The View from Labor Day '09

Monday September 7, 2009 at 3:55pm sociology, milligan, photography, music, gaming, concerts Comments (0) »
The View from Labor Day '09 Image

Ah, yes. A holiday. This basically means I slept in (more). We haven't done a whole lot today. We did take Ally to walk around Sycamore Shoals - and she actually voluntarily jumped into the river!! So...maybe it's not the water that makes her dislike baths? It was quite hilarious...


I feel like I've been busy lately, but my calendar seems to disagree.

I've been trying to read some sociology lately. Dr. Beck, one of my favorite professors from Milligan, told me earlier in the summer when we were chatting at a Milligan picnic that if I ever wanted to sit in on any of her classes, I'd be welcome to. I responded by warning her that if she offered such an invitation, I would, in fact, show up. So ever since the semester started a couple weeks ago, I've been trying to make it to her Social Theory class on my lunch break on tuesdays and thursdays. I bring my laptop along and sit in on the discussions whilst going about my normal work - this is one of the great things about having a job like mine: I can pretty much work from anywhere I can get a 'net connection.

It has been very interesting. I've found that I miss having to think critically to understand things. While my job is very stimulating and requires a lot of creative thinking, it's far less taxing than reading Durkheim.

I got a call a while back from Sue Shanks at WAPC who asked me if I'd put up some of my pictures in Watauga's Gallery / Coffeehouse (Just Coffee) for about a month. I told her that sounded like fun, and since then I've gone through and selected about 25 of my pictures to get prints of and then mount in some mats and frames (where available/affordable). I've been getting the pictures printed as 8x10's, which necessitates some cropping since the aspect ratio of my camera's frame isn't the same as 8x10. For this and other reasons, I think some of my pictures look better on my computer screen than in the frames, but many of them look wonderful and I'm excited to have some hard copies and to get to share them. I've been working on getting them set up and thinking up interesting names for them (I like naming things). After the show, I'll probably end up giving quite a few of them away to people that want them.

The "show" officially "opens" this Friday, September 11th around 8pm 7pm at Watauga Avenue Presbyterian Church in the gallery downstairs. I'll be hanging out there most of evening. If you're reading this, you should come hang out with me, play some games, listen to some music (no salsa, I promise) and look at some pictures.

I've been playing my electric guitar quite a bit, but haven't done much with the band in the last couple of weeks.

On the gaming front, We had a very enjoyable second Mouse Guard session last night. As I've mentioned before, I'm finding that I'm needing to tweak a few rules to my liking, but overall I love the game immensely.

I've also been enjoying Patrick's Star Wars game quite a bit - last time, we found ourselves sucked into a Bonanza episode, and actually, it was quite awesome.

I've made a little more progress on my developing rp system, but I tend to go back-and-forth on a lot of things.

Sheri and I are making plans to head to AR for Ben's wedding in a couple of weeks and then, after that, we have tickets to go see the Decemberists in Asheville on the 25th!!!


Why the FMA is unconstitutional...

Wednesday November 8, 2006 at 11:53am theology, sociology, politics, rights, legal Comments (1) »

...and largely BS.

This is a redundancy of a post I just made in the Humanity forum, but i don't mind the repeat - and I think its appropriate for my blog. Feel free to comment here, but if you wish to begin a dialogue or debate, please reply in the Forum.

Since our wonderful state of TN just passed this amendment by some ungodly margin (something like 75%), i guess all the propaganda paid off.

I would also like to point out that i am *only* writing this to solidify my own thoughts on the matter.

Over the last few weeks I have heard nothing from the media but about how not passing this amendment would "weaken marriage" and how it is our constitutional duty to "protect marriage".

In addition, I have also heard several preachers and people from local churches over the course of that time encouraging people to get out an vote on this issue - with an implied "christian duty" to see this amendment passed.

Of the 1.2 million people in the state who voted in favor of it - i wonder how many of them actually stopped to look through the media at the actual issue being addressed.

The FMA does NOT strengthen or otherwise protect marriage. From everything I've read about the amendment, it only mentions conventional, heterosexual marriage in defining what marriage should not be. In other words, it takes absolutely NOTHING away from this 'normal' marriage, it only denies the same rights we enjoy to people with other preferences. The idea that the FMA "strengthens marriage" is nothing but a catch phrase meant to impress upon heterosexual married people (a substantial part of the voting community) that they need to somehow protect themselves. It is complete BS. Saying that the legalization of homosexual marriage would weaken heterosexual marriage is like saying allowing african-american people to vote weakens democracy.

The FMA is NOT a morality issue. I suspect that a substantial portion of those voting for the FMA in this area of the Bible Belt are doing so because they believe homosexuality is "wrong". Aside from the problems of trying to legislate morality (see Constantine, et al), this amendment really has nothing to do with such opinions. Making homosexual marriage illegal is not going to in any way hinder homosexuality, nor is it going to convince homosexuals wanting to be in a stable, legally-recognized relationship to somehow 'become' heterosexual (insert tangent on how many christians seem to think this is something a homosexual can 'decide' to do) that they might do so; it is merely denying legal rights to people who happen to live differently.

See a trend?

The FMA is a civil rights issue. The FMA does NOTHING but deny legal rights to people who happen to have a certain preference. It is only the second amendment ever proposed that actually takes rights away from the people instead of granting them. The first was the Prohibition. We saw how well that went over.

This amendment is discrimination. It is contrary to the principles of liberty this country was founded upon. It is xenophobic. It is unconstitutional. It is unchristian.

Damn. I almost sounded patriotic there.


The Language Volume Gap

Wednesday December 21, 2005 at 9:04am sociology Comments (0) »

There may well be some confirmation bias going on here and my sample isn't exactly clean, but: have you ever noticed that, of the people you hear speaking more loudly than would be considered socially appropriate in a public place, a dispropotionally large number of them aren't speaking english?

I have wondered about the psychological reasons behind this. I think that maybe this is so because people who are speaking a non-native language are used to people not being able to understand them and thus, being largely ignored by the rest of those present. They've probably seldom been asked to be more quiet because people hearing them may suspect/assume (perhaps subconsciously) that they cannot understand english and so would not comprehend the request. Speaking a language not understood by the majority also mostly negates the need for to be quiet to keep one's topic from becoming known to those around and to keep others from butting into the conversation.

What's really funny (and annoying) is when you hear people nearby speaking very loudly in a foreign language and then, when the switch over to english, they get much more quiet, only to get loud again when they go back to whatever it is they were speaking before. I witnessed this the other day in Target. This behavior indicates that they are, in fact, conscious of the fact that there are people around them, but they just don't care - using the fact that most people don't know what they're saying to keep their conversation private without having to bother with being courteous.

Just because i don't know what you're saying doesn't mean i can't hear you.