Sunday, December 30, 2012
Anyways, I was listening to a podcast about robotics and invention. Before that I listened to another podcast about maker sheds, sort of like shop club for adults. The common thread was that American manufacturing is changing as is American manufacturing jobs. The robot podcast provided an example of a robot that can do line work, if the line work is simple, like putting cupcakes in a box. You take the robot arms and show (provide motor memory) the little bot how to do your job for a few hours and the next day you collect your last paycheck. The little robot doesn't need health insurance, bathroom breaks, a union, nor any of those things to make humans happy and healthy.
Yes, there are many manufacturing tasks that have been taken over by robots already, but what about more tasks than now?
Then I thought about jobs my friends and colleagues pity and feel bad about, like maid service, janitorial work, and farm labor. What if in some near future there is no need for maids and janitors because they've been replaced with bots? What if thousands of migrant workers were replaced by bots or tractor parts that could pick the tenderest lettuce, or the ripest grapes. Think of the many labor issues in America for low paying jobs and imagine that those issues went away because the people have been replaced by technology.
I don't know about you but I find something unsettling in that thought. It's not that I want to subjugate people to low paying jobs but there is something in work that is good and eliminating a whole sector of work, bad.
My first job was as a non-union cashier in a grocery story. I made a dime more than minimum wage to start. My mom, when she had to re-enter the work force got her foot in the door with low skill low paid work. Same thing for sis. Low paid work is not a good place to hang out, but it is a good first step. My first paid job, I'm glad I had it. I'm glad the manager took a chance on a 16 year old girl with no previous work experience. I learned a lot. I learned to challenge myself. I learned there are some really creepy men out there as well as cool couples who clog. I'm also glad I don't do it anymore for pay , yet the experience does come in handy for self check out.
Self-check out, back to the robots. I like it. But sometimes I need a human and they won't let you buy NyQuil at the self-checkout w/o a human.
But as my history project showed, where we listed occupations that no longer exist, there is little point in hanging on to those occupations taken over by technology (horse buggies by cars; laundresses by diy washer dryers) or fashion or what have you. But whatever, we must have some work for the poor and the young so they can move towards that which hasn't been replaced by technology, yet.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
As I wrote the hard part is staying awake. The foreperson will chastise those nodding off or speaking out of turn. Many of those violators will acknowledge, maybe even apologize for their error, and make attempts to not make the same error. They do eventually fall back into the error and once again seek to not make the same mistake again, over and over. But then you have those who are brazen, who do not apologize and when they acknowledge their error they point out that others make the same mistake, which they seem to argue is justification for them to do what is natural, sleeping, even if a witness is just right there in front of them spilling their guts.
Isn't sin similar?
What me? In the wrong? No! Everyone else is doing it. Go ahead report me, I've got better things to do than sit here.
I thought of this and compared it to our sinful natures and our fellow humans who don't acknowledge that they too are sinners. How can you be thankful and wanting of grace (which we don't deserve) and appreciating Christ's death if you don't think you have sinned and think you're alright with G-d. Better yet, what god, because you got better things to do than worship.
Nobody's job is THAT important and if it were, you wouldn't be stuck on jury duty.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Free will and time.
Past, future, present and time.
When I think of historic preservation I do think of the future, along the lines that history is not done, and space is limited. To preserve a square block for the celebration of something that happened in 1894 or 1945 or 1966, is to say no (until politics, natural disasters or acts of god change it) to other options for the next 10, 100 or 200 years or more.
How free are future generations to say, "No Thanks" to a 'gift' presented in the form of preserving an event that may have 0 relevance to the people of the future, or fiscal burdens masked as trinkets for the people of the present?
I think of our G-d existing outside of time, unbound by it, as he exists outside of our space. He, I believe, exists in eternity. So I wonder when he looks on our present, is it really THE present or another spot in time? If our present isn't THE present, then he'd know our future, which is just someone's past. He knows where our vices and virtues will take us, and which sins will snag us.
I haven't taking the divine thought too far as it wanders way too close to Predestination. I have been thinking a lot about where is THE present and does a present really exist. Dealing with history and historic documents, the people of our past act as if they are existing in a present. Who is to say we are not the same?
If we were to go to our past who are we to say that Dewey won't defeat Truman? But we can't go into the past, nor the future. Someone in the far future may know what's in my nearish future, but can't warn me, nor can they impact the decisions I make which may be helpful or harmful to that future person or myself. They, like myself, are stuck in their present.
