscan life in the everyday world.   Once I'm done with RCIA I'll see about that, probably.  Who knows?  Right now it sure feels right.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Small talk

After writing my previous post I started thinking about all the "chit-chat" and small talk that people do.  Of course I don't do it because I'm terrible at it.  What is it that I do that is so wrong?  I can't see the spaces people leave for me to talk, they go past and I never realized they were there, when I do see what I think is an opening a couple of things can happen, usually, by the time I start to speak, someone else is already there talking so I never start.  The other thing that happens is I go ahead and talk and realize as I'm speaking that I've barged in on someone else's (all the dictionary software, spell check and Merriam Webster on line claim I can't write it that way, but how else can I write the possessive form of else?! It belongs to someone else, it is someone else's.  Bah!)  turn.  What ends up happening is that I sit quietly and listen, and so get the reputation of being a "good listener."  Whatever.  So I don't do small talk, if you want to DEBATE now, that is a totally different story, I'll argue either side of whatever you want to talk about just for fun.  Also I'm up for purposeful conversation, ones designed to actually impart information, which other people tell me are actually me giving "lectures" to them :-)  That's as close as I can get to the small talk thing though so there.  

Standing On the Outside Looking In

Rachel, over at "Journeys with Autism", wrote a great post yesterday titled "The Path That Chose Me".  Several things jumped out at me as I read it, the first and biggest "Oh Yeah, that's me!" was this: 

"...I was on the margins. I just didn’t fit. Even when I was standing next to them, I watched my family members over there, as though they were in the center of the room, relating to one another, and I was on the outside. For a long time, I was sure that I must have been adopted, because there was no one in the family who reminded me of myself at all."



I'm like that in virtually all of my relationships, even though I feel like I want to connect I don't, in any group, no matter the size, it seems I'm always on the margin, on the outside looking in.  I don't fit into the spaces there, when I do squeeze in it feels as though I'm forcing myself into a shape that is not my own.  People have objected when I've told them I feel this way, they tell me I belong.  Of course that's not the point at all, it's my own feeling of standing off to the side that is what I'm talking about.  The fact that I can pretend to be in the group just means I'm pretty good at faking it for short bursts.


The second thing I really identified with was her "Great Regret" over past decisions.  I have similar regrets, if only I had not turned down an appointment to West Point, if only I had continued in school, if only I had not changed directions so often... yet in looking back they were the only possible choices for me at the time.  I simply could not cope with the pressures of those paths, again, despite what other people always wanted to tell me about what I'm capable of, they don't really know me. 

Like I said, it's a great post and you should go and read it right now here.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Praying the Rosary and Liturgy of the Hours

As I've mentioned before I'm in RCIA at St. Charles in Livermore.  I'm learning about the Catholic faith and enjoying it a lot.  One thing I've begun to do lately is to pray the Rosary.  I've done that before, I've owned a rosary for many years, it's made of olive wood from Israel.  I've prayed all sorts of different prayers using it, modifying it to make it a "Protestant" rosary.  Now I'm praying it in the traditional Catholic way and today as I was meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries of Christ's Passion, I was struck with sorrow for my sins, for how much I've hurt others and how much I've hurt Jesus, what it cost Him to save me from sin.  In the past I was unsure of the value of a prayer like the Rosary, but it's become a part of my daily devotions that helps me to really calm myself and focus on Christ.

Another thing I've found helpful for the last few weeks is praying the Liturgy of the Hours every day.  At first it seemed like a lot but as I've practiced it every day I've found that pausing during the day every three hours or so to pray keeps my day from going sideways, if you know what I mean.  The prayers during the middle of the day are very short, only about 5 or 10 minutes long, they fit into a work break quite nicely.   Doing these prayers regularly has also helped me to remember to pray for others, for my family and co-workers and the world, always in the past I've said I was going to do that but somehow it never became a real habit.  It remained sporadic.  Having the hours to pray on a set schedule (I've got an alarm set on my iPhone for Terce, Sext, None and Vespers) has made it happen for me.

