Suspicious?

I have no idea how the traffic on WordPress (or blogs or anything else on the web) is determined. I have no idea what makes one day a 55 hit traffic day and the next a 15 hit traffic day. I haven’t been able to see any correlation between subject and traffic or anything else. The only sure fire truth is: the less you post, the less your traffic in general.

But this is a brave new world where Youtube demonetizes those not “woke” Google is biased to the Left and Twitter lets Leftist say and do whatever they want, but routinely suspends those not following the narrative.

Most of my posts have just been neutral, secular, tidbits of late. I average somewhere around 18 to 20 hits a day. Sometimes into the 30’s 40’s and, occasionally, 50’s and higher. But I noticed after two posts of a religious nature (including a lighthearted pot shot at atheists) my average immediately plunged to 2 or 3 hits for the last several days.

Do I get shuffled to the bottom of the deck? Should I post some anti-abortion post and see if I just get a complete black out?

Or am I just paranoid?

Advertisements

Religious Mathematics

I am rereading C.S. Lewis’ excellent Mere Christianity again. I read it five or six years ago as I was starting to have real doubts about my atheism. I thought I would revisit it to see if there was more cash in the drawer the second time around – so to speak.

In the chapter Rival Conceptions of God, he is talking about how other religions have some truths to them, but where they differ from Christianity, they are wrong. After all, in arithmetic there is only one correct answer to a sum, but, some answers are closer to the right answer than others.

So, I thought, if we take 2 + 2 = 4 and Judaism is 3 for an answer, Islam 7 (I really hate to say even that) Hinduism 6 and so on. Then, atheism would be (it is my belief these years later) the answer of -29,333.

Just a something that struck me as funny and true.

The Great Adventure Catholic Bible

A new acquisition on the way this week. It is a Bible that is organized (thought the books and all text are in same order) in a way that is to be more easily grasped in its broad outline.

I note it says it has an Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat through the Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis. This means absolutely nothing nowadays (not saying anything about Saint Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese specifically but about the value of the Imprimatur and the Nihil Obstat). I learned this from the first Catholic study Bible I owned which, though stamped with those credentials, should have been declared anathema so demythologized, secularized and simply wrong it was. So much so that I, having little knowledge of the Bible, Christianity, or, even, Catholicism, at the time, knew it to be in error. But this isn’t specifically a study Bible as the link shows.

I liked the idea of collecting within the overall book itself. I think, following Bishop Barron, of the Bible as a library with books than simply a book itself as if it is just another book like Grapes of Wrath – a library of many genres. And, just like a library, this one seeks to have some system of classification that is part of the make-up of itself. A lot of times, if it is not simply a straight forward Bible, these points are only buried in addendum articles at the end of the Bible or at the beginning of each book within it.

It can be quite difficult to never be in the same book that you are studying.

It seems (and this is why I am taking a chance on it) like it follows a modern textbook approach to organization (when I say modern, that is probably 20 years ago or more) with a lot of shout outs and visual cues.

I’m going outside my usual translation confines here. I usually stick with Douay-Rheims or KJV (original not any new fangled). This one is Revised Standard Version – Second Catholic Edition. I tried some RSV-SCE at BibleGateway.com and it seems to read alright. I miss a little of the Shakespearean art but it at least it is not some gender-nuetral abomination! Sad thing is (outside of the abominations, that is) is most of us are ill equipped to really tell the advantage of one translation over the other on a verse by verse basis. I can judge that “the quick and the dead” is more lyrical than “the living and the dead” but I do not know Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, nor Latin (ok, a tad Latin, but nothing functional). I generally follow a form of the coherence theory of truth when judging texts. Does this mesh with what I know? Does it fit?

The BibleGateway, btw, rocks. Input a chapter and verse (or an entire chapter) and you can get it in any number of different languages and English translations – over a hundred it looks like at a glance.

Another reason I got this is I needed a functional everyday Bible.  I have my Biblica Sacra which is the the Clementine Vulgate Latin of Jerome in one column with the Douay-Rheims version in the other column, but that is a cumbersome hardback and I use it for the Latin. Then I have a pocket sized Douay Rheims leather edition, but my eyes are so bad I can’t see the print without an effort.

To digress, I do have several other Bibles, but they are mainly collectables (also several digital copies). I was in the need of a good, functional Bible. Hopefully, I have found it.

I’ll unpack it when it arrives and give a review!

Scattered Life

I have a particular problem that is getting worse and worse as I get older. I am one of those people (and I am sure everyone knows one) that starts many, many things – and finishes close to none of them. This problem is getting so bad for me that I have some six books that I am simultaneously reading and getting nowhere with. I have stories that are sitting around with anywhere from six sentences to sixty pages – all of them sitting around (with very few exceptions) in first draft form.