That future person maybe aware that I will do X in 2013 or 2015, and now in my present I am free to do X or Y, even though the people of the future know I will do X. I believe Y is an option and might consider it so right up until the point I change my mind. Dewey still can win the presidency, it is an option, right up until all the votes are counted.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
We were only exposed to about 5 seconds of news while trying to see if TMZ* was on.
We voted, had dinner, then watched a DVD. Now we are going to bed.
Tomorrow NPR will tell us the outcome and thankfully this will (hopefully) be over and done.
*TMZ in one way endangers our souls, but on the other hand it allows us to know about people we could care less about without having to watch their mind numbing soul destroying shows. We know 'of' the Jersey Shore, but we don't 'know' Jersey Shore.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
I really wish people would get their "stuff" together.
There is a woman. A character, who shows up near my block who begs for money. If there is one good thing I could say about Cindy the Crackho (later crack dealer), she worked for it. On various occasions I have pointed the beggar to one of several organizations (Bread for the City being one) where she could get a meal, and maybe get in touch with their holistic services, so she can get her stuff together. However, after several interactions with this woman, from making her a sandwich to buying her some groceries, I don't think she's interested in getting her stuff together. That pisses me off. I'm going to have to stop caring about this person because her constant excuses for not lifting herself up (or reaching out to some professionals who can assist) is pissing me off.
I guess I can be more sympathetic to one dimensional characters and strangers.
My sister, more so when she was younger, was a person who didn't have their stuff together. I love my sister. It was a good thing that we were several states away because there was stuff she'd do that would make me so angry, that if we lived in the same town, I'd have a criminal record. If I didn't love her, I wouldn't have cared.
Love is not just rainbows and soft cotton candy. It can be painful, painful to see the people you love not doing their best, being less than what they are or can be, wasting themselves. It is really hard with family members who you love, especially if one or more is on a downward or circular spiral and would really like it if you didn't mess with their trajectory.
Jesus calls us to love our neighbors and our enemies. I struggle with that. Besides the obvious, there is the problem (with those falling under "neighbor") of having to have your heart broken in that love. Or to be torn.
Monday, October 15, 2012
I, thank the Lord, am fine. With rest and eye-talian cough syrup (equal parts honey, lemon juice and cognac, heated in the microwave) I've so far kept illness at bay.
This weekend I figured my job as wife and helpmate was to make sure he didn't go anywhere. Seriously, if he had his way, he'd be dragging his diseased corpse to outer Maryland for his weekend volunteer gig and then at church spreading the love and the germs. The most loving thing I could do for my guy and the health of the DC metro area was to keep him in bed and try to stay cold-free myself.
Thankfully we have a second room. It still isn't up to guest room snuff yet. So after 1 night of hacking and tossing, we slept separately. I miss him and I love him, he with the raw red nose and looking like an extra from a zombie movie. I love him and he is mine, every germy snotty coughy inch of him.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Definately no cool gifts.
It's a pity party.
Not to get into any details, to protect the privacy of the one who tried to throw the party, but I crashed such a party.
I am honored to be a close enough friend to speak to the person to ridicule their self inflicted downward spiral of pity in order to pull them out and have them laugh about it. I'm also lucky it didn't get worse.
I was not interested in joining in on how horrible, stupid and other negative descripters they used to describe themselves. They'd beat themselves up enough, anymore would be piling on.
However, in the future, I'd like to make a pity party cake, where it all tastes bitter.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
One book I could not finish because the topic that the title promised seemed to be less forthcoming as the author began to take more and more swipes at Judaism and Christianity and make more and more claims that his brand of humanism was correct and based in science. Well I wanted the science and all I got (maybe it was later in the book but he wasn't making it worth my while to stick around) was bad history and disagreeable philosophy.
Another book, an abridged Ayn Rand, was informative and tolerable. I agreed with her on some points but not on others. I'm with the mystics and I'm okay. I respect that in that version she didn't seem to think it worth her while to take many swipes.
I have finished a book by Arther C. Clark where I sense he did not understand people of faith and their faith. The story had aliens who come down bring peace and science and for some reasons this wipes away most (except some form of Buddhism) world religions. I'm not sure why this "science explains it all" is supposed to snatch away the power of the Cross.