Here's how I've been doing this for a few weeks now:

Matins (Office of Readings, the longest of the liturgies) prayed first thing when I get up in the morning, usually 4:30 am
Lauds (Morning Prayer) at 6:00 am
Terce (Mid-morning Prayer) at 9:00 am
Sext (Midday Prayer) at 12:00 pm
None (Afternoon Prayer) at 3:00 pm
Vespers (Evening Prayer) at 6:00 pm
Compline (Night Prayer) at bedtime 9 or 10 pm

Occasionally something will prevent me from praying at the hour I have listed here, if I can get to it within an hour or so I'll go ahead and pray it late, but if I miss one it's not that big a deal, and it's really easy to get them all done actually.  I don't make a big production out of it either, I usually just go off and do it without saying anything.  The prayers are mostly Psalms and other readings from the bible so it's really stopping to listen to God through the day, couldn't hurt :-)

So if I don't "make a big deal out of it" why do I even mention it here?  I write in the hopes others might find a regular practice like this as helpful as I have.  If you don't have a regular prayer life then making it happen on a set schedule, no matter what that might be, you don't have to do the full hours, can really help a lot.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

They got bailed out, we got the shaft

Ah, the bankster vermin took us to the cleaners big time.  I'm going to open up an credit union account and ditch the Banksters... man, it's even worse than we thought, they made out like the bandits they are!


The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.
The Fed didn't tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required emergency loans of a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day.
Bankers didn't mention that they took tens of billions of dollars at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed's below-market interest rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue.


Assets grew

Total assets held by the six biggest U.S. banks increased 39 percent to $9.5 trillion on Sept. 30, 2011, from $6.8 trillion on the same day in 2006, according to Fed data.
The big six - JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley - took 63 percent of the Fed's emergency-loan money as measured by peak daily borrowing, the data show.
Combined, the six spent $29.4 million on lobbying in 2010, a 33 percent increase from 2006, according to OpenSecrets.org. Lobbying by the American Bankers Association, a trade organization, increased at about the same rate, OpenSecrets.org reported.


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/28/BUGK1M523B.DTL&ao=2#ixzz1f7q1H761



Hey loan ME a couple of million at below market rates so I can play too!  Jerks.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Collatz Conjecture

This is just so very cool I had to share it.  I found this on the xkcd store while browsing around...
I love strange math ;-)


Collatz Conjecture

This shirt is based on the chains of numbers that make up the fascinating Collatz conjecture (also known as 'hailstone numbers'). The conjecture states that if you take any number, and if it's even you divide it by two and if it's odd multiply it by three and add one, and you repeat this process indefinitely, no matter what number you start with, you will always end up at 1. The tree in the shirt shows the route that various numbers take to reach 1.

The conjecture remains stubbornly unproven, and written in small letters at the base of the tree in the shirt is a quote about the conjecture attributed to Paul Erdos - "Mathematics is not yet ready for such problems."

Public Transportation

As I stand, again, in the fog and cold in the median of I580 at the East Dublin BART station because the Wheels Bus deliberately stopped a quarter mile away to "stay on schedule" and thus ensure this unnecessary discomfort, I look forward with eager anticipation to living in an RV so that I never have to take public transportation again.

Obviously "The Man" does not REALLY want people to use public transportation, like virtually everything else government says, this too is a LIE.

--
Larry Devich
http://larry-devich.blogspot.com/
----------------------------------
"It's not denial. I'm just very selective about what I accept as reality." Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes")

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Sistine Chapel

A VERY cool view of the Sistine Chapel, check it out:

http://www.vatican.va/various/cappelle/sistina_vr/index.html

Is this a ghost?

I'm usually very skeptical of ghost videos but this one got me, watch closely after the cat goes by and listen for the tapping sound, you might want to turn up your sound a bit to catch it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

76 Year Old Skateboarder

All right, I guess I better get back on my bike...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Face Book

So, being on Face Book again is annoying but it seems the only way to communicate with my family in a reasonably unobtrusive way, you all can look or not and I get to spout my nonsense at will.  So far so good.

