Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Last Days Of Blue

As those of you who follow this blog have realized by now I have my peculiar proclivities including listening to Electronic Dance Music (EDM) as well as a lifelong fascination with disasters and on a related note, End of the Age stuff likewise. The following progressive house track caught my attention when I found it buried in the set I posted here yesterday entitled "When Progressive Is A Positive". I looked it up and discovered it is entitled "Last Days of Blue" by Moodfreak. I already liked it enough to intend to share it here but when I saw a particular Youtube music player of it featuring an apocalyptic illustration of a city in ruin by something much greater than a mere conventional earthquake there was no possibility I would not post this here. Crank up your speakers and enjoy this very contemporary progressive house track!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Is Drinking Wine Sinful?

Well of course not! However, some of my Christian brethren are confused on this matter having been leavened by the false teaching of a pernicious ascetic element which arose in both the Catholic Church and later within some sects of Protestantism. Below are my remarks in argumentation with a pastor friend of mine in regards to this matter. I do not include his private remarks but he gives the usual Protestant song and dance as to why drinking any alcohol at all is sinful. What follows are my remarks related to the drinking of alcohol and not my broader remarks before and after as part of the overall conversation thread. The discussion of alcohol being sin or not came up as a result of a broader discussion on the topic of God's people chronically tending to project their own personal and cultural biases onto their interpretations of God's Word and how they proceed to practice their faith accordingly. Knowing he is fundamentally opposed to any alcohol consumption whatsoever I realized this was a perfect example of this wholly human phenomenon to which I was referring.

***, if there are not ever alternate interpretations of God's word by people who believe they are right then please explain how YOUR generation invented out of thin air or at least continued to promulgate what you culturally inherited of the lie that Jesus never drank wine and that drinking alcohol is taboo or in any way a no-no! Are you going to tell me with a straight face that Protestant tradition is not a cultural invention of man, in particular, a relic of your generation's time and place, projected onto God's word and with a bit of creative stretching made to seem like actual scripture when in fact it is a false history and a false teaching rooted in legalism? I agree with you that God has one meaning in what He says (except when He has more than one meaning in what He is saying). My point is that we all (including YOU), tend to subconsciously project our own baggage into these discussions, be it generational baggage, or gender baggage or political baggage or social status baggage or sectarian cultural baggage. And you still have not responded to large segments of my previous remarks. You still don't know what it is you are even arguing against of the article that started this discussion in the first place. That is the primary problem here. In continuing to do that you are bringing a knife to a gun fight metaphorically-speaking.
***, I brought this topic up to make my point and you have finished my point as I anticipated and intended. Although I undoubtedly have my generational biases they are not manifested here as they are with you. Your views on alcohol which were shared by Grandpa McGee and my remaining Grandma Noyes and all of your particular sect of Protestantism are views that did not exist over most of the history of God's church (until various extremist sects of Protestantism came about such as the Puritans and Quakers and some Methodists and other assorted holiness movements). This is so for good reason as there is no foundation for this alcohol phobia in sound doctrine, archaeology, history, or logic and reason. The only "juice of the grape" that any ancient societies produced from grapes was wine. NOBODY dabbled in grape juice for multiple reasons not the least of which is the little matter of grape juice being perishable (there was NO refrigeration) and there being no preservatives aside from fermentation itself. There is NO factual/empirical evidence that anybody in that part of the world or anywhere else on Earth where grapes were grown (which is basically anywhere on Earth there was civilization) ever made grape juice and not wine. In fact, the very types of grapes being grown were grapes bred for wine, NOT raw juice and not table grapes for eating (in other words, NO Welches).
However, this is all superfluous when compared to the doctrinal gyrations that your generation (and those holiness movements) had to make in order to create this legalistic myth or rather perpetuate the older preexisting myth. You and your segment of your generation seem to confuse drinking alcohol in excess with drinking any alcohol at all. How did this come to be? You don't seem to mistake gluttony and basic eating or compulsive sexuality and sex in general! In reference to Psalms 104:15 please explain to me how Welches grape juice makes glad the heart of man!? I've had plenty of grape juice and never received that effect. The entire story of Christ making wine of water makes absolutely NO sense if it is grape juice. If it is not grape juice but rather wine he made then how is all alcohol inherently bad if our Creator and Savior is not only making wine but making really excellent wine and being complimented for it? Please explain to me the logic behind Christ being accused of being a winebibber if he was only drinking grape juice?! That would be utterly illogical and nonsensical were that the case which it is not. Following that logic we would have to conclude that the gluttony charge suggested he was not eating actual food for the same line of reasoning to be consistently maintained. How does any of that make any sense?
As for yeast in bread-making being symbolic of evil, that is so and yet it is only a symbol. Yeast is not actually inherently evil as evidenced by you eating fermented dough throughout your life without being corrupted by it. However, you had to contort and stretch quite a bit to connect fermented dough and it's Biblical symbology of sin with fermentation of grape juice which is not even Biblically referenced as symbolic of sin which is worth noting in light of your belief that all alcohol is evil don't you think? Why isn't fermentation of fruit (or wheat or hops or anything else the like) associated with sin but fermentation of dough (a food product) is? That is not an arbitrary coincidence my friend. Yet it another inconvenient fact that gives the lie to the legalistic false teaching that some extremist Protestant sects leavened into God's Church a few centuries ago and continues to be promulgated by some individuals and congregations and denominations.
You state (quite correctly) that we should take God's word "at absolute face value". However, you aren't obeying that if you are encouraging people to disobey God's edict to enjoy the things He has created for us to enjoy as He stated in I Timonthy 6:17. Psalms 104:15 if taken "at absolute face value" makes it clear that He has given us wine to enjoy. Yet your unsupported teaching on this DOES NOT submit and accept and adhere to God's word "at absolute face value". That means you and others who are like-minded are interpreting God's Word arbitrarily to fit your own personal and group mores and values as handed down to you from previous generations through various mental-emotional and cultural filters. It is fine to not wish to drink alcohol yourselves. To forbid other people from doing it is not acceptable. To suggest you are speaking for God in this matter is adding words to his Word and placing words in His mouth which He never uttered.
If as you suggest we are to mindlessly and without questioning what He means follow a path of "simple acceptance at absolute face value God's high, holy, happy, Heaven-sent Word" then why are you not out burning witches alive as God's Word commands in the Old Testament if followed in a non-interpretive "simple acceptance at absolute face value" of his command "I suffer not a witch to live?" I know what your answer will be and you will be quite correct which thus proves my point.
My point is that in real life on this Earth with all the complexity of human nature and the human experience as well as God's inestimable complexity and unfathomable greatness the truth and understanding of truth and how it applies "where the rubber meets the road" is so very much more complex and layered and nuanced than trite, hackneyed, jingoistic, one-dimensional, close-minded and overly-simplistic interpretations and explanations of reality and truth and sound doctrine can account and even begin to understand without God anointing us with wisdom and understanding and insight and at times revelations and epiphanies. The more we think we know the more we probably don't know. We need to beware getting stuck in our own thinking and walling off learning more and growing and ultimately becoming intellectually and mentally-emotionally and spiritually constipated and ultimately moribund. I have already lived in that sort of necrotic constipation but have been given release from it and never wish to go back to it.
This latter quote from my remarks tonight on Facebook comes in response to a sister in Christ who came upon this debate and made a few remarks that were largely neutral which was appropriate on her part.

