It’s Gastronomical!


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Frankly, I can’t stand a lot photos of food that I take on the fly. These are several examples. They just don’t do it for me.

The fidelity of working with a handheld camera with mixed light and uncontrolled doesn’t do it for me.

But it’s food. And we need something light around here. Make it feel like the part of a café that feeds your belly.


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On repercussions. A parable of sorts.


About a month ago, I stopped into our local watering hole for a beer. It was about 6 p.m. on a Saturday.

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere. You know what I mean? 

When I walked in, there was a bartender we’ll call George. A black guy we’ll call Joe. A brown guy we’ll call Bob. And a white girl, we’ll call Sally.

They all call me, Jeremy. It’s short for asshole. 🙂

I’m somewhat close to Joe, but Bob and Sally, a couple, I don’t know well. I mean, I see Bob and Sally at the bar a lot. I see them in front smoking when I’m driving or running by. And while I have a two drink limit, those two have a two drink every ten minute minimum.

For every one drink of mine, Bob has about three shots and one or two beers.

I’m not kidding.

But this day, I went into the bar, I bellied up, and ordered a Makers on the rocks. I sat down next to Joe. Bob and Sally were on the opposite side of Joe. We formed a line just like they do in the movies.

“What’s up, everybody?” I said.

“What’s up, asshole?” They all responded.  Continue reading

Hemant Mehta, this is how you post stats


CNN published an editorial from Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta. Read it here. The topic is the growing downhill driving snowball that is non-belief in America, the world, and on the Internets.

I particularly liked his opening:

Articles and books about why millennials are leaving Christianity often focus on what churches are doing “wrong.”

They’re anti-gay, anti-women, anti-science, anti-sex-education and anti-doubt, 
to name a few of the most common criticisms.

I don’t disagree with those critiques, but there’s another side to the story.

While Christians have played sloppy defense, secular Americans have been showing off some impressive offense, giving young Christians plenty of reasons to lose faith in organized religion.

For instance, atheists dominate the Internet, rallying to thriving websites and online communities in lieu of physical meeting spaces.

What works about Mehta’s editorial is that he’s referring to stats that you can look up. He’s included citations and references via clickable link. You know, things kids are taught in seventh grade.

You know, he quotes stats, then links to them.

Like these two paragraphs:

A 2012 study by the Public Religion Research Institute (PDF) showed that many Christians aged 18-24 felt that Christianity was hypocritical (49%), judgmental (54%) and anti-gay (58%).

In addition, Christianity Today reported last year that fewer than half of born-again Christians under 35 opposed same-sex marriage.

If you have a source, show it. When I was in seventh grade, I didn’t refer to facts that were written in a book that I swear existed, but I just couldn’t tell you what it was.

Not referring to sources is like saying you have a hot girlfriend whom you tell your friends they’ll never meet, but BELIEVE me she’s hot and sexy. Her schedule is tough so you’ll likely never meet her. BUT she’s the hottest thing in the sack. I swear.

There are other things — like gods — who get this kind of talk. You know, “Zoroaster … he’s the best god ever. He’ll do anything for you. He created everything … for you! Just believe me!”

If you can’t produce sources, the only citation I have is based on a belief that you’re not making that shit up.

I guess the other take away from the article is that the atheist movement is growing.

For another take on the topic, check out Naked Pastor’s response, with a cartoon that shows the inevitable: evangelical, door-to-door atheists.

Movie recomendation: Compulsion (1959)


Over the weekend, Tina and I watched Compulsion, a 1959 movie featuring Orson Welles.

I’ll let this description tell you about the film:

In 1924 Chicago, two rich college students, Judd Steiner and Arthur Strauss, decide they can commit the perfect murder and get away with. They kill a young teenager, Paulie Kessler, but through the efforts of part-time reporter and fellow student Sid Brooks, a pair of glasses left at the scene is traced to the murderers. For their trial, the families hire renowned defense attorney Jonathan Wilk known for his passionate arguments against the death penalty. Both men confessed to the crime but Wilk pleads them not guilty. At the trial, they change the plea to guilty and Wilk argues passionately in favor of a life sentence rather than execution.

The movie is worth a viewing, if for nothing else, the court scene when Orson Welles, who plays a lawyer, delivers the single-longest monologue in film history.

But another great reason to watch it is that Orson Welles’ character is an atheist with a penchant for great humanism. The entire movie is available on YouTube. The link is below.

I love how Welles’ character is talked about before he is ever on screen. Jump to 1:05:00.

I wanted to dictate the dialogue of the fathers of the two boys with a friend of the family who is advocating hiring Welles as a Lawyer. Here’s the exchange.

Advocate: “There’s only one man for this case. He’s the best lawyer in the country. And he’s here in Chicago.”

Father: “That atheist. I won’t have him. He’s a skeptic that makes a mockery of religion.”

Advocate: “And the best trial lawyer in the country.”

Father:  “A charlatan. A lying drunken jury swinger.”

Advocate: “But a winner. And he’s fought capital punishment all his life.”

The trial scenes are nothing short of awesome. Because when all else has failed, Welles appeals to the human spirit for grace and mercy. He appeals to the minds of strength and greatness instead of toward aggression and violence.

It’s definitely worth a viewing, if only for those scenes to see how atheism was treated in a 1959 movie, about a 1924 court case.

 

self portrait and weekend round up


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Over the weekend, Tina and I spent time in the studio. We photographed Lu dog (seen here) and then I set up something that I was hoping to rope a friend into, but failed to do so.

My hope was to walk up to our local watering hole and ask a regular to walk over to the studio and grab a portrait of him or her.

But no one was there.

I don’t go to the bar nearly as much as I used to, but on a typical Saturday afternoon, there’s at least two or three regulars. The inspiration for the shot is a loose translation of this Dan Winters -style setupContinue reading