Mocking Birds

So I come home and immediately changed into my walking clothes and set out to get my daily exercise.  At the corner of my block I am faced with a choice of crossing to the near west corner and then across to the north; or, crossing to the north immediately and then west to the side of the street I want to walk along.  I chose the latter tonight because on Sunday’s walk I was attacked by a mocking bird which a fellow walker with a dog told me occurred because I passed under a magnolia tree on the west corner where this man thought the birds are nesting.  After todays walk, I think he may be wrong.  I avoided that magnolia corner by crossing north and then walking west, and I was still attaked.  The vicious little bird swooped in at me like an angry ex-lover.

As I walked, I thought about how the attacks of this loud little bird are not unlike human gossips.  The attack of the mockingbird is like a person who attacks others with gossip, the bird has nothing of its own to sing.  It only has the desperate chirps and tweets of other birds, old songs, long heard, and well-known, and quite worn; it’s all the same old song, and it’s all been heard before, and nobody is particularly interested.  So the gossip chirps all the louder in hopes someone will notice.

Gossips are like mocking birds; lots of noise, and nothing original to say, not an original thought in their head, just swooping with rear attacks, never direct, never frontal, always safe, swooping in unseen.

A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.
Proverbs 16:27-29 (in Context) Proverbs 16 (Whole Chapter)  

Human mocking birds are nothing more than featherless gossips chirping the repeated songs of others who have been heard again, and again, and again.

 

A Great Midtown Walk

So I get home from work at like 6:15 and I decide before I settle in for the evening I will go on my walk rght? I didn’t get my walk at my regular time due to a client phone call at a very inconvenient time (for my walk) so I waited (delayed gratification) until I got home. So I set out, intrepid walker that I have become, and along the way I spy the gallery I developed a web site for and the doors are open so I wander in to see if the owner – a friend – is about. He is, and he’s there with people, and he’s serving them wine and vanilla rum and cokes of which I am immediately offered one and I graciously accept (what could I do?) and sit down to chat with the other artists (my first work is being displayed in the gallery this Saturday so I am not officially an “artiste” OF THE FIRST ORDER SINCE THE gALLERY IS RATED #1 in Sacramento – OK, OK, so it ain’t Paris).

We have a lively talk about 57 Chevy’s and art and then I decide that my walk has become a pub crawl so I go into Rubicon next for an IPA and some chips and salsa. I then walk home and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a dresser in wood with a “free” sign so clear. So I call my son and ask if he needs a dresser (he’s beginning college so he needs everything – believe me) and he says that he and the girlfriend (a distant-self-absorbed-constantly texting young female person) are finishing dessert at Applebees – excuse me (I think) but you’re broke (making min. wage) and Dad is fishing around on he sidewalk (fending off homeless guys on bikes) in Midtown for freebies on your behalf and you’re eating ten dollar desserts in eLK gROVE? wHAT tHE!? Anyway, I swallow my desire to go Guy Kawasaki on his spendthrift ass and let him know where the free solid-wood dresser (at least a $100 item at IKEA in formaldhyhide-laced pressed wood) is after negotiating a spot in the driveway with the owner and leave it in God’s hands. The last I hear he and miss “could-not-care-less-if-you’re-breathing” are going to her Mom’s to borrow a GEO (?) to squeeze the dresser into so it can be taken get it home (good luck with that). My country for a pickup.

Great Walk!

Meg Whitman vs Jerry Brown a Fascinating Contrast

The California Governor’s race is a very interesting study of contrasts. Where in the world could you find someone Jerry’s age (born 1938) running for such a powerful position in opposition to a relatively young Meg (born 1956).

Where can you find an Aries running against a Leo in a state where that has the potential to be an issue? I mean honestly, how can you choose when there is a thrill of the moment fire person ruled by Mars running against a lead the way fire person who is ruled by the sun? How can you win? (or lose, I am pretty frickin’ lost at the moment).

But an Aries is a doer by nature so that’s good unless they’re doing liberal things if you’re a conservative, then you’d rather they not be doing anything. And a Leo has a desire to be a star so maybe Meg will work harder so that’s good unless she’s working on tea parties which would not be favored by liberals.

It’s just so confusing isn’t it?

Maybe we need to look at the years they were born for clues on who to vote for.
Let’s see, Jerry was born in 1938 (72 years old), year of the Tiger (Earth Tiger – sympathetic, kind, emotional, sensitive).

Here are a few highlights from 1938:
What Things Cost in 1938:
• Car: $700
• Gasoline: 20 cents/gal
• House: $6,400
• Bread: 9 cents/loaf
• Milk: 50 cents/gal
• Postage Stamp: 3 cents
• Stock Market: 155
• Average Annual Salary: $1,700
ACADEMY AWARDS
• Best Director: Frank Capra – You Can’t Take It with You
• Best Motion Picture: You Can’t Take it With You
• Best Actor: Spencer Tracy – Boys Town
• Best Actress: Bette Davis – Jezebel
MUSIC–
• July 24- Begin the Beguine is recorded by Artie Shaw
• Roy Acuff’s musical career begins
• Pete Seeger’s musical career begins
• Recorded: “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” by Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb
• Recorded: “Don’t Be That Way” by Benny Goodman
(http://woodstockcandy.com/funv-facts-from-1938.html and http://www.tvhistory.tv/1938%20QF.htm, both accessed on 6/9/10)