...myself and *** love each other and are arguing as spiritual father and son... at least that is how I realize it and appreciate it and I hope he does as well. However, I also don't pull punches when accused of carnality. If I am condemned I will gladly fall on my sword. If, however, I am falsely accused, especially in regards to something that is a hot-button issue with me as legalism is then I am prone to throw an elbow or two along the way if the initiator of the allegation is playing rough and tumble, too. I can give as good as I can take. When I speak to *** on these things I am speaking as much to his entire generation and that entire Protestant tradition and collection of sects of Protestant Christianity whose legacy is mixed at best with some great theologians and leaders and their writings but also a long legacy of legalism and apocalyptic millenarian darkness that was the antipode to the carnal excesses of the Catholic Church. Extremism and reactionary movements are hardly ever a good thing. Another irony in this topic is that the concept of Christian hedonism is not a contradiction in terms as would seem to be the case if one is to blindly adhere to the more dour traditions of some of the more extremist elements of Protestantism. However, in reality Asceticism is not not a particularly Christian (until the Catholics popularized it) or even Jewish practice with some notable exceptions like the Nazarites. On the whole, Asceticism is more rooted in pagan Greek Stoicism in the context of Western Civilization not to mention the teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism and Zoroastrianism and such further east.

When Progressive Is A Positive

Sunday, October 27, 2013

17th Eberle Winery Haunted Caves

I had the high honor of working security at the 17th Eberle Winery Haunted Caves benefit event the past two evenings (Saturday and Sunday evenings) as a security guard. This was my first stint working this fundraising event in support of Camp Ocean Pines in Cambria. I can honestly say without qualification that this is my favorite event to date working as a security guard.

My task was to stand in the shadows at the bottom of the ramp down into the maze of subterranean wine cask caves below the winery and maintain situational awareness and in the event of any infraction of house rules (example: DO NOT touch any staff) in which case transgressing individuals or parties were to be removed. This happened tonight only once and not once the night before. Mostly the past two evenings I had front row seats to people coming into the subterranean lair of this event and getting scared... in some cases terrified, by the amply qualified team of mostly teen volunteers with a few adults thrown into the mix.

