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Everything posted by anglicanbeachparty

  1. I saw Mr. Bean's Holiday on Monday, with the whole family. And that all four of us went together to a film is of note. It may possibly be our first time watching a film together in a theater, with no one opting out. Overall, I loved it. Some of it suffers by comparison with Atkinson's earlier work, and some of the gags are borrowed from his earlier work. But I still liked it. As SDG said, the scene at Cannes, with the pompous, narcissistic film director, is great. Conspicuous by his absence was Mr. Bean's stuffed bear, Teddy. Perhaps he was in the suitcase (which Bean never opened) the whole time.
  2. Yes, it is a strange name, Chrome Folk Barbeque. We have not been together that long; we are so new that we don't even have a MySpace page yet! Here are links to videos of some songs from our 1st and only gig so far: I know we have a long way to go before we get to where we should be, but we're having fun anyhow! Feel free to critique. (Oh yes, I am the one standing at right, in the blue shirt.)
  3. It is a rare even these last few years when I've put the last paint to a canvas and called it finished. I finished a painting the week before last, a portrait of a female bodybuilder. I expect it to be wildly unpopular: with lovers of visual arts, with bodybuilders, unpopular with virtually everyone. But I am happy with that outcome, because it is exactly what I wanted to paint. Even among relatively hardcore bodybuilding fans, at a website I frequent, 98% of the male membership scorns muscular females. So, this painting can only possibly appeal to a niche-within-a-niche. For more mainstream folks, the case is even stronger against this painting. Revulsion is the normal reaction I get: That looks like a man, or Why would any woman ever want to look like that?, or Why would you choose to paint that!? These are common reactions. I was at the NPC Nationals bodybuilding contest in Long Beach, California, in 1990. Two oil painters had their paintings of female bodybuilders on display. One was a better painter than I am; one was not quite so good. Both were ignored. I even overheard a comment by one of the female competitors, regarding one of the paintings: What the hell is that? So, in short, the intersection of those who appreciate the beauty of female bodybuilders and those who appreciate the visual art of painting is incredibly tiny. It is the target I am shooting for, nonetheless. I wrote up a two-page treatise explaining my choice, for future posting on my website, modelled after John Bunyan's The Author's Apology for His Book, which is his preface to The Pilgrim's Progress. Mine is not (yet) in verse, as Bunyan's is. But, at the end of the day, it just seems like useless words ... words which will convince no one. One of Bunyan's chief excuses for writing The Pilgrim's Progress was that it pleased him. To a large extent, I use the same excuse. Bunyan needn't have worried, since his book rose to a level of popularity rivalled only by the Bible. My paintings, probably not so much. However, I want to thank God for the luxury of being able to make unpopular paintings. If not for my (mostly despised) engineering career, I would not be able to make unpopular paintings. I would have to be driven by market forces, and paint what patrons wanted to see. So, I am thankful to have made this painting, and hope by God's help to make more like it.
  4. Thanks for the information, Andy! I have read most of these authors, however, and I don't find any of them (so far) to have risen to Flannery's level. Maybe I'm just a FOC snob. However, her talent is of such a magnitude that she can be considered an "outlier" in terms of the statistical point the Touchstone article was attempting to make. A genius of her rank is a sort of "freak of nature", and might as easily occur in one church tradition as another, I suppose.
  5. Are Robinson and Enger lauded and respected by non-Christian critics, as were O'Connor and Greene? Perhaps what is really going on here is that Evangelicals (and others) have largely abandoned the field of literature for other fields, e.g., music. I think some of the points raised in the article (e.g., about any endeavor undertaken by evangelicals needing to have utilitarian value) are true. At least, that has been my experience, and I was raised 100% Evangelical. I also think that the "acid test" of taking the walk through the Christian bookstore will show exactly what Dr. Williams says it will show.
  6. Here is an interesting, short article on Flannery O'Conner, from Touchstone magazine. http://touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=20-07-015-v'> Three Things Evangelical Authors Can Learn from Flannery O
  7. Sometimes, Cindy thinks I am a slacker on the poetry front, confining myself to 1-2 poems a year. So, sometimes, she forces me to write. Today was one of those days. I got the idea for this first one during my long rainy commute to work: Adam's Joy Our protoplastic parents ventured east, And said farewell to Eden at the gate, With fresh-named animals in vast array (Those newly undomesticated beasts). They wondered at this young world's future fate, And Eve and her mourning were the ninth day. Though outwardly his brow was dewed with sweat, Young Adam's visage shone with inner light, Because the very God who bade him leave (Whose property is never to forget) Remembered his petition in the night: Take Eden, gracious Lord, but leave me Eve.
  8. Around 1990, I made a watercolour painting of my wife Cindy, sitting in a Victorian chair, under which was a sort of paisley-patterned carpet. Next to her was an end table with an antique French lamp. I took the watercolour to work, to hang in my cubicle. One day Becky, a colleague, said that in the painting Cindy looked like she was on a flying carpet ... that the carpet appeared to be hovering off the ground a bit. Sure enough, she was right. I had used 2 different sets of perspective lines for the partially-visible wood floor and the edges of the carpet. Doh! The picture was ruined for me. So, in a crude attempt to salvage the part of it that I liked best (the watercolour of my wife), I cut that part out with scissors and glued it (rubber cement?!) to a new oil-on-canvas background. The result may be seen below. I called it Our Lady of the Ionosphere. At the time, I was not at all sensitive to what my Roman Catholic brothers and sisters would have thought of the title. While I wasn't making any attempt to be irreverent, I certainly wasn't being too sensitive, either. Doesn't she look serene, though?
