Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Geek in Me Is Jumping for Joy!

Godzilla is coming back!!

While the word has always been that the 2004 Godzilla flick - Godzilla: Final Wars - would be the last for some time, the latest report is that Legendary Films will be behind the next one. And it will not, repeat, WILL NOT, be related in any way to the 1998 disaster that was the American version of Godzilla starring Matthew Broderick. Apparently Legendary is going back to basics and looking at the originial 1954 film - the one that had Raymond Burr in the American release. Right now they're saying that the yet to be named film will be released in 2012.

Please excuse me while I do the geek happy dance.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Afternoon Laugh

... because I need it.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

There Need to be Limitations ...

... on the word "pirate." Bilge Munkey posted a link to this event on his page:

Police Nab 2 So-Called 'Grease Pirates'

Grease pirates? Really? I mean come on. A couple of posts ago I was lamenting that there were only two types of pirates left in the world - Somalian thugs and Internet pirates who steal music and movies. But what I was suggesting was that we needed more nouns followed by the word 'pirate.' If I steal somebody's dog am I a "puppy pirate?" If I'm a car thief does that make me an "Auto Buccaneer?" Of course not. So let's get the word out that there are pirates and then there are thieves, plain and simple. Pirates are historical figures who are no more. All that exist today are thieves and terrorists. And that's all there is to it.

But while we're on the topic of wanna-be pirates:

Armed contractors shoot dead Somali pirate on UAE ship

Of course, this increases the stress level of governments who have naval forces in the area. They want to keep private forces from escalating violence and giving the Somalis reason to start killing their victims, rather than holding them for ransom. However, it's not surprising that shipping companies have resorted to this strategy. In a way, it is reminiscent of events that occurred toward the end of the Golden Age of Piracy (1650 - 1725). Angered by the escalation of piracy, the European navies began escorting merchant ships and actively hunting pirates through a variety of means. In addition, sailors who manned sailing ships were offered pardons and recruited into the very navies who were hunting them! With the possibility of forgiveness and diminishing returns from a life under the black flag, the era came to an end.

Perhaps this incident is the beginning of a repeat of these historical events.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

That Being Said ...

It does appear that the oceanic beasties are getting closer to me!

Two Sharks found in Tennessee River

Too bad they were found dead, which probably means that they were dumped there by morons who either can tell, or don't care about, the difference between salt water and fresh.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

I Was Hoping to Publish This Earlier

But, alas, work is work, and blogging is blogging, and the two just don't mix well these days. So here it is, one hour before quitting time, and I'm just now getting through with my paperwork and writing something. Of course now my brain is fried and all the clever things I had to say have died on the vine. Oh, well. At least I have the capability to blog while at work!

I was playing "A Pirate Looks at 40" the other night - and yes, I'm pretty much finished learning how to play it! Now if I could only learn how to sing and play at the same time! - and thinking about getting older and how I need to put more effort into figuring out the meaning of it all. I'm not talking about figuring out the meaning of life - I don't believe that there is just ONE meaning. I mean trying to figure out my place in this whole drama and how I can improve myself and the space around me.

Trouble is, the results of this thought exercise seems to totally depend on the status of my mood at the time I consider the issue. If I'm tired and depressed, my outlook is naturally bleak, and I follow the path that tells me that there is nothing I can do to improve anything. Sort of a almost nihilistic point of view. And, of course, if I'm in a good mood - low work stress, sunny day, etc. - then I feel more balanced and in touch with that which is greater than myself.

Okay, all of that was written yesterday (3/22/10 for those of you playing at home). Today is an entirely different kind of chaos. Three patients going through detox, two more getting called on the carpet for not following directions, then a good dozen coming in for med checks, groups, and other issues. Plus there seems to be a full moon in terms of the phone calls I'm getting. Very weird stuff. I am not superstitious in the least - as I've said before, I don't believe in anything that so much as hints at the supernatural - but some days the level of insanity around here makes me wonder. Sadly, my personal suggestion that we put a pharmaceutical cocktail consisting of anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and anti-anxiety meds in the water here seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Oh, well.