Then I run into stuff like this story and wonder if I should really just give it all up:


Anil Dash: Facebook attacks the open Web, becomes a badware site


Anil Dash examines Facebook's latest navigational practices, which go beyond making a walled garden of its own content and begin to attack the open Web, including websites that incorporate Facebook's technology. Dash concludes that Facebook now meets the formal definition of a "badware" site -- the sites that generate those "Warning! This site may harm your computer" interstitial pages when you visit them -- and calls on browser vendors and Google to start displaying these warnings when users visit Facebook.
Now, we've shown that Facebook promotes captive content on its network ahead of content on the web, prohibits users from bringing open content into their network, warns users not to visit web content, and places obstacles in front of visits to web sites even if they've embraced Facebook's technologies and registered in Facebook's centralized database of sites on the web...
I believe [StopBadware's malware definition] description clearly describes Facebook's behavior, and strongly urge Stop Badware partners such as Google (whose Safe Browsing service is also used by Mozilla and Apple), as well as Microsoft's similar SmartScreen filter, to warn web users when visiting Facebook. Given that Facebook is consistently misleading users about the nature of web links that they visit and placing barriers to web sites being able to be visited through ordinary web links on their network, this seems an appropriate and necessary remedy for their behavior.

Arrest Pike!



Courts, police say pepper spray 'defensive' only

In this Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, photo University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad Friday in Davis, Calif. Two University of California, Davis police officers involved in pepper spraying seated protesters were placed on administrative leave Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011, as the chancellor of the school accelerates the investigation into the incident.
The law frowns on police use of pepper spray against nonviolent demonstrators.
More than a decade before last week's videotaped incident at UC Davis, a federal appeals court ruled in the case of North Coast logging protesters that officers can legally use the caustic chemical only to prevent harm to themselves or someone else.
The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, which advises police agencies and officers statewide, says pepper spray "can have very serious and debilitating consequences," and "should only be generally used as a defensive weapon" and never to intimidate or retaliate.


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/22/BAH11M2VU0.DTL#ixzz1eXmZUqke

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Market Street @ Embarcadero

Stopped for a minute to observe Occupy SF blocking Market, needed to go home. Maybe I'd have stayed if I was staying in the city.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

One more time...

Someone else shared this on FB... it seems to fit the times, again.

Not Funny at ALL

My previous posted video was sort of funny, this one involves police brutality so it's not quite so amusing, unless you are a vicious, fat, overpaid PIG who enjoys inflicting pain, which is pretty much ever stinking cop around it seems.

Found the video in this story.

NCBI-ROFL

NCBI-ROFL is a blog I read regularly, it's on my Google Reader page.  It's always amusing but seeing the authors talk about it on YouTube was even funnier I think. :-)

Friday, November 18, 2011

From the reading at Lauds today

Short reading
Ephesians 4:29-32

Guard against foul talk; let your words be for the improvement of others, as occasion offers, and do good to your listeners, otherwise you will only be grieving the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with his seal for you to be set free when the day comes. Never have grudges against others, or lose your temper, or raise your voice to anybody, or call each other names, or allow any sort of spitefulness. Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hey government, It Cuts Both Ways!


Call in for Bradley Manning


Land of the free, home of the brave, yeah right.

http://www.bradleymanning.org/news/national-call-in-for-bradley

In March of 2011, State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley was forced to resign after he called Bradley Manning’s solitary confinement in the military brig at Quantico, VA “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.” Two people were chosen to replace him who would do a better job sticking to official talking points, instead of answering questions honestly and off the cuff. These people are Michael Hammer and Victoria Nuland.
In reference to Bradley’s alleged actions, Victoria Nuland told the New York Times, “the United States strongly condemns any illegal disclosure of classified information… In addition to damaging our diplomatic efforts, it puts individuals’ security at risk, threatens our national security and undermines our effort to work with countries to solve shared problems.”
This statement ignores the fact that released cables revealed secret actions performed by U.S. government officers and allies which led to the torture and deaths of innocent people, and that as even former Bush Administration CIA Director Porter Goss admitted, “we overclassify very badly.” Furthermore, no evidence has been provided by the State Department that shows people injured because of the releases.
The website of the Public Affairs Bureau of the State Department claims it “vigorously pursues the State Department’s mission to inform the American people and to feed their concerns and comments back to the policymakers.” We at the Bradley Manning Support Network think it’s time to vigorously express our views to the U.S. State Department.

