Archive for June, 2006

Study, scholarship…and religion

Through­out my school career, I always loved to read books and dig through them for information. Pos­ing a ques­tion and look­ing through every source I could find was a pow­er­ful pas­sion of mine and I enjoyed in ways that are hard to explain.

Some­where along the way, I stopped doing that. I don’t know why. I would still read for plea­sure and to study, but that sort of research seemed to become less impor­tant.

Now I’m back to it. Thanks to my work on the ADF Cler­gy Train­ing Pro­gram I’m redis­cov­er­ing my love of research and in-depth study. I’m work­ing my way through a book called HEAVEN, HEROES, AND HAPPINESS which deals with com­mon traits between Indo-Euro­pean cul­tures as per­tain­ing to social struc­ture, gov­ern­ment, mythol­o­gy, reli­gion, trade with oth­er nations, craft­work, lan­guage, and bur­ial customs. (There are oth­er mat­ters involved, but those are some of the most cru­cial.)

The cur­rent ques­tion fac­ing me in the Study Pro­gram is the def­i­n­i­tion of what makes/made a cul­ture Indo-Euro­pean and how those fac­tors shaped the way the peo­ple of that cul­ture view them­selves and the world.

It is so good to return to this passion. And even bet­ter to learn that it is even stronger than it used to be.Â

Posted on June 28th 2006 by James

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Hiatus over, I hope.

I’m final­ly get­ting a chance to post again. The last few days have been absolute­ly insane. Work has been killing me, but at least there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, I have rea­son to believe that said light is actu­al­ly an oncom­ing train.

My Grove held our Sum­mer Sol­stice rit­u­al on Sat­ur­day, 24 June 2006. It was quite good. This was the largest group we’ve ever had in atten­dance, most­ly because David and Chad decid­ed to invite every­one they’ve ever met. The rit­u­al was very good, even if we did get a few sprin­kles of rain dur­ing it. The only dif­fi­cult part was that we had to say good-bye to Heather, as this was her last rit­u­al with us. She and her part­ner have found jobs in their cho­sen fields, but unfor­tu­nate­ly those jobs are in a dif­fer­ent state. She was one of the found­ing mem­bers and has been my Chief Litur­gist since we became a Grove rather than a Pro­toGrove and I became Senior Druid. (That’s still a fright­en­ing and sober­ing thought!)

Posted on June 28th 2006 by James

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Today is Sum­mer Solstice. I will be doing my own obser­vance at home after work and cel­e­brat­ing with the Grove on Sat­ur­day.

So…brightest of bless­ings to any who cel­e­brate this day.

Posted on June 21st 2006 by James

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20 June 2006

Sun­day I was doing some house­work — been far too long, my apart­ment was a mess — and I opened the util­i­ty clos­et to get the vacuum. I was imme­di­ate­ly mugged and assault­ed by a hor­rid stench. Then I saw dark mildew climb­ing the walls of the closet. I noticed that the car­pet was very much the wrong col­or, as well.

I reached down and touched the car­pet, to find it was soak­ing wet. So very, very not good.

Main­te­nance came out almost imme­di­ate­ly and looked at it. (They’re good about that and will come to an emer­gency even on the weekend.) The pipes from my dish­wash­er have burst and have been flow­ing into the clos­et.

Yes­ter­day they found that it was not the pipes, it was the dish­wash­er itself. The leak was in the body of the machine. The deci­sion was made to get me a new dish­wash­er.

Today I came home, expect­ing that the new dish­wash­er would be installed. Well, it was in the apart­ment, at least. It’s sit­ting in a very large box in the mid­dle of my liv­ing room. Yeah…that’s right. There is a crat­ed dish­wash­er sit­ting in my liv­ing room. If there was no time to install it today, I can under­stand that, but putting it in the liv­ing room was a bit unexpected.Â

So…there is lit­tle in the way of dish­wash­ing tonight. Which lim­its the amount of cook­ing I’m doing at din­ner­time (which should be any minute ago, actually). Yes, I could wash dish­es by hand — I do have a sink — but I’m not going to. I have this…thing…about doing dish­es and almost refuse to do them by hand.Â

The apart­ment com­plex man­ag­er assures me that the dish­wash­er will be installed by the time I come home from work tomor­row.

Posted on June 20th 2006 by James

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Prepay Pumps

The sud­den con­ver­sion of all gas pumps to cred­it only or pre­pay is becom­ing a prob­lem. For me, any­way. Why should I be penal­ized by hav­ing to walk through the rain or what­ev­er weath­er we’re hav­ing to hand a cashier mon­ey, go back and fill up my car, then go back to get my change if I over­es­ti­mate the amount of gas need­ed, then go back to my car, just because I choose not to increase the amount of cred­it card debt I have?