The most dangerous, is a book I'm listening to in dribs and drabs. It's by an Anglican who describes himself as friendly to the faith but not a believer. Yeah, that sounds CofE to me. His book actually explains where some of the conflicting parts of the Bible, changes and I gather 'fads'/heresies in Christianity's history and some of the best evidence against believing. I told the Help to stay away from this book, he's not good with conflicting ideas.
With all the books I find myself being very thankful that I have experienced the hand and love of the Trinity. There are parts of my life that are downright mystical, and really hard to explain. I have experienced Christ in the hands and feet of his Church. I have experienced the Holy Spirit in ways that have shaken me and moved me and lead me to a better place. And of all that, I can not logically explain it. Heck I can't really explain some parts when the Help and I witness to each other. From the outside it can look mad.
This experience, fed by the practice, so far beats out the arguments against it for me. And I am thankful. Very thankful.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Before I got married I had two waiter's corkscrews. Now I have none. Where did they go? Dozens of roommates, and I kept those two corkscrews. One husband... BAM! They are gone.
Same for a really nice sweatshirt I had since 1988. I got it in Paris. Now, it is no where to be found.
I had some folding chairs but I think my aunt may have run off with those.
There are non-material things too. There went my sense of independence. When I was single, I was very comfortable being alone. I liked my own company and was at peace with my own thoughts. Now I yearn for my husband and to be near him. I worry about his commute. I need him. The old single me, who exists in a corner in my mind is very annoyed at the needy yearny woman developing. That single self also got annoyed at women who defined themselves by their men. I still think I mostly define myself outside of my role as wife. And even inside that wife role, I am trying to define what my roles are, as the Help also tries to figure out how to play out 'husband'.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
A few days ago while walking from a point A to a point B and taking my sweet time downtown I ran into someone from my old church (the Church of the Really Really Blond People). She was sitting on a park bench enjoying the day, when I said hi and sat down beside her. We chatted awhile but I figured I'd held off going to point B long enough and said my goodbyes.
As I left, I reflected on the idea that she and I had little in common and how the church experience brought us together. She is much older, from a section of town I don't visit, and from what I gather, long retired. I've met a lot of people outside of my usual social circle and formed friendships through the churches I've attended around DC.
I remember most fondly a fellow Chris Tighe, from St. George's in Arlington. I would sit next to him because most Sundays he'd change the lyrics to one hymn or do something funny. And then there is the gal I'll just call Nora Bombay who I also met at St. Georges. She eventually fell away from regular attendance (too early on Sunday) but I still consider her a great friend. Then there are the odd people and friends made since St. Georges.
Despite only showing up once a month, I know a bunch of people from the Help's church. He tells me they ask about me when I don't show.
So if you're wondering how to meet people, go to church. But remember you get out of it as good as you put in.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
What we know as the "Golden Rule" a concept shared by many ideologies and religions of treating others as one would like others to treat them. However if using Christian scriptures, the concept is a two parter, like the flat IKEA furniture. Our Lord Jesus the Christ in Luke 10:27 where he said to love G-d with our whole selves AND our neighbor as ourselves. The first part is to orient our love, which determines what is love and justice and righteousness, because it should be rooted in G-d. Though in Matthew 7:12 it is a lone concept without a mention of G-d, just a stand alone idea next to a bunch of other separate statements. However Matt 7:12 mentions that "this is the law and the prophets." The law is mentioned in Luke, where G-d comes first.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Anyway, my grandfather was a sharecropper in North Carolina, with 5 kids and the loopy woman I call grandma. And for a time had his father, Great-Grandpa Kelly come live with them. He was not a wealthy man. One holiday my aunts laughed about a time when the kids all had to share one candy bar and how they had to work the fields and then go to school the same day.
He was also a church deacon. My uncle, one of his sons. now serves as deacon for the same small church. My grandmother, was a deaconess.
I think of my grandfather now and again (though I never met the man) when I think of what non-profits can't do for the poor what the church can do, give them positions of authority and respect. What self-respecting charity would put someone from their client base in a decision making position to pick the CEO (pastor) and to run day to day operations? Maybe that's an unfair question. But I wonder.
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Can you think of other examples?