Most notably of these was local man Ryan Henninger who volunteered his time, skills, and equipment to provide the terrifying climax of the dungeon tour with his 8-foot tall monster goblin which freaked out a great many visitors over the course of the weekend. I had met Ryan before somewhere but couldn't initially peg it until he reminded me we had met earlier in the year at a social event hosted by our mutual friend and master magician Rich Ferguson whom used to donate his time and skills working the crowd at this event as they waited for their turn in the terror tour. The public can see Ryan in the same get-up this Thursday at the SLO Farmers market which will be Halloween evening.

Special thanks goes to Jan whose last name eludes me at this late hour for masterfully managing this wonderful event and whose company I enjoyed as I was stationed across the cave opening from her throughout both evenings.

Note: to date Eberle Winery has raised over $80,000 for Camp Ocean Pines. 

All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Google Does Edith Head

This is the look of Google tonight in honor of the late legendary Hollywood fashion designer Edith Head.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

American Beauty

I came across this tonight on Twitter and was blown away by it. I'm a sucker for time-lapse imagery of nature as you by now have noticed.

Picture of the Day - Atascabama Untermensch

I drove past this scene in the apartment complex part of Atascadero at the intersection of Pueblo and Santa Ysabel Avenues. Four carts stolen from the Vons parking lot a third of a mile north of here were brought down and unceremoniously deposited on the grass grounds of this apartment complex. Some aspects and elements of the town are changing for the worse, especially as it pertains to the homeless and other forms of rabble. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Friday, October 25, 2013

Walken Reads Where The Wild Things Are

This is a deliciously hilarious and irreverent reading of Maurice Sendak's 1963 children's tale "Where The Wild Things Are" by the irrepressible and irreplaceable Christopher Walken.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Battlestar Portlandia Delux Redux

I posted a  partial version of this last January but here is the whole thing in its entirety and it is utterly wonderful as it includes some of the members of the cast of the landmark television series Battlestar Galactica for which it is both a tribute and a bit of a spoof. 

Picture of the Day - Kimwipes By Kimtech

My environmental biology instructor says this product has been a mainstay in the laboratory for some time now and remains so to the present, yet its very existence alluded me until I took this class. Photo by Kim Patrck Noyes (all rights reserved).

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Walken Dead

I won't even attempt to explain this... if you get it, great. If not, that's okay, too.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My San Simeon Quake Wines

Speaking of earthquake wines, that reminds me of these bottles of Turley wine I picked up in 2004 following the M6.5 San Simeon Quake. They cost quite a bit (they are on the "West Side" of the Paso Robles AVA and quite good) and I got in on some of the last bottles they sold and I'm glad. I've taken good care of them so they should be fine and perhaps only get better with time. They are related to the earthquake by way of the oak barrels in which they were being aged were tossed to the floor of their wine cellar. These wines came from those barrels that managed not to break.
Note: Turley being on the "West Side" placed them rather near the the most intense shaking produced by the earthquake in 2003 hence the damage within their wine cellar.  

An essential part of my wine collection juxtaposed in front of the church and preschool next door.

2002 Zinfandel from the Pisenti Vineyard

2001 Zinfandel special in smallish bottle

2001 Zinfandel from the Dusi Vineyard.

Detail of the quake label which appears on each bottle from this family of  earthquake-effected vintages.

Photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Picture of the Day - My "Earthquake" Wine

I was recently in a local supermarket to purchase a bottle of wine for my meager collection as a reward for some recent hard work.  As I left the wine section of the supermarket with that bottle I spotted another bottle of wine I had previously only seen online and had coveted. I had not anticipated I would be in a position to purchase a bottle from this label without having to go online or visit the winery which is elsewhere California. It is a Cabernet Sauvignon under the "Earthquake" label by the Michael David Winery. Cool, eh?

Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Alabama Petrified Wood

At this past weekend's 22nd Annual Big Sur Jade Festival I encountered these two amazing specimens of petrified wood logs from Alabama of all places. I could not get from the seller of them what the geologic context of their formation was but undoubtedly it would have been sedimentary as opposed to a volcanic process. I'm ashamed to admit that I do not remember the name of the booth in which these beauts were being sold nor the name of the proprietor. It is unfortunate I could not photograph them in full sunlight as it was overcast at the time I captured these images.

All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

22nd Annual Big Sur Jade Festival

This past weekend the 22nd Annual Big Sur Jade Festival was held at Pacific Valley School (partly for which this event is a fund-raiser) despite the latest efforts by the Universe to prevent its occurrence. This year the agent of obstruction was the shutdown of the U.S. government. The U.S. Forest Service administers the lands upon which the school are located. In order to conduct the show we must receive permits from them along with all the demands they place upon us in order to acquire those permits. They don't especially like the event taking place due to their not being able to really control it or profit from it. They also more practically worry about people associated with the event starting a wildfire and/or causing an auto mishap. This year the wildfire fears were more justified due to the unprecedented fuel conditions there and across the state.

