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Apr. 10th, 2012

12:09 pm - I'm in!

Just responded to the email from the AD of KWLT that I am indeed still interested in directing a one-act for this July.  So pending securing the rights (which since I had already been in contact with the author who was enthusiastic about us performing the play shouldn't be a problem) my show is in.

oh boy....

Apr. 5th, 2012

03:49 pm

Due to the current composition of my flist on FB and such, I see a lot of shared postings about religion and politics come through my feed. I try to read them. I comment when I have an opinion. Sometimes it backfires because of context or a failure to clarify intent of a statement. But I read something today that made me think, so after a bit of a disclosure and preamble, I have a thought to share.

Behind the cut is the preamble, which is not necessary to the discussion below. However, please do not pass any judgement on me or my intentions without having read it.Collapse )

An article posted at:
contained a quote that really resonated with me:

"The end game of those who oppose the marriage amendment that we support is not just to secure certain benefits for a particular minority, but, I believe, to eliminate the need for marriage altogether."

Need for marriage?  I understand the "need" for marriage in the context of religion.  Historically marriage has never been a union of choice for people who love each other and want to express that connection in front of their friends and family.  From the point of view of the religion, marriage brings together a man and a woman, preferably both of the same religious beliefs, though most will allow one partner to drop their previous doctrine in order to join the church of the other, in order to provide a stable, supportive arrangement where the woman will commence the rearing of children to be raised in the same faith.  The church NEEDS this arrangement.  I don't know of any organized religion of any notoriety (at least nothing that isn't a completely modern philosophy) that looks at human sexually and says "there is absolutely nothing about sex that we feel the need to exert influence on--do whatever makes you happy".  Sex exists for the purpose of creating the next generation of believers.  Marriage is a tool to assist in the raising of those children in the faith of the religion.  Extra-marital sex is a reckless disregard for the purpose of marriage.  Contraception is a blatant disregard for the purpose of sex.  Homosexually is not accepted in Islam or Christianity because having sex for any purpose other than  procreation is not submitting to the "will of God" (the word Islam apparently existed before the time of Mohammed, and literally translates to "complete submission to the will of God").  

Historically, both of these religions were the "underdog" in the larger community that they originated in.  Rapid expansion of the population was a necessary part of their development.  You can look at two not so subtle differences between the two doctrines.  

After reasonably establishing itself, Christianity added monogamy to its definition of an acceptable marriage, and as a direct result 20% of its male congregation would die without a male heir, and thus their property usually fell to the church.  

The early development of Islam was influenced by significant social turmoil.  War was a common occurrence, and conflict would generally cost the lives of male fighters, which would limit the number of reproducing couples in the society.  Thus it was decreed by Mohammed that a man should have one wife, but if he can financially provide for more, may have up to 4.  (What I have read indicates that the traditional teachings of Islam were quite concerned with the safety and support of females in their society.  By today's standards there is a lot that western society looks down on, though this is certainly a topic for another discussion).   

There are passages in holy texts that are the basis for the modern objection to Homosexuality, but it all boils down to behaviours that were not of value to a developing culture.  If two males in a war-ravaged Muslim community were to chose each other instead of taking wives, there would be up to 8 fewer reproducing "couples" in the community.  


If religions would honestly evaluate WHY their faith decrees so many of these "rules" and then realistically decide which ones are actually still relevant to a modern society, I think I (and probably their own congregations as well as society as a whole) would find their doctrine far more palatable.  NOTE:  MANY (possibly most?) PEOPLE OF ALL FAITHS HAVE ALREADY STARTED TO DO THIS AS INDIVIDUALS.  It has happened on a lot of small issues.  Up until the early 20th century, there was a ritual in the prayer books of the Anglican church whose "purpose" was to purify the unclean body and soul of a woman after childbirth.  Regardless of why that was in there to begin with, the church hierarchy thought it wise to quietly forget about that one when they re-issued the books.  Christian religions have the advantage of a body that has the power to make these kinds of decrees.  The problem, if you will, with strict adherence to Islamic teachings, is the central tenant of Islam:  (translation is recalled from memory, so is not exact) "I submit fully to the will of Allah, and accept Mohammed as his Prophet".  At some point Mohammed declared himself as the last of the prophets and that there would be none to follow him.  So strict adherence to Islam doesn't really leave room for discussion.  The teachings of the prophets are said to be the word of God, so contradicting them is a pretty bold move for any religious leader. 

So there is my rant.  Of course it went on way too long.  Sorry about that.

Aug. 26th, 2011

11:29 pm - ok, breathe.....

Just wanted to put this down somewhere. I re-read my journal once in a while to give me a sense of time passing. Without it I can never figure out the relative times of my life.

My roommate messaged me that my sister was trying to get in touch with me (too broke for a phone right now). My grandma was rushed to the hospital with a stroke. She was actually playing cards with her friends at the time, so she wasn't alone. (Her social life would put any of us to shame) They responded quickly and got her to the hospital. She is responding to treatment apparently. Getting motor function back, is talking clearly again.

I was able to reach my sister using Google Phone (so grateful for that service). She is able to update me via FB from her phone now. So I am just sitting at my computer waiting for news.

Aug. 19th, 2011

07:21 pm - Back in (on?) the saddle

Spent almost all my money (still only 40 bucks, but for me that is most of my money) on a cromoly steel axle (solid axle that is the same gauge as the quick-release ones, so MUCH stronger) and the tool to remove my freewheel. Got back to my office where the bike was and found I couldn't get the freewheel off without a larger wrench than I could find, so I took the wheel to Recycle Cycles where they have the tool and a bench vise. Spent the afternoon there rebuilding the wheel. Changed my front brake pads (small issue with the length of the rear cable preventing new un-worn pads from working in the rear, so I just realigned those for now), reassembled and oiled the derailer and the chain. The bike is working--better than ever. I can feel a lot less resistance in the pedals now.