It's late so I can't.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Now is pretty cool.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I got this email from a conservative mailing list, that normally I would have deleted without looking at it. Well I looked. And it's stupid. The main gist of the email is, "Stop Muslim Sharia and Foreign Law from enforcement in American courts by activist judges."
Apparently somewhere in Ohio some judge banned pork from a prison so everyone would eat, "muslim food." There is kosher, there is halal but no food can be Jewish or Muslim, any more than food can be Christian. Unless a peanut butter sandwich can give itself up to Jesus Christ.
I just unsubscribed. I still also get emails from the libertarian Republicans, so I'll still be aware of whatever the secular right wing of the party is getting its panties in a bunch about. I'll stick with any mailings (which right now are very few) from my Church to keep up with issues of religious freedom.
*I do believe in some limits and that people shouldn't be stupid with guns. Like with cars. And like with cars, but more so, you should have the right to own and practice with a firearm and other defensive items.
Monday, April 16, 2012
The idea in there is that NFP needs to be brought into the 21st century. It has, because there is an app for that. I just don't know if I want to pay that much for an app, and the free/cheap ones look like a waste of space on my phone.
We do communicate. The tempurature measurement is a daily thing, a first thing in the morning after the alarm clock goes off thing. Okay, thwacking him on the chest and mumbling "measure me" is not the most romantic thing, but it makes him an equal partner. With the pill, it was just me. A solo thing, in my then solo life. Guys only cared if you were on it, not if you were actually taking it every day or going along to doctors visits for the depo. Here he is a true partner, and active partner.
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
She lived and died in North Carolina and really didn't care to leave it. Before she married my grandfather, she was a Methodist or maybe AME, not really sure. Granddaddy was a deacon in his Baptist church and apparently grandma had to become Baptist in order for that to occur. She became a deaconess at the little NC church where many decades later she had her funeral.
She can claim some small part in my faith walk. Well besides the Baptist history in the family, there were the monthly, quarterly phone calls I'd have to make. Usually I'd wait for 2 different family members to get on my case and say I had to call her. She was an unpleasant woman.
Anyway, she'd ask if I'd gone to church. At the time I was in college and I'd say yes. I guess it would have been easier to lie, but instead I made sure I was in a church at least once a month. That was my loose tether, keeping me in the fold of G-d, or at least visiting a community of his people. From there I eventually decided one Lent, sometime after college, to go to church once a week.
But back to Grandma. There is something, I believe my mother said about her that is beginning to haunt me. Grandma did not believe in doing any work on Sunday. She would not even pick up scissors. I am trying to reduce if not not do anything on Sunday, except cook. I'd like to resist the temptation of making anyone work for me, such as the cashiers at IKEA, the movie house staff, even the operators in Delhi, on the Sabbath. I'm not there yet.
Despite being Christian, she was mean. She seemed to love to find your buttons, and push them. I credit her with her second husband's death. Of course, she could have been a much meaner, nastier person without Christ.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Today, after a nice nap we went to church and engaged in the low impact aerobics that is Mass. The priest is still male and I'm pretty okay with that. If female priestly leadership was ever a main concern of mine, then I would have remained in the Episcopal church. But I found I really like a male presence in the church and my criticisms of the Help's conservative PCA church is the music can be too feminine. The male leadership is one of the few things keeping it from breaking out in to all out girlishness. Those praise songs are sung in a key that is too high. First it starts out with the girlie music and then before you know it you'll have church dancing and an overwhelming female congregation and female leadership. Okay, I'm making that up, I just despise the praise songs.
On the radio and other media the Left is claiming women will leave the church and the Republican party. Nope. No plans on leaving. I left the party once, mainly because it was on a RHINO witch hunt and you know, I didn't need that crap. This, some radio loudmouth and Republican candidates supporting "traditional family" (soon you're gonna tell me the Pope is Catholic) does not shake my preference for the GOP. Not leaving the Holy Roman Catholic Church anytime soon either. Of course if Fr. Watkins starts giving long and mind-numbing homilies I might start shopping around for another Roman Catholic Church.
I like CS Lewis' the Great Divorce and listen to the audiobook often. In Lewis' Heaven, there are no 'rights'. We do not have a right to anything the Lord grants us. Heaven is not a democracy and the Triune G-d is not elected by the citizens. There is no difference between Greek or Jew, slave or free, male or female, but I don't think this means "equality" as we have been defining it. It doesn't mean we're interchangeable. It means, to me, that it does not make a difference in his love for us. His love is for all.
