I’m an attacker! In other news, we’re getting AT&T U-verse

Over at this thread, we’ve been talking about PZ Myers’ Why I am an atheist series. Well, it’s a bit off topic right now.

A guy named Nelson Rose jumped into the conversation, said he was a friend of Julie Ferwerda’s, and posted two links to his blog, citing that he wanted to get my contemplative juices flowing.

I like Julie. So I went and gave the guy a read. The first one I read was, “What is the True Nature of God.” Nelson writes:

The human body is essentially a microcosm of the universe and the brain a mini version of the Divine. I realize this borders on heresy to some of you, but bear with me here. The Divine is in complete control of all creation, much like the mind is in complete control of the body right? Then why did you let yourself stub your toe the other day? Why did you say such a harsh thing that you later claim you really didn’t mean? Why did you cheat? Why do you allow yourself to get a paper cut? Why is your hair not cooperating with your comb? Why do you have to brush your teeth to prevent decay? These things happened and you didn’t want them to. I thought the brain controlled everything.

You can read the whole thing at the link above.

I read his writing to insinuate that the divine has a mind. And just like bad things happen to you despite having a brain, bad things happen in the universe despite having a divine creator who is in charge of it all.

I responded and wrote:

The universe doesn’t have a mind. And while I may stub my toe, my brain is really good at helping me avoid it when possible. I can learn to avoid certain evils, if you will. And the universe god can’t?

I have a hard time agreeing that the universe, should it have a brain, and its brain is named “God”, that it would allow itself to stub its two [sic] on child slavery if it didn’t need to.

The sense I was trying to convey was that if the divine is so stupid that it stubs its toes over and over, than it’s not using its noggin. If the divine is incapable of stopping child slavery or hunger as it happens over and over, surely that divine ain’t divine … if you know what I mean.

Did I attack Nelson? Did I throw insults at him? I don’t see any. But apparently my view of the universe is an illusion (see below). So I don’t know what’s what.

Then I read Nelson’s other link titled, “The Illusion of Atheism.” Nelson’s premise is that atheism is a mere illusion because three Hebrew words found in the Pentateuch translate to “I shall be what I shall be” or “I am what I am.” Nelson blabbers on and on about how the earth used to be flat, and now — thanks to science — we have the truth. He blames mankind’s limited understanding for failing to truly understand the miracle that is the divine. He draws the conclusion that understanding through science have not rendered that genocidal monstrosity found in the “Old” Testament obsolete.

He identifies that there is a source to the universe, and makes the grand conclusion that “Atheism advocates the absence of an orginal source or intelligent design.  If there is no source – then universe is an illusion.”

Ta-dah! Atheism Smatheism! Done and done. Clap hands like cleaning erasers and pass me a cocktail.

He ended his blog with copyright information.

You’re so illuded!

Just to make sure I wasn’t crazy, I looked up illusion. Apparently I have been deceived. This universe isn’t around me. My deity is science, and for me to say I’m an atheist means I’ve been deceived.

To which I wrote:

Call me illusioned or deluded. I don’t need the title “atheist.” I agree with those who don’t think there’s good enough reason for god. Call me what you want. Deluded. Wrong.

Just because the bible says: אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה‎, doesn’t make god exist.

Or maybe he does.

Say you could introduce me to god, let me shake his hand and talk to him, I still wouldn’t worship him. You could let me finger the wounds of Christ, but I wouldn’t suddenly change mind and start thinking he was the greatest man to ever live.

I’m not impressed, Nelson. That’s the short and thick of it.

I’m guessing Nelson thought I was referring to his writing when I said, “I’m not impressed.” I was referring to god.

But if I were pressed, I would say that Nelson’s copyrighted material is hardly impressive.

You can read the exchange. He says “Whoa, nelly! You misunderstood what I wrote!” And I was like, “If I misunderstood it, I’m sorry. But I was responding to what I read.”

And then he comes back and writes:

Don’t really care what you think or believe. The irony is you attack people for attacking your views and then attack people for having different views then you do. You attack people for misunderstanding you and then attack people when you don’t understand them.

I responded to what he wrote and that’s an attack?

What kind of thin skin does Nelson have? If he showed me his brand new car, and said he loved it. And I said, “I had a car like that, but the radio broke on it, and the transmission needed replacing within a year of purchase,” Nelson would see that as an attack?

If I interpret your bad ideas with criticism, don’t take it personally. Gosh, I wish I would have attacked him. It would have felt like he criticized me for what I did, instead of what I didn’t do.

Nelson trolled his way onto this blog thinking I was going to give him a congratulatory handjob for coloring inside the lines writing and publishing his thoughts on a blog.