Thursday, November 17th action

Please make a phone call for Bradley:

  • Call Assistant Secretary of The Bureau of Public Affairs Michael Hammer: 202-647-6088
When you call, please ask him that they stop making unfounded claims about the danger of government whistle-blowing. If their office was pro-democracy, they would condemn overclassification and support increased government transparency such as that offered by the WikiLeaks whistle-blower.

After calling, you can also e-mail them:

  • Michael Hammer at hammerma@state.gov
  • Victoria Nuland at nulandvj@state.gov
  • their assistant at ziesenissml@state.gov
Then please spread the word! Ask your friends and family to call as well by sharing this action on Facebook and Twitter and by emailing them the link to this page.
Thank you for supporting Bradley. Check this Friday for information about the last target we need to reach in our defense of Bradley’s rights.

Background information:

Bradley Manning, a 23-year-old US Army intelligence analyst, is accused of sharing a video of the killing of unarmed civilians—including two Reuters journalists—by a US helicopter in Baghdad.  He is also charged with blowing the whistle on the Afghan War Diary, the Iraq War Logs, and embarrassing US diplomatic cables (including the Guantanamo Files). The video and documents have illuminated details of civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, human rights abuses and atrocities, and the role that spying and bribes play in international diplomacy.
Prior to his transfer to Fort Leavenworth, PFC Manning had been held in solitary confinement in the military brig of Quantico, VA for ten months. While in prison in Quantico, Manning was not allowed to exercise, with the exception of being allowed to walk shackled for one hour each day.  He was denied exposure to sunlight. He was not allowed to sleep between 5am and 8pm, and he had to respond verbally to guards every five minutes.  Although the Quantico officials said these rules were necessary because of a “Prevention of Injury” order, the brig’s own psychiatrists confirmed that Bradley was not suicidal.  In March of 2011, Quantico officials began forcing Bradley to strip naked each night before bed, and to sleep in a “suicide smock.”
The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, opened an investigation into PFC Manning’s treatment conditions. Unfortunately, he was denied the ability to make an official visit to investigate the situation. Although PFC Manning has been transferred to a new prison, Mendez is still requesting to visit PFC Manning to complete his investigation as required by his position as chief UN officer on torture. His requests continue to be denied.




What could be more powerful than the Love of God?

First you need to watch this very cool video about symmetry in mathematics.





I especially love the first pyramid of numbers they show:


1x8+1=9
12x8+2=98
123x8+3=987
1234x8+4=9876
12345x8+5=98765
123456x8+6=987654
1234567x8+7=9876543
12345678x8+8=98765432
123456789x8+9=987654321

How cool is that?!  That alone tells me there is a God! :-)

Of course the last bit about Love of God = 101% is just for fun.  After all if you plug in some other words or phrases and use the same method many things come out far above the Love of God!

For example: Paleoanthropology (the study of ancient humans as found in fossil hominid evidence) gives a score of 215% and thus is twice as powerful as the Love of God... according the video anyway. :-)

P  A L  E  O A N  T  H R  O  P  O  L  O  G Y
16+1+12+5+15+1+14+20+8+18+15+16+15+12+15+7+25
=215%
 
HT: Mom!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Occupy on Rachel Maddow

I don't have cable TV so I wouldn't know about this sort of thing if not for great news sources like Boing Boing!  I was very pleased with the presentation here, you should watch this calm and clear explanation of what is going on.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908//vp/45316180#45316180

More on how NYPD hates books

Not sure...

Use water twice.