Sunday, March 04, 2012
And while on birth control I was not engaging in an activity that would be approved by the Roman Catholic Church, nor was it in line with the commandments. I wanted "love" and "stuff" and the path of sin seemed to be an efficient road to both and I got neither. My faith walk has greatly improved since being an undergrad in the late 80s, early 90s, but still there is lots of room for improvement. So that's why three years ago I threw my lot in with the RC church, to enrich my faith and to feed my desire for the risen Lord. I trust the Church not to support anything that will make me trip and fall into sin.
Another difference between then and now is Jesus (and the whole Trinity for that matter) is in more parts of my life. Before he was limited to Sunday visits in a building. Now he's in my home, he hangs out in the kitchen, the living room where we watch movies and TV, and in the bedroom. His presence is becoming greater in our leisure time and our checkbook.
I cannot judge anyone elses' walk with the Lord, because thankfully I do not have the window into people's lives as G-d does. However, I don't think failure of many American Catholic women, regardless to the adherence to their faith, to abstain from big pharma birth control, should give the state license to dictate to the Church how to run its schools and hospitals and other faith based initiatives. But then again, the Church shouldn't have gotten into bed with the State over mandated health insurance in the first place.
Monday, February 13, 2012
The Help wants to read from Psalms everyday. For Lent I will actually remind him. Of course, I can see some logistical problems with taking this on. The Help doesn't think too far out in the future, so I'll need to ask him how he wants to handle those times of the week when the readings won't work.
For myself I will take up one more prayer a day. My days have 4 prayers (3 prayers before meals and our night prayers), 5 would be best. I'm on auto-mode in the morning for any thoughtful prayers in the AM.
I used to listen to a (catholic?) podcast of prayers and I can't remember the name of it. It was something with pray or prayer in the title. I do remember they all ended with "In the name of the father, and the son and the holy spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now..."
Anyway, as a couple we are taking on Lent and trying to make this year about growing closer to G-d and less about losing weight.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
I hope that not only the RC in the USA gets it,, I hope the Pope gets it too, and remember that we are not to put our faith in princes and principalities.
The Help and I joked that we'd like to raise our future children Baptist (worked out well for me), where they'd go to Black Baptist churches where there are black Jesuses. However the Black Baptist church has mistaken our President as a Black Jesus. Who is he? Not Jesus, just the democratically elected prince of a very large, very powerful principality.
Monday, January 23, 2012
A few years ago I helped my aunt photograph an event at a Baptist church basement with the ugliest black Jesus I have ever set eyes on.
For a funeral I attended another black Baptist church. I noticed in the sanctuary and in the basement several art pieces by the same artist. Much better than ugly Jesus mural. As you can see above the artist uses contemporary Afr.Amer. faces and hair styles to portray 1st century jews. He does faces quite well. Hands, not so much. The Help (my husband) remarked in this painting the artist tried to show the waves of water.
This was some of the best, non mass made, African American religious art that I've seen inside a black chruch. The best was in a college Catholic Church (more Latino than anything), in the vestible of the St. Augustine Catholic church in Gainesville, FL. The piece was of St. Augustine, though dark skinned had northern African features.
Anyway it is good when churches are a place to experience the arts, besides music.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The dream I was the best man (person) of a crafty-diy lesbian wedding at a British Anglican Church. The couple was busy being giddy and I, was not too thrilled with my position, but I had a job and I was going to do it. I had to make a decision about whether or not to buy a bottle of wine for twenty pounds (that's how I know I was in Britian, though no one had an English accent) or forty, knowing that I'd have to eat the cost. And there were other issues in order to get the whole thing going that the couple were too busy to answer. But I had a job and I do care about doing a good job.
Same thing at work. There is a project about something I did't care about and whenever it is done I'll forget all about. However the organization and cataloguing, I thought I found a good solution to, but my boss doesn't like it and thinks it looks too complicated. I think the other system proposed creates more complication down the road. My idea isn't getting much traction with the decision makers, so after tomorrow I'm letting go of my idea. Take it, reject it, whatever I'm done giving any emotional and mental energy to something I honestly don't care about. But I care about doing a good job. And I'll just do as directed, once direction comes forth.
Until then I'm going to do self-directed projects on stuff I do give a d@mned about.