There is still a periodic tick (don't know how to describe it) that happens a lot, tho I cannot reproduce it on demand, so I really don't know what is causing it. I will just have to be careful until I can identify it :-(

So yes, I am mobile again ;-)

Aug. 17th, 2011

12:47 am - Found it!

While looking for interesting monologues to use at my audition for KWLT's panto (I miss being on stage. Gonna be hectic dealing with this just as Screw hits the stage, but I gotta), I found something that I have been hoping to stumble across for a while:

A one-act play I am interested in directing for the next one-act weekend!

Gonna be a blast. Not quite the tech marvel I was interested in attempting, but clever story, fun twists at the end, ridiculous costumes......

And Darth Vader?!?!?!!?!?!

Is there a list of plays that have been done in the past so I can make sure nobody else has tried it?

Current Mood: creative

Aug. 16th, 2011

02:25 pm - First real snaffoo (sp?) in my cycling plans

When I fixed up the bike initially, the rear axle was slightly bent. I didn't worry about it. Of course a couple weeks ago the axle broke. I got a replacement from Recycle Cycles. I assembled the wheel and started riding it again. I noticed that the wheel was not riding in the right position because I got the arrangement of the various spacing nuts wrong, so I disassembled it today to fix that and track down squeak that started after my Sunday rain-ride. Turns out my new axle is now bent. More than I remember the old one being when I started.

Research into the problem suggested that the frame (or in this case rear fork since there is a suspension) may not be aligned properly. However my attempts to measure the dropouts seems to indicate it is not the case (tho I will get a second opinion ASAP.

It is suggested that since it is an 8-speed freewheel hub, the added stress resulting from the bearings actually being too far from the frame may cause undue stress on the axle. The bike is reasonably heavy, and franky, so am I, so this is a very reasonable hypothesis.

So herein lies the problem. I NEED to ride the bike. I can replace the axle again. I am not riding rough terrain or jumping curbs (tho some of the streets are REALLY bad). But this axle is critically bent from 4 days of riding.

The "recommended" solution is a more modern "freehub" that moves the bearings out to the frame on both sides. But that would mean a new wheel (or I suppose completely rebuilding the existing wheel around a new hub) and new gear cartridge. The more I read about it the more I want to do it. And I may just do that for next season. Right now tho I can't afford it.

Gonna talk to a bike shop and Recycle Cycles about the availability of stronger axles. If not I don't know what to do. It does mean I am off my bike again until at least tomorrow.

Aug. 6th, 2011

11:06 pm - one more try from my phone

If this works I can post from my BB that was shut off by bell while in range of wi-fi

Aug. 3rd, 2011

02:19 am - Major bike breakdown #2

I was riding my bike along the Ironhorse Trail. Got off at Strange St to use the "signalized intersection" as the sign recommends (I never would have guessed signalized was a word). When the light turned green I pedaled halfway thru the intersection before I heard a clanking sound and the back of the bike became really unstable. Had to abandon the bike at the bus terminal (almost 20 minutes on foot while having to maneuver a crippled bike) and bus to rehearsal at UW a half an hour late.

My roommate helped me recover the bike tonight, but I needed to remove the wheels to get it in the car. When I removed the nuts holding the rear wheel on half of the axle fell on the ground. The other half was still in the wheel. So I know what happened. Still trying to figure out why. Are self bifurcating axles a common cycling problem? Or have I been doing something wrong. I was peddling away in a relatively high gear, which may have contributed to it, but I am completely dependent on the bike as my primary method of travel outside of mooching rides off my roommate, which I don't like to do.

Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated

Jul. 11th, 2011

08:38 pm - Well it was a salad.....

Based on what I dropped all of my weekly grocery budget on this week at the market, I came across what is, in my opinion, a perfectly valid use of hambuger, bacon, cheese, mushrooms, onion, mixed greens, and sundried tomato & oregano dressing:

The Bacon Cheeseburger salad.

Jul. 7th, 2011

04:57 pm - Approximately 1 month as a cyclist in KW....

and damn are my legs tired.........

But seriously folks.... I have been able to use my bike to get between every pair of locations I have needed to travel between successfully without terrible agony. This week alone I will have used my bike in place of $43 worth of bus tickets and cabs (some of which has been optional) I planned a 24km route from home to my office, then to work, then back home, and with all the mistakes I made trying to follow it probably rode nearly 30km. Longest individual leg has been about 11km I think.

I have needed to sit a couple of days out to let my legs recover. Tomorrow will definitely be one of those days. I do have a few trips I need/want to take over the weekend, so tomorrow it is.

I have already noticed improvements in my ability to endure hills and my tolerance for the seat. I have also learned of a few really handy routes and shortcuts, as well as a few to avoid.

I do have some maintenance I need to do tho. I have a bent spoke on the rear wheel. I need to adjust the suspension, and the brakes could use some work. Also I have been riding without the benefit of the front derailer, so I am limited to the middle range of gears (which is useful for most riding--goes low enough for moderate hills and high enough for reasonable speed) so I should figure that one out some time. Hopefully I can spend a few dollars on new brake pads and a spoke, tho I don't know if I want to tackle that one myself, and Recycle Cycles seemed really busy last time I was in there.

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