By the way, I’m getting AT&T Uverse this weekend. The upgrade “saved” me about $15 a month in internet, and supposedly I’m going to get a jump in download speed. That way I can read Nelson’s copyrighted material faster.

Don’t forget, you’re just an illusion of my imagination … so you don’t exist.

Or something like that.

Love and kisses, Nelson Rose. And good luck with blogging. You’re going to need it.

So … this happened

I saw this photograph over at HuffPo, it’s Afghanis burning a cross.

This is not going to end well.

Especially since we have a Muslim president and all.

Keep in mind that Islam does not mean peace. It means submission to Allah.

And Christianity means a sort of submission to Jesus.

What happened to the old days when mom stepped in, made everyone hug and make up?

Oh yeah, some whacked out guy went and opened fire on innocent women and children. Maybe it’s time to consider the idea that religions aren’t too good for the world.


Bill Maher pokes fun at Mississippians

I’m pretty damn tired of watching #youtube videos that go out of sync. I don’t know what YouTube changed, but they have to change it back.

Just saying.

In the meantime, try to watch this video. Regardless of what Bill says, they might have cherry picked a little. But it’s still fascinating to hear the perspectives, as it’s not a far cry from things I’ve heard when traveling through North Carolina.


Monday meetings with Bill

Many of you know, Tina and I have partnered up with local photographer Bill Whitmire. As much as we can, we try to shoot together and share ideas with each other.

There are days when we have email conversations going that jam my inbox. We share links for photographers and photographs. On Mondays we have a meeting where we sit down over a cold one and talk shop. We share ideas and visions.

We talk about shoots and what we will shoot.

Yesterday was our meeting at my place. We needed to talk about weddings as we’re both interested in doing more of them, but only at a premium price point. And by premium, I mean, a zillion dollars.

Maybe not that much. I’m priced well below what other Chicago photographers charge. But when it’s said and done, I make far less on weddings than I do with corporate work. Which is why charging more would help make weddings more attractive to my business.

Shooting weddings is harder than you can imagine. And while some people gouge customers with the pricing, you’d be surprised at how the hourly rate plummets after two or more weeks of editing photographs.

The other thing about weddings is it’s more advantageous to have multiple photographers. Sometimes I’m pointing my lens at the wrong action, and I can’t get that moment back. So Bill and I decided that we’d do weddings together at a heftier price point.

When Bill got here yesterday for our Monday meeting, I showed him photos we did over the weekend, and he was very complimentary of the shots … which made me all gungho about sharing them. It’s hard for me to look at my work, and declare it good.

The whole “God created and said it was good” concept just came to mind. Imagine that, an atheist who hasn’t declared himself a god.

Tina’s my biggest fan, and I love her for it. If it weren’t for her encouragement and support, who knows where I’d be. She has a way of making me proud that no one else seems to have. And yet, sometimes, I need another voice to say, “Hey, man, this work is really good …”

I also need a voice that says, “Hey, here’s how you can make this better.”

Bill does that. He is able to teach me things that I would have never known. And he has a great way of criticizing without hurting my feelings. Or maybe my feelings have become a little harder to hurt over the years.

I doubt that.

He’s taught me things in Photoshop, a program I’ve used for over 16 years, that make my knowledge appear pathetic.

During our conversations, we talk about moving to a place that has more opportunity. I’m not sold on moving somewhere bigger and better. But I would like to entertain the thought.

My dream is to do what I’m doing. I want to be someone who people hire local and remotely. Have camera, will travel. I like the idea of being close to a major hub and flying to my locations.

Besides, more travel equals more opportunity for me to lose my phone.

We came up with a name for our shared work that seems to fit our personalities, but doesn’t fit doing weddings. Unofficially, we call our company “Dark Matter Media Group.”

We share Witt and Whit in our last names, but nothing comes to mind when trying to integrate that into a wedding photography name. We toyed with using “Serafini Wedding Photography” which is Tina’s last name. After writing it out, I kind of like it. It has a softness to it, doesn’t it? The S and the F can get all curly like all those chi-chi wedding photographer logos.

Any of you creative, hot and energetic people have any recommendations?

Mmmm, reblog: Onion rings used as egg molds

Stan at TYWKIWDBI posted these awesome looking eggs molded inside of an onion ring.

He quoted this:

Preparation instructions from Apron Strings:

Slice your onion into 1/2 inch slices. Then, using the biggest one, place in an oiled skillet over medium heat. When one side is lightly browned, flip the onion ring over and crack an egg in the middle. If you want the egg yolk to show, dab the top of the egg yolk gently with a paper towel and remove the white over the top of it. Then, sprinkle a little water in the pan and cover the skillet. Cook until your egg is done as you like.

You can also make eggs in avocado and in bell pepper slices. 

I’m trying it!