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
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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


Full recovery expected for injured protester Scott Olsen

Larry Devich
"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

Serve your country and be brutalized by pigs, thanks Bankster Scum

This Veterans For Peace member (I'm also a member) was injured by the thuggish Oakland police last night.  Word is this protestor is in critical condition.  Nice to serve in Iraq and be rewarded by being brutalized by the cops while peacefully protesting...