(I apol­o­gize for the painful­ly long sen­tence, but I couldn’t find a way to break it and still make sense.)

Posted on June 15th 2006 by James

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14 June 2006 — Wednesday thoughts and musings

Very tired. Work is becom­ing more and more insane. This is going to con­tin­ue for at least anoth­er month. Maybe longer.

The per­son in my group who is leav­ing has now devel­oped the atti­tude of “What are they going to do, fire me?” and is no longer both­er­ing to actu­al­ly do any work. Add to that the per­son on indef­i­nite med­ical leave, and the one who has had a new respon­si­bil­i­ty added to his job descrip­tion and no longer does any­thing else and you have the hell in which I am now spend­ing sev­er­al hours a day.Â

Work on the ADF Cler­gy Train­ing Pro­gram has hit a sticky point. No real prob­lem, just one of the essays is dri­ving me to fits. It’s noth­ing that I won’t get through. I think my brain is just too fried at the moment to jour­ney down new and unex­plored avenues. This will pass. I may just set it aside for a day or two and try to look at it with fresh eyes.

I think I’m allow­ing myself to get too frus­trat­ed by things going on in my life. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, I’m the sort of per­son who has to solve a prob­lem rather than just let­ting it go. I would try to fig­ure out a way around that, but if I couldn’t, it would just frus­trate me even more.

Posted on June 14th 2006 by James

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Angry beyond the power of words to express

There are very few events, sit­u­a­tions, or peo­ple who make me so angry I have to fight myself for con­trol of what I do. Last night pre­sent­ed such a sit­u­a­tion.

I belong to a very good writ­ers’ group. The peo­ple in this group have all been pub­lished, with two excep­tions. One of those excep­tions is very new to writ­ing; the oth­er is the prob­lem of which I speak.

This per­son seems to have the opin­ion that since he is old­er than the rest of the group he knows more than we do. It doesn’t mat­ter what the sub­ject is. That’s annoy­ing enough.

Then he went too far. He has begun to insult and den­i­grate one of the women in the group because she hasn’t been writ­ing late­ly. He knows that she’s hav­ing some seri­ous health issues, but doesn’t seem to think that mat­ters. He has absolute­ly no con­cern nor even sim­ple com­pas­sion for any­one!

Okay…the per­son he has insult­ed and hurt is a friend of mine, so that doesn’t make my feel­ings on the mat­ter any eas­i­er to han­dle.

But come on! If some­one is deal­ing with a poten­tial­ly life-threat­en­ing health prob­lem, how crass, crude, stu­pid, and utter­ly soul-less do you have to be to stoop to insult­ing that per­son for not writ­ing!?

Posted on June 13th 2006 by James

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Work headaches

Today is Mon­day, the busiest day of the week for my group here at work. We have a huge vol­ume of orders on Mon­day; these orders come to us via email and must be print­ed out and man­u­al­ly entered into the sys­tem.

Over the week­end the servers for our com­pa­ny were moved. And now, for some rea­son known only to the gods of pain and agony, we are unable to print. No print­ers are con­nect­ed to the net­work at this point.Â

The sup­port line says they can­not see why this is a prob­lem as we should be able to print by the end of the day.Â


By the end of the day” does no good on orders that have to be entered before noon!

And thus you see the eter­nal joy that is my job.Â


Posted on June 12th 2006 by James

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Today’s meeting

We had a grove dis­cus­sion meeting. It was rather interesting. We only had a few peo­ple show up, but that includ­ed my friend David, who only recent­ly joined ADF and our grove. He had some ques­tions about our rit­u­al struc­ture and why we do what we do in the way we do it.

The ques­tions were easy to answer, but they got me to thinking. I’ve been doing these rit­u­als for so long that the struc­ture is pret­ty much sec­ond nature for me. It was good to dis­cuss the rea­son­ing and poly­the­ol­o­gy behind the con­cepts and to renew my own under­stand­ing of it.Â

I def­i­nite­ly enjoy this sort of thing.

Posted on June 11th 2006 by James

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It’s Sat­ur­day, one of the few days of the week when I can sleep in. And yet I woke up at 4:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep. It’s not that I’m not sleepy — I cer­tain­ly am. I think i’ve been get­ting up ear­ly to go in to work for so long now that my body now thinks that’s the time it’s sup­posed to return to con­scious­ness.

This is NOT going to do!Â


Posted on June 10th 2006 by James

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