I just went on my Catechism Class.com site and see that the last quiz I took (for Institution of the Holy Eucharist) was from April of 2017, and I started the course in 2013!!!

My reading of the Bible will take probably until the year 2099.

I have no problem getting the daily stuff done, the chores. I never miss vacuuming, balancing the checkbook, etc, etc. But then – what happens? Now, even blog posts are something I can’t seem to get to.

And now my complete lack of discipline and time management has to compete with a 40 hour work week. Gone, oh gone, are the 23 or 25 hour work weeks (including the 16 hour work weeks, I will miss those most of all).

I can barely seem to muster up the discipline to write to my sponsored child!

I think what I will do is I will complete each and every one of these objectives. And perhaps I should write a to-do list everyday. I have had a free schedule today, for instance since 12 pm, it is now 3:30pm. I’ve been on the old internet.

I think I will make a goal first and foremost, since it seems to be the most delayed, to finish the catechism classes. Funny, I think there is a little procrastination in this. The classes are heavy in reading Aquinas’ arguments, and they can be quite tedious. I am pretty sure I have done enough outside reading in those five years since I started the course that I could just blaze through all the quizzes now.

My Southern Experience: Part Two

Before I go onto other aspects of my southern experience so far I should note that, like all things human, it is not 100% this way or that. There is a general level of what I consider rudeness here (apparently saying “bless you” after someone sneezes is out?). There are some nice people here as well.

I also am not used to people not liking me at first sight and for no good reason (that I can see) haven’t had that experience since grade school.

The surgeon general’s warning on the dangers of smoking never made it here. People smoke everywhere and throw their butts everywhere. The stairwell of my building is an ashtray – I do not exaggerate.

Southern cooking is to die for… if you do not die from it. I am pretty sure there is enough sodium and fat in a southern meal to bring down a moose.

LOTS of bugs. But the fireflies are totally cool. I had those as a child when I lived in Michigan.

One of the pluses (and it is a big plus) is the beauty of western North Carolina (from Asheville to the western edge). Just the sheer number of colors. Against the backdrop of green and brown is about every color you can come up with. I took a series of photos in my apartment complex of a stretch of ground covering perhaps fifteen feet. The vegetation in this space had great variation of colors – and this was only in a tiny bit of space. Not a manicured or landscaped space either, its downhill from the railroad tracks at the edge of the property.

My Southern Experience: Part One

Thought I would start writing a little about my southern experience so far.

It will start off a little negative (alright, largely negative). One big reason for that is I fell into a huge depression after arriving here triggered by – swallowed by – homesickness.

I spent twenty years in the Seattle area happily married. I worked at the same place for almost that whole time where everyone knew my name where I felt the most comfortable. Where my day started with hugs, high fives, yells, and cheers and usually finished with friends and beers.

I am still trying to get used to a few things here in the south. One is the weather. It is MUGGY, I mean what I imagine soldiers felt in the jungles of Vietnam. I spend most of my time indoors in the air conditioning. It is just sticky and gross. If I go outside after a shower, I may as well have not showered at all. Nobody else (except for my pug) seems to notice. I do enjoy the almost daily thunder clouds coming in. I have heard more thunder and lightning in Asheville over the last five months than in all the time I was in the Seattle area.

Although I do yearn for a few days of overcast and drizzle.

Another thing I am trying to get used to is the rudeness of the south. Sorry, but I have lived in Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. I have travelled through most of the United States missing only New England. The south so far has been the rudest place I have been to. This really shouldn’t be much of a surprise since the area consists of a large number of descendants of people who thought chattel slavery was a good idea and fought to the death to keep it. And then thought terrorizing and lynching people was a good idea, and Jim Crow was a hero, etc.

And while we in the Seattle area may have groaned inside when yet another arrival said howdy and further clogged up the roadway, we (at least not in my experience) never let the person know about it. And we welcomed them and asked questions about where they came from, etc. I have been told here by no less than eight people (and have had that many more express the opinion in my hearing knowing I to be new to the area) that outsiders are ruining their area.

The wife and I were not here two weeks before we were making a purchase at a store. The lady at the counter was ringing us up and we were talking and we mentioned we were from the Seattle area. She said she had a son there. She then went on to lament how the area is going to the pits because of people moving in that weren’t from there (as if you could move there when you were already there). She may as well said, “this area would still be good if it weren’t for you folks.”

Another replied shortly after I said I came from the west coast something to the effect that it isn’t good to have people coming in from such places cuz then you have more chances of importing homosexuals.

I am still not sure if that was a roundabout way of calling me a fag.