Anywho, the U.S. Forest Circus pulled our permits upon the government shutting down. The organizers of the event and the community went over the heads of the U.S.F.S. and made supplications to local U.S. Congressman Sam Farr whom acquiesced and using his political pull got our permits reissued.

However, that did not mean the opening of the neighboring campgrounds. This intercession allowed the event to occur but with less bang than usual given their were no campers in neighboring Plaskett Creek Campground and elsewhere nearby aside from the illegal variety, some of whom got ticketed. Even with less pop the show was overall a resounding success and went off with few snags. Well, aside from a lame switcheroo of a new food vendor displacing an older food vendor whom had pre-payed for the booth the new food vendor ultimately received. This will be rectified for next year.

My small part to play was working in festival co-director Kirk Brock's "Rock Solid Jade" booth all the while some of my stuff was being sold in Mike Lyon's "Jade Cove" booth nearby the latter of which paid the expenses of my food and merchandise expenses at the event this year which was nice. My own little bit of pre-festival drama was having jury duty on the previous Monday when we found out the festival was back on which quite fortunately only amounted to being placed on telephone standby through Wednesday night and then being dismissed for the next 12 months.

Note: my camera has died and I had to borrow a camera I am not familiar with at this event so I took fewer images and often of lesser quality than in the past hence no day-by-day reports but simply this wrap-up.

Another note: check out my related Alabama Petrified Wood report from this event. 

Each day of the event starts with an eclectic and rag-tag drum circle which perfectly matches the spirit of this gathering.
View of the event from up the hill. Mostly poison oak fills this field located on a marine bench.
Kitty was comfy.... and loudly purring!
Cool way to display this awesome jade boulder. Wood and jade go well together!
This large partially polished jade boulder was here last year but it was nice to see it again.
Some cool natural jade shapes partially-polished in some cases. In the background is the jade phallus from last year.
The displays have really gotten very cool in recent years as dealers seem to be attempting to upstage each other in that regard.
This is another returning jade sculpture that has appeared on this blog before but is quite welcome back.
Some of these carvings are rather remarkable.
I'll admit I really coveted this piece this year. I was told by its craftsman that its inspiration was a spiral galaxy.
Jade toadstools. See what I mean about the displays here nowadays?
The view from Drew Arnold's booth into the adjacent one to the south.
I mostly prefer the jade in as natural and unaltered a state as possible with some exceptions...
... these would be such exceptions.
More Drew Arnold pieces.
Another view south from Drew Arnold's booth looking into his neighbor's booth.
Two new Drew Arnold pieces: a bowie knife and sunglasses (with lenses of thin-cut polished jade).
Drew Arnold posing with his two coolest new creations.
More from Drew Arnold.
Yet more from Drew Arnold including a way cool anthropomorphic wood jewelry display.
The Drew Arnold booth with its namesake stalking about.
Looking back into Drew's booth from the previously neighboring booth.
Looking back into the Drew Arnold booth from the aforementioned south-neighboring booth.
Jade blocks awaiting purchase and cutting or carving.
Another great display.
Tree jade!
Too bad it was overcast the morning I had time to get away from the booth and capture these images.
I love the carved jade bowls. Notice the jade suseki?
I love these jade pendants!
Most of the cool displays are of wood holding jade items but this one is of metal yet still awesome.

Nice jade bead strands. One won't find this stuff at Gem Faire!
Another returning jade star I'm not sad to see again.
I LOVE that jade cobble anthropomorphically modeling the jade necklace.
Mike Berkleo's "Revelations In Stone" booth with some incredibly inventive displays... perhaps the best in the show.
I like that Mike Berkleo jade sphere near the bottom... hear that, Mike?
Mike Berkleo finished pieces.
At this point my eye was being drawn to the jade blade knives in the background.
Maybe Santa will give me one of these choice Mike Berkleo knife masterpieces.
I absolutely love this image in the aggregate of everything visible within it.
I'm embarrassed I can't remember the people whom own this booth, but WOW!
A Kirk Brock 100-pound piece of Siberian jade your's for three grand.
Another big piece in Kirk Brock's "Rock Solid Jade" booth.
Kirks friend from El Salvador was selling Guatamalan jade carvings... the same stuff the Maya used.. and still use.
Kirk's Siberian slabbies and blocks.
Rock Solid Jade in a glass display case.
Kirk was selling this 155-pound piece for nine grand or any reasonable offer... this is local stuff brought up in the 1980's by way of diving. Note the awesome chatoyant swirl.
View from the Rock Solid Jade booth northward towards Mike Berkleo's booth.
The booth I worked all festival-long.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)