What a cool idea.  Flush, then wash your hands.  You are less likely to not wash if the water is running right in front of you, right?  And the water then goes into the tank.  Again, simple and cool and good for the environment.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

And now for a laugh

Watch 100 Year Old Dorothy Custer to wash out the bad taste of Congress from your mouth:



The link below goes to the full segment:


http://www.ktvb.com/news/local/Twin-Falls-woman-cracks-up-the-audience-on-The-Tonight-Show-124279749.html

HT to Mom!  :-)

Occupy

In case you are wondering why the Occupy movement exists you might check out Sunday's 60 Minutes episode about how Congresscritters and their Bankster friends abuse their power and screw us.  Really, if you haven't seen it, watch it now:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Autistic Adults


A cool story from Boing Boing:


How autistic adults can contribute to science

The downside to having a brain disorder: Your brain works differently than the majority of humans'. That can make it difficult to participate in society. It puts people at risk for poverty, abuse, and exclusion.
The benefit to having a brain disorder: Your brain works differently than the majority of humans'. That means that you could have something really valuable to contribute to society, if society will make a space for you.

And there's more...

Not only am I on Facebook but I have a Twitter account!  @LarryDevich Ooh - Ahh!  And I'm on Google + as well.  If you use those things you can look for me on them...  Not that I will be posting that much... or maybe I will, who knows.   I go through phases on this writing stuff you know.

Social Media

I was determined to drop Facebook and I did it. I was determined to
stop posting to my blog and I did, for the last ten days.
I must say I did not miss either of these things in the least.
So why am I writing here now? It's all Lora's fault! She complained
that I was no longer on Facebook now that she has finally started paying
attention to it and actually reading her email every day. So, in order
to support Lora's entry into the 21st Century I am back on Facebook, and
since I'm back there I might as well go back to writing here as well.
What the heck :-)

So now I'm trying out Twitter Feed to see if posting on my blog can go automagically to FB and Twitter...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Police Mentality

Oh my, the police are so very bright aren't they?



"Unfortunately, this shirt seems to confirm that this is who Twin Rivers Police are and how they think, or at least some of them," Roberts said. "This doesn't speak highly of the culture of this department."

Monday, October 31, 2011

Even more so now...

After days like today I really want to have an RV.  Not so much for the privacy but to avoid Public Transportation!  The BART and Bus system here is deliberately designed to ensure that every trip to the city takes as long as possible, is as frustrating as possible and is as uncomfortable as possible.  You would think "they" would want people to take transit, but "they" don't really want that at all!  "They" want to keep people in cars and on the roads, except for the very poor who have no other choice.  Why do I say this?  Because the buses here arrive at BART at the same time the train leaves, meaning you get to the platform to watch the train leave without you.  This means I wait the maximum possible amount of time standing in the cold on the platform, every single day.  In the same way on the way back BART arrives just in time for you to either sprint full tilt down the steps risking life and limb to catch a bus that is about to leave, or about half the time watch that bus drive off without you, once more ensuring that your wait for the bus is the absolute longest possible wait.  There is no way this can be an accident.  There is only ONE place in the entire Wheels bus system where it really matters what time the bus arrives and that is the BART station.  And this is the one place where it's deliberately scheduled to make you miserable.  Heck, the buses will actually sit idling at Walmart, a few blocks from BART, if they are about to get you there in time to catch a train, even though not once in all the time I've ridden Wheels has anyone been getting on the bus between there and BART so being on schedule is ONLY meant to make us miss trains.    Yeah, I got hosed both ways today :-)  If I get an RV I'll NEVER have to ride Public Transportation again!  THAT makes it all worth while. 

I think I'll drive to BART tomorrow.  It gives me about an hour of my life back not spent on noisy uncomfortable buses or worse, standing around waiting for a noisy uncomfortable bus.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

On the other hand...

On the other hand just having an RV here would be very cool, the chance for impromptu camping trips, the chance to occasionally stay over in SF if I wanted to for some reason, the chance to just get away from the hustle and bustle of family in the thing, make me think that if I could get something parkable and cheap it would still be very much worth it.  Take for instance this thing I just saw on Craigslist, it's ugly as sin but cheap, customizable, parkable and would be perfect.  If only I had the cash now... ah well.  If I can locate something along these lines in size after I have the money, I may yet get one. 