This last I found hilarious. I spent over twenty years in Seattle and never worked with a transgender (is that still the term?) person. My first job here I worked with one. Two newscasters on Saturday morning here are homosexuals if my name ain’t Bob. Three cars in my apartment complex have bumper stickers that say “Vaginatarian.” The cars are owned by females. And if you can’t parse the word it is someone that eats vagina. Never saw those in Seattle area. Downtown Asheville can look, at times, like a cross between Haight-Ashbury and the Dinah Shore Golf Classic – if you catch my drift. Which, you should, it is as obvious as Vaginatarian.

You shouldn’t be worrying about fags invading your precious town, child. You are quite gay enough already!

People have no interest in where you come from here, no curiosity about other places. Note the distance between London and Berlin is less than seven hundred miles and, yet, they are two different cultures. The distance between Seattle and Asheville, NC is over three thousand miles.

It should be noted that the migration is the opposite from what my wife and I have done. Way, way more people pick up from places like this and move to places like Seattle than the opposite. Someone may move from Atlanta to here, but they are still a southerner. The tourists here are surely from Atlanta or Raleigh and other such places mostly.

I have a suspicion southerners don’t like outsiders.

To Be Continued….

New Acquisition

I’ve always to make a good study into proper pronunciation and grammar, but never started. I found the above at an antique shop in Franklin, NC when we first arrived in March. Just pulled it out of storage/packing today.

Learned something on the first lesson. I have always mispronounced err. Instead of like the urr in purr, I’ve always pronounced it it as err in error.

The book predates the second world war (early thirties) so it should be free of modernisms mostly.

As always you have to, if you want to remain unstained, avoid the falling of civilization’s curtain in the late sixties.

CATHOLICISM by Bishop Barron

Today starts the free viewing of Bishop Barron’s CATHOLICISM series. One episode a day for the next ten days for free. I have seen clips and he takes you around the world showing various aspects of the Catholic faith in action, in building, in beauty – and maybe other things, but I’ve only seen clips.

The only other thing I know about it is it pissed a lot of PBS viewers off when some episodes showed several years ago. It would be like Darth Vader showing a documentary series on the life of Emperor Palpatine!

Anyway, I will be enjoying it!

Not Sure About Posting

I have so radically changed my life in the last several months, that I am having a hard time seeing a link, or a continuity, to this blog.

Another thing is is that I am without an office as well.

I now arise at 4:30am and work five shifts a week for a little over forty hours. It is my first excursion from the service industry since my stint at Menard’s (that lasted two weeks) in Green Bay in 1996. All my other work experience is restaurant/bar. Factory assembly is way off the beaten path. The work is different, the hours are way different, the people are different. I say the people are different. But, actually, I served a lot of factory people in my stint as a bartender. But they are different in another way as well. They are southern. Three thousand miles makes a difference.

I usually come home pretty tired.

On the other hand, I have not consumed nicotine in over five months in any form. And my drinking is down to one to two drinks per week – and sometimes several weeks with no drink at all.

The typewriter thing is over. The Smith-Corona was delivered with a broken power switch. And when I got that fixed, I found that the platen was so rock hard that the keystrokes were scoring the paper so badly it was turning it almost into confetti. The other typewriter is in many pieces still awaiting my repairs. I am not enthusiastic about writing on a manual typewriter unless it was an Olivetti.

However, I have decided to let my little fixation go. The typewriter is simply gone, and lament it as I might, it is going to stay gone as a viable writing instrument. If they were going to start producing and supporting IBM Selectric, I would change my story and quick. But that is probably not going to happen.

So I have been writing. I did a final copy of my clown story. And I am working on a story that has been bugging me for some time and will not go away. It came from one line that I wrote – for no reason that I know of – and it would not let me go. So I rewrote the line as the start of the story and went from there.

The single line was, “Jemmy was Falcon.” Whatever the hell that meant. I went ahead and steamrolled through it and now it has a definite meaning. It is five young adults on the shore in a – sort of – post apocalyptic world. There is a hotel of sorts that is sort of like the one from the John Wick movies. Except the use of it demands some of your soul. Jemmy will give his for its use. I know nothing more than that.

Mr. Wright said to somebody recently about writing, something to the effect that a writer is always writing his first book, because it is always the first time writing that book and each book is its own process. This was in relation, if memory serves, to a question of plotting vs. pantsing.

He left out the part of the James Pattersons who carbon-copy out their books and each one is exactly like the others.

Anyway. Writing is actually going faster and more productive than it did for me in Washington (or Wisconsin or Arizona) and I think that is because I have far fewer things in my way. Like drugs or alcohol, or cigarettes, or my own ego. And, far, far fewer friends. That last I would like to remedy at some point.