And in 1956, Year of the Monkey (Fire Monkey “on their merry way to becoming famous”, now we’re getting somewhere), Meg was born into this world:

• Autherine Lucy, the first black student at the University of Alabama, is suspended after riots (March 1).
• U.S. tests the first aerial hydrogen bomb over Namu islet, Bikini Atoll with the force of 10 million tons TNT (May 21). Background: nuclear weapons
U.S. Statistics
• President: Dwight D. Eisenhower
• Vice President: Richard M. Nixon
• Population: 168,903,031
• Life expectancy: 69.7 years
• Homicide Rate (per 100,000): 4.6
• US GDP (1998 dollars): $438 billion
• Federal spending: $70.64 billion
• Federal debt: $272.7 billion
• Consumer Price Index: 27.2
• Unemployment: 4.4%
• Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.03
World Series
• NY Yankees d. Brooklyn Dodgers (4-3)
NBA Championship
• Philadelphia Warriors d. Ft. Wayne Pistons (4-1)
(http://www.infoplease.com/year/1956.html , accessed 6/9/10)

One thing that Meg Whitman needs to learn, based on her victory speech last night, is that the mayor of a city has no decision-making power over a school district in California; but maybe if she voted she’d have paid attention and would understand how school district governance works. Maybe they did in 1956, but not today. She’s either really ignorant, or she thinks all of us are. In either case, her statements last night make me wonder if Monkey Fun is what I need in Sacramento; but then, a Sensitive Tiger? What’s a voter to do?

California Governor

Interesting race coming up for governor, Republican Meg Whitman will take on former Governor Jerry Brown for the post in November. I find it fascinating that Meg’s camp is touting the fact that she’s an outsider when current Governor Arnold, as an outsider, has had real problems getting things done because he’s been rather politically neutralized and from where I sit. Arnold came in on the same campaign slogan Meg is using, “Change Sacramento from the Outside!” It simply didn’t work putting the outsider Arnold in there and while Meg may be a good Board Room brawler, it isn’t the same skill set as being politically astute and effective.

Jerry Brown has years and years and years of decisions and statements and political positions to overcome, I can’t wait to see Meg’s hatchet team of advertisers begin to dismantle the Brown image (whatever that is at this point).

Hard to believe that the Democrats don’t have a better candidate than Jerry Brown at this point.

It should be interesting, and probably very ugly.

Forgiveness

The underpinning of the Christian faith is forgiveness, which admittedly is hard to discern sometimes in watching Christians’ treatment of others; but, for the sake of argument let’s just agree that “those” Christians just haven’t gotten that part of faith yet.

Grace is what we’re given as Christians by the act of Jesus taking our sins on and dying on the cross in our place. An amazing act by a human even if you don’t believe that’s what he did, because HE believed it, and He died believing it.

And those who followed Him believed it, and many of them died horrible deaths believing it too. Like Peter who demanded to be crucified upside-down rather than in the same manner as Jesus because he didn’t feel he didn’t deserve to die like Jesus did. Now that kind of belief merits some serious consideration, what do you believe in strongly enough to continue saying it’s true after your leader is put to death? What do you believe in strongly enough to say I am willing to die to say it? And die in a most hideous manner?

That kind of courage is born by something bigger than earthly concerns, that kind of commitment is not natural to humans; it requires an attachment to a belief in something spiritually universal, like forgiveness.

So why do some people measure forgiveness out in little cups according to some self-designed tally of merit when the giver of forgiveness (God) does not? Jesus died on the cross for all sins, not for those that latter day Christians deem worthy of grace.

God granted grace to all who would accept it, all of us sinners, not those among us who deem that their sins rate more worthy of grace than all the sins of all the other sinners.

An empty hand can’t give grace; how can one give what one can’t accept?

IPA Sunday

A Rubicon IPA is hard to beat on a 90+ degree day in Sacramento. Nice to sit and chat about baseball (of which I know exactly that there are good [yet overpriced] hot dogs available). But the exuberance and attention to detail that is paid to the sport at the Rubicon Brewery is impressive. I kind of imagine that it’s a little like going to South Africa and going to a bar populated by Cricket fans; I wouldn’t care that the conversation was about Cricket, but I would simply smile in a comradely manner and sip my beer all the same.

  • Official Rules of Beer Pong – Here are the OFFICIAL rules of Beer Pong!And don’t call it Beirut! You’re not French. … Loading Fetching blurbs now… please stand by …

  • BBQ Beer Can Chicken – Jul 18, 2009 … No, BBQ Beer Can Chicken(BBC) is not a social drink. … Do you like Beer Can Chicken? Loading Fetching blurbs now… please stand by …

Ah well, ignorance is bliss; now, if they get into football come August, then I’ll truly be in my element!

Carley Fiorina Who Are You?

The fact that Barbara Boxer has not even published a single ad countering Carley Fiorina tells me she’s not too worried about FIROINA’S candidacy (A sad thing for Republicans I think). Ms. Carly was FIRED from HP for something unexplained; but in her next career choice, she’s running for a seat in the Senate to run the USA. Conde Nast Portfolio listed her as one of the “20 Worst CEOs of All Time”. Should she not run some commercials telling us the truth about herself? On TV, Carley looks like an overstressed, bolemic Silicon Valley refugee and not someone I want in charge of my country. If she wants me to vote for her, shouldn’t her campaign pitch be MORE than just a denegration of Boxer? Who are you Carley Fiorina? Why should we trust you when the Board at HP did not?