1985 CHEV Y VC BOXED VAN - $2500 (mission district)


Date: 2011-10-23, 9:32PM PDT
Reply to: sale-wpqrw-2665574021@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

1985 CHEVY BOXED VAN VERY LOW MILES NEW PAINT JOB AIR SHOCKS , NEW BRAKES CUSTOM, STEERING WHEEL, STERO SEATS, GOOD TIRES ALL THE WAY AROUND DISSELE ENGINE
IT IS KNOW REGISTERED DO NOT NEED SMOG AND IS CONSIDERED AS A CAMPER VAN . IT IS NO LONGER A COMERCIAL VEHICLE BUT YOU CAN PUT IT BACK AS A COMERICIAL WEHECIAL IF YOU WANT TO AS A CAMPER REGISTRATION CHEAPER PLEASE CALL ME AT 415 467-1088 LUCKY. SORRY THE TRUCK NEEDS TO BE WASHED

  • it's ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
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Terran's Birthday Party

Serenity's friend, Terran, had a Mad Scientist themed party that included experiments requiring being outside and safety goggles. Everyone had a great time. :-)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A letter sent to a member of Messiah who asked about me


I’m writing to you because I heard that you were interested in finding out what I am doing now that I’ve left Messiah Lutheran church.  It was not a sudden thing where I just jumped off of the boat at a whim because of some minor doubt, instead the whole edifice of Lutheranism, when founded upon the belief in Young Earth Creationism, which it is, as it is proclaimed in sermon and literature from the synod, simply crumbled to the ground when that foundation proved inadequate.  It seemed to me, and I still think this is true, that the position of the LCMS on evolution is, well, silly.  It was this issue that precipitated my rejection of the whole church actually.
For a very short time when I left Messiah I went back to being an atheist, my default position for over ½ of my life.  When I returned to my default “unbeliever” position though I was not in a closed off frame of  mind but was again open to all options.  You see, for me unbelief was not a dogmatic atheism but a release or rejection of the whole set of positive beliefs surrounding Lutheranism.  I still was interested in ultimate truth, where the cosmos came from and what is the meaning of life, if any.  Although at first I was inclined to reject all theism along with Lutheranism and go with pure naturalism, I did not find this idea plausible though and soon was casting about for some sort of religion to fill the space recently vacated by Lutheranism.  I very briefly glanced back at the various eastern mystical traditions I had once been fascinated by, but they do not have the benefit of being True.  I lightly brushed over the idea of going to some Evangelical church like Cornerstone Fellowship in Livermore but that didn’t work for me because one thing I got from my studies in the Lutheran church was the fact that the early Christians were both liturgical and sacramental.  The early fathers most certainly affirmed that and thanks to the Lutheran church I am familiar with some of those early writings. 
I next considered some of the other denominational options out there, from UU to the Liberal Mainline Protestant churches but for the same reason the Evangelicals don’t work for me I had to reject these as well, these churches are not in that Liturgical and Sacramental tradition I know is what the early fathers proclaimed.  They don’t have things like a baptism that really does something and the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist to list the two I had in mind at the time.
Not long after I had posted on my blog about my return to unbelief my mother called me on the phone.  Mom is a sort of generic Christian type of believer but she is most certainly a Christian.  She was very kind and told me she was praying for me, and she did pray too!  Mom had never much cared for the LCMS because they didn’t allow her to take communion with us when she visited, so she wasn’t too upset with me leaving, but she was concerned I remain a Christian.  Anyway, to wrap up the story here, almost as soon as mom told me she was praying for me I had a strong urge to go to the Catholic church again. 
A side note: I was on the verge of joining the Catholic church and was entering the RCIA program when I stumbled upon Messiah with it’s Thursday Eucharist that fit my schedule so well and I fell into that comfortable place that so reminded me of my childhood growing up in a Lutheran church.  Sadly I didn’t know enough of the beliefs of the LCMS when I joined.  I immersed myself in the Lutheran doctrines, reading everything I could lay my hands on, from the bible to the Book of Concord and dozens of books from Concordia.  I also listened to Issues Etc. almost every day.  But although I tried to just accept it all it never quite clicked, I was always saying “Yes, but.”  And the YEC issue just made me cringe.
So now I’ve chosen, or to be more accurate, the Lord has led me, to go back to the Catholic faith.  Here I find the authentic church of the ancient fathers in its fullness, with all of the sacraments, turns out there are seven of them J.   I have concluded, after much study, and most of this was done long ago not in just the last few weeks, that Luther was wrong to rebel against the authority of the Church, even though he had many valid points about corruption and obscuring of the gospel in the Church.  In my study of the church as it really is now I find these things addressed to my satisfaction.  The most important thing for me though is actually historical, I find the arguments for the magesterium of the Catholic church, the authority of the Popes and the Bishops, to be compelling.  I do think that the Catholic church is the legitimate one founded by Christ and handed down from the apostles.  I do not think God would allow His Church to go off the rails for thousands of years until Luther came along to fix it.  I do not think the continually fractioning denominations of the protestants is how God wants His Church to be.  He wants us ONE as He is One.  Without authority this cannot be, as has been proven by the continuing proliferation of denominations after Luther.  The Protestant branch of Christianity has cut loose from the anchor that was provided by the authority of the Popes and bishops and has gone in literally thousands of different directions.  This makes outsiders say “Which one is True?” and so reject the whole batch. This is not God’s plan for His Church.
I’m now in RCIA at a local Catholic church and am fully convinced that this is the true Church founded by Christ and handed down to His apostles.  I don’t understand everything here but I’m confident that it’s true nonetheless.  As to that issue that first served to free me from my attachment to Lutheranism, evolution, the Catholic church has no problem with it, and although they insist on a literal Adam and Eve they don’t state where or when they existed.  I’m OK with that.  It was the assertion that the cosmos is less than ten thousand years old that never passed the giggle test with me.
So, I’m happy with my course now, I think the Lord was leading me all along, as He always does with His baptized children.
Do know this, no one at Messiah ever did anything to offend me in any way.  I am not angry or anything, it’s just me following Truth, and that Truth is Jesus, and His church is the Catholic church. 