  9. Yes, it does, definitely. I have begun working on a few others. Progress is still slow, but I am looking for little ways to speed up my process. For a look at one of the world's fastest painters, check out my friend from Houston, Dan Dun. Check out one of his performances here at this YouTube link: I played lead guitar in Dan's band for about 4 years, when I lived in Houston. He certainly seems to have found his medium!
  10. This was kind of unexpected. I've had 3 paintings hanging for a few months now in a local Coffee Shop / Art Gallery. Today, I just got the word that this old Arnold painting of mine sold: (Click for larger version.) First thing I've sold in 2 or 3 years, I believe.
  11. I think this album came out last year. But anyhow, a local (Ypsilanti) band called The Hummingbirds has really grabbed my attention lately. The band I am in (Chrome Folk Barbeque) will be covering one or two of their songs. Here's my favourite. Check out the clean Telecaster licks from Stephen Grant Wood: Gonna Be Alright
  12. And, back to an actual oil painting, not slot cars. This one is a sort of quasi-commissioned work that I'm trying to finish up for a female bodybuilder. I'm getting somewhat close to completing it. I seem to have picked up maybe 20% to 30% in painting speed (while retaining acceptable level of finish) lately. Which is a good thing. Below is just a small detail from this latest oil painting, which I actually expect to finish this summer. It is the hand and leg of the bodybuilder. Not too much clothing, so I'm obscuring it behind this small "encrypted" version. Click on the pretty colors if you'd like to view the painting detail.
  13. Now THIS is why I am so happy to be an American ... click here for Muffler Men
  14. If they only knew: Hand-wringing is an exothermic process!
  15. This is a silly thing to say. A system certainly does not have to be in an optimal state for the prospect of a decline to be considered a problem. To use a coarse analogy, the fact that my car was built around 1999 and is not brand new doesn't mean that I don't change the oil or take it into the shop when it has problems. Okay, I don't like his wording there, either. What he might better have said is: "To assume it is a problem is to assume that we know where the earth's current climate state is relative to the optimal state." We need to know whether some amount of global warming might not be, in fact, a good thing. I don't think your car analogy works, because in that analogy, you know where the global optimum was (i.e., when the car was new), and you know that the quality is a monotonically decreasing function over time.
  16. He also has a Master's degree in Applied Physics from John's Hopkins. Anyhow, one does not need any experience in "living systems" to predict trends from data. There was no personal attack on my part. I merely found it interesting that you were so dismissive of Griffin because he is an engineer. If you weren't being dismissive, why did you say this?
  17. Alan, As a guy with a couple of engineering degrees myself, who makes his living using predictive computer models, I can tell you that the principles Griffin would have learned well in the computer-modeling background for his Physics and engineering degrees are the same ones that a good "climate scientist" would use. It has to do with data and assumptions, regardless of the field. In my regular dealings with both, I've found engineers to be much more firmly grounded in reality than "research scientists". So, I'm not quite sure why your anti-engineering bias seems valid to you here.
  18. Well, he has 6 advanced degrees, including a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering. That alone does not make him a "climate scientist" ... but it does place him well ahead of the typical environmentalist with a liberal arts degree ... or none at all.
  19. Global Warming ... not as bad as was thought? NASA chief doubts global warming is front-burner issue "To assume that is a problem is to assume that the state of the Earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure it doesn't change," he said. "First of all, I don't think it's within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown." For the record, I don't believe that mankind and/or technology have contributed significantly to global warming. It is good to see others in the scientific community at large think likewise. Scratch that ... many always have ... what is nice is that their views are now being regularly reported in the mainstream media.
  20. Midwest Lutherans Largely Reject Violence Kohut pointed to one of the study's key findings that only 29% of all respondents agreed that "bloody, random violence against infidels" was "always" or "frequently" justified, versus 56% who said such violence was "seldom" or "never" justified. The approval of violence rose slightly among younger Lutherans and when the hypothetical violence was targeted against Presbyterians, but still fell well short of a majority. "The only demographic cohort we saw where murderous random violence had a majority support was among 18-35 year old male followers of the Wisconsin Synod," said Kohut. "And that was barely above the margin of error. Even then, fewer than half (41% to 46%) said they would personally volunteer to carry out the violence themselves." Down at the bottom of the article, there are several Related articles, which contain much hilarity regarding the Strife-torn Middle West.
  21. It's not just Hitchens, as you must know. Besides, documentation is documentation. So many of the proofs that Moore is a liar are verifiable. So, it really doesn't matter who collected them.
  22. You can't possibly be serious ... can you?! Moore's lies are well-known and well-documented.
  23. I accidentally caught this on TV a few years back, and was blown away!
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