So I'm taking a moment to finish this before throwing myself back into the fray. Fun fun fun.

Anyway, I think my point above is made. Depending on my mood, my life seems to either be chaos or grounded and interconnected (in a healthy way) with others. Others may disagree, but I've always felt that developing ones spirituality is simple when life is going well and all is calm. It's when moods are a swingin' and mayhem is a goin' on that grounding oneself takes a huge amount of inner strength and, dare I say, faith.

I started this blog when I felt upbeat. Silly, even. My interest in the Golden Age of Piracy had spread not only into books and museum exhibits, but into movies, and games (I miss you, Pirates CCG!). My experience as a fencer played well into it, as did my love of the sea and trips to the Caribbean. I have wooden ships and ships in bottles on my bookshelf here, and occasionally crank up a couple of CDs that I own of nautical tunes. Of course, living in Tennessee means that there are few people who can relate to this! : )

Now, three years (and then some) after moving to this area, I no longer fence - there's a distinct lack of buckled swashes here! - and the only piracy to be found is either online (which is distinctly different and world's apart from storming the decks of a merchant vessel, cutlass in hand!) or waving an AK-47 around like an idiot off the coast of Somalia. As the song says, "The cannons don't thunder, there's nothing to plunder. I'm an over 40 victim of fate, arriving too late."

A silly thing to feel, I know. But sometimes I wonder if my interest in the topic is silly as well. I'll have to ponder and wonder.

Well, I hear more patients gathering in the hall. Guess I have to open my door and tend to the hordes.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Non-Piratical Days

For the last three weeks or so, I have struggled with two colds, a depression well out of proportion for all possible external causes (job stress, lack of sleep, etc.), and a preaching engagement at the church where One Ring and I attend. Also, work has - for reasons that remain unknown to me - allowed Facebook access from our PCs. That more than anything is probably the reason for my lack of posts. But the others are pretty good reasons, too!

So these last few days have been filled with damage control. But they have not been without some interesting events.

The oddest thing that's happened over the past week is that two friends have asked me for information and resources regarding religions. One asked for Christianity, and the other requested Buddhism. This happened almost simultaneously, so I would have nightly email and Facebook conversations regarding their spiritual journies and interests, sometimes switching from one to the other and back again in minutes. I hope that I helped them both, and it helped me to think about and appreciate the journey I've made. Even the rough parts, those times when I didn't know what I believed and was angry at every religious teacher and leader I ever met (okay, I'm still angry with a few, but that's beside the point!) I can see now that they were important, and have led me to the place I am today. Of course, that place is a strange one. As one of my former chaplain colleagues once said, "They don't even have a name for what you are!" And despite the multiple meanings that phrase could hold, she WAS referring to my beliefs and disbeliefs and not some other aspect of my personhood!

As I mentioned above, I also gave the sermon / conducted worship at my church. Despite my predictions of the end of all creation, Hell freezing over, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse showing up (Parking spaces were reserved for them), nothing of the sort happened. In fact, it was moderately enjoyable. Do I wish to get back into that racket? Oh, hell no! I still question the usefulness of the church - much to One Ring's disagreement - and wonder if a new model of religious gathering is needed that is far more productive in creating positive change in the world. Then again, I'm a cynic, and tend to believe that the destruction of many systems and structures in society are imminent! Oh, well.

In other news, One Ring and I went to see Avatar and Alice in Wonderland recently. Really got into the first one, and thought the other was enjoyable but certainly not life changing in any way. Both have interesting ways of looking at our existance and our relationship with the world around us, which I may or may not get into later, mood and time permitting.

Okay, about 20 minutes left in the day, and I can feel my eyelids drooping. The doctor isn't working tomorrow (Huzzah!), so life should be easier around here. Here's to hoping that I can write something far more interesting!

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