Peace be with you,

Friday, October 28, 2011

Update

Full recovery expected for injured protester Scott Olsen

http://mobile.sfgate.com/sfchron/db_41685/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=biOQ7Ljh


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Larry Devich
http://larry-devich.blogspot.com/
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"It's not denial. I'm just very selective about what I accept as reality." Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes")

RV or not

For a while now I've been excited by my idea of saving money and gaining privacy by purchasing a used RV to live in while continuing to help Lora and JD pay the rent on the apartment.   Part of my calculation involved the amount I would "save" by not taking the bus and BART to work 7 times each pay period.  This amount seemed significant at first.  Until today when I decided to look at the expenses of the RV itself.  I did this after praying for guidance by the way, suddenly the thought came to me that I was leaving some important items out of my calculations. 

So what have I realized?  I've realized that far from saving me money I would be spending even more!  Counting insurance on the vehicle, required by law and prudence both, gasoline to make the thing move and groceries to supply it while I'm away from my home base, I would be almost but not quite breaking even with my current transportation costs.  I would certainly NOT be saving any money. 

Then I was thinking this morning as I listened to Lora and JD and Serenity getting up for the day, earlier than usual due to some appointments they have, I thought, "See, if I was in my RV I wouldn't be hearing that!"  But then I thought, "that's not actually a good thing now that I think on it.  I would miss them horribly."  So I don't know what to say now other than that I'm reconsidering the idea.  In fact, if I save the money I was planning on spending on an RV I'd be money ahead, especially if I rationed it to myself each month... which I think I may actually do. 

Prayer works!  I was going along blithely assuming things not in evidence for months before I prayed about it and suddenly realized that my assumptions were unfounded.  Thanks be to God!  :-)

So, RV or not